October 2005, V4#10: Computer Friday, Dec 26 2008 

Don’t neglect your anti-virus program.  When prompted to download, don’t put it off, but make it a priority to get it complete before doing a lot of work online (or installing new software).  Also, do full disk scans periodically.  This is in case a new virus slipped paste before the anti-virus could identify it.  The sweep will pick it up, hopefully before it does too much damage.

July 2005, V4#7: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

Send pictures via email without attachments

Most folks learn early how to send photos by attachment with emails.  However, not everyone opens attachments due to virus concerns.  What to do?  Find out how to embed the photo in the email itself.  Please find general Outlook Express instructions below (NOTE: all choices listed below will not be available unless you are in an outgoing email box/window):

Double check to see your are in html email format by clicking the “Format” pull down menu – a dot should be by Rich Text (HTML) – if it is not, click it and the dot will move.  Next, place your cursor in the email where you want the photo to go, then click the “Insert” menu and choose picture – this will bring up a “Picture” window from which you will click the “Browse” button.  This brings up an “Open” window.  In this window, you will go through your files to find the one you want to use.  Once you have selected the file, click the “Open” button at the bottom of the window, then click the “OK” button.  This should place your photo where your cursor was.

June 2004, V3#6: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

Today’s internet is full of people who want to do bad things – or what we as genealogists consider bad.  In addition to those who want to collect all the information they can about you to use, there are those who just want to see how much they can mess up the internet.  These folks are ever evolving that nasty bunch of programming we call “virus” or “worm”.  Now, lets say sends you and email and they are 120% sure they sent a “clean” email, so you then decide to open it.  Do Not before scanning it yourself.  The reason is that some new bad programs can attach “in transit”.  Always be careful, unless you like dealing with any symptoms your computer may exhibit once infected.

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.