Beat spyware and spam

Five ways to keep your email clean and secure

Five ways to keep your email clean and secure

Five ways to keep your email clean and secure

At the tail end of the 1990s, people were rushing to set up their Yahoo and Hotmail accounts. The idea of email was exciting and people generally took greater care with their messages, often treating an email with the craft associated with a letter.

Nowadays, emails are invariably short, brutish and sometimes, thanks to spam and viruses, extremely nasty. Here are some tips to keep your emails wholesome:

1. Check your settings

Make sure that all users are running in ‘non-privileged accounts’ on your email system. Should your computers become infected, this will contain the damage to your email and prevent the virus from getting onto the whole system. Go to the properties in your user account and check the settings are set to basic rather than administrator.
2. All systems go

Security software must be aligned and up to date. If just one machine isn’t, it could harm the rest of your system. This includes downloading and installing patches, new anti-virus software and upgrades to your web browser.

3. Shielding from viruses

Most operating systems already have a firewall built in, but it needs to be switched on and regularly updated. Don’t install software from unfamiliar websites or open attachments in emails from senders you do not know.

4. Spam filter

The main way to reduce spam is through your email provider. Most should pick up the vast majority before it ever reaches you. But if a lot of your inbox is being filled with junk, you should talk to your provider or consider switching. When occasional spam gets through the system, mark it as junk. Over time this will reduce the amount you will receive and provide a further layer of filtering.

5. Back up

There is a variety of spyware and malware programs. Many of these will, at worst, slow your computers down, but if something pernicious does get on your system, it could wreak havoc with your data. That’s another reason to make sure your systems are all fully backed up. 

Todd Cardy

Todd Cardy

Todd was Editor of between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital.

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