Unwanted commercial email or “spam” can be annoying. Worse, it can include bogus offers that can cost you time and money. Spam emails could have spyware which can steal your personal information or disrupt your personal computer or wireless device by implanting viruses or worms (malware). Some malware can integrate your computer into a network to distribute spam. You should take steps to limit the amount of spam you get and treat spam offers the same way you would treat an uninvited telemarketing sales call – don’t believe promises from strangers.
How can I reduce the amount of spam I get?
1) Use an email filter. Check your email account to see if it provides a tool to filter out potential spam or to channel spam into a bulk email folder. You might want to consider these options when you’re choosing which Internet Service Provider (ISP) or email service to use. Remember, that your email account itself, and not just the computer you are using can become compromised. It is important to use a strong password and to not use the same password on every account you own. It should also be changed periodically, particularly if you suspect that your email accounthas been compromised.
2) Limit your exposure. Consider using two email addresses – one for personal messages and one for shopping, newsletters, chat rooms, coupons and other services. You might also consider using a disposable email address service that forwards messages to your permanent account. If one of the disposable addresses begins to receive spam, you can shut it off without affecting your permanent address. Another good tip is to try not to display your email address in public. That includes blog posts, in chat rooms, on social networking sites or in online membership directories. Spammers use the web to harvest email addresses.
4) Choose a unique email address. Your choice of email addresses may affect the amount of spam you receive. Spammers send out millions of messages to probable name combinations at large ISPs and email services, just hoping to find a valid address. Because of this, a common name such as jdoe may get more spam than a more unique name like j26d0e34. The downside? It’s harder to remember an unusual email address.
How can I help reduce spam for everyone? Use good computer security practices and disconnect from the internet when you’re away from your computer. Hackers can’t get to it if it’s not connected. Be cautious about opening any attachments or downloading files from emails you receive. Don’t open an email attachment (even if it is from a friend or coworker) unless you are expecting it or you know what it is. If you send an email with an attached file, include a message explaining what it is. Download free software only from sites you know and trust. It can be tempting to download free software like games, file-sharing programs and customized toolbars, but remember, that free software programs may contain malware.
Please remember that West Florida Electric will never ask for your personal information via email. We will never sell your email address or contact information to any other companies or third parties. You may occasionally receive a direct marketing piece of email from WFEC or a survey, however, those emails will be clearly marked with WFEC’s logo.
Please remember that if you have a question about whether or not an email you received is from the cooperative, contact the office at 800.342.7400 to confirm before you respond or reply.