Does Your Email Etiquette Suck? – Part Four

Stop falling for the “We Holding Your Money in Dubai” scams and other Phishing Stories: Nope. You have not won the lottery. You do not have a large sum of cash sitting and waiting for you in a bank in Dubai, Nigeria, Kenya or LA (Lower Asheville, NC).

Nope, no, nein, non, no way, it ain't your luck day. Give it up already and stop clicking on these internet frauds. They are just neat ways crooks have to capturing selling your identity information to other spammers and credit card forgers.

Got an email from your bank, PayPal, eBay, Amazon, or some Federal Credit Union Association, lately? Unless you have initiated contact with these organizations, (you asked them to contact you) don't click on the hyperlink in the email. It is a scam. Sam's Club is not giving you a free gift certificate (even after all the money you spend in there).

Fake or spoofed emails from reputable companies is called "Phishing". Pronounced, "fishing" like you reel them in. Some phishing emails are good, very, very good. And why not, since spammers pay some very good programmers top dollar for their work.

For them bilking you out of money, credit card info and identity is a full time job. You can move your mouse over your email and right-click on the link and view properties. You will notice that the link to www.paypal.com really is something that looks like this "http://186.126.1.2./%23%232%243".

The interesting thing about email fraud, it's the only crime where you decide whether or not to become a victim. What's your best defense? The same as always: If it sounds (or in this case looks) too good to be true...

Don't Just Let Anyone Use Your Business Email Addresses: Control who can use your email accounts. People love to say, "But I don't have any employees, it just me and my spouse who run the business."

Sure but you let your sister-in-law (the little witch) use your computer last weekend. And your brother, Bubba who is still looking for work use it for place resumes on a job forums; and your cousin Jack , when he dropped by on the way to visiting the family last month. And, of course your kids, and all their friends.

Just you and the spouse, huh? See what I mean. Password protect all your business accounts. Look in the help file for your email reader if you are not sure. Snoops be they be causal shoulder-over-lookers or determined diggers will open your private stuff if given the means and the access.

Remember the rule of thumb from step 2. Now you should add a new one: if the information contacted in your emails were to become generally known would it negatively affect your business or your family?

To paraphrase an old an War World 2 slogan, "Loose lips, sink more than ships!"