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February 20, 2008
Monica found this information at
Forwarding virus warnings and prize draw chain e-mails can get you more than you bargain for, but never what you intended or hoped for.
Most of these types of e-mail are scams or nuisances, some are even damaging and by forwarding them you are adding to the problem and becoming a perpetrator of e-mail abuse.
Basic safety and netiquette when forwarding e-mail
Don’t send or forward e-mails to people or add them to your “round robin” e-mail list without asking them if they want to be included. They may not want to hear every joke you think is funny or what your dog did last week and the e-mail address you have on file for them may be a work e-mail address, for instance, to which this type of personal e-mail could range from an annoyance to actually getting them into trouble.
If you must forward the information contained in an e-mail, unless the entire content is vital (an ongoing conversation for instance), always cut and paste the specific information you want to share, removing the multiple carriage returns that often appear “>>“ and other information, like e-mail addresses and names etc. (this goes for all online posting and instant and SMS messaging).
Never forward the contents of an e-mail from a friend or colleague without their prior permission, especially if it carries a disclaimer. Likewise, if you do not want others to forward the contents of your e-mails, tell them. Here is a general disclaimer you can add to your signature file or cut and paste into your e-mails:
This communication (including any attachments) is intended for the use of the intended recipient only and may contain information that is confidential, privileged or legally protected. Any unauthorized use or dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify the sender by return e-mail message and delete all copies of the original communication. Thank you for your cooperation.
Just forwarding (or cutting and pasting) the entire content of a forwarded e-mail (especially one that has already been forwarded many times) means that the e-mail headers and therefore the e-mail addresses of everyone who has ever sent and/or received that particular e-mail will be visible. Nobody wants to have their e-mail address advertised and leaving this type of information intact puts the owners of those e-mail addresses at risk from spammers, online predators and a host of other cybercriminals and malcontents.
The most efficient way to prevent this from happening in the first place is to use the “Bcc” option in your e-mail client. The "Bcc" field (unlike the “To” and “Cc” fields) prevents multiple recipients of an e-mail seeing any of the other e-mail addresses the message was sent to - they only see their own.
Most security warnings sent by e-mail, such as virus alerts, are hoaxes. Unless you have received a security warning from a legitimate anti-virus organization (that you signed up for), you can be 99.9% positive that the information is fraudulent. You must check the information you receive before you decide whether or not to send it to someone else. Forwarding security alerts without verifying their accuracy can cause annoyance, panic, and damage to others’ computers (some virus hoaxes erroneously instruct a user to delete vital files from their operating system or actually contain a virus themselves) and embarrassment - when you find out that the information you just e-mailed to everyone in your address book is a hoax.
When you receive a chain e-mail (even from a trusted friend):
  • Don’t forward it to anyone else.
  • Reply to the sender (if you know them) without including the contents of the original e-mail and politely ask them not to send you any more. If you do not know the sender, ignore the e-mail and report it as spam.
  • If you simply cannot bear not to forward a chain e-mail (and we understand that some people cannot ignore them), send it to us: and we will deal with it for you. If the chain e-mail tells you to send 10 copies to 10 different people, that are fine - send us 10 copies.
However, please remember this. No chains e-mails are legitimate, credible companies do not conduct their marketing in such a haphazard fashion. Chain e-mails cannot bring you fortune or cause bad luck, they will not make you rich and you will never get that luxury holiday. They are lies, at best mischievous at worst (like virus hoaxes) designed to cause worry and disruption.
Finally, if you truly want to help disadvantaged children, endangered species or support another charity or movement, go to their Web site[s] and make a donation or sign up as a volunteer. You can use a search engine to find them, it takes about the same amount of time and effort to run a search as it does to forward a questionable e-mail. If you really want to tell a friend or loved one that you care about them, don’t do it with a junk e-mail that has been repeatedly forwarded. Tell them yourself, write a personal note - from your heart or, even better, and tell them face to face.

February 20, 2008
Lavanya found information at:
Email can be used to transmit malicious software - viruses, worms, and Trojan horses - that can corrupt, delete or record data and interfere with your computer operations without your permission or knowledge. Some can even allow users to control your computer remotely, compromising confidential or personal information. It is critical that students, faculty, and staff remain alert to the possibility that any email can carry viruses or other malicious programs and take the following steps.
  1. Never accept unsolicited email attachments. If you don't recognize the sender, consider deleting the email; if you do, never hesitate to contact the sender to ask about the attachment before opening it.
  2. Likewise, do not send attachments unless absolutely necessary.
  3. Do not click on links in emails, especially when the email is unsolicited. Sometimes the underlying URL is different than what it appears to be in the email. Phishers gather account and other personal information by directing their intended victims to URLs that appear to be legitimate. Even if you think the email is valid and feel that you must check out the link, never click on the link in the email. Instead, copy and paste it into your browser.
  4. Never transmit information you consider to be private by email. You should not put anything in an email that you would not put on the back of a postcard. Emails are easily read by others other than the intended recipient.
  5. Avoid spam as much as you can. Do not reply to it - even if there is an unsubscribe option - because you are only confirming that they have found a real address. Use a free email account address when filling out web forms.
  6. Limit access to your email address.
  7. Use free accounts that you can stop using at any time (i.e., hotmail) for non-school-related email.

Preventing email worms

Antivirus software is simply not enough. An email worm can spread worldwide in just minutes, but it takes hours for antivirus vendors to analyze, create, and deploy signature updates. Fortunately, there are five easy steps you can take to help close that window of vulnerability and help keep email worms off your system.
Rule 1: Identification - Understanding the nature of the attachment is the first step towards email safety. Any executable type attachment has the potential to be infected. This covers a wide range of extensions. Complicating matters is that, by default, Windows suppresses file extensions. Make sure you have file extension viewing enabled. {i]Hint: If you aren't sure what file extensions are, sign up for the free Windows Basics online course.
Rule 2: Intent - An executable type attachment should not be opened unless it was specifically requested or expected. Since email worms are sent to addresses found on infected users' machines, just knowing the sender is no proof of intent - they may well be infected. In fact, odds are an email worm will arrive from someone you know and the sender is oblivious to the viral email being sent from their machine. Worse, today's worms spoof the From address, so it may well be that it's not even from the person you think it is. If there's any question as to the intent, see Rule 3 below.
Rule 3: Necessity - This is the simplest rule to follow, but one that many people ignore. If you do not need the attachment, don't open it. Delete the email instead.
Rule 4: Secure your client - To date, many email worms and viruses have taken advantage of security vulnerabilities found in Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express. However, any mail client that supports HTML and scripting should be considered at risk. For instructions on securing your particular mail client, choose from the list below:
Rule 5: Patch your system - Microsoft routinely releases approximately 100 security patches per year. Keeping abreast of these and understanding which are applicable to your system can be a daunting task. To help ease the pain, Microsoft provides a Windows update site. The site will automatically scan your system and provide a list of recommended updates specific to your operating system. Install any updates marked as "Critical". And remember - security is never passive. It's an ongoing process and new vulnerabilities are constantly discovered. Visit the Windows update site monthly to ensure all necessary patches are installed

2/20/08- Ben found this at:


A big part of keeping your computer and the network safe is being careful when opening email and attachments that you receive!
Preventing viruses, trojans and worms from infecting your computer:
  1. DO NOT OPEN an e-mail attachment unless you know who sent it. EVEN THEN, it's not safe to assume that the sender was really the person that YOU know.
  2. Some viruses/worms/trojans use a "spoofing" method to create email addresses and include a virus in a attachment with a "friendly" name like "screensaver" or "your_file".
  3. Never click on an attachment with the file extention of .exe, .bak, .hta, .pif, .scr, .bat or .vb. (There are many other types of dangerous attachments but those listed are the most common.)
  4. Always scan an attachment with your anti-virus software BEFORE you open it and if possible verify that the person who appears to have sent it, really did send it!
  5. If you receive a reply to a message with a subject that you do not remember sending (something like "RE:your message"), it is most likely either a virus, hoax or spam. Don't open it, just delete it!
  6. When you delete a message, there may still a copy of the message stored on your computer in a deleted items folder (such as in Outlook and Outlook Express). Remember to delete the email from this folder to permanently remove it.
  7. Regularly back up your files to a "safe" place, burn them to a CD or save them to a floppy disk or USB drive! Should your system become infected, you won't lose all of your valuable data.
Preventing spam/hoaxes and phishing:
  1. Don't forward messages that promise that you will get a reward (money, gift certificates, a special movie will appear, free software from Bill Gates, etc.) if you send it to "10" of your's not going to happen!
  2. If you feel that you need to forward an email, be kind and remove the email addresses of previous recipients that appear at the top BEFORE you forward it!
  3. Disregard hoax emails that contain bogus warnings usually intent only on frightening or misleading users.
  4. Beware of "phishing"! Phishing is when you receive a very professional looking email stating that your account information may have been compromised or that your account needs updating. Some recent examples of phishing were in the name of "PayPal, EBay and Citibank". The email usually asks you to "click here" to log in and verify your information. DON'T DO IT! Clicking on the link will redirect you to a professional looking site that was set up just for the purpose of stealing your credit card, account number and/or personal information.
  5. NEVER click on a link in an email asking you to verify account information - if it is actually a place that you do business with, type the name that you know for the site directly into the address box of your browser.
  6. If it sounds too good to be true, it is shocking, sensational or asks you to click on a link to see something...DON'T DO IT!
  7. If you think that a email message looks real, check it out BEFORE you forward it to all your friends. See the links below for information on some of the most popular hoaxes:

Andrew found stuff on http://familyinternet.ab
Email is a fun, cost efficient way to communicate with family and friends. One of the biggest misunderstandings about email, is that email is like sending a postcard through the mail. Anyone can read it along the way. Your message is not secure.
Important information, such as your full name, address, phone number and passwords should not be shared through email. It is unlikely that your email would be high-jacked and used for malicious purposes, but it never hurts to play it on the safe side. Also, it sets a good example for the children.
Did you know that when you sign up with an Internet service provider, they may instruct you to have your first and last name substituted for your email address? Most people don't even realize that their full name is being sent out with ever email. This may be fine for businesses but it may present a security risk for your family. Find out if you are giving out your name and how to change it.

Lisa found this:

Email Safety

Email is an invaluable tool, which also makes it a great way to transmit viruses and other malicious software.
  • Be skeptical of attachments. Even if you know the person sending you the message, if you are not expecting an attachment, don’t open it.
  • Be skeptical of links to web sites. Rather than clicking on a link within your email message, copy the URL and paste it into your web browser. Sometimes the underlying URL is different from what appears in the email message. Install Spoofstick if you would like an Internet Explorer or FireFox toolbar that identifies the web site you are on. This software is installed on all student computers in classrooms, and on general access computers in the Library’s Information Commons.
  • Never transmit financial, account or any other information you consider private via email. Sending an email message is like sending a postcard: it is easily read by people other than those for whom it was intended, including by having others forward your message to others.
  • Avoid being “phished.” Con artists try to trick you into providing personal information through email or onto a web page as though they were a vendor (such as PayPal or Citibank) with which you normally do business. More about phishing.
  • Avoid spam (unsolicited email, a.k.a. junk mail). Simmons blocks well-known sources of spam, but much of the spam out there cannot be filtered this way.
    • never reply to spam (you are just verifying that they have found a good address) even if there is an “unsubscribe” option
    • enable your email software’s spam filtering features
    • do not post your email address on any web page
    • use a free email account address (such as through when filling out web forms
    • when filling out a web form, uncheck the box indicating you would like “additional information” or “production information from related vendors”
  • Coming soon: SPIM, spam via instant messaging. Configure your IM client to only accept messages from people on your buddy list.
Ronald McDonald found this website
"An individual with nothing to hide may well be an individual with nothing to offer."

Email Privacy investigates the risks of compromising your email privacy and security and offers you the ways of reducing these risks to a minimum.


The Internet provides us with one of the easiest communication tools ever afforded to the mankind. It is quick, convenient, cheap... and is as unprivate as it could be while being so quick, convenient, and cheap. Email is as public as a postcard! Every message you send through the Internet can easily be snatched and scanned for interesting details by anyone having the necessary know-how. Privacy is virtually nonexistent online. You might ask, "Why should I worry about privacy? I'm not a criminal or a terrorist. I've got nothing to hide." If you really mean that, you probably shouldn't be here reading thit article after all. Show me an email user who has got no financial, sexual, social, political, or professional secrets to keep from his family, neighbors or colleagues, and I'll show you that this person is either an extraordinary exhibitionist or an incredible dullard. Show me a company that has no trade secrets or confidential records and I'll show you that its business is not very successful.

Email-related Threats to Your Privacy

The Threat of Information Leaks

Most electronic mail is notoriously UNPRIVATE. Sending an email is less secure and in many ways is more dangerous than sending your personal or business message on a postcard. Intercepting Internet email is a piece of cake for certain people. Your typical email message travels through many computers. And at each of those computers people can gain access to your personal and business correspondence. You can make a bet that administrators (not to mention hackers) on Bulletin Board Systems, college campus systems, commercial information services, and Internet hook-up providers can read your email. Of course, most snoops will deny that they are reading your email because they want to continue doing it. Information is power. Snoops want power.

The Threat of Mail Tracing

Every email contains headers, and in most cases the tracing of an email begins with the examination of its message-header information. A message header is part of an email that travels through the Internet. It contains the source of the email and lists every point the email has passed on its journey along with the date and time of passing it.
  • Since this "post stamp" is rather unsightly and useless for correspondents, email programs normally hide it. But for snoops it's a valuable source of information. For example, it contains one or more IP addresses that can be traced back to you, your Internet service provider or organization. So, you should keep it in mind that any mail admin can glance at your mail and learn your country, city, IPS, maybe even your telephone number and so on. Besides, tracing an IP address is essential for most hack attack.


The Threat of Trojans

Trojan Horses, and now there are more than one thousand of them (including modifications and variants) that are circulating around, are relatively new and belong to probably the most dangerous kind of viruses that have appeared in recent times. They are much harder to detect than viruses or worms since they are often deployed with recompiled file names and attributes. They range from simple programs that log keystrokes as you type on your PC (and that can be used to steal information and passwords) to full-blown remote control Trojans such as Back Orifice and Sub Seven which make commercial remote control packages like PC Anywhere look lame. They literally give hackers the full control over any compromised machine. The worst thing is that all these processes are hidden from users who might be sitting in front of their own machines working on a document at the time.


The Threat of Spam

As well as consuming bandwidth and slowing down email systems, spam is a frustrating time-waster forcing you to sift through and delete mounds of junk mail. It proves irritating and offensive to recipients who feel their privacy has been invaded and could also result in valid emails being discarded along with the junk mail.
  • Also, spam or any other unsolicited message could be used to convince you to reveal sensitive information about yourself or internal computer systems; a message posing as an online survey could ask recipients for their passwords. The survey could also ask for other information which may allow an attacker to gain valuable intelligence prior to launching another type of attack.
There are more reasons which will make you want to protect your privacy than we have listed here. The important principal is that you have the right for privacy as long as this right is used within the bounds of the law. Seeking privacy should not make one feel guilty; privacy should be expected and demanded.