I put this
page and information online due to the fact that there are some really
nasty virus' going around and I want to share my experience
I will not email everyone in my
address book with this information as that is partly what the bastards
that create and send the viruses want, clog up the flow of valid
information on the net with all the virus warnings and hoaxes, I won't
Over the last 18 months or so, I have
been bombarded with emails loaded with various viruses, the one to hit
most often (over 100 times), was commonly known as "Snow White". For most of that time I was NOT
running any virus detection software as my primary operating system was
OS/2, not Windows (which I hate), but because of the web site, I have
been forced to use Windows more and more. Getting back to OS/2, I was
not worried about the virus' that I was getting when running OS/2 as all
of the virus' were looking for Windows and its files. So, when an email
came in that looked suspicious, I dissected the attachment and when it
was a virus, I just deleted it, end of problem! End of problem that is,
until I had to boot Windows for web site maintenance and updates.
A good rule of thumb, run email software that does NOT automatically
open either the message or the text until YOU want it to. This gives you
the opportunity to take a look at the incoming messages and attachments
and weed out (delete) the ones that are not from someone known to you.
Even that is no guarantee! I recommend that if you do not have any virus
checking software that you get some. McAfee and
Norton Anti-Virus are
two that I can recommend that you check out, then decide for yourself if
you want to run anti- virus software, and if so, which one.
Email programs that are very susceptible to virus' are Microsoft® Outlook
and Outlook Express. A lot of viruses, worms and trojans look for these
very programs to target. You may want to consider an alternate email
program. I use PMMail and at this point in time, no virus that I know of
targets it. That may change with time though. There are versions of PMMail
for Windows and OS/2, those are the only platforms supported. Here is a link to the PMMail
web site where you may read about it and download a copy if
you are interested. Eudora is another program to consider, I am sure
there are others to be had if you will just look.
Anti-virus software may be downloaded from many web sites, or purchased
from any number of stores, Best Buy, Comp USA, Circuit City are just a
few, there are many others. Here are a couple of web sites where you can
find out about the virus' and the anti-virus software.
Since 04-26-02, 3 times now (twice
today, 05-01-02), I have received one of the nastiest virus' 'out
there', (or 1 of the variants), it is named; "W32.Klez.gen@mm".
For information on the virus/worm, click on the link.
If you have anti-virus software installed, make
sure that your VIRUS DEFINITIONS are up to date, if they
are not up to date, some of these newer viruses will attack and disable
the anti-virus software and then 'get to town' on your other files!!
removal with these newer viruses/worms can be very difficult! You have
Recently it has come to my
attention that some folks, novice and experienced computer user alike
have no idea what the following was addressing. I will attempt to
clarify what BCC is;
There are usually three
ways so send an email to someone,
their name in the TO: field
their name in the CC: field
their name in the BCC: field.
Numbers 2 and 3 hark back
to the days of the typewriter and are used today by most email programs.
The "TO" field is just that,
the intended message recipient's email address goes there.
The "CC" or Carbon Copy
field, this is usually used in addition to the TO field when it is known
that the intended recipients know one another and both of them have a
need of the information and it is not a problem for them to know that the
other person received the same information.
The "BCC" or Blind Carbon
Copy field is intended to be used when the intended recipients do not know one another
or they do not need to know that anyone else received the same email.
There are some web based
email programs that “hide” the CC and BCC functions and to be used,
they need to be “turned on”, Microsoft’s Hotmail is just one of
them, look for “Show Cc & Bcc” in the upper right corner when
you compose a new message.
If your email client
(Program) does not have the BCC function and you are going to send bulk
mail (Mail lists), may I strongly suggest that you replace the program
with one that is full functioned!?
In any event, PLEASE
don't put my email address in the "To" or "CC" fields of messages being sent
to people I don't know - Please don’t do it even if you believe that I
do know them!!
There is some excellent
information on the following link; possibly it will make things clearer
for you than what I am able to provide here.
If you really want to be a friend to
others, you will not share email addresses among them - to
help eliminate spam and more importantly, the spread of viruses by virus
email harvesting may I strongly suggest that when you send
to a group of people that do not know one another that you address the
message to yourself and then to all of the
others as a BCC (Blind Carbon Copy). By doing that, everyone that you
want to receive the message will do so and they will not see, nor have
on their computer all of the other recipients names and or email addresses.
Anyone that has a computer infected
with a virus will NOT have the other addresses for the virus to harvest
and use. Each and every recipient will be anonymous to the other
recipients. You will also not be giving out others email addresses to
others that have no need of them. This is the major way that viruses
spread, we can knock the hell out of virus spreading if we all use the
BCC function for group emailing as most of the time we as recipients really have no need
of knowing who else the message was sent to...
Here is a link you really should look at and
hopefully heed!! HERE!
Remember, when you list numerous
recipients in the message "To" field (or CC filed), you are
inviting everyone listed to the next spam or virus party, not to mention
opening the door for identity theft or worse! Don't do that
to your friends, BCC Instead!!!
A quick word on SPAM and sending
email. These days with ISP's doing a lot of spam filtering, one must
be aware of this when not only addressing messages but with the message
content. I know in my case, messages addressed to me with
"Hi" or "Hello" in the SUBJECT line, or an empty
subject line will result in my not getting the message as my ISP is a
little overzealous in their filtering... Certain key words or
phrases in the body of the email will get it killed also... Look at
the spam that you get, and when you send messages, try to not use those
words or phrases even though in your outgoing message they are benign -
it/they may still keep your message from getting delivered! Just
another thing to be aware of... It might be the reason I or someone
else has not replied to your message(s), we didn't receive it!
One way you can help your
self from being SPAMMED is to go get a secondary email account and use
that address for posting in guest books, on web site pages etc..
What this WILL do is let
those that wish to contact you do so. It will also let the spam bots
harvest that address, not your primary address.
Once you make new contacts
(old, new friends, etc.), you can then contact them with your
PRIMARY email account and go from there.
What this WILL NOT do is
not stop the spam to your primary account that the spammers already
have. Although in time it should diminish in your primary account
and INCREASE in your SECONDARY account where you want it (IF you have to
have it, this is the place).
There is a chance that if
your secondary account is one of the free types, hotmail, yahoo, etc. then
SOME of the spam will not even be sent to those accounts as most of the
spammers know why the account is there and won't waste their time and
resources on it, but, don't bet on it!
Just remember, leave an
email address ANYWHERE on the web and it WILL be harvested and used to
send spam (junk mail) to THAT address - that you CAN take to the bank!
Remember, where there is SPAM, viruses may not be far behind!
Hoaxes are almost as bad as a real
virus, how is that? you ask!
Here is one scenario;
"Jane" receives an email from someone, whether she knows them
or not is not material, the context of the email is something like this:
"I have just been hit with a rather nasty virus and it attached
itself to my address book and everyone in it, so you probably have the
virus even though I removed it from my system", well the scenario
has many variants from here, some will want you to delete some files,
usually little used Windows files, to critical Windows files. In most
cases, the message will tell you to forward the message to everyone in
your address book and so on and so on, etc.. So now "Jane"
forwards the message to 67 people in her address book and then those
people and so on and so on..... DAMN, you get the idea!!
No wonder our dial-up modems are slow when we go browsing web site, we
have to wait for the 'traffic cops' to let all this bogus email pass by
the intersection before we can proceed. I won't even get started on
When you get an email that says that you may have a virus and that you should send
the notice on, or take other action, do this FIRST, go HERE
and check it out to see if it is a hoax, if it is, just delete the
email! DON'T reply to the email or pass it on (as I have done in the past), as that too plays right into the hands of the hoaxers!
As a rule*,
Microsoft, Intel, Motorola, IBM, The U.S. Post Office and other
government agencies, etc. DO NOT issue virus
warnings or alerts. Some of those listed above may respond to queries
by the media about an existing situation. Receiving an email about a
virus warning issued by one of the above should be a red
flag to you that it is probably a hoax and
should be checked out, not blindly forwarded on to everyone in your
address book, no sense in YOU becoming another in a long line of
there have been a few (one or two that I can think of),
virus warnings issued by the government, but usually after the
media has made an issue of it. DON'T rely on the email as the final word
- CHECK IT OUT! I can't say that enough!
Other websites to check out email
& other 'rumors'!
If you 'run' Windows® (any version),
and you are here on the internet, you should probably use a
firewall. A firewall is a security layer between your internet connection and
the rest of your
computer. A firewall will block unauthorized access to your files, you
do not want web sites and rogues, hackers searching your computer
for your personal information, this is particularly import if you store
critical information (banking, saving, investing) on your computer!
Believe it or not, your computer is constantly under attack from outside sources attempting to garner all sorts of information about you and
your internet activities! Don't believe me, put a firewall online and
activate the logging function and then take a look at the log after just
a few hours online, you will not remove the firewall!
The links above to Norton and McAfee have firewall info/downloads
(maybe). A free firewall that I use is from Zone Labs. It has
virus protection built in, the commercial version has even more virus
protection built in, for me that is not needed as I use other virus
protection. Click HERE
for Zone Labs firewall information and downloads.
If you run a broadband connection
(Cable, DSL, etc.), you may want to consider a router/firewall as
another level of security. Check with your local computer dealer
for what is best for your situation. I recommend that if you do go
with the 'hard' firewall that you still run a software firewall - I
recommend that you change the routers default IP address and password,
make sure the routers 'back door' is closed also. Linksys and
Dlink (and others), make very affordable routers.
Using a wireless router can be
hazardous to your data and the rest of your system! For example,
there have been several TV shows that have shown the shortcomings of
wireless routers where a potential hacker with a laptop computer and the
right hardware and software have cruised neighborhoods and been able to
watch what the person in a given house/office was doing on the internet
(without them being aware of it), and the 'hacker' had the ability to
snoop on the host system and even use the connection for whatever
purpose that they wish, nefarious or otherwise. I for one would
never use a wireless router even though steps may be taken to encrypt
the data stream. I might just be overreacting here, but I would
rather err on the side of caution and feel safer about my connection!
- jm -