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Email is a particularly vulnerable area of online use, if you're not vigilant.

There are so many scams these days that arrive in your inbox.

Emails can contain malware, viruses and phishing scams, all designed to wreak havoc with your system.

The main thing to remember is use common sense.

If an email comes from an odd email address that you don't recognise, don't open it.

Bank scams are very common, but always remember that those sort of institutions will always address you by name, and never ask you for your password in full, or any personal details, or to re-set your account to prevent it closing!

Anything starting Dear User for example, is almost certainly bogus.

If by chance you do open it, the most important point to remember is: DON'T CLICK ON ANY LINKS

The problem being that a link can be disguised, and may seem like it's legitimate, but it can take you to a malicious site without you realising.

Sometimes, the rogue email could even come from a 'friend' who has inadvertently got a virus on their own system, and are completely unaware that their computer has sent out the email.

The golden rule is to err on the side of caution. Expect that emails will bring problems to your computer, because these are the most common ways that the 'Bad Guys' get into your machine.


One great tip we like, is to use a disposable email addresses.

This really does help to prevent spam, but only if used correctly.

The basic idea is that you sign up for a service like Sneakemail, give it your 'real' email address, and then create a disposable address for every site you need to sign up to.

When that site emails you to your disposable *****@sneakemal.com, it automatically gets re-directed (hidden from view) to your 'real' email address.

If at some point in the future, that email address is passed on to spammers, all you do is grey list or delete the disposable address.


Here's an example of a fake Bank phishing email:

Spam 1.jpg

Finally, chain emails.

If you get one, please don't forward it to your friends as the email suggests.

Chances are it contains some malicious code that allows spammers to harvest all the email addresses on the list.

There is no benefit in forwarding these on except to encourage spam. You won't get bad luck, nobody will die as a consequence of you not forwarding this garbage to 7/10/15 of your friends, so resist the urge, bin the email, and politely reply to the sender telling them why it's bad to participate.