Tips for email safety

Follow these tips to keep yourself and your devices safe from malware that can come from ill-intentioned emails.


  1. Don't open emails from someone you don't know or trust. If it seems fishy, it probably is. Report the message as spam and move on. 

  2. Avoid sending any sensitive information over email. When you send a message, you no longer have control over what is done with it or to whom it is forwarded. Sensitive information such as passwords, bank account numbers and social security numbers should never be sent via email. Brightspeed, PayPal and your bank are examples of companies that would never ask for personal information in an email. If you receive a phishing email, you can report it as spam by clicking the Spam button on your webmail toolbar.

  3. Never open an attachment within an email from a company or person you don't know (or that you were not expecting). Attachments can contain viruses, which can seriously damage your computer. Drag these emails to your spam folder.

  4. Never reply to or click on links inside spam emails. Replying to, clicking on links within, or even unsubscribing from spam emails typically only informs the sender that they have found an active email address to which they'll send more spam emails. Instead, mark the message as spam.

  5. Use a spam filter. Spam filters help you keep spam emails from your inbox or flag spam emails so that you are aware of them. Depending on the software and configuration, some spam filters can automatically eliminate junk emails and block web bugs that track your activity and system information.

  6. Use anti-virus software. It is highly recommended that you install and maintain good and well-respected antivirus software on your computer to prevent infection. Scan all email attachments with an antivirus program before downloading, even if they come from someone you know. Don't have antivirus software? McAfee Security is included with your Brightspeed High-Speed Internet service.

  7. Be cautious connecting to open WiFi. When you're connected to a public and open WiFi network, there is increased potential for hackers to access your accounts. It's best to avoid connecting to these networks entirely. If you do connect, don't sign into any accounts with sensitive information stored.

  8. Keep your passwords secure. It's recommended to change passwords at least every 60 days, particularly if you currently view and manage your email on a public computer. Use a mix of letters and numbers, as those passwords are harder to break. The password should not be easy to guess. Never share your password with anyone.

  9. Avoid unsolicited bulk mail. Unsolicited bulk email messages can fill up your mailbox and become extremely frustrating.  To avoid this:
  • Don't give your email address to sites you don't trust.

  • Don't post your email address to public places online like message boards, comment boards, or even your personal website.

  • Keep your personal email private except from people that you really want to hear from. You can set up a second email account for registering for public websites.

  • Use an alternate email address when buying a product from a site for the first time or signing up for a new service. 

Was this page helpful?