NCET helps you explores business and technology
By Darren McBride
Almost every one of my customers struggles with unwanted email. Some of this is unwanted advertising or newsletters. Other emails are more insidious such as “Spear Phishing”, the term for email that targets you specifically and tries to get you to click on a link or open an attachment with a ransomware payload. While aggressive spam filters help scammers are becoming more sophisticated as their efforts pay off. They earn millions of dollars every year by encrypting users hard drives and then demanding a ransom. No one is too small to target. Here are 4 of the many tips we’ll be covering in NCET’s upcoming lunch and learn about managing email.
- Use a spam filter and closely guard who you give your email address to minimize exposure.
- Unsubscribe from unwanted newsletters.
- Check whether your email breached by going to the website haveibeenpwned.com. If you have, change your password and consider a new email address.
- You should assume that email can be read by any number of people along the way to its destination. So treat your email like a post card. We’ll discuss an easy and free way to encrypt your email at the NCET luncheon.
Regarding tip #1 if you use Gmail you can create and hand out as many fake email addresses on the fly as you want (and still receive the email!) Just use your real email and add a + (plus) to the back with additional characters you want. For example Johndoe@gmail.com can become Johndoe+A@gmail.com (or Johndoe+anything). Email sent to Johndoe+A will show up as normal mail in the main inbox. This is useful for limiting who knows your real address when you sign up for services. Later you can easily filter out mail going to the fake address as a way to save time.
Tip #2 requires knowing which firms are “real” and ethical and will legitimately remove your name. Spammers just use unsubscribe emails as a way of confirming your email is real. One easy way to immediately cut down the amount of unwanted marketing email is to create a rule that moves any email with the word “unsubscribe” to a different folder. I use Outlook and call my folder “Newsletters.” Since a large portion of marketing emails have this word at the bottom. The rule moves them out of my priority email for viewing at my leisure. We’ll discuss more techniques to manage email at the NCET lunch.
Learn about Managing Email and Avoiding Scams at NCET’s Biz Bite luncheon on March 28th. NCET is a member-supported nonprofit organization that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology. Register for the event and get more info at NCETbite.org.
Darren McBride is CEO of Sierra Computer Group, Northern Nevada’s oldest and largest network consulting firm.