MSN Hotmail Educates Internet Users and Members About Safe and Effective E-Mail Use

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 28, 1998 — MSN
™
Hotmail today launched a public education effort designed to help Internet e-mail users be safe and savvy while online. Hotmail is increasing its current member education services to include more detailed information that will help protect its members as well as other users of Internet e-mail accounts from potential security problems, and is also offering advice for using e-mail more effectively. To that end, Hotmail developed the following Simple Tips for Safe and Savvy Internet E-Mail.

“We’ve realized that our members and other e-mail users could benefit from some quick and straightforward tips to protect their safety and help them become more e-mail savvy,”
said Randy Delucchi, director of customer support for Hotmail.
“The most common security breaches and time wasters on e-mail can readily be avoided by remembering a few basic rules.”

Simple Tips for Safe and Savvy Internet E-Mail

  • Change your password often. To help ensure that your password is safe, change it often and use a
    “strong”
    password – one that includes both letters and numbers, which make it harder to break.

  • Do not share your password. Most e-mail administrators will not ask for your password; Hotmail will never ask for it. If you get a message from someone purporting to be from your ISP or e-mail provider asking for your password, do not respond. This is a well-known, but rarely used, trick designed to fool users. As a rule, never share your password with anyone.

  • Don’t open attachments from anyone you don’t know. Exercise caution with attachments, and never open those from unknown sources.

  • Log out. Logging out of an e-mail account when finished can save you from rare but harmful security breaches. When using Web-based e-mail, be sure to log out of your account rather than simply pointing your browser to a new Web page. When using a public terminal, such as at an Internet caf
    é
    , it is advised that you close the browser when ending an Internet session.

  • Don’t respond to spam. Responding to unsolicited mail only confirms that you have an active e-mail address and could open you up to further solicitation and scams that can clog your e-mail inbox. Forward spam to the customer service department of the source’s e-mail provider (usually the address is something like abuse@[implicateddomain].com) and to uce@ftc.gov to alert the Federal Trade Commission. To help control spam, Hotmail provides members with
    “filters”
    for incoming mail. These can easily be set up to send certain messages (such as those that include particular words) directly to your online trash can.

  • Keep your browser and Internet software updated. Browsers, such as Microsoft® Internet Explorer, often provide updates that deliver enhanced security features and bug fixes that sometimes offer increased protection.

  • Use a secure network. If your e-mail is part of a secure network, you are protected by administrators who watch for potential security problems and act to safeguard you from
    “hackers”
    (malicious users) who may try to steal personal information transferred through the network. Use caution with any unfamiliar network. Although the risk of a security breach is small, always use stations at terminals that are maintained by people you trust or ask if the terminal you are using is protected.

  • Use common sense. Be smart when you’re on the Internet, and maintain a healthy dose of skepticism. Use caution when revealing personal information, such as your physical address, to anyone you meet in cyberspace, even if they claim to be someone of authority. Do not be duped by malicious e-mails asking you for your password.

Hotmail actively encourages all Internet users to implement these safe practices. Security tips and updates can be viewed at any time on the Hotmail site, http://www.hotmail.com/ . To get a copy, consumers can send a blank e-mail to securitytips@hotmail.com . The tips will also be broadcast to the 23 million Hotmail members via banners that run frequently on the Hotmail service.

About MSN Hotmail

Award-winning MSN Hotmail is the world’s leading free Web-based electronic mail service, with over 23 million members and more than 125,000 new accounts established each day. With offices in California’s Silicon Valley, MSN Hotmail offers globally accessible, easy-to-use and feature-rich personal e-mail to its members. Hotmail was acquired by Microsoft in December 1997 and is now part of the Microsoft Interactive Media Group. MSN Hotmail is a

leader in consumer advocacy and is widely recognized for its strong anti-spam measures. To sign up for a free MSN Hotmail account, go to http://www.hotmail.com or http://www.MSN.com .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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