In recent days, e-mails from spammers have surfaced spreading malware. Getting your computer infected by malware might result in your password being compromised and your Windows Live ID subsequently hijacked and abused for sending more spam. How can you identify bad mail?
Recognizing bad mail
A typical virus e-mail has an arcane subject line, such as “Good shopping, good mood,” and a friendly written text that shall make you visit the sender’s website. However, clicking any link contained in the message will download a copy of the hijacker worm on your computer, which will gather your address book and spread itself to all your friends.
Protecting yourself and staying secure
- Use an anti-virus and an anti-malware program. (Do not use two concurrent anti-virus programs.)
- Keep your software up-to-date with the latest known virus signatures.
- Be cautious about opening messages with website links in them.
- Always verify embedded links: Hover your mouse over the link and check whether your browser’s status bar shows the same target URL as the link itself claims to be.
- Do not enter your Windows Live ID nor any other personal information on a site that opened when you clicked such a link. If you want to sign in somewhere, open the site from one of your bookmarks, or (even better) enter the site URL directly into your browser address bar.
- Don’t open any e-mail attachments if you did not request them to be sent to you.
- When you have identified a spam mail, delete it, and empty your Deleted items folder.
- Keep your computer updated with the latest available Windows Updates.
Find out additional information in the Windows Live Help Safety Solutions.