Google Linxop SCAM/Malware email
I treat my email like I treat phone calls - if I'm not expecting it, it get's sidelined. This approach has 99% of emails (most of which are spam) going straight to the bin costing me the minimal amount of time possible.
In my soul, however, I'm a total geek and love new technologies. This natural reality is what made this email so intriguing.
Google Shows Off The LinxopThe biggest launch ever is here!
Anything with "Google" and "Launch" is reason enough to get excited if you're a geek of any kind, so I took a look at the email.
At the sight of the email body (seen above), my radar immediately starts chimming. This screams S-C-A-M and phishing to me.
Phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.
Instead of clicking those inviting links, I open up my favorite browser and head over to google.com and type L-I-N-X-O-P.
Sure enough, four links down is the spam confirmation. The rest of the links on that first page were an additional confirmation - nothing having to do with Google. And if Google launches something, you can be sure the results on Google.com will confirm it.
The Google.com search, however, is a pretty good first test to verify whether any "inviting" email or phone call is spam or not.
Here are a couple of take-away tips to avoid falling victim to email spam and malware:
Focus on emails you are expecting and filter/scrutinze everything else - even if the email appears to come from someone you know. It is very easy to fake an email address.
Avoid clicking on links in emails.
If an email looks interesting, just google the content instead. You are more likely to realize spam in Google results and less likely to click through to malware due to security measures of modern browsers (i.e. any browser updated in the last 3-6 months; older browsers are not so secure).
Always use modern browsers. If you are using Firefox 1 or Internet Explorer 7 - you are leaving yourself open to all forms of spam and malware infection. New stuff is fun, new browsers are both fun and safe.
I hope you find this helpful. Always be safe - in email, on the internet, and in the real world!
p.s. if you found this post by accident, I hope you found something useful. If any part of you is inpired to do something new and great, my consulting group, LaunchRight, can help. We help companies and individuals plan, design, and launch their next big thing.