Too Cool for Internet Explorer

Friday, October 1, 2004

Where Did That E-mail Come From?

I get occasional mailings from Tech Superpowers which occasionally have some nice little tidbits of info. Most recently, the mailing touched on a topic I’ve known good and well for a long time, but apparently many other people don’t, and they used a great analogy.

It was short and simple: never blindly assume a sender’s e-mail address is where the message actually came from. It is no more difficult to display a false e-mail address than it is to write a false return address on a letter you put in the U.S. mail.

Indeed, I do this myself rather often—not for malicious purposes, rather to make e-mail look as though it came from an account I actually do use but temporarily don’t have access to be able to send mail through (long story).

But with widespread reports of people falling victim to phishing scams, one should always pay attention to not only the apparent origin of an e-mail, but also the fraudulent web links contained in e-mails.

In other words, please remember that a URL such as www.ebay.com.398529320159.XYZ.com does not actually belong to eBay (where “XYZ” might be any innocent-looking word but actually is, if you look carefully, the root domain that you are clicking to).

» Posted by ALBj at 01:23 AM (ET)
Category: Musings

Comments

A basic rule to live by is to never click a link in an E-mail to “verify” or enter ANY personal information about yourself. Go to the website you know is valid or is listed on statements and information mailed to you from that company. And NEVER send personal information through E-mail.

» Posted by Queue
October 9, 2004 11:12 AM

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