My email is driving me mad at the moment. I seem to be receiving all the spam I could possibly want, at the expense of the emails that I need – they seem to be ending up in some black hole, bouncing back to the lucky few…

While it is very entertaining to read the miss-spelled, grammar lacking emails requesting my Lloyds bank account details and those wonderful emails that are going around at the moment that so creatively combine great works of fiction into illegible prose, I really do have better things to be doing.

Mind you, this one was particularly good:

From: "Cedric Puckett"
Subject: paving roller myelin sheath

“Claim an acquaintance with your mr. bingley and his sisters. An inn larder usually affords, exclaiming, "is not this nice? Is not this an agreeable surprise?"

While this sort of Spam has us all laughing, it was no laughing matter for employees at the Dekalb Medical Center in Decatur in Georgia USA who recently received emails saying they were being laid off. The subject line read "Urgent - employment issue," and the sender listed on the message was at dekalb.org, which is the domain the medical centre uses. The email contained a link to a website that claimed to offer career-counselling information. (Cara Garretson at Network World reported this case).

This kind of spam is being referred to as Spear Phishing, and apparently it’s on the rise. It reminds me of a conversation I had with Enrique Salem from Symantec recently. He was pointing out that these phishing schemes are becoming more and more intelligent, and that people are falling for them. And the thing is we Mac users aren’t safe, because all you need to do is visit a website.

Now you might be thinking, I’m not about to hand over my confidential information, bank account details etc. But it’s surprising how easy it can be to get passwords and other information out of people – for example, take one of those tests that are supposed to say something about your personality, my friends are always forwarding those to me. So, they ask you your date of birth, your pet’s name, your mother’s maiden name… Am I being paranoid?