Email Grief 101
Email grief has several forms:
If you are already receiving spam, ads, porn, viruses, worms, requests for "very private" banking services (from Africa), it's because your email address is already well know, and world wide!
- Loss or corruption of your valued personal data
- Personal Financial Data
- Personal Health Records
- Personal Lists (such as email lists, recipes, etc)
- Family Geneology Records
- and many others
- Unwanted email and in great excess!
- Spam is email from unknown people, broadcast to every email address the sender can discover.
- Unwanted Ads, email sent by companies which buy, sell, and use every email address they find.
- Viruses are delivered in attachments; they can do severe damage to your programs and to your data, requiring many hours of time to rebuild your computer system.
- Worms are similar to viruses, and just as destructive. They may be delivered in email attachments, but not always.
- Pornography is quite often sent to people whose names were on a list sold to the porno distributor. But you can ask for it once and get it forever, and delivered with viruses and worms.
- Requests for money, and everything else under the sun.
The GOOD NEWS is that you can break the back of this problem by:
- working with your Internet Service Provider (ISP); ask them to cancel your present email address and you create a new one. Every ISP is familiar with this problem, and they help or they lose your business.
- absolutely run Norton or McAffee Anti-virus software on your computer. Download the "signature set" daily! Keep
the subscription paid on time (annually).
- absolutely run a superb Firewall on your computer; I use ZoneAlarm. The recent (May 2004) Sasser worm scanned the Internet for computers it could infect, got inside and then replicated itself to produce yet another scanner before causing the host PC to persistently shut down and reboot. Computers with properly set up firewalls suffered no problems from the Sasser worm, and thus the computer owners had none of their time wasted, nor data lost..
I STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU NEVER PERMIT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO BE PLACED ON ANY WEBSITE usless you relish grief in the form of ads, viruses, worms, pornographic email and other time wasters. In the present Internet climate, "publicizing" your email address will create your personal email purgatory!
You should not permit your email addresses to be given to anyone who is not "doing official business" with you, nor to anyone who is potentially untrustworthy. Likewise for everyone in your family, especially young ladies!
In a family with a shared computer, only one person needs to be too free with an email address to guarantee that the entire family will suffer!
Another great way to bring yourself much grief is to "broadcast" a message, by addressing the message "To:" everyone on the mailing list. You should, instead, address the message "To:" only one (1) person on the list, and "BCC" (Blind Carbon Copy) TO ALL THE OTHERS. By using that method of addressing, everyone gets their copy of the message, but no one gets the email addresses of all others to whom you sent the message.
Think of all the "forward, forward, forward, forwarding" that goes on! About 10 seconds after you send an email "To:" a list of people, they can each forward the message to ten or more of their friends. Very shortly, with one or two more forwarding itterations, the email addresses of everyone on YOUR MESSAGE has now propagated to about 10,000 people you don't even know. It's a superb way to invite spam, viruses, worms, ads, porn, junk, requests for donations, advice on how you should pray, advice on when to pray, and advice on what will happen if you do or don't "forward" that message to at least 10 others and return a copy to the sender! DELETE!
Three good practices to follow are:
You might consider passing this around the office, or better yet, make personal copies for EVERYONE in your family.
- Minimize the amount of "forwarding" that you do.
- Send "To:" only one (1) person, and "BCC" to ALL OTHERS RECEIVING THE SAME MESSAGE.
- FIRST check who sent you the message. If you don't know him/her, DO NOT OPEN THE ATTACHMENT! DELETE THE MESSAGE!
Email addresses and passwords are like your skin.
If you randomly give either away, some bleeding may occur.
Your personal records, your health records, your mailing lists, your business plans, and your credit rating are subject to being mangled.
Do you help make it happen? Use "BCC" and minimize the "forwarding"!