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What is spam and what is phishing?

Spam is the common term for unsolicited commercial email (UCE) — the Internet version of junk mail. "Spam" can also be a verb, used to describe the method of flooding the Internet with many copies of the same message.

The term "spam" has a negative connotation. In addition to being unsolicited and annoying, spam emails often include advertisements for dubious products, get-rich-quick schemes, or quasi-legal services.

You get spam for the same reason you get junk mail through the Postal Service — people are trying to sell you things. Email is cheaper to send, so you get even more of it! Spam mailing lists are created in a variety of ways, including scanning Usenet discussion groups, buying or stealing Internet mailing lists, searching the Web for addresses, and even just guessing email addresses at random. If you use email, chances are you're going to get spam.

There are many ways that spammers harvest and collect email addresses to build their lists. Although you need to be careful of where you leave your email address at Web sites, in newsgroup posts, and when chatting, sometimes you'll end up on a list without exposing your address whatsoever. It's common for spammers to guess at potentially valid addresses by taking a common username and adding valid domains to it. For example, chances are there will be a "bob@" at just about any provider's domain.

NOTE: NEVER send a reply to a spammer with a remove request. This only confirms that your address is valid, and you'll probably get even more spam.

To provide you with the best in email protection, altafiber has invested in Anti-Spam Protection and Anti-Virus Protection. Best of all, these valuable services are offered FREE of charge for our customers.

Provided by BrightMail, the world leader in Anti-Spam Protection and email virus protection, Anti-Spam Protection provides altafiber with robust Anti-Spam Protection software rules that automatically remove suspected spam from your inbox. BrightMail's worldwide Probe Network catches large amounts of possible spam from all over the Internet and forwards it to the Logistics and Operations Center (LOC) in real time. LOC Technicians work 24/7 to create spam-filtering rules to counter these spam attacks. New rules are immediately sent directly to altafiber's email systems (Fuse, ZoomTown and Business Email), which in turn use the new rules to filter out and store suspected spam, while allowing normal delivery of your legitimate mail.

Independent reviewers have found Anti-Spam Protection catches more junk email (70-80%) than any other system tested. But as fast and comprehensive as it is at detecting and countering new spam attacks, some spam still may get through the net. However, most users have reported an immediate drastic decrease in the amount of spam cluttering their inbox.

No one will read your email. Anti-Spam Protection uses software that automatically evaluates email to determine whether or not it is spam. Nobody but you reads your email.

Explanation of each field

From - The sender's address contained in the From field of the email. This data is very easily falsified so it is not a reliable source of information. Legitimate email rarely has fake information in the From field.

Date Caught - This is the date and time that the email was intercepted by Anti-Spam Protection system at your email provider.

Subject - This is the subject line of the email.

Size - This is the size in bytes of the email.

Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, banks, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure unsuspecting public. Phishing emails may contain links to websites that are infected with malware.

Phishing is typically carried out by email spoofing or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website where the look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one. Phishing is an example of social engineering techniques used to deceive users, and exploits the poor usability of current web security technologies.

Attempts to deal with the growing number of reported phishing incidents include legislation, user training, public awareness, and technical security measures.

You should never respond to a phishing email.

altafiber takes a number of steps to prevent phishing emails from reaching your email box. However, it is impossible to prevent them all. If you do receive an email message you believe to be a phishing email you can forward it to where altafiber will investigate its origins and try to prevent future phishing emails from the source if possible. altafiber, like most legitimate companies, does not use emails to request personal information or update security tools. Again, never give out personal information via email as it is best to ignore and delete phishing emails.