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Tip - Identify Spam Email

Spam emails, also known as junk emails are unsolicited messages sent to numerous recipients by email. The purpose of Spam may be for advertising, phishing to gain personal information or to spread malicious software such as a virus that can infect your computer.

Spam emails usually contain links that open phishing web sites or sites that are hosting malware (malicious software). Spam email may also include malware as file attachments.

The most important thing if you are unsure if an email is genuine, you should never click on the links or open the attachments in the email.

Here are some suggestions for identifying and managing spam emails…

• Check the name and email address of the sender, do you recognise them or has it come from a complete stranger? Spam email can also come from a known email address if that mailbox has been compromised, or an email address very close to the legitimate one, so you really have to be careful!

• Look at the greeting, is it addressed with a generic ‘Hey there’ or ‘Dear Sir/ Madam’? This is a good sign that it might be spam.

• Look at the subject, does it seem unusual? If the email is asking you to do something right away, such as “update your details” or “click here” on a link or attachment, be weary. Most organisations you deal with will not ask for personal details or passwords via email.

• Never click on unknown links or attachments. Clicking on the message itself will not harm anything but don’t click on the links or attachments unless you are sure what they are. Never reply to spam emails, just delete them

• Send it to Junk! Most email programs (like Outlook or Windows Mail) have the option to ‘Mark email as Spam’ (or Junk) this will send the email to the Junk folder so you won’t see them in your Inbox.

Unfortunately everyone using email will receive spam at some point. There is no way to stop getting spam emails. ‘Spammers’ are always trying new ways to catch people off guard but now with these practices and a little caution you will know what to look for and can block unwanted spam before it causes harm.

If you think you have already replied to a spam email or entered your details in a linked website, please contact us to get your account password changed; Community IT Support; 1800 629 835

Download this Tip as a .PDF document: Tip - Spam Email

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