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What can I do to stop getting spam and phishing email?

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Article SummaryMake sure anti-spam software is installed. And follow straight forward DOs and DON'Ts to avoid spam. For example don't open email from unknown people, don't click on unknown links in email, and do not open attachments you are not expecting.
If you are getting unwanted email, they are either spam or phishing email. For more info, see What is the difference between malware, a virus, a trojan, adware, spyware, and phishing?
College computers have anti-malware software installed. This is the best first step to prevention. For more, see What is ESET Nod32 ?
Students have a number of anti-virus or anti-malware software. For more, see Where can I get free anti-virus and anti-spyware software for Windows?

Algonquin College has anti-spam and anti-phishing measures in place already to help block unwanted email, but they are not perfect. For more, see How do I use the Can-it anti-spam server?

You can help the above measures, by following these 10 DOs and DON'Ts for good email hygiene.
  1. Don’t open if the subject of a new email indicates it is probably spam.  Opening the mail could confirm your address as active by sending back a read receipt.  An html spam may also open undesirable web links.  More recently, links in spam messages may well connect your browser to a site which will download infected files to your computer.
  1. Don't open if you don't recognize the sender. Often spammers send email from fake people they think will sound like people you know. But if you don't know a John Doe, don't open email from him.
  1. Don't click on links in email. If you move your mouse over the link without clicking, the destination of the link will show up at the bottom of your screen. You know its a scam if the link you are mousing over is very different from the real link.
  1. Don't click on unknown or unexpected attachments in email. Especially .exe or .zip files can contain bad software that will infect your computer.
  1. Don’t Unsubscribe - Less honorable Internet citizens simply look at an unsubscribe request and keep the address as a confirmed active address.  However unsubscribe does work for legitimate commercial Internet mail.  Good corporate citizens, work very hard at keep their mailing lists up-to-date. 
  1. Don’t Reply no matter how much you would like to tell the sender what you think of their message and morals.   The result is the same as for unsubscribe; the spammer thinks, “Got one!”
  1. Do Delete!  Shift+Delete gets rid of the message altogether but be sure that’s what you want to do.  There is no cure for Shift Delete!
  1. Do change your password regularly to a new, unused, secure password. For help with this, see What are Algonquin College's minimum password rules?
  1. Do be careful where you browse on the Internet on a work computer and where you submit your email address. If you have problems, these are the places you need to suspect first.
  1. Do be sure why a site asks for your email address;  many websites ask for your email when they may not have a good reason to do so - be clear why they need it before you give it; a good Internet citizen will at least offer you the option of whether or not you allow them to share your email address with their businesses partners.
If you follow these DOs and DON'Ts, you will greatly reduce the risk of getting spam, and if you do you will limit any problems.

For more computer security information, see the ITS Information Security website.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the ITS Service Desk - How can I contact ITS?



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