bad e-mail advise

This e-mail was forwarded to me, lately. I decided to respond in a helpful way, rather than just smacking someone around as my mood suggested.


How to protect your e-mai l address book
A computer repairman says this is like having gold.
This is a good thing.I learned a computer trick today that's really ingenious in its simplicity.
As you may know, when/if a worm virus gets into your computer
it heads straight for your email address book,
and sends itself to everyone in there,
thus infecting all your friends and associates.
This trick won't keep the virus from gettinginto your computer, but it will stop it from using your address book to spread further, and it will alert you to the fact that the worm has gotten into your system.
Here's what you do:
First, open your address book and click on'new contact,'
just20as you would do if you were adding
a new friend to your list of email addresses.
In the window where you would type yourfriend's first name, type in 'A'.
For the sc reen name or email address,
type mailto:AAAAAAA@AAA.AAA
Now, here's what you've done and why it works:
The 'name 'A' will be placed at the top of your address book as entry #1.
This will be where the worm will start in an effort to send its elf to all your friends.
When it tries to send itself to AAAAAAA@AAA.AAA,
it will be undeliverable ONT>
because of the phony email address you entered.
If the first attempt fails
(which it will because of the phony address),
the worm goes no further
and your friends will not be infected.
Here's the second great advantage of this method:
If an email cannot be delivered,
you will be notified of this in your In Box almost immediately.
if you ever get an email telling you that an email addressed to AAAAAAA@AAA.AAA could not be delivered,
you know right away that you have the worm virus
in your system.
You can then take steps to get rid of it!
Pretty slick huh?
If everybody you know does this then you need not ever worry about opening mail from friends.
DO IT NOW and pass this on to all your friends.


Another case of wishful dreaming propagated to create a false sense of security. The virus/worm does not stop with just the first message. Instead it will generate 100's of messages as quickly as possible
and sends them. The speed of this attack is important, as well. Others don't go for JUST the address book. They also go for the received and sent items in your mailboxes, farming good addresses tested by someone else, you.

The best way to ensure lower risk of e-mail worm infection is diligence. Keeping your anti-virus current and updated. Being aware of what is being sent to you and by whom. Don't use known tools and applications that are vulnerable to these attacks. Keep your applications, such as outlook express and IE current, too.

If possible read your e-mail online. Using the webmail made available by most ISP's (and others) most worms can be caught there, before infecting thousands of other people. Those businesses are intent on keeping those threats to a minimum as their bottom dollar is threatened in several ways by each virus/worm threat. First, they lose advertising dollars when their servers are clogged with CRUD. Secondly, if you can't get to your data, you stop using that particular service, again more revenue loss. Thirdly, if they have enough problems with their service and quality, they lose credibility starting the downward spiral that is known known as internet death.

If you don't like your information being 'out there' where anyone with a few kiddie scripts might get to it because of a weak password, and you have concerns regarding the inherent weaknesses of Windows, then you have two options. Stop using e-mail and go back to letting the USPS handle all of your correspondence. They could use the business, anyway. OR switch to a proven more secure operating system and set of tools. Many distributions of Linux are available for a great variety of skill levels.

Last I heard, my mother was using an ubuntu linux install to surf the internet, purchase stuff via e-bay and send receive e-mails. She is a smart woman, but computers just are not her 'thing'. As long as she stays within the parameters set up, the machine works flawlessly for her.

Use the right tools and the best tools for the job. Linux is not for everyone, but there are a great many of the same tools from Linux made available for Windows. Using tools such as FireFox and Thunderbird can also help. Choose and use what is right for you and for what you need to do. If you have questions, please let me know. I will answer them as best I can and help you choose the best solution for your unique needs.

I can be reached as daniel@l4smb.net or on my website, http://www.l4smb.net.

1 comment:

SMP said...

Using the logic in this "advice" hoax, one could simply look at their Sent folder and see the same thing. What morons won't come up with next lol.

My mode of operations when receiving forwards that include my private e-mail in a list of like a billion strangers is to hit Reply All and deliver a literary smackdown - pointing out why the e-mail is a hoax, where to find the proof, and why the person is a complete moron for 1. not checking it out first, 2. invading the privacy of everyone on their list, and 3. adding ME to their list when they knew what would happen. I am happy to say I haven't received a group forward in over a year. :)

But your approach was good, too. lol