Computer and internet challenges and safeguards - Albuquerque Journal

Computer and internet challenges and safeguards

We spend a lot of time on our computers, including our smartphones. Because we use them so much, it can be easy to become casual about security and let our guard down. Whether it is for work, personal or entertainment we need to be aware of the bad and the ugly that may effect us negatively.

What is spam?

According to Wikipedia: “Email spam, also referred to as junk email or simply spam, is unsolicited messages sent by bulk email.” It is estimated that 85-90% of all emails are spam. As the receiver you spend your time and energy deleting the spam messages without opening or, if opened, you may deal with phishing or malware.

How do spammers get email addresses? Spammers and cybercriminals use tools to scan the web for email addresses. They can also make good guesses by using computer programs to general common names with email domains. If you give your email to an organization or business you have a relationship with, they may sell their list to another organization or business. If you take the time to read the long privacy policy information on a website, they tell you what they will do with your email. If you order an item off a website, often at the end of the order there is that box you must “uncheck” to not receive information and offers from the company.

What email providers say about reducing spam: Most email providers describe filter systems to identify spam. If spam gets to your inbox, they provide instructions to improve the filter. Those emails can be sent to the spam folder, but if they still get through the filter more action is needed.

When I looked at the instructions from the major providers, they were all similar. You identify the spam and mark it as spam or block.

For detailed instructions, do a web search for how to block spam using your domain. You will also find information on how to add senders to your blocked list.

What is phishing?

According to the Computer Security Resource Center, phishing is “a technique for attempting to acquire sensitive data, such as bank account numbers, through a fraudulent solicitation in email or on a web site, in which the perpetrator masquerades as a legitimate business or reputable person.” The cybercriminals want the money from your account, to make purchases using your credit cards or steal your identity.

The email may be enticing. Complete a survey for a $100 gift card or another prize. If it sounds to good to be true, do not do it.

How to protect yourself from phishing: According to Office of the Comptroller of the Currency,

• Never provide your personal information in response to an unsolicited request, whether it is over the phone or over the internet.

• If you believe the contact may be legitimate, contact the financial institution yourself.

• Never provide your password over the phone or in response to an unsolicited internet request.

• Review account statements regularly to ensure all charges are correct.

If you get an email from a business you have made a purchase from, rather than clicking on the link, type in the known web address.

What is malware?

According to Wikipedia, malware is “software intentionally designed to cause disruption to a computer, server, client, or computer network, leak private information, gain unauthorized access to information or systems, deprive users access to information or which unknowingly interferes with the user’s computer security and privacy.”

How to prevent malware intrusions? Use anti-malware programs. Do not open emails or attachments from unknown senders.

Home » From the newspaper » Computer and internet challenges and safeguards


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
A new community hub for the South Valley
Columnists
Social Enterprise Center brings new approach ... Social Enterprise Center brings new approach to economic development
2
Navajo nurses took different paths to making big differences ...
Columnists
Looking back on long nursing careers, ... Looking back on long nursing careers, Erma Marbut and Lavenia Diswood are most proud of the ways the ...
3
Anniversaries of grief bring lessons, opportunities to help
ABQnews Seeker
You will not 'get over' the ... You will not 'get over' the loss of a loved one; you'll learn to live with it
4
Journal reader engagement focusing on underrepresented communities
Columnists
I moved to Albuquerque from Colorado ... I moved to Albuquerque from Colorado last November, marking the third time in my 53 years that IR ...
5
NM voters should get say on healthy environment
Columnists
What is the Green Amendment and ... What is the Green Amendment and what would it do? Democrats in the New Mexico House and Senate have ...
6
Newspaper memo from the past rings just as true ...
Columnists
Editorial page writer Sharon Hendrix rarely ... Editorial page writer Sharon Hendrix rarely throws anything out. So before retiring last month after ...
7
Credit freeze effective against identity theft
Columnists
Study found that only 3% of ... Study found that only 3% of victims initiated a halt
8
Computer and internet challenges and safeguards
Columnists
We spend a lot of time ... We spend a lot of time on our computers, including our smartphones. Because we use them so much, it ...
9
Teeniors grows in pandemic, earns national recognition
Business
ABQ startup empowers older adults with ... ABQ startup empowers older adults with tech skills, facilitates intergenerational understanding