PC Tech Associates Refer a Friend Send & Collect e-Postcards
PC Tech Tips - Vol. 7.2


Email Viruses Run Rampant!

These days, just having an anti-virus program running on your computer isn't enough. Due to the rapid pace at which new viruses are concocted, the anti-virus companies must constantly work at creating "cures" for these new strains. Computer users must constantly update their anti-virus software to keep themselves protected against the "latest" viruses.

However, even updating your virus program isn't enough. While the anti-virus companies are working away in their labs trying to decipher the latest virus, the virus programmers are creating and distributing new ones.

Most recently, virus programmers have discovered that the quickest way to distribute viruses across the globe is via e-mail. By attaching a virus program to an email message, a virus could be spread around the world within a few hours. When the recipient opens the attachment, the virus program installs itself onto the recipient's computer.

Some virus programs then use the recipient's email address book to send the virus program to everyone listed in the address book - all without the knowledge of the address book's owner.

How can we protect ourselves from these email viruses while still being able to use what has become our most valued communication tool? Here are some tips and techniques to help prevent infection and from passing it on.

  • Be suspicious. If an email contains an attachment (usually listed with a paper clip next to it), the sender should mention that there is an attachment. Otherwise, do not open the attachment
  • If you receive an email with an attachment without reference to it, reply by informing the sender that you received their message but did not open the attachment because they did not indicate that they sent one. This lets the sender know that you are virus-aware. It may also tip them off to the fact that they may HAVE a virus and are not aware of it.
  • As a courtesy, if you are sending an attachment, notify the recipients that you are doing so.
  • Protect yourself further by religiously backing up your data.

New viruses are released every day. Old ones are passed around and around. The latest strains travel through email without attachments. They can infect a system simply by being "viewed" in the email program's preview window. The best protection is to be sure to update your virus program regularly and periodically scan your entire system for viruses. Set your virus scan program to scan ALL files, not just program files (usually the default).

If your system begins to perform oddly and you suspect you may have a virus, run a full system scan. If a virus is found, your virus scan program will tell you the name of the virus. Write it down and elect to CLEAN the virus from your system. If the program is unable to clean it, report the name to your program's laboratory.

For help with any virus-related or software problem, call PC Tech Associates at 310-390-3370. We will be happy to assist you!

Stop Junk Mail & Stop SPAM!
(Contributed by Donna McMillan, McMillan & Co., Professional Organizing)

Send a postcard or letter to the following address and within three (3) months, 75% of your junk mail will vanish! Include your name, address and zip code and write, "please activate the mail preference service."

Mail Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association
PO Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008
Unsolicited e-mails have become "affectionately" known as SPAM. Currently, there are several bills in Congress concerning anti-spam issues. If you are bombarded with unsolicited emails and want to put a stop to this practice, rather than just deleting these nuisances, there is a better alternative. Simply forward the junk mail to: spamrecycle@chooseyourmail.com.

Put the spammer's subject line in the forward, along with your State's two-character initial, i.e. [CA] and the Center will in turn forward said spam to the Federal Trade Commission and your State Attorney General's Office.

Also, E-mail Preference Service Limited is an "opt-out" register of both individuals' and businesses' email addresses who do NOT want to receive unsolicited e-mails. Go to: www.emailpreferenceservice.com and follow the instructions.

Email Tips & Etiquette!

  • Always "sign it". Since email addresses often contain nicknames or abbreviations, it is sometimes difficult to decipher who a sender is.
  • Always include a subject. Readers will often choose to open the incoming message that contains the most interesting subject rather than those without a subject line.
  • Always refer to Attachments. With all the email viruses out there, be sure to inform your readers that you are sending them an attachment. Otherwise, you may be unknowingly spreading a virus. When they open the virus attachment, their computer will be infected also.
  • Stay organized. Create special folders for storing saved email messages. "File" the messages in these folders and they will be stored by subject for quick retrieval. This keeps your "inbox" clear for incoming messages.
  • Be courteous. Always ask permission before including someone on a "jokes" list or advertising list. With email emerging as an important business tool, excessive "jokes" can clog up an "inbox." It becomes a chore to clean up before getting to the important messages.
  • Clean up before forwarding. When someone forwards a great poem to you and you're inspired to forward it to your friends, sometimes the past recipients' names appear in the body of the email. After you hit the Forward button but before you hit "Send", delete out the past recipients' names. This allows the new readers to receive just the poem without having to scroll past all the other names.
  • Use "Blind CC." Protect your friends and their friend's privacy. When sending emails to multiple recipients, place each address in the Blind CC (BCC) box. Create email as usual. BEFORE hitting the Send button, pull down the File menu, choose Copy To Folder and select the folder to save it in. This way, you have a copy of who you sent it to but none of the recipients can see who else received it.

Request this complete newsletter issue via mail.
Subscribe to our newsletter. 

  Home    •   All Contents Copyright ©2000 PC Tech Associates
   Site Developed & Powered by MindSurf