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November 6, 2018

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College Success Tip #70 - Avoid SPAM

October 16, 2018

 

According to Indiana University’s Knowledge Base, “ the term SPAM is internet slang that refers to unsolicited commercial emails (UCE) or unsolicited bulk email (UBE).” Most people refer to this form of email communication as junk email and most SPAM emails are advertisements for services, products, criminal scams, scholarship scams, financial aid scams and scams that affect individuals personally with long lasting painful emotional, financial and relational scars.  Being made aware of the many issues going on through the internet today Higher Education students must aim to utilize discretion when checking, responding or constructing emails. 

 

As a college student or loved one of a college student you might be wondering how are SPAMMERS able to gain access to one’s email address?

 

Well, one possibility is that when a college student signs up for new offers, deals or websites catered to the higher education experience as it relates to school supplies, textbooks, events, or beneficial resources, Spammers gain information by targeting those potential patrons by sending information out in large quantities to one’s inbox.  

 

Spammers “usually don’t put forth much effort into verifying email addresses; they use automatic programs called bots to scour the web and Usenet newsgroups, collecting addresses or buy them in bulk from companies.”  

 

Now if you’ve experienced a large amount of SPAM emails with catchy subject titles you now have an idea of how your information was potentially gathered and distributed. So now in order for you to open these SPAM emails the Spammers have to create a catchy subject title and examples are below:

 

“Emergency- About your College Application”

“Open Now – Free Scholarship in Your Area”

“ Help – It’s (Somebody’s name in your contacts) I’m Stuck out of town and I need some Money.”

“ College Student – Want to make a few extra dollars a week”

“Free Money – Click Here”

“Important information about your Financial Aid”

“We need to verify your Address to receive your payment”

“Academic Services needs your social security number for your academic review statement”

 

And so many more.

 

Now it is important that Higher Education students don’t fall for the hype. Aim to not open an email address from a questionable email address.  Although some important emails can end up in the SPAM folder utilize discretion before opening. 

 

Also Graduate School students steer clear from Catchy email subject titles that aim to bait you in for example:

 

“Graduate Student Scholarships” within your Area

“Working Professional Graduate Fellowship” – Will Pay for all school if you submit your social security number.

“Graduate Students” – Upload your Professional Resume to Qualify for a National Grant

“Earn your Graduate Degree in 90 days or less”

 

Always do your research. Wait. Thoroughly Research and Pray for Wisdom and Understanding! Don’t be so quick to respond because someone is sending you a general email to Hit your Pain Points. 

 

Below are 6 Ways Higher Education Students can Aim to Avoid Spam:

 

  1. Don’t reply to SPAM – Some SPAM could be a virus aim as an attack on your computer. 

  2. Verify the Email address  of the Sender

  3. Be mindful of who you release your email address to.

  4. Ask questions when releasing your email address

  5. Open an additional email account

  6. Aim to adjust the security settings in your web browser. – For a higher level of security have your browser disallow: 

    • Accepting cookies

    • Listing your name and other personal information in your browser profile

    • Filling in form fields for you

Now the two-fold Tip within Avoiding Spamming includes the Higher Education student not contributing to Spamming by being the original producer of Spam. 

 

An example of a Higher Ed student being a SPAMMER includes sending excessive, unwanted, unproductive emails to individuals they know and don’t know. One direct example is chain letters via email. 

 

Don’t be Spammer!

 

A scripture to encourage you in your path is  Luke 6:31 “As you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”  

 

 

Peace & God Bless,

 

Aiming Towards the Target,

Dr. Bryant 

 

 

Quotes directly from the Indiana University Knowledge Base (2018) About Spam. https://kb.iu.edu/d/afne

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