February 2004, V3#2: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

 Identity Theft via email

Have you been getting any “returned to sender” email from addresses that you don’t recognize?  Usually, when this happens and you recognize the email (but don’t remember sending anything), you have a virus.  However, if you don’t recognize the address, your email has probably been used by someone to spam.  How is this possible, you ask.  The same way putting your physical address on bulk postal mail.  The difference is that the post office disposes of bulk mail that is not deliverable.  The email system routes non-deliverable email back to whoever “sent” it.  Though we do NOT recommend it, you can send email from any address, known or made up (which may still turn out to be viable) by changing your email settings.  If this happens to you, we suggest double checking to be sure you don’t have a virus first and then (if no virus):

  1. Contact your server and explain what seems to be happening.  Some servers could care less, but many would want to know because it may effect how their domain (the last part of your address after the @) is seen – and filtered/rejected – by other servers.  This can effect how your normal email is delivered.

  2. If you wish to keep your address, follow the instructions provided in Volume 2, Number 4 to set message rules to filter anything with the same subject line(s) as the bogus returned email.  This helps you sort “good” and “bad” email quickly.

  3. If you feel it is necessary, ask to change addresses.

  4. Email everyone you feel is important and explain what has happened.

  5. If you have a website that you post your email, make sure it is hidden such as a link that reads email me rather then the address typed out.

  6. If you have a website, you may want to post to it what has happened.  We added a notice page for this and other types of announcements.

November 2003, V2#11: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

Email – More Anti-SPAM suggestions

Ever been registering for a service you really want and get prompted to provide an email address – or you can’t use the service – even when the company will never need to contact you by email?  If you do not choose to set up alternate or disposable email addresses, consider providing a fake one.  Be careful with this, however, you don’t want to end up SPAMming some other person to keep it out of your box.  Currently, anything sent to @goplay.com gets lost in cyberspace because that company no longer is in business.  You might also check with your ISP to see if they have a suggestion for a “safe” fake address to provide.

September 2003, V2#9: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

In previous issues it has been suggested you may want to use alternate or “disposable” email addresses to help combat SPAM.  Please find below some places to get started (if you haven’t already done so).

Some Free email services: http://www.hotmail.com, http://www.yahoo.com, http://www.bolt.com, want to search for others, just go to your favorite search engine and type in keywords like free, e-mail, web based, etc.

Some places to start looking into disposable email addresses: http://SpamGourmet.com (free), http://www.emailias.com, http://www.spamex.com, http://www.spamslicer.com, want to search for others, just go to your favorite search engine and type in keywords like disposable, e-mail, software, etc.

July 2003, V2#7: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

Email – More Anti-SPAM suggestions

Have a penchant for newsgroups, bulletin boards and/or chat rooms?  Did you know that these are also ways that SPAMmers get your email address?  Again, consider using an email address that can be changed frequently when you get too much SPAM daily.

May 2003, V2#5: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

Email More Anti-SPAM suggestions

Though give-aways, sweepstakes, and surveys can be tempting, many are set up to “harvest” email addresses that are provided.  These can be used for the company you participated with or sold to others.  Best bet, if you wish to participate in these, sign up for a free email address (hotmail, yahoo, bolt, etc.) that you use for this type of thing only.  When you get too high a volume of junk mail, close the account and open a new one (different email address).

December 2002, V1#4: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

Let’s revisit the SPAM problem.  In past issues we pointed out how to block a sender.  But what about all those folks who are sending from new addresses daily that are cluttering your inbox?  You may want to apply a filter (a.k.a. message rule) or two to help manage what arrives.  NOTE: This is also handy to pre-sort much of your mail.

So much SPAM is not addressed directly to you and the aid below will shunt these junk e-mails away from your inbox:

Load the program and click the pull down menu “tools” then drop your mouse down onto “message rules”, this reveals a second menu out of which you will (slide over staying on message rules) click “mail”.  When a box appears you are going to click the “new” button on the right side of the box.  This brings up a new box that helps you set your rule/filter. in the first window you are going to click the rule “where the to line contains people”  this adds the rule to the bottom window.  In the second/middle window I suggest you choose “move it to the specified folder”.  Next you are going to click the link in the bottom window (that has your new rule) “contains people”.  This brings up a box that you need to add all of the e-mail addresses (alias’s) that you have coming into this box. Once all of your e-mails are in, click that box’s OK button.  Next, choose the “specified” link in the bottom window.  This will bring up a box showing your e-mail program’s structure.  I suggest you make a filter file and select it then click OK.  This will bring you back to the “new mail rule” box with your completed rule showing in the bottom window – click OK.  Now, with the remaining box, click the “apply now” button and then OK.  This will take any e-mail that is not addressed directly to you (including if you were a CC) and place it directly into your filter file.  As you have time, clean out your filter file by blocking the SPAM and addressing any hapless emails that got caught there.  My suggestion is to clean your filter no less than once a week.

September 2002, V1#1: Computer Wednesday, Dec 24 2008 

Get deluged by lots of SPAM (junk e-mail) including some marketers that seem to send you something at least daily?  Everyone does – here is something that will help.  Once the junk mail arrives, click on it in the inbox to highlight it.  Once it is highlighted go up to the pull down menu “message” – click it to drop the menu down and then click “block sender”.  From now on, when a message from that author arrives, it automatically is placed in your deleted items.  Do this to any unsolicited email and it should cut down on what arrives in the inbox.