Phishing, Spam, Fake Email, how to tell??

For years I've had an email account on Hotmail which I use to sign up for contests, get whitepapers, register free software, and any number of odd, mostly unimportant things.

When I get mail on this account, it is 100% stuff I don't really care about. Usually someone sold that email address to someone else and they are now sending me some kind of nonsense I can completely ignore by virtue of the account it's received with.

The interesting thing about this is after years of use, I get a lot of mail. In fact that email address has been passed around by 3rd party marketers, scammers, hackers, phishers, the whole lot. What I am able to learn from this is how to tell the difference between a real message and a fake one.

I didn't sign up with Facebook or Twitter with this account. I also don't email my family or friends. I don't use it for anything important like banking, PayPal, or Ebay. So, everything I get on it which CLAIMS to be from any of those sources, I can say without reservation is FAKE.

I encourage EVERYONE I support to get these kinds of email accounts. They not only protect your personal, important email accounts, but can give you a look into what the fake mail looks like so when it arrives in your legitimate mailbox, you just might be able to tell the difference.

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