Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Be alert to the e-mail address harvesters' trick

  • Comment
aj. column

The day after the unsettling events reported last week, a real virus turned up in an e-mail from someone unknown.

Happily both McAfee and my ISP flashed warnings and down the tubes it went, unread. It was the KLEZ G worm which seems to have spread across the known world in recent weeks.

And there I was contemplating a story about how attacks from the outside world are actually pretty infrequent. I had not thought it through sufficiently.

Virus attacks are indeed infrequent. The trouble is that it takes just one to wreak havoc - and that reminds me that I am about to install cable broadband on another computer in the office and it has not even got a firewall installed.

It was two days after the above when I had the good sense to not answer an e-mail from what seemed like a quite well-designed news service. It was addressed to an old e-mail address which means it was on some mailing list.

After checking it, by clicking on it with the alternative mouse button and hitting Properties in the ensuing menu and probing a bit, it turned out to be addressed to practically everybody using this particular ISP. It urged you to send a blank e-mail reply should you want to unregister. I had nearly completed this action when I remembered that this is how e-mail address harvesters acquire addresses for their lists.

So, a word to the wise, never reply to unsolicited e-mails or e-mails from people you do not know - especially when they offer you the possibility of unsubscribing.

What I do in Outlook Express is drag and drop the uncertain e-mail title to the Deleted Items folder on the left hand bar.Then I click on the folder with the alternative mouse button and click on Empty Deleted Items folder in the menu which pops up.Untouched, down the drain it goes. Oh dear, was that really a press release from Vanessa or was it Lucinda? Never mind - they will be sending dozens more.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs