Keystone Keyboard

Computer Info You Can Live With

January 7, 2002


Blind E-mails/Viruses From Friends


BCC: ?????

W ill everyone who is guilty of this offense, please raise your hand! Oh, you know you have done this. Someone sends you an e-mail with tons of e-mail addresses from other people and you forward the e-mail unchanged. Or, you send an e-mail to everyone in your address book with all e-mails visible. Next thing you know, someone receives an e-mail with dozens or perhaps even hundreds of e-mail addresses in plain view.


Is this a security concern? You bet it is. Hackers, crackers and spammers can come up with a lot of information with your e-mail address. So, how do you prevent this from happening? Two ways, you cut and paste messages into a new e-mail and/or you use Bcc (Blind carbon copy)to send an e-mail. There’s already an excellent page on our site explaining how to use the Bcc option in Outlook Express, Netscape, Hotmail. Although there are no examples for AOL, you will find Bcc is available by selecting e-mail addresses from your address book. Please take a few minutes and read this page (Click or cut and paste if your browser doesn’t support click). Oh, and once you start using Bcc - feel free to pass this page onto your friends so they can stop sending your e-mail address all over the world without your approval.



Viruses From A Friend?????

H ere’s a myth about computer viruses: You should only open e-mail attachments from people you know. FALSE. Today’s viruses are very sophisticated. Many viruses, if they get onto your computer, will take hold of your address book and send an e-mail to everyone on your list. Thus, your friends get an e-mail from you and don’t hesitate to open it because they know you. Unfortunately, the virus usually attaches itself to all the e-mails it sends out. If this happens on your computer, you are usually unaware that the virus has done this until someone e-mails you back or calls you and tells you.


  Here are some “rules” that will help you keep viruses off your computer:

1) If you use Outlook Express do NOT use the preview screen. (That’s the screen at the bottom that automatically opens an e-mail when you click on it) To turn this feature off: from the Inbox screen, select the VIEW menu at the top, then select LAYOUT. Uncheck the box in front of Show Preview Pane.

2) Don’t open ANY attachments - especially .exe or .bat files - unless you are SURE what it is - even if it is from a friend. (See above).

3) Have a good virus protection program on your computer.

4) Make sure your virus protection is up-to-date. Most companies update every week to two weeks. If you aren’t sure how to update, check your program’s help files or check with me.



This page updated January 21, 2005
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