Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What you should know about spam

What you should know about spam

Spam is mass-distributed, unsolicited e-mail and instant messaging advertising. Spam is very cheap for the sender to distribute, and a heavy burden to recipients and Internet service providers (ISPs). It can also be dangerous. Cyber-criminals use spam to deliver deceptive or fraudulent messages in the hopes of gaining access to your private information.

What you should do about spam

Reduce spam by following these tips.
  • Set your e-mail filter. An e-mail filter and spam blocking software are absolutely critical. Set these security measures to update automatically to ensure that you are protected from the latest threats.
  • NEVER reply to spam. Replying to spam, even to "unsubscribe," could set you up for more spam.
  • Protect your e-mail address and instant message ID. If you must post this information online, set up two identities, one for real use and one for online activities.
  • Be wary of e-mail attachments. Change the settings on your e-mail program so that images and attachments are not opened automatically. Only open attachments from users known to you.
  • Watch out for phishing scams. Don't click on links in e-mails or instant messages unless the sender is known to you. Instead, open a separate web browser and visit the site directly.
  • Create smart and strong passwords. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Never enter your personal information in a pop-up window.You may not be able to tell when a scammer has hijacked a seemingly legitimate site.
  • Don't fill out online surveys, or register for contests or fan clubs. These may be fronts for spammers trying to collect your e-mail address.

Consumers Warned to Avoid Fake E-mails Tied to Bank Mergers

Online scammers are taking advantage of tough economic times. While e-mails phishing for sensitive data are nothing new, scammers are taking advantage of upheavals in the financial marketplace to confuse consumers into parting with valuable personal information.
The Federal Trade Commission urges caution regarding e-mails that look as if they come from a financial institution that recently acquired a consumer's bank, savings and loan, or mortgage. In fact, these messages may be from "phishers" looking to use personal information - account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers - to run up bills or commit other crimes in a consumer's name.
Consumers are warned not to take the bait. The FTC has advice about how to stay on guard against this type of scam. To learn more, see the consumer alert:Bank Failures, Mergers and Takeovers: A Phish-erman's Special.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Did you know hackers can use your computer to send spam without your knowledge? You can help deter hackers and ensure your email is delivered by following the steps outlined below.

Mail Client Users (Outlook Express, MacMail, etc.)

To help protect your computer, please visit our help page for instructions on how to securely configure your email client program. In accordance with industry recommendations, Comcast recommends the sending of email on port 587 with authentication or port 465 with authentication over SSL as secure alternates to port 25, which is the default for many older email clients. If you are configured to use a server other than, to send email, please contact your mail provider for alternate secure port settings.

Webmail Users (,,, etc)

If you are a webmail user and use a web browser to access your email, you don’t need to do anything. It is always important to check for and remove any possible viruses from your computer. This can be done by using Norton™ Security Suite available from Comcast or by using other popular antivirus solutions that are widely available. Norton™ Security Suite is included at no additional cost with your XFINITY Internet service..

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