When in Doubt, Throw it Out

by | Oct 25, 2019

It is our #1 security tip.  This comes not only from the Senior Tech Club, but from the National CyberSecurity Alliance where they say,

When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, social media posts and online advertising are often how cybercriminals try to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it.

Let’s start with Email

In 2018, Verizon published some staggering information that identified that 92% of malware is delivered by email.  Our response? 

When in doubt, throw it out. 

If you get an email in your inbox that doesn’t seem right or perhaps seems to good to be true, delete it.



Real Examples from Don’s Junk Mail Box

Your Spam/Junk folder in your Mail app is a scary place.  Most of your major email providers provide spam filtering which will hopefully prevent most of these scams and phishing emails from showing up in your inbox.

However, you have to be on the lookout. 



Text Messages

Our “When in Doubt, Throw it Out” mantra also applies to text messages that you receive in the Messages app.  And with the growth of mobile devices that can receive text messages, the number of bad people focusing on text messages is also growing.  

Here are some tips and recommendations from the Federal Trade Commission (full article) to help you with text message spam:

  • Delete text messages that ask you to confirm or provide personal information: Legitimate companies don’t ask for information like your account numbers or passwords by email or text.
  • Don’t reply, and don’t click on links provided in the message: Links can install malware on your computer and take you to spoof sites that look real but whose purpose is to steal your information.
  • Treat your personal information like cash: Your Social Security number, credit card numbers, and bank and utility account numbers can be used to steal your money or open new accounts in your name. Don’t give them out in response to a text.
  • Place your cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry.
  • If you are an AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint or Bell subscriber, you can report spam texts to your carrier by copying the original message and forwarding it to the number 7726 (SPAM), free of charge.
  • Review your cell phone bill for unauthorized charges, and report them to your carrier.

Real Examples from Don’s Messages App

How to Throw it Out.

There are two tips when you identify an email that you need to throw out.

Look for the Trash

Apps on your iPhone and iPad will consistently use the Trash icon for your delete action.


Here are examples in three of the apps installed on your iPhone.

You can consistently look for the Trash icon in your apps when you need to Throw it Out.


Delete from a List

In this week’s featured Tip/Nugget, we want to remind you that it is easy to delete mail, messages and more from a list by swiping left on the list item.  Please continue reading below for more details and examples.



Featured Nugget


Many of us like to keep things tidy.  So it is natural that we like to delete old messages, books, emails, notes, reminders and more from our iPhones and iPad.… ....Continue Reading

News & Events

Here are news and events on the Senior Tech calendar for the coming weeks.  Reply to this email if you want more information. 

March 2020 Classes

Here are the upcoming classes scheduled for the month of March along with links where you can receive more information.

Senior Tech Time (iPhone) – St Anthony Community Services March 23 2-4 pm

Stay Safe with your iPhone. This class will review the basic security and safety setup for your iPhone and iPad. This includes Touch ID, Face ID, Emergency SOS, Driving with your iPhone, Setting up Medical ID, Blocking TeleMarketers and general recommendations about avoiding phishing and malware.

St. Anthony Community Services – 612-706-1166 or website

Senior Tech Time (Android) – St Anthony Community Services March 25 2-4 pm

How to Make your Android SmartPhone Smarter. This class explores the features of the Android smartphone that are most useful for older adults. This includes bringing widgets to the home screen, managing notifications, using Google assistant and activating do not disturb.

St. Anthony Community Services – 612-706-1166 or website


Contribute to Medical Research & Get an Apple Watch for $49

iPhone users who are 65+ are invited to join the Johnson & Johnson Heartline Study and receive an Apple Watch for $49.  This is not only a great price for an Apple Watch but an opportunity to learn about heart health and participate in medical research.  

See the eligibility requirements, application and frequently asked question on the Heartline website. 

Magical Ending to Disney World Trip

A fun and heart-warming story from this past week involved the family of an iPhone 11 user from Montana.  They were visiting Disney World with their six-year old girl.  It was a dream of her short lifetime.

Starting with the iPhone 7, our iPhones have become increasingly waterproof.  The iPhone 11 is the most waterproof iPhone Apple has manufactured.  But dropping your iPhone into the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney World is not in the specifications.  And certainly having it submerged for nearly two months is beyond belief.  It survived!

You can read the story at the MacRumors web site and then take some comfort in knowing that your iPhone is capable of surviving a dunk in a pool, ocean or lake.  But don’t ever submerge your phone to wash it.