Originally presented by John Evans, Jr., SW We will go over the basics of e-mail, including scams, spam and etiquette.

Common Phrases and their Definitions

Spam – Unsolicited e-mail, often of a commercial nature, sent indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups; junk e-mail

Phishing - A method of identity theft carried out through the creation of a website that seems to represent a legitimate company. The visitors to the site, thinking they are dealing with a real business, submit their personal information to the site. The criminals then use the personal information for their own purposes, or sell the information to other criminal parties.

Virus – A program or piece of code that “infects” one or more other programs by embedding a copy of itself in them. When these programs are executed, the embedded virus is executed too, thus propagating the "infection". This normally happens invisibly to the user.

Open Relay - an SMTP e-mail server that allows a third party to relay e-mail messages, i.e., sending and/or receiving e-mail that is not for or from a local user. Commonly used by spammers and phishers looking to obscure or even hide the source of the large-volume e-mails they send.

Spyware or Adware - any software that covertly gathers information about a user while he/she navigates the Internet and transmits the information to an individual or company that uses it for marketing or other purposes. Or any software application in which advertisements are displayed while the program is running, esp. in pop-up windows or banners, and which often is installed without the user’s knowledge or consent; also called advertising-supported software

Helpful websites:

Windows Update http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com

Hoax Information http://hoaxbusters.ciac.org

Anti-Virus Sites

Symantec (Norton) Antivirus http://www.symantec.com

McAfee http://www.mcafee.com

Trend Micro http://www.trendmicro.com

Trend Micro House Call http://housecall.antivirus.com


Ad-Aware http://www.lavasoftusa.com

Spybot http://www.safer-networking.org

Phishing Test your Phishing IQ http://survey.mailfrontier.com/survey/quiztest.html


Check the online company’s website for more information

1. Clearly summarize the contents of your message in the subject line. Properly titled messages help people organize and prioritize their e-mail.

2. Don't use CC (Carbon Copy) to copy your message to everyone. This is particularly true at work. These days everyone receives too many e-mails. Unnecessary messages are annoying. If only a few people really need to receive your message, only direct it to them. Similarly, when responding to e-mail, do not respond to all recipients. By choosing Reply to All or a similar button when responding to a message, you may end up broadcasting your response to your entire company.

3. Use BCCs (Blind Carbon Copies) when addressing a message that will go to a large group of people who don't necessarily know each other. Just as it is not polite to give out a person's telephone number without his or her knowledge, it is not polite to give out someone's e-mail address. For instance, when you send an e-mail message to 30 people and use To or CC to address the message, all 30 people see each other's e-mail address. By using BCC, each recipient sees only two--theirs and yours.

4. Keep your messages short and focused. Few people enjoy reading on their computer screens; fewer still on the tiny screens in cell phones, pagers and other mobile devices that are becoming increasingly popular. Recipients tend to ignore these long messages.


6. Don't write anything you wouldn't say in public. Anyone can easily forward your message, even accidentally. This could leave you in an embarrassing position if you divulge personal or confidential information. If you don't want to potentially share something you write, consider using the telephone.

7. Use spell check

8. Avoid sending e-mails to large numbers of people unless you have a serious reason to do it. E-mail broadcast to many recipients may be considered spam. 9. Nasty e-mails should also be avoided.

10. As a courtesy to your recipient, include your name at the bottom of the message. The message contains your e-mail address (in the header), but the recipient may not know that the return address belongs to you, especially if it is different from your real name.