Most Email Is Just Crap

In days of yore, when I had an (almost) full head of hair, email was the "killer app" of the Internet age; the ability to send and receive letters and even photos to and from virtually anywhere in the world in a few seconds. Wow.

Now, it's mostly crap. At the very least it's nuisance, at it's worst it sows the seeds of malware or cunningly weasels out personal information from you by pretending you are due a refund on something, or need to change your password. 

These types of attacks are known as "phishing" - in other words, the kind of thing you would expect from a typical con artist. The good old-fashioned flim-flam.

In fact, after studying this for a year, Google has determined that most account breaches are actually due to phishing rather than the much publicized "data dumps" and other security problems that seem to pop up every week.
The researchers found that people who are fooled into handing over their username, password and other details to phishers are in fact 400 times more likely to have their accounts successfully hijacked compared to a random Google user.
In contrast, individuals whose credentials might have been leaked in a third-party breach were only 10 times more likely to have their account taken over, while keylogger victims were 20 times more at risk.
How to spot and avoid phishing attempts?

Here is Apple's take: 

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