Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Security: Does my E-Mail have a Virus?

Computer Coaching for Seniors

The email today in your inbox is from your long time friend Charlie. He writes

Hey check this out. This is soo funny!!!!

Do you double or single click on the picture ? NOOOOOOO

This email may have a virus. The picture in this email represents a file that may be executable. By double/single clicking on the icon you might execute a progam that will cause harm to your computer.

But why would such a good friend do this to you? Well it wasn't really Charlie's fault. This email has a virus because Charlie's computer was infected. This virus replicates by going through Charlie's contact list which includes your email address :( and emails everyone on that list with a copy of itself infecting other computers.

Here are some tips to determine whether or not you can open a file from an E-Mail.
  1. Scan your email with a virus scanner. If the scan is not clean then obviously delete the E-Mail.
  2. If the E-Mail is from someone you know and you were not expecting to get a file, call the person up or email them and ask if the file attached was created by a trusted source. If they don't know then do not open.
  3. If the email is from someone you do not know then it is better to side on caution and not open it

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