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Tom and Jerry and breaking a confidence

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Before you all write in about the last webwatch, I know it is Emmental and similar cheeses which have the holes in them and not Gorgonzola. The error is the result of watching too many Tom and Jerry cartoons at the cinema on Saturday afternoons in childhood, when gorgonzola was a useful omnibus description for any exotic, and therefore non-cheddar, cheese. The holey cheese bit was a simile for Internet Explorer's (IE's) virus defences. I am reminded that this June the US government Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) made a series of suggestions about using IE with great caution which included using only plain text, not clicking unsolicited URLs, disabling Active scripting and ActiveX, applying the Outlook email security updates and IE patches and, and this is a bit of a stunner, using a different browser. Check it out at www. kb. cert. org/vuls/id/713878 .

Should any of you happen to be feeling greedy this week, be warned that the latest version of the 491 scam turns on the current oil crisis. I have just had a 'strictly confidential' email from alleged Benin engineer Peter Umezulike.

I think there is the beginnings of a joke there in that surname. Anyway, the sum accrued in a secret escrow account from the discovery of oil in this west African republic is £10.5 million and it will take seven days for the scamsters to clear out my bank account?sorry, I meant transfer the above dosh into it. 'Please kindly send your private telephone and fax numbers, ' concludes old Pete, who will, if this runs true to form, then ask for details of my account and, possibly, should this be an advance-fee plug-in to the main scam, ask me to show a couple of grand as an earnest of my good intentions. Honour among thieves.

Please, unless you have some very large and aggressive friends who attend your every movement, resist the temptation to have a bit of fun. Pete is probably writing from Amsterdam and could all too easily slip across for the face to face meeting which he hints is in the offing.

sutherland. lyallatbtinternet. com

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