It's Your Time

Is This Spam?


Your bank, airline or other trusted vendor has emailed you an attachment or a link and asked you to check in, confirm login information or some other task? You’ve heard you’re not supposed to give out your password to emails that look legit but this is from your bank and they’re not asking for your password they’re asking you to click on this link and log into your account – is this spam?

Likely – yes! Here are some general rules for detecting spam, virus spreading or phishing emails. Before you tune out, phishing is the practice of sending out an email that asks you to interact with it for the purposes of confirming that your account is active; this information may then be used later for more malfeasant purposes.

Rule #1: Did you order the product? If you are being asked to confirm a flight, a purchase or shipping directions and you haven’t ordered it – it’s likely a phishing email – ignore it.

Rule#2: Are you being asked to open an attachment? Look at the file extension. The file extension is the part that comes after the file title (example dontopenunknownfiles.doc). If the file extension is .exe, .zip, or any other kind of extension that you don’t recognize, don’t open it. In fact, play it safe and don’t open anything that you haven’t asked for.

Rule #3: You are being asked to click on a link? Hover your mouse over the link without clicking on it. This will cause the destination URL to appear, where is that link actually taking you? Look at it closely, there are some very sophisticated scams out there. Try it now; can you spot the difference between Click Here and Click Here?

Come back next week for more e-literacy tips!


Do you feel like you’re scrambling to keep up with all the new IT products, terms, viruses, hoaxes etc. and still you don’t know what’s being said by the kids or those hip seniors? If you answered yes, then you’re not alone.

Many people get so overwhelmed with the amount of new techy-speak out there that they shut down and stop taking it in. The problem with this coping mechanism is that once you start to fall behind it becomes harder and harder to catch up. There are basic tech skills, terms etc. that form the foundation of what I like to call e-literacy, and if you fail to master these core skills then in our increasingly electronic world you are becoming increasingly less literate.

Yes, a great Administrative Assistant should be able to navigate many of these waters for you ; but would you consider it practical to not learn to read and rely on your Administrative Assistant to do all of your reading for you? What is practical and what a great Administrative Assistant can and should do for you is help you navigate the new waters. What’s important, what isn’t, what will actually assist you versus what is likely a gimmick.

Over the next few weeks, we will be posting Tips and Tricks that will help you navigate these waters and learn the core skills to e-literacy.