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Tips & Tricks
Viruses
E-mail
Spam
 
 

  Tips & Tricks

  • Email address in Caps or lower case?
    It does not really matter. The mail would be delivered anyway.
    Instead use upper and lowercase letters in pAsSwOrDs to make them difficult to crack.

Tackling Viruses
   
Please observe the following precautions: 

  1. Delete suspicious emails from unknown senders.
  2. Be suspicious of all email with attachments.
  3. Use an email scanning anti-virus package and update it regularly.
  4. Back-up critical information stored on your computer.
  5. Avoid downloading information from unknown websites and newsgroups.
  6. Only disclose important financial information, such as credit card numbers, if you are certain the website is secure.
  7. Finally, consider saving your Microsoft Word files as Rich Text Format. RTF files do not support macros, which account for the vast majority of virus problems.
Remember, having outdated anti-virus software is only marginally better than having none at all. Users should ensure that their anti-virus software is active and updated.

E-mail Netiquette

  1. Thou shalt include a clear and specific subject line.
  2. Thou shalt edit any quoted text down to the minimum thou needest.
  3. Thou shalt read thine own message thrice before thou sendest it
  4. Thou shalt ponder how thy recipient might react to thy message.
  5. When in doubt, save thy message overnight and reread it in light of the dawn.
  6. Thou shalt check thy spelling and grammar.
  7. Thou shalt not curse, flame, Spam or USE ALL CAPS
  8. Thou shalt not forward any chain letter.
  9. Thou shalt check whether thy computer is infected and sending viruses to thy recipients.
  10. And finally: That which thou findest hateful to receive, sendest thou not to others.

The first e-mail was sent by computer engineer Ray Tomlinson in 1971, the email was simply a test message to himself. It was sent from one computer to another computer sitting right beside it in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but it traveled via ARPANET, a network of computers that was the precursor to the Internet.   Tomlinson had been fooling around with two programs called SNDMSG and READMAIL, which allowed users to leave messages for one another on the same machine. He applied the idea behind these programs to a third program called CYPNET, which allowed users to send and receive files between computers. Despite his groundbreaking success with email, Tomlinson is better known for introducing the "@" sign as the locator in email addresses


Spam Mail

What is spam? 
Spam is any message or posting, regardless of its content, that is sent to multiple recipients who have not specifically requested the mail. It can also be multiple postings of the same message to newsgroups or list servers that aren't related to the topic of the message. Other common terms for spam include UCE (Unsolicited Commercial Email) and UBE (Unsolicited Bulk Email). 
The individuals who send spam are typically people who purchased or harvested a list of email addresses. They send messages from numerous different addresses to all areas of the Web. 

What you should not do with spam

  • Never respond to unsolicited email/spam. To the individuals who send spam, one "hit" among thousands of mailings is enough to justify the practice. 
  • Never respond to the spam email's instructions to reply with the word "remove." This is a ploy to get you to react to the email and alerts the sender that your email address is open and available to receive mail, which greatly increases its value. If you reply, your address may be placed on more lists, resulting in more spam. 
  • Never click on a URL or web site address listed within a spam. This could alert the site to the validity of your email address, potentially resulting in more spam. 
  • Never sign up with sites that promise to remove your name from spam lists. Although some of these sites may be legitimate, more often than not, they are address collectors. The legitimate sites are ignored (or exploited) by the spammers; the address collection sites are owned by them. In both cases, your address is recorded and valued more highly because you have just identified that your address is active. 

HOW DO I REPORT UNSOLICITED MAIL
If you've been "spammed" by someone you don't know, don't reply to the sender or follow any removal instructions that might be included. Instead, complain to the sender's ISP. 
Before it ever reaches your Inbox, each piece of email must be sent from a server. Most server administrators are responsible and don't want their machines used for spamming. ISPs typically have policies prohibiting spamming through their accounts. Once they are notified that a user has been abusing their account, many ISPs will shut down the offender. 

How do you find out whom to contact? Look at the domain. This is the part after the "@" sign in an email address or the last part of the server name in a URL. For example, 
the URL of http://www.abc-bds.bogus.net/somepage.html 
has a domain of "bogus.net." 

Once you know the domain (for example, "anydomain"), email the entire message (including full headers) to abuse@anydomain.com. Explain your situation. The ISP may have further requirements, but this is the person or group you need to contact. 

If the spam or abusive email is being sent from a Yahoo! Mail account, please forward an unedited copy of the following information to abuse@yahoo.com for us to evaluate and take appropriate action per our Terms of Service. Make sure to include: 

the original subject line
complete headers
the complete message body 

If reports are missing any one of these items, it may take longer for the Yahoo! Mail Abuse Team to properly investigate and take appropriate action. 

How do I find out who sent the email? 
Governmental law strictly limits the information that online service providers like Yahoo! may disclose about their users. However, the email message itself does contain some information relating to the sender's identity. In the headers of email messages sent via Yahoo! Mail, an Internet Protocol (IP) address that corresponds to the sender's Internet service provider (ISP) is included. 
Provided that you have opted to display "full headers" in your email application, you should find a line in the email message that contains an 8 to 12 digit number, separated by periods. It should look something like this: 

Received: from [123.456.78.91] by . . . 

The "123.456.78.91" represents the unique IP address of the sender's ISP. Once you have identified the IP address, you can run a search to determine which ISP provides this person with Internet access. 

There are several utilities available on the web to run a search. Here's one web site where the utility will try to determine the actual computer that uses the IP address: 

http://www.arin.net/whois/index.html 
If the spam or abusive email is being sent from a Yahoo! Mail account, please forward an unedited copy of the message with full headers to abuse@yahoo.com. We will evaluate the situation and take action as per our Terms of Service. Spamming from a Yahoo! Mail account is not acceptable. 

What are headers, and how can I display "all" versus "brief" headers? 
Email headers are used to deliver a message over the Internet and contain a record of the specific route taken by the email. A full email header is included in every message that you receive. 
For most people, a compact, "brief" header is enough. It contains the date, the sender's name and/or address, the subject of the message, and the addressee. Other people, however, may prefer to see "all" of the header information. 

Yahoo! Mail allows you to choose between viewing the full header with each message or only a brief header. To configure this option: 

Log into your Yahoo! Mail account. 
Click the "Options" link on the left-hand navigation bar. 
Click the "Mail Preferences" link on the right. 
Locate the Show Headers heading and select either "Brief" or "All." 
Click the "Save" button to put your new settings into effect. 
If you are using a different client to read your email, please consult with your mail administrator or mail program's help system for more information on viewing full headers. Depending on the set-up of your mail account or server, this header information may not be visible or otherwise available to you. 
To give you an example, the following is a brief header sent from Infobeat. 

From: InfoBeat <finance@infobeat.com> Add to Address Book 
To: ****@yahoo.com 
Subject: Finance - Full Closing Bell @ 08/20/97 (1 stories) 
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 1997 17:43:03 MDT 

Following is a full header sent from Infobeat. 

From cbell-errors@mx.lodo.infobeat.com Mon Mar 24 15:29:00 1997 
======================================================= 
Some other points:

  1. Never respond to one of these spams as they immediately know 
    (or their computer "knows") that they have a live email.
  2. Don't even try to unsubscribe via an email unless there are clear
    instructions for doing so. 
  3. Keep your real e-mail address guarded. Get an anonymous address like 'Hotmail' and never read any of the mail.



Author's Name: Dr. Dipak R. Sarbadhikari
Contact address:
Click here
URL of pagewww.sarbadhikari.com/netcompu.htm
Updated: 07 Aug 2005

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