Quote from Larry77
I never even open anything from someone I don't know. I heard years ago that if you open the spam mail somehow "they" find out it's an active email and you get more and more spam. Don't know if this is true maybe one of the IT pros on here can tell us. Is it bad to open them (besides the virus factor that is)?
You always take a chance whenever you open e-mail, no matter who APPEARS to have sent it. Spammers buy and sell lists of "live addresses" and have various ways of collecting those addresses. There are programs known as robo-scanners that can search hard drives on a vulnerable computer, and there are other software programs that create jillions of possibilities that the spammers can use for test mailing. If any mail comes to your address and is not bounced by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), the spammer knows that your address is a live one. (S)he has a software program that automatically removes the bad addresses from his list.
Do NOT try to return spam to the sender. If it goes through, it just confirms that you are a real, live person. There are some spammers who own their own domains - just long enough to send out as many dirty payloads as they can get away with before they are in danger of being arrested. Many spammers operate offshore and from countries where spammers are frequently not prosecuted.
Yes, you should definitely try to protect your computer by using anti-virus programs and firewalls, but don't forget that there is always the brand-new virus that slides right through the barriers. Your keen eyesight along with a little bit of paranoia is your best defense because they ARE out to get you!
One of the worst offenses that ordinary users commit is to forward a message and not remove all the previous names on that message. Any time you send a message to someone, there should be only one recipient's name showing. All carbon copies should be blind ones. (BCC)