Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Subject Matters

The warning to watch out for messages from strangers does not mean you can safely accept any message that comes to you from a trusted source. Some of the most obnoxious viruses, called worms (destructive programs designed to propagate across a network), spread themselves by sending contaminated messages to all of the email addresses contained on the infected computer. For this reason, you should review the Subject line whenever you receive unexpected email messages from friends or colleagues. Proceed with caution if the Subject line sound like it’s from someone trying to sell something or if it seems like something the sender would never say. Similarly, you should avoid messages with Subject lines that entice you to open the attached file.
On a similar note, avoid any message addressed to someone else. Hackers and spammers know that curiosity is a powerful motivator. They also know that including a random name, such as Cathy or Steve, in the Subject line or body of an email message will lure a certain number of naive computer users to peek inside. Curiosity may not kill the cat in this case, but it can do a lot of harm to a PC.

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