Now, if you're a newly-married couple on a small income, a college kid just tryin' his chops out at an out-of-state college, or someone on Social Security these days, you're probably familiar with that blue can on your left (PS "SPAM" means "Sorta/Possibly/Almost/Meat"). It kept many of our stomachs full (hey ... I didn't say "satisfied"; I said "full"!) during the lean times.
Unfortunately, the word's come to mean something else, now that we're here in the computer age. Whether we're opening our emails or another page in the Book of Faces (Facebook®), we're bound to come face-to-face with stuff we don't want, sent by someone we don't know -- and often with attachments we don't want to touch.
Sometimes, the perps who send this garbage will actually disguise themselves as us and send their junk to people we know -- just to get their "foot in the door" (yeah ... as if snakes have feet, right??). That tends to make these people mad at us and, before ya know it, we (the real "we") can scratch a social-media friend off our list.
So the big ??? is "What do I do to stop it?"
First, look at the tell-tale signs on the message: How is the message line worded? Does it read like something your real friend would write?
Second, does it make sense? I found someone, masquerading as me (poor jerk ...), sending emails (with a virus link, of course) urging my friends to "Check out my photos on Facebook!"
Ummm ... is this idiot dense or what?? I mean, if you've got me as a friend on FB, you know that all you have to do is click the "photos" link on my page and take a look! You don't need an e-mail request for that!
Thirdly, how brief is the message? More often, it just includes the link itself -- but, on occasion, it might have a couple/three words on it to "urge" you to click the link. Now, most of us, when we're talking with friends -- whether on FB, by phone, email or live -- will have a lot more to say than just two or three words, and certainly won't just leave it at a link address! (In fact, when we're around friends in any way, it's hard to shut us up, right??)
One of the keenest ways to find out if a business that looks legit is actually "spam" has been part of the Yahoo!® Classic Mail for some time: If you have them as your "e-mailmen" then, whilst you're on the main inbox screen, just hover your mouse over the name in the "FROM" section of each email. Chances are, you'll see a little box that tells you the address it's sent from (today, I had one from "Free Skype". Mousing it over, it turned out to be from firstname.lastname@example.org).
Either way, it's best to play it safe; if you have any doubts about friends' emails, though, simply write/post/call/holler at them and ask if they, in fact, sent it. Then explain why you want to know. They'll understand ...
Because, just as with that funky meat-wannabe we talked about at the top, you just don't know what you're gettin' yourself into when you open it up.
Stay tuned ...