Email has become the way most people seem to communicate nowadays. Instead of sending letters of greeting, or what have you, through the post office, electronic communication is faster and almost as easy.
Unfortunately, some people don't quite understand that sending email is the equivalent of sending a postcard through the mail. You have to be fairly careful what you say in an email, because anyone who is of a mind to, and who has the technical ability, can read what's in it, just like turning over a postcard to read what's on the back.
Another downfall of email, is that nefarious types can use it to exploit the less experienced user. Putting links into emails that go to less than desirable web sites is common practice. Infecting a user's machine to send these undesirable emails is becoming the go-to way to get people to these sites.
Because of this, I always advise people to use extreme caution when clicking on links that come in emails. Make sure the person who sent it to you really did. Hopefully they added a message that lets you know it really did come from them. Any emails, even ones from friends and family, that contain a link to a web site I've never heard of before, and a simple line like "Hi! Check this out!", is suspicious. Now if my brother were to send me one, I'd expect a note, like, "Hey, Dave, this one was too funny. Check it out and give me a call later. Bob"; I'd have a reasonably good expectation that he really did send it.
If you pay attention to what is in the message of the email, you can filter out a lot of the unwanted stuff yourself.
Also, be very wary of offers that seem too good to be true - they usually are. No one will EVER email you out of the blue to tell you that you've won a million dollars in a contest you don't remember entering.
Be very, very wary when your bank, Ebay, PayPal, Skype or ANY company that emails you to verify your account details. No company will ever, ever do that unless you contact them first. Then, most times, they will direct you to their web site and make you type in the address yourself. If you get one of these emails, it's usually not real.
Thanks for reading!
Until next week, I'm Computer Dave
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