Last Updated: Monday, March 20, 2017

Just Hit Delete is the first and easiest way to avoid spam and scam e-mails.  Highlight the e-mail and click on the Delete Key, and poof!  The spam is gone! 

But how do I know it's a spam email?
     This will become easier with experience, but; Ask yourself these questions:
Look at the top of the email window; Do you KNOW the person or company who sent it? If not, JHD and forger about it. It's spam; no need to even  know what it's about. 

    If so, is his shown e-mail address as you know it to be?   If not, JHD and ask your Sender if it was from them?  They can always resend it if you goof, but that's not likely.

Is the Subject line anything that you expected? 
    If not, even if it IS something you are interested in, that doesn't stop it from being a spam. Your surfing habits are known to many scammer/spammer databases and they use the ploy to get you to respond to them or somehow contact them. DO NOT CONTACT THEM!   In the case of a spam, NEVER click ANY link or URL in the email, and do NOT respond in any way!  It gives them more information about you, including the fact that they would now know you read spams.

    Is there an attachment included with it?
    NEVER open an email with an attachment in it! Not even if it's from someone you know!  UNLESS the person has told you ahead of time that they will be sending you an attachment and you are expecting it! An Unexpected attachment is most likely a direct attack, and it may even have come from someone you know but who has a virus on their own machine that's adding the attachment, unbeknownst to even that Sender!  
    Just opening that attachment will turn on it payload and infect your machine!  You may well infect other machines with every e-mail YOU send now. In fact, in some cases just reading their email can trigger the attachement payload to infect your  machine.
    Delete the e-mail as soon as see the indicator that says it has an attachment!  Then contact your Sender and ask if they sent it to you!  If they didn't send it, then you have managed to sidestep infecting your computer. If they did send it, ask them to please resend it for you if it's anything you want.  That latter almost never happens.

There are of course other ways to become infected, such as visiting a website created for that purpose.  If you do not have proper Security Settings and Antivirus software, it's easy for these sites to inject viruses and other malware onto your computer. 

At the time of this writing the worst malware going around is called RansomWare.  Originally they were only attacking companies but they have now spread to also infecting home users computers.  RansomWare simply encrypts your entire hard drive/s with thei own key, and they then hold your computer in that state until you pay a Ransom to them after which they say they will remove the encryption.  Sometimes they don't!

But there IS a simple, cheap way to avoid the damages these people cause: Just be certain to backup, or Archive, ALL of you drives to an External Drive which is kept Turned OFF at all times except when it is doing an actual backup!  If you have that, then to get rid of RansomWare is to simply Restore the computer from your archive files!  The "trick" is to NEVER have that drive turnedd ON except while it's actually doing a backup or restore, and turned OFF at all other times.   The drive is turned OFF so that a Ransomware attack cannot encrypt any files on it, of course. 

Works well for home users, in fact.  It's more expensive for companies, especially the large ones with many servers though.  RansomWare may be short-lived as there are already software progra s available to watch for and catch it before it can do any damage.  Acronis comes to mind.

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