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Electronic Mail

Never Send Passwords Via Email!

SUMMARY: Why sending passwords by email is a huge security risk.

If you are ever asked in an electronic mail message to send a password by e-mail, never, NEVER, NEVER do so! It doesn't matter if the electronic mail message looks official, as the 'from' address in an electronic mail message can be forged. It doesn't matter if the e-mail claims to be from an administrator of the online service you are using. Don't respond directly to the e-mail!

1) Electronic mail is not safe and secure. E-mail is unencrypted, meaning that messages can sometimes be intercepted between you and the destination and read.

2) More than likely, the organization claiming to ask for your password isn't really the person asking for such information! If you provide your password to just anyone, then a stranger can login to your service as you and cause all kinds of trouble! For example, America Online constantly reminds its users that they will never ask for password or account information by e-mail. Even so, every day people receive spam claiming to be from AOL stating that due to computer failure, they must re-enter their password or respond to an e-mail asking for a password. DON'T!

You have to be careful on the Internet. Never provide private information by e-mail, and certainly never send any passwords using e-mail, especially to someone claiming to be a higher-up at your ISP or another company.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.