by Cal Locklin, Dec. 2002
(Modified with permission from the Compunique site.)

Don't believe everything you hear!!

The virus creators pride themselves in finding clever ways to deceive you into activating their programs so be very cautious about opening any suspicious e-mail. Some viruses grab familiar e-mail addresses from the address list of an infected system and re-transmit themselves using those other addresses in the "From:" portion of the e-mail. As a result, you could get an infected e-mail that appears to be from someone you know and trust.

Sometimes an e-mail will tell you how bad a virus is and how to get rid of it - "all you have to do is download the attached file." Well, the part about it being a bad virus is often true. But don't fall for the second part - this is probably just another of its ploys to get the virus into your computer. So, let's review some of the basic safety rules for e-mail.

1. NEVER download a file unless you are expecting to receive it. Even if it is from someone you know and trust, call or e-mail them for verification BEFORE downloading it, DON'T OPEN IT until you have contacted them. This is especially true if the wording of the subject or message seems at all unusual. Many viruses will send themselves to everyone in the e-mail address book. The message might actually have come from someone else's computer even though it shows your friend's address as the sender.

2.  Use anti-virus software but remember that it isn't perfect. Anti-virus software provides a lot of protection but so does the airbag in your car. Just as you still drive carefully even with an airbag, you should also be careful about opening e-mail attachments even with anti-virus software in place.

3.  If you are using Outlook, Outlook Express, or any other e-mail program that allows previews, turn off the preview pane. Previewing an infected e-mail will usually activate the virus.

4.  If you get an e-mail with an attachment from someone you don't know, DELETE IT. If you think it might be valid but aren't sure, send them a return e-mail asking for verification before opening or downloading the file.

5.  If you get an e-mail from someone you know and it has a attachment but it was forwarded to you from someone else (whom you most likely do not know), DELETE IT.

6.  If you get a message about a new virus from one of your friends, check one of the anti-virus websites such as the Symantec Security Response Hoax Center to find out if it is a valid virus before doing anything about it.

7.  Train employees not to open attachments unless they are expecting them.

If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to call - 248-437-5883.

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This site created and maintained by Cal Locklin,, using 1st Page 2000.   Last update:  18-Jan-02
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