Thursday, June 23, 2011

Email Security and Kids

Here is a very helpful article about email security for parents, from an expert in this area. Guess who that is??? No not me!

What Parents Have To Realize Regarding Email Security!

Are Kids Discriminated By Hackers and Spammers?

Kids are especially vulnerable to spam emails, because it is easier to entice the child to open an enticing email message with their favorite cartoon characters. The sophistication level is at all time high. Imagine you or your child going to your favorite, reputable website and clicking on one of the banners there, only to find out (too late) that it was planted by a hacker. This is already happening. For families with kids, it is especially important to have an effective email security tool not allowing malicious emails close to their computers.

Colored Fonts

Lets face it, nice looking email messages with colored letters, great graphic images, and fancy text are some of the main reasons why HTML is used in email and became popular with many of us. Sure, it makes email attractive and - in some cases - easier to read. However, there is a downside to attractive email message wrapped in HTML. As far as a security is concern, just text email is simply put, great. Reading all your emails in only text offers crucial benefits for your family security, something that is of a greater value than the pretty graphics and colored letters.

The Bugs Need a Squash

HTML based email is capable of virtually wiretap your computer system or network via the implementation of tiny invisible images, different - specially formed links and many other ways that would enable the bad guys to track your email. Here is an example of how this is done. A different sets of numbers are connected with invisible graphics kept on a different server. Because, every time you read the email, images are included and accessed, so a different number is assigned to each image, creating a separate record, whether the email was ever read or opened. Many companies sell tracking email software, providing a means for the sender not only to know whether the email was seen, but when did it happened, and also, keep tracking it further to know, whether it was passed to other computer users. Spammers are known to use special scripts to figure out, if an email address is a good one or not or even if the receiver of the message usually opens spam or not - setting those users up for even more unwanted email in the future.

Email with text only will squashes those pesky web bugs and does not allow embedded images.

We recommend the following:

  1. Use anti virus email software.

  2. Use anti virus software.

  3. Update your virus definitions regularly.

Lets say that there are very flashy animations, tempting looking graphics with celebrities on a website, but your overall feeling is that the look is unprofessional, don't download anything from this place.

Do not read or open any attachments to an email from a source that you are unsure of.

  • Don't open any attached email files, unless you are very sure what it is. It may appear to be from a friend, family member or even someone you really trust. Some computer viruses can reproduce themselves through email. Confirm that your contact really sent an attachment.

  • Don't open any files attached to an email if the subject line is questionable or unexpected.

  • Delete chain emails and junk email. Do not forward or reply to any to them. It is considered spam - not asked for, disruptive messages that fill up the in-boxes like Land Fills.

  • Don't do any downloading of anything from strangers.

  • Be very cautious when downloading any kind of files from the Web. Make sure the website is it claims to be: reputable and legitimate one. Verify that an anti-virus program checks the files on the download site.

  • You have to keep up with updates of your anti-virus software. Some programs will make it very easy for you. McAfee's Total Protection security software will automatically update through the Internet.

  • Back up your files on a regular basis. How important is it to back up you files? There is nothing more important than this one activity, because, not If, but when a computer virus damages or destroys completely your files, you will at the very least will be able to replace them. You absolutely must keep your backup files in a separate place, away from your computer.

  • If not sure what to do, always choose caution and don't download or open or execute any files, attached or not. Check with your product vendors for updates for your operating system, web browser, and email.

  • Get email security software, to help you stop every email virus, email worm and other malware from even reaching your computer


Andrew Thomas is dedicated to fight distribution of spam, email viruses and other digital creepy crawlers. He is leading the fight against spammers and hackers. Eradicating cyber garbage on internet, from our computers is very high on his list. Find out more, including his personal experiences with Computer viruses at

1 comment:

Lacey said...

Thanks for posting this. My new teenager has an email, even though he doesn't use it a lot. I need to talk to him about what not to open!