The two golden rules of Email Safety

Sometimes it’s good to go back to basics. We’ve had an active role in producing Opening Windows, the first book in a brand new series from Franklyn Nash.

The series focuses on Windows computers and covers Windows 10 and how to get the most out of free or cheap software.

There are plenty of tips, advice and guidance so you can increase your computer knowledge and enjoy working in a smarter, more effective manner.

The first book is a miscellany of important areas. It is a broad sweep rather than a detailed instructional guide. It’s not War and Peace. Each book is specifically designed to take up just an hour of your time so that you can read the whole book in one session and find it easier to go back to re-read areas and items of specific interest to you.

One of the chapters deals with the two golden rules of email safety. As a short taster for the forthcoming book, we have reproduced the chapter in full in this post.

If you enjoy this short chapter and find it useful then consider downloading the book from Amazon!

The two golden rules of Email Safety

If you use email for any length of time then you will pick up a lot of spam. Spam is unwanted, unsolicited emails. Most are annoyingly harmless. Occasionally, one must be potentially deadly for your computer and your online life.


The golden rules for email safety are:

DON’T EVER OPEN ATTACHMENTS unless you are 1000% certain that it is safe and you are expecting to receive them. Even then, check the email very carefully before you open the attachment.



No-one really needs to send attachments these days in an email if they are well organised. Family and friends may want to send you photos or documents. If so, try to persuade your family and trusted friends to send you these items in other ways. They can use Dropbox, OneDrive or other such online storage exchanges. I’ll be covering the best way to use such applications soon.

Delete any emails you don’t feel happy receiving. To delete an email in most email software such as Outlook or Gmail just right click on it and look for the delete option. You won’t open the email by right clicking.
Here are more ways to delete any email in Outlook:

  • Just press the delete key on your keyboard
  • Click on the delete option on the toolbar.
  • Hover your mouse pointer over the email header you’ll see a delete cross appear. Click on that to delete the email.

There’s no excuse for keeping any unwanted emails.

If you deleted an email by accident, it will be in the junk or trash folder. Simply go to those and drag the accidental email back to the inbox.

It is a good idea to empty your junk or trash folder at the end of each email session. Most software offers you an automatic way of doing that. In Outlook choose Options from the File tab. In the Options window, click on Advanced from the left side of the window. Make sure Empty Delete Items Folders When Exiting Outlook entry has its box ticked. When it has, click on OK.

If you emptied the junk or trash folder and the email was that important the sender will soon send it again. If they don’t and it was important, simply tell them you weren’t sure about the integrity of the email and you decided it was safer to delete it.

I recommend that you have more than 1 email account. There are plenty of accounts to be had for free. Your own Internet Service Provider should allow you to have a couple of email addresses. Gmail are very willing for you to have email accounts with them.

You don’t have to use your own name in the email address. If you live near a river you could use or some such address.

Be creative.

I have different email addresses for different parts of my life. They can all be set up in the same email software. I just make sure I’m organised.

If I expect to be bombarded with emails by a company or website, then I give them a particular email but not my own personal address. If I’m dealing with some internet shopping then I’ll use another email address. Some websites even provide people with temporary email addresses to sign up for some email list that they know they won’t be following in the future. That might be a bit dubious. I’m not sure I agree with that but I think I understand why they do it!

Put some of these suggestions into practice and you will be safer than you were before when enjoying the wonders of email. However, if you take nothing else on board from this piece, just remember the 2 golden rules of email safety.


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