Cybercrime affects all of us and comes in all shapes and sizes. Cyber scam artists drown us with spam– unwanted email that fills up our inboxes offering everything from cheap drugs, pornography, investment advice and get-rich-quick scams. Up to 80 percent of all emails are worthless junk that wastes your time or, if you take them seriously, can take you to the cleaners.

Don’t get faked out by phishing – Phishing is even worse than spam. Phishing is when crooks send fake emails that scare you into giving them private information, credit card numbers and online passwords, for example, then use that information to steal from you. Getting caught in a phishing scam can cost you hundreds of dollars.

Spyware can watch your every online move – Cyber crooks also infect your computer with malicious stuff like spyware–software designed to watch your every move, and adware that buries you with pop-up ads. Spyware often creates a costly ailment for your computer or other online device. Without the right level of cyber protection in place, your computer might need to be replaced…and you could be on the hook for a lot of time and patience to repair damage done to your credit.

Cybercriminals have become quite savvy in their attempts to lure people in and get you to click on a link or open an attachment.

The best way to protect yourself is to avoid sharing personal or financial information in an email. Never respond to email solicitations for this information.

When in doubt, throw it out.