Please, please, please - before you "forward" any emails to anyone, do check to see that:
1) They are safe. Many email forwards contain viruses or Trojans. Even many harmless-looking forwards that claim to come back to you and look differently, contain a hidden thread that when clicked on (as you are often asked to do) will download stuff into your computer so that when the email comes back - a picture or something in it will be changed.
There are now attachments which have phony format titles,making it appear that the email attachment is a harmless one, when in reality - it carries a virus which will download into your computer as soon as you click on it.
2) They are true. You wouldn't believe the amount of false email forwards that are floating around. Just because it SOUNDS good, doesn't mean it's true.
3) They will be wanted by the recipient. Email forwards might be new to some folks, but to those who have been on the internet a long time, it's usually just the same old forwards with a few words/pictures changed.
4) They do not contain attachments. It is dangerous to click on attachments other than jpgs or gifs.
And please remember that besides 99.9% of of forwards are false, they just clutter up the net by clogging up servers and slowing Net use down.
Imagine, if you will, someone receives a message that tells them to foward it on to "everyone they know." Now imagine this person forwards the message on to 100 people. (I see forwards to several hundred people all the time). Now if just a few people forward the message on to a large group, the message will be duplicated thousands of times in a short period of time, often just hours.And email "forwards" don't ever stop....and end up being copied MILLIONS of times.......thats "MILLIONS" of emails with false information clogging up the internet.
And you know all those email addresses that are in a forwarded message? Sometimes hundreds of them. Imagine if someone sends that forwarded email to a spammer, or someone who scarfs up and SELLS email addresses to spammers. You just gave them 500 VALID email addresses and they didn't have to do anything to get them.
People who are the recipient of email forwards are OFTEN the ones who are spammed to death simply because their email address was listed for all to see in a "forward."
There is a rampant virus going around which gets into a computer's "address book" or "contact list" and then begins sending spam to all the addressees contained therein (usually with links to fake foreign pharmacies). This causes several problems - 1) Even if you close your account, spam STILL keeps getting sent to all your friends using YOUR (albeit closed) email address, and 2) once your friends email addresses are scarfed up - they are sold to other spammers and their amount of spam increases dramatically.
So once the problem exists, it's like trying to close the barn door after the horse has gotten out. You can't fix the problem by simply closing your email address account. The spam is going to KEEP going to your friends with YOUR (alledged) email address as the source. AND your friends email addresses are going to be circulated among other spammers.
Quite a few of my friends have been affected by this virus, which I suspect, has something to do their email service - they all use either yahoo, hotmail or aol.
Anyway, in order to circumvent this problem (which is growing by leaps and bounds) keep your "address book" or "contact list" EMPTY. There are tools on your computer which will prevent an email address from being automatically added to your "address book" or "contact list." Use those tools to clean out your "address book" or "contact list" and make sure the settings are such that no email addresses will be added to them in the future. You can make a file for email addresses and put it into an email folder for easy access.
By keeping your "address book" or "contact list" empty, the virus will not be able to send spam (allegedly from you) to all your friends. But remember, this will ONLY work BEFORE you are hit by the virus (or whatever it is). Once you are hit, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.
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