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Thursday, May 11, 2006

St Louis Web Designer tip of the Week: Email Spam protection

Over the last week or so I have been bombarded with "spoof" emails which claim to have been sent to me but have been returned. All of these emails have had attachments infected with viruses. I have the situation under control now but thought I would write today about a few simple steps you can take to protect yourself aginst spam....particularly those with have virus attachments.

1. Use anti virus software
Install anti virus software and have it set up to scan all incoming messages to your computer. This is how I caught the troublesome messages I have been recieving. It is important to keep the virus defintions up to date to ensure you are protected against the newest threats.

2. Use your web email filtering
You can easily configure your web email to "junk" unwanted emails. Most web email accounts have filters to sort messages with attachtments.. blocking EXE, COM, PIF, SCR, VBS, SHS, CHM and BAT file types will take care of messages with many known viruses. You can also apply filters wfor particular words or from specific domains. By adjusting my filters this week I have ensured my "spoof" emails are immediatley deleted and do not get downlaoded to my local machine.

3. Use a firewall
You can get free firewall fron Zone Alarm

4.Stay up to date with software patches
Configure your computer so this is done automatically.

5. Back up data regularly.
If the worse happens and you do get infected with a virus your files are safe.

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