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BellaOnline's Virus and Spam Editor

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Spam Detection Techniques


Have you trained yourself to recognize spam?

For our physical bodies, we know what to watch out for. We know not to eat spoiled food, to wash our hands often, and to take practical precautions when we are around someone who is ill. When it comes to your PC, though, would you recognize a potential danger to your computer’s health? Sometimes an infection is the death a computer. It is certainly worth training yourself to recognize the dangers. To best avoid any sort of technological calamity brought on by malware, avoidance is a great solution. How do you know what to avoid? Examine the real emails below and ask yourself: is it a danger or is it legit? Also, be sure to notice the logic I use as I point out potential red flags.

Email #1
Subject: Contact Me (Red Flag! It’s a little generic, but nothing too suspect)
Sent from: a Hotmail address (Red Flag! Hotmail is free, anonymous, and I don’t recognize the sender)
I am Barrister Azman Davison, an attorney at law. A deceased client of mine, that shares the same last name as yours died as the result of a heart-related condition on March 12th 2005. His heart condition was due to the death of all the members of his family in the tsunami disaster on the 26th December 2004 in Sumatra Indonesia. And in the record there is no known successor to this deposit of the deceased who died without a will.
My late Client has a deposit of Eighteen Million Dollars ( US$18 Million Dollars) left behind. Contact me for more details.(ba*******@hotmail.com)
Best regards,
Azman Davison.
Attorney at Law (Red Flags! Would an attorney really email me regarding something this important? How’d he get my email address? Why doesn’t he mention my name?)

So what is your opinion? Does this email sound legitimate to you?
As I have mentioned in a previous article, emails that are sent to you out of the blue from a name you do not recognize are suspicious. Even more doubtful, this email appears to be a random promise of immediate wealth. It just sounds too good to be true. My verdict: Spam.

Email #2
Subject: Update Your PDF (Red Flag! This subject actually wouldn’t even be a red flag if it were sent from the company my PDF program is with)
Sent from: a Reply to address (Red Flag! Uhoh, this was sent from some sort of mailing list that I don’t remember signing up for)
Dear Loyal Customers,
We are pleased to announce the new PDF Reader 11 which will enable you to view, create, edit and print PDF documents. In addition to increased features, the PDF reader now also contains critical security updates. As a special thank you, you'll also receive our Office Pro package absolutely free. Simply visit the link below and enter your PDF reader code:
PDF Reader Code : UPDF
Download the New 2011 Version Here
Thank you for choosing us, the worldwide leader in PDF Reader solutions.
Mike Robertson
Customer Care
Please do not share this code with anyone else. Thank you for your cooperation
You are enrolled to daily*****08 as b******.com
Safely take me off from dai*****08 at any time.
Target News Inc - 5042 Wilshire Blvd #17096 - Los Angeles, CA 90036 (Red Flag! There are a lot of links in this email - it's as if the sender just wants to get me to click on anything)

So what is your opinion? Does this email sound legitimate to you?
Receiving an email that claims you provided your email address when you don’t recall doing so is not a good sign. True, there are times when we sign up for things that inadvertently add our email address to all sorts of other lists, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept every email that is sent to you. Most telling about this email is that it’s a generic product update for a product that I never purchased for this company. I’m also suspicious of the links, including the unsubscribe links. My verdict: Spam.


All of the clichés are true when it comes to email:

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

“Better safe than sorry.”

“If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck... it’s probably spam.”

If necessary, walk yourself through a suspect email and err on the side of caution.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Rayna H. Battle. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Rayna H. Battle. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Rayna H. Battle for details.

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