Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Friends, if you don't know how to do this, please read & learn how, as it would save many problems with all our computers.

E-mail safety

A friend who is a computer expert received the following directly from a system administrator for a corporation.  It is an excellent message that ABSOLUTELY applies to ALL of us who send e-mails.  Please read the short letter below, even if you're sure you already follow proper procedures.

Do you really know how to forward e-mails?  50% of us do, 50% DO NOT.

Do you wonder why you get viruses or junk mail?  Do you hate it? Every time you forward an e-mail, there is information left over from the people who got the message before you -- their e-mail addresses and names.  As the messages get forwarded along, the list builds and builds and builds, and all it takes is for some poor sap to get a virus and his or her computer can send that virus to every E-mail address that has come across his computer. 

Or, someone can take all of those addresses and sell them, or send junk mail to them in the hopes that you will go to the site and that person will make five cents for each hit.

How do you stop it?  There are several easy steps:

1.  When you forward an e-mail, DELETE all of the other addresses that appear in the body of the message (at the top).  That's right, DELETE them.  Highlight them and delete them, backspace them, cut them, whatever it is you know how to do.  It only takes a second.  You MUST click the "Forward" button first and then you will have full editing capabilities against the body and headers of the message.  If you don't click on "Forward" first, you won't be able to edit the message at all.

2.   Whenever you send an e-mail to more than one person, do NOT use the "To" or "Cc" fields for adding e-mail addresses.  Always use the "BCC" (blind carbon copy) field for listing the e-mail addresses. This way the people you send to will only see their own e-mail address.  If you don't see your "BCC," option click on "To" and your address list will appear.  Highlight the address and choose "BCC."  It's that easy.  When you send to "BCC" your message will automatically say "Undisclosed Recipients" in the "To" field of the ones who receive it.

3.  Remove any "FW" in the subject line.  You can re-name the subject or even fix spelling.

4.  ALWAYS hit your "Forward" button from the actual e-mail you are reading, not from the one who sent it to you!!  Ever get e-mails where you have to open ten pages first to read the one page with the wanted information on it?   By Forwarding from the actual page you wish to be viewed, it eliminates extra e-mails people have to wade through.

5.  Have you ever gotten an e-mail that is a petition?  It states a
position, asks you to add your name and address and then requests that you forward it to ten or 15 people or your entire address book.  As it is forwarded on and on it can collect thousands of names and e-mail addresses.

FACT:  That petition is worth a couple of bucks to a professional spammer because of the wealth of valid names and e-mail addresses on it. If you want to support the intent of the petition, send it as your own personal letter to the most effective source.  Your position may carry more weight as a personal letter than does a laundry list of names and e-mail address on a petition.  ( Real petitions have to have original signatures anyway.)

And think about this -- Who is supposed to actually send the petition in after the names are collected?  And don't believe the ones that say that the e-mail is being traced.  It just ain't so!

6.  One of the emails I hate is the one that says something like, "Send this e-mail to ten people and you'll see something cute run across your screen," or sometimes they just tease you by saying something really good will happen soon.  IT AIN'T GONNA!!!!!  Trust me, some of the same ones went around ten years ago!

I don't let the bad luck ones scare me either, they get trashed (could be why I haven't won the lottery??)

7.  Before you forward an Amber Alert or a Virus Alert, or some of the other ones floating around nowadays, check them out before you forward them.  Most of them are junk mail that have been circling the net for YEARS!

Is it real or not?  Almost everything that is questionable can easily be
checked out at Snopes.com.  Take that moment.  If it's not real, don't pass it on.

Please, let's stop the junk mail and the viruses!

Now here's an idea!!!  Let's send this to everyone we know, but strip my address off first, please.  This is something that SHOULD be forwarded!


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