Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #434 10/31/2018

Question: Can email be trick or treat?


Often times now when we go in our email it is a constant question of whether it is a trick or a treat? This week is Halloween and looking at email as trick or treat looks like a good way to consider it.

All of us know and can give examples of what wonderful treats that email and social media have been treats for us. Opportunities to easily stay in touch with family and friends, contact a lot more people to make them aware of job opportunities in our organizations, spread lots of good news and more. For some people using these means and texting appears to be their only communication means; however the phone and the postal service still exist. I like to send post cards on trips although many will look at my pictures on the web when I get back. Many I send cards to, tell me how much they like getting them and they range from teenagers to people in their 90s.

However, we must remember that email and social media also comes with tricks. Some are more visible like when your house was toilet paper rolled on Halloween and some are hidden like people putting needles in apples and such and giving kids. In email and on social media if we are not careful on links we click and where we put personal information, we may find our identities stolen and people running up our credit cards or draining down our bank accounts. Remember if you have the least suspicion on a link the best bet is do not click it. If you feel more advanced and on a PC or laptop, hover over the link and see where it goes to and it at the start of it is the place you thought it would go. (They can fake on the end, so watch the left). They are getting better on making real LinkedIn look-a-likes. LinkedIn likes to send notices each week on who searched for you. Last week I got one that was legitimate, but then the next day I got another and it looked just like the previous , except I paused why two messages with two counts in two days? I hovered over the submit or search button and discovered it was going to a strange link. I did not click the button and forwarded it to abuse@linkedin.com Most organizations seen to be using abuse as an email address to report scams, phishing, mal-emails, etc. (I may have created a new word there, mal-emails).

Have a happy Halloween and donít fall for any tricks, but enjoy the treats.