M. Bryant Enterprises

  Computer Consultants

Email Safety: Tips and Tricks
We all love our email, but it's really a mystery sometimes as to where these viruses come from. Many of you tell me “ All I do is read my email, how did I get a virus?” Here are three ways that just managing your email can invite viruses in.

1. A Virus As An Email Hoax
Hoax emails often take the form of sympathy letters to play on your kind heart. They plead for financial help for a child's operation, ask for investment money, or relay a bit of salacious gossip that we sometimes feel compelled to share with others.

The simple rule on email is, if you weren't expecting the communication, don't know the person or something just seems really off to you,
Don't click it, just Delete it.

2. A Virus In An Email Attachment
I think we've all been fooled by email attachments from time to time. I know I have! Back around 1999 or so I too, was one of many who clicked on the “I Love You Virusr by mistake. I tell ya, the entire rest of that day, everytime one of my coworkers meandered by with a smirk and an “I love you too, Michelle!” I'd just gnash my teeth and stab at the computer keys in embarassment!

One of the things the iloveyou virus did when activated was to send itself to the first 50 people in your email contacts. In this way it quickly spread to some tens of millions of users worldwide.

3. A Virus In The Email Body
The “Body” in an email is the place where the message is written - just like the body of a paper letter. In this case, opening the email to view what is written in it activates any viruses that are hidden within so they can start their tricks.
So, a well-meaning “I'll just see what this is before I delete/report it” or “It's from my friend's, cousin's, trusted family barber's dog, so it should be fine!” etc is all it takes to let the nasties in.

And you reap the dubious rewards later on with a slow computer, random, unwanted software installations and popup ads galore.

In closing, if you manage your email so that you are not being bothered much by Inbox spam and you have what you do need to read easily available, you will also have less chance overall of blundering into a virused email.
And if it's your friend who accidentally sends you viruses on a regular basis, for heavens sake don't just shrug and say “Tsk! That's Fred!” Get them to call me for help so that you, and “Fred” don't have to worry.