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E-mail Abuse
  • Article ID: 158798
  • Last modified date: February 2, 2012 6:02
Summary

E-mail Abuse

EarthLink provides its customers with as much protection as it can from e-mail abuse.  However, if you ever notice an instance of e-mail abuse, we encourage you to report all counts of the abuse and take the steps listed below to help prevent it from happening again.

Spam
Spoofing
Fraud
Phishing
Compromise
Viruses
 

Spam

Spam is the common term used for junk mail. It is unsolicited e-mail sent to a large number of people who would normally choose to not receive them. If you've received spam in your Inbox, report it as spam. Any future e-mails sent from that address will no longer be placed in your Inbox.

If your wanted e-mails are being placed in the "Suspect Email" folder whenever it is received, visit Accepting Suspect Email.

spamBlocker

EarthLink's Web Mail offers spamBlocker, a program designed to protect your Inbox from spam. It is included in your Web Mail services at no extra charge. For help on configuring your spamBlocker settings, visit Adjusting spamBlocker Settings.

Fight Against Spam

To help with the fight against spam, please visit Determining the Origin of an E-mail Message to get instructions on submitting unsolicited e-mail to the originating network's owner.

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Spoofing

Spoofing is an act of forgery where a spammer alters an e-mail address and header information to make an e-mail appear that it is coming from another source. Many of these e-mail addresses are inactive and respond with a “bounced” undeliverable error.  This error is returned to the e-mail address listed as the sender in the spoofed message.  As a result, you may receive dozens or even hundreds of bounced messages for an e-mail you never sent.

Report

If you are receiving copies of the spoofed e-mails, report them as spam.  EarthLink can then analyze the data to determine if we can block these messages from returning. While we can try to block the reception of spam e-mails, it is very difficult to block the "bounced" messages that come back from bad e-mail addresses that were spoofed with your e-mail.  Fortunately, these usually clear up in a couple of days.

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Fraud

Fraudulent e-mails may contain links to phony websites or request you to share your personal or financial information. If you receive an e-mail from an unknown or suspicious e-mail account, report it as spam. If you do not use Web Mail and/or your spamBlocker is turned off, forward the e-mail to fraud@abuse.earthlink.net. Upon receipt of your email, EarthLink's Fraud Department will research the issue and take steps to protect other EarthLink subscribers, such as blocking the e-mail or shutting down any associated fraudulent Web site(s).

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Phishing

Phishing is a scam that tricks you into revealing personal or confidential information that the scammer can use illicitly. Usually, scammers will send e-mails with a link from a trustworthy Web site that you frequent to gain this information. The link will take you to a clone of this trustworthy Web site and once you have entered your personal information (login, credit card, etc.), then the scammers know your information and have access to your account.

NOTE: Please keep in mind that EarthLink will never ask you for your username and password. 

Prevention

When signing in or giving a Web site your personal information, make sure that the URL says "https" in the beginning of the URL address and/or have a closed, or locked, lock in the address bar. If you are unsure that the link in your e-mail is legitimate, do not click on the link. Instead, go directly to the company's website by entering their URL address in the address bar of your Internet browser.

Report

If you believe you have been a victim of phishing, treat it as a fraudulent e-mail. Report it as spam or forward the e-mail to fraud@abuse.earthlink.net if you do not use Web Mail and/or your spamBlocker is turned off. Also visit FTC Identity Theft and contact your financial institution(s).

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Compromise

Your personal information is considered to have been compromised if someone is using your information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. Your personal information may have become compromised if you responded to a spam e-mail giving your personal information, been a victim of phishing, had your information stolen due to a computer virus, etc. 

Prevention

    1. Set the settings of your virus program to automatically update. Run a virus scan of your computer frequently.
    2. Scan the attachments in your e-mail with your virus program. Most e-mail accounts have a built in virus program that automatically scans the attachments before they are downloaded onto your computer.
    3. When signing in or giving a Web site your personal information, make sure that the URL says "https" in the beginning of the URL address and/or have a closed, or locked, lock in the address bar.
    4. NEVER e-mail your password, credit card number, secret word, PIN, or any other pertinent identifying information about you. E-mail is not encrypted and should not be considered 100% secure.
    5. Choose your password(s) carefully and keep them safe. A Web site only confirms that a password is correct, not the identity of the person using it. Create alphanumeric passwords that contain capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols (if possible). The more complex your password is, the harder it will be for someone to guess it. Do not reuse passwords for multiple accounts. For more information on creating secure passwords, visit: www.earthlink.net/password
    6. NEVER click on a link in an e-mail that requests personal information because criminals can redirect a link to an address other than the one shown. To visit a Web site, always type the address directly into your Web browser.
    7. The safest way to update your account information is to go directly to the company's account maintenance Web site. Typically, you can visit the company's home page and link it from there.

Report

If you believe that your information may have been compromised, visit FTC Identity Theft and contact your financial institution(s).

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Viruses

A computer virus is a malicious program that either replicates or destroys the computer's data and files. Many computers contract viruses from e-mail attachments. Even though the person sending the e-mail may be someone you know, sometimes the sender is unaware that they are sending an e-mail that contains a virus. 

Virus Blocker

EarthLink's Web Mail offers Virus Blocker, a program designed to protect your e-mail from viruses. It is included in your Web Mail services at no extra charge. For help on configuring your Virus Blocker settings, visit Virus Blocker Help Index.

Prevention

    1. Remember to keep your Protection Control Center software updated. Sign in to My Account or visit the Download Center to get the latest version of your software. If you are using Norton Security or any other virus program, set the settings of your virus program to automatically update. Run a virus scan of your computer frequently.
    2. NOTE: If you would like to purchase one of EarthLink's Antivirus software products such as Norton Security, visit EarthLink Software & Tools to order for a small monthly fee today.
    3. Scan the attachments in your e-mail with your virus program. Most e-mail accounts have a built in virus program that automatically scans the attachments before they are downloaded onto your computer.
    4. Assure that your firewall is turned on. Use the Help feature on your computer or contact your computer's manufacturer on how to do this.
    5. Keep your computer up-to-date on its software.

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