Email Issues in 2015

September 9, 2015

Email has become a staple in our daily lives; it is a convenient way to correspond and stay in touch with family and friends, and has become an important part of daily business. It is easy to type up short notes/thoughts and click send. It’s also a means to send photos and other personal information to family and friends.

As an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and email provider, it is our responsibility to keep the BVTC email server running 24/7. This can be a challenge. One problem we fight is customers using short, easy-to-guess passwords. When you use your email address to sign up for a service, that company may “share” your email address. If the world’s criminals get your email address, they can also figure out BVTC has an email portal accessible from anywhere. So, if your password is easy to guess, the criminal can go to the BVTC website and start attempting passwords to login as you. Upon gaining access to your email, the criminal can then send spam to your contacts and also change your email account settings.  

When the criminal gets access to your account, they usually send out large numbers of unwanted emails to other email addresses they have collected. When email providers like yahoo.com, gmail.com, aol.com, etc. start receiving large amounts of email from the BVTC server, they block emails from BVTC altogether. Essentially, one compromised email account can cause every one of BVTC’s customers to not be able to send emails to these other providers.

It is crucial to ensure your password is difficult – preferably one with lowercase and capital letters, numbers, and even symbols. BVTC has about 5000 email customers sharing the server. One compromised account disables the server for everyone.

An example I would like to share just recently occurred. Fake (or spam) email messages were being sent to our customers saying their inbox is full and to please log in to change the settings. These are called “phishing” emails and are trying to get your email address and password. In most cases, if you pay attention to the link address you will see it has nothing to do with BVTC or @bluevalley.net email address. Keep in mind, we will never ask for personal information over email.

Please be very careful when you receive an email asking for your personal information such as email address, password, credit card number, mailing address, etc. No creditable business will ask for this information via email. Remember - the criminals hide their identity and ask you to share personal information so they can make money or cause issues for others.

Another common problem is sending virus-infected files through email. If you receive an email from someone you don’t know, please don’t open the email – just delete it. It is very easy for the criminals to “fake” the sending address on an email to look like it is from your bank, credit card company, local school, or even BVTC. Please use caution when you receive email. If you have questions, you can always call our office at 877.876.1228.  

Our email server is available at http://webmail.bluevalley.net. This is accessible from anywhere! This is a convenient way to access your email when traveling outside of the BVTC territory.