Posts Tagged ‘Privacy’

Keeping safe while surfing online

May 3, 2013

While anonymity is a feature most enjoyed by the people online, there is a grave issue that stares each person using the internet for leisure or business. The issue is that of identity theft & online fraudulence & scams. While the concerned authorities are doing much to control this nuisance with the number of cyber laws, cyber cells in litigation & monitoring the problem continues to spread & there is very little that can be done to control it. In such a scenario it is best for the informed internet user to be rather safe & take precautions. Aiding you in this process we present to you a number of measures you can take to ensure your & your family’s safety while surfing online. These measures are as follows:

1) While surfing online never post email addresses in message boards, forums or on website. Spammers are always on the look out for these. If it is absolutely necessary to post the same, disguise the format. (eg: alka.mehtaATgmailDOTcom)

2) Are you a victim of surplus spam? If yes, do a web search of your email address. It may reveal where it has been posted online on finding it you can remove the same.

3) More difficult=More safe. Complicated email addresses are targeted less. Spammers try to guess email addresses & a commonly used format. Note that a simpler email address format will be targeted over a comparatively complex one.

4) Share your email address only when necessary. The more your email address is shared, you will encounter that much more spam.

5) Would you share your residential address with a stranger? Apply the same logic here too. Never share your personal or work email address with untrustworthy & unknown people.

6) If you participate in message boards, chatrooms, Twitter etc where you display an avatar or an on-screen, let that name never be the one you use as part of your email.

7) Never use your email address before the @ sign as the screen name. Spammers often take screen names and add common email endings such as, etc in order to guess legitimate email address.

8) Why share something you hate? Be wary of anyone asking you to forward the email on, such as petition, chain, or joke emails. By forwarding you are spamming others.

9) Will an innocent forward put your loved one in danger? Emails you forward from spammers are used as a means to gather legitimate email id’s for spamming as they contain the email address of everyone who has forwarded the message along with each person forwarded it to.

10) If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Don’t fall prey to products & services advertisements in spam emails.

11) Buying something in spam, supports spamming. Buying due to advertisements from spammers increases the spam you receive, as the spammers now know you are willing to buy.

12) Scrutinize check boxes. When purchasing or registering online, there are usually one or more check boxes allowing you to opt out of marketing communications or sharing information with other ‘partners’. Opt out to avoid future spam.

13) Read directions carefully. While opting out of marketing communications always read the opt-out messages as they are often carefully worded to mislead. Some of them require selection, deselection or a mix of both in the process to opt out.

14) Read privacy policies. Always read the website’s privacy policy before purchasing products or registering your details with them.

15) Ensure you read the fineprint while purchasing products or registering your details with the website. Understand how your email address may be used and whether they can share or sell it to other third parties who could be spammers.

16) Keep safe! Activate Phishing and Spam filters on your email account and internet browser

17) To keep spammers at bay, reputable email service providers have spam filters which you allow very granular policies to be set.

18) Spam uncontrolled? In many cases if the spam received beyond measure & control , one may have to obtain a new email address.

Spam beyond control. If the time comes that you have to delete your account & obtain a new one, monitor the old email account in parallel to ensure that all legitimate contacts have your new email address, then delete the old one.

A safe online experience is something everyone would want & it is in your hands to accrue the same for yourself & your family.


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