Virus stuff has become really nasty and
typical of the types of crap that are floating along with otherwise
innocent emails today. These insidious covert attacks can make foul the
finest computer systems... IF you fail to get yourself educated and do
your part to wipe them out.
To keep your 'puter healthy, there
are several things you need to know in order to keep from getting infected and to get rid
of a malevolent critter if your best efforts at prevention fail.
For starters, these malicious bugs are
extraordinarily unscrupulous, deceptive, and criminal with disguise,
frequently appearing to be email from someone you know and trust. The way
my tech-guru explains it, this is because once a system is infected, a "worm" searches through all the email addresses
on an infected computer and randomly picks a "From"
address to make it appear that the virus is coming from, say YOU -- even
though YOU really didn't send anything and your system may be perfectly
clean. Your email address just happened to be "one of the chosen" on
someone else's computer.
Thus the virus/worm laden email you
receive may *seem* to have been sent by your Aunt Bessie, best friend, a
mail-server "Postmaster" (attached to an "undeliverable email"
notification), by the "official" Webmaster of your local
ISP or even by me!!! And it may contain your name or the name of someone you know in the
Subject line with, perhaps, a personal invitation like "Let's be friends"
or "Play this fun game" or "Important Virus Alert."
To avoid getting infected...
DO NOT OPEN ANY UNSOLICITED OR UNEXPECTED
ATTACHMENTS, ESPECIALLY WHEN THE EMAIL ATTEMPTS TO "auto-open."
That is, when you click on an email title to preview the contents and
a pop-up window immediately opens asking if you want to "open or save to
disk" -- DO NEITHER!!! Click "cancel" on the pop-up window, then
immediately DELETE the email and EMPTY your deleted items folder.
DO THIS EVEN IF IT APPEARS THAT THE EMAIL HAS
COME FROM SOMEONE YOU KNOW!!!!! And if you have qualms about
"missing something important," send a NEW email back to the source and
find out if they actually sent something to you!!!
FYI: This virus stuff has, at times, created havoc with email servers just by virtue of the
fact that so many computers have gotten infected within a short period of
time that the
millions of spurious emails generated by the infected systems over-tax host-server capabilities, causing repetitive system
overloads which, in turn, can shut entire networks down.... so PLEASE do your part to stop this and all virus stuff from
You can run a FREE virus check online at
Housecall -- and this utility will actually "kill" any infections. Also,
McAfee offers a free online scan, too -- however it does
nothing more than tell you that you have an infection with the only
recommended cure being to purchase their virus protection.
Also recommended, check out Norman
where, under the "support" heading, I am told that there are FREE downloads
to fix specific virus/worm attacks. Plus my tech-support guru recommends
Symantec for more information.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
ON SPYWARE... you know,
that nefarious stuff that covertly worms its way into the guts of your
system so that "big brother" can track your every keystroke.
has some very useful information and an excellent (shareware) download
called Spybot Search & Destroy -- which I have personally run on my
Windows XP system with nary a hitch and excellent results!!!
Finally, a lot of folks have asked if all
this malevolent virus stuff is not just a devious marketing device being
perpetrated upon the public by anti-virus software vendors with the
motivation of increasing the sales. Sincerely, I wish I could give you an
absolutely positive answer to this question. But the truth is, until the
culprits are caught no one really knows.
However, in my professional opinion it is
highly unlikely that any reputable business would be willing to tread this
water because the risks so greatly outweigh the potential rewards. But
stranger things have happened in this screwy world so in reality only time
Until then, PLEASE install and keep
updated a good virus checker. Several sources are listed below, all of
which are downloadable online and some of which offer free trial offers or
totally free anti-virus programs.