Mountain Area Information Network

Is this email from MAIN?

There have been increasingly sophisticated attempts by spammers and viruses to send emails that appear to come from MAIN. You may have seen similar phony emails that appear to come from other organizations, with subject lines such as "Ebay security alert: update account" or "Paypal info needs to be updated."

In this case, the emails appear to come from MAIN and may warn you that your email account is being closed or that you have committed some kind of violation. The email may ask you to visit a Web site, open an

attachment, or take some other action. These emails are not coming from MAIN, and should be deleted immediately! The act of sending this kind of imitation email is called "phishing".

How to determine if an email is really from MAIN

Here is some basic information that will help you distinguish phony MAIN emails from legitimate messages in most cases:

  • Emails from MAIN will never have a county domain name attached (such as, but will instead only come from an address such as address. However, keep in mind that a phony email may use the proper address.
  • We will never send you information via attachment unless you are actively working with Help Desk and have discussed the attachment with us ahead of time.
  • If we are directing you to a page on our Web site, we will give you the address for the home page and then instructions for navigating to the site from there. Some of the phony messages contain links that appear to be on MAIN, but will redirect you elsewhere.
  • We will never ask you for account information via email, or ask you to "confirm" account information on a Web site. Never email your account password to us or to anyone else, as email communications may be intercepted. We will not call you to ask for this information either, unless we are returning your call.
  • If you aren't sure if a message is legitimate, don't be afraid to call us to ask!

Sharing your email address
Any time you send email to people you don't know (including through email list services), the unfortunate possibility exists that it will be used to send you SPAM in the future.

Similarly, any time you submit your email address to a website, even for a seemingly innocuous purpose, it may eventually be passed on to a spammer.

Also, if you're a recipient on a message sent out to a large number of people without using the BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) function, all of the recipients will be able to see (and use!) each other's addresses -- which can in turn result in SPAM.

SPAM sometimes comes from a virus infection on your system, which can manifest itself in a massive amount of email being automatically sent out by your address. Please consult the Virus Tools and Internet Security page to see how you can keep this from happening.

Other hints and tips about your privacy and security:

Security tips: Do not respond to any junk email (spam)of any kind, even to unsubscribe, because that only confirms that they have gotten a response from an active email account. If you buy something as a response to an email, they then have your financial information.

Filtering Email: As part of our commitment to bring you the best Internet service available, MAIN has partnered with email filtering leader Postini to offer you the latest virus-prevention and anti-spam tools available. Postini has been rated the number one anti-spam product on the market. Its services are private and secure. The junk email and virus protection is an automated process. Nobody has access to your email except you. Nobody will read your email. Your email is not censored, and YOU control the filter settings. You can read more about Postini here.

MAIN's privacy policy: "As a nonprofit community network, MAIN respects the privacy of its users

and strives to protect that privacy. The MAIN Board of Directors, therefore, resolves that mailing lists of MAIN users will not be sold, shared or exchanged (except where required by law)."

Reporting Spam

If you are still frustrated by untold amounts of spam, there is a governmental agency where you can register a formal complaint. The Federal Trade Commission accepts complaints about unwanted email at UCE@FTC.GOV.

When sending email to this address, it is best to include all the HEADERS, or routing information, that came with the message. Some programs, such as Eudora, allow a "Redirect" or "Bounce" of the message, which will send it on to another address in its entirety. The most popular email program, Outlook Express, allows you to "Forward as an attachment" (on the message menu in version 5.5.), which will achieve the desired effect.

Further information on how to file official complaints, as well as links to tools to help fight SPAM, is available at CAUCE: The Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email or Spam.Abuse.Net.

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