How To Avoid Spam

Nearly everyone who has an e-mail address they regularly use has run into at least a small problem with spam.  What is spam? Spam is bulk, unsolicited e-mail—most often, it’s trying to sell you something, and sometimes it’s trying to convince you to relinquish your credit card information, bank account information, and any other personal information you’re willing to give.

This makes spam not just a regular nuisance, but dangerous as well.  If you’re one of the millions of people out there whose inbox is flooded daily with waves upon waves of spam messages, you’re probably wondering what can be done about it.

At PenTeleData, we are just as concerned about spam as you are—in fact, we use spam filters to help reduce the amount of spam traveling over our network.  Unfortunately, online predators often know how to get around the filters, so we can’t catch it all.  

That’s where you can help:

  • Although malicious websites and e-mail scams have been around for quite some time, some tactics that criminals use have become more believable than ever.  It is VERY IMPORTANT to protect your computer and your personal information, such as user names, passwords, social security numbers and account numbers.

 

  • PenTeleData will never ask our customers for personal information in an e-mail. In fact, no matter who you are dealing with (your bank, utility providers etc.) you should NEVER EVER, for any reason, include personal or financial details like account numbers, login names, passwords, or social security numbers in an e-mail.

 

  • The best way to avoid spam is to avoid getting on the spammers list in the first place. When you sign up for something on the Web, there is often some innocent-looking text at the end of the form that indicates your permission to be contacted by select third parties. Watch to be certain that selecting the box (or not selecting it) is the option to opt out.  Otherwise, your e-mail address is automatically shared.

 

  • You should change your password(s) regularly.  Avoid using real words or personal information.  Choose a longer password over a shorter password and don’t use the same one for multiple sites.  Use a variety of characters, numbers and symbols.

 

  • Some of the easiest-to-remember passwords aren’t words at all but collections of words that form a phrase or sentence, perhaps the opening sentence to your favorite novel, or the opening line to a good joke. Complexity is nice, but length is key. It used to be the case that picking an alphanumeric password that was 8-10 characters in length was a pretty good practice. These days, it’s increasingly affordable to build extremely powerful and fast password cracking tools that can try tens of millions of possible password combinations per second. Just remember that each character you add to a password or passphrase makes it an order of magnitude harder to attack via brute force methods.

 

  • If you like to receive advertisements and coupons or share your e-mail address at your favorite stores, consider using an alternate address specifically for that purpose.  In other words, use a second e-mail address solely for these e-mails and avoid giving your primary address.

 

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