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Protect Your Address Book

Created by dave. Last edited by dave, 15 years and 36 days ago. Viewed 9,238 times. #4
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Protect Your Email Address Book

Got this from a non-technical email list I'm on.

How to protect your e-mail address book

A computer repairman says this is like having gold.

This is a good thing. I learned a computer trick today that's really ingenious in its simplicity. As you may know, when/if a worm virus gets into your computer it heads straight for your email address book, and sends itself to everyone in there, thus infecting all your friends and associates.

This trick won't keep the virus from getting into your computer, but it will stop it from using your address book to spread further, and it will alert you to the fact that the worm has gotten into your system.

Here's what you do:

First, open your address book and click on 'new contact,' just as you would do if you were adding a new friend to your list of email addresses.

In the window where you would type your friend's first name, type in 'A'. For the screen name or email address, type AAAAAAA@AAA.AAA

Now, here's what you've done and why it works:

The 'name 'A' will be placed at the top of your address book as entry #1. This will be where the worm will start in an effort to send itself to all your friends. When it tries to send itself to AAAAAAA@AAA.AAA, it will be undeliverable because of the phony email address you entered.

If the first attempt fails (which it will because of the phony address), the worm goes no further and your friends will not be infected.

Here's the second great advantage of this method:

If an email cannot be delivered, you will be notified of this in your In Box almost immediately. Hence, if you ever get an email telling you that an email addressed to AAAAAAA@AAA.AAA could not be delivered, you know right away that you have the worm virus in your system.

You can then take steps to get rid of it!

Pretty slick huh?

If everybody you know does this then you need not ever worry about opening mail from friends.

DO IT NOW and pass this on to all your friends.

Not a bad idea. However, it will NOT protect you from email worms, nor will it prevent worms from using you to propogate. Only very stupid worms try to send to everyone in one go -- you get a much higher chance of success if you try each address individually, and if you try them in random order. And only very stupid worms give up after the first failure.

While there are a large number of stupid worms out there, you can't depend on worms being stupid. Besides, all the of the very stupid worms should be caught by your anti-virus.

The ONLY thing this will do is let you know you have a problem -- and for that reason alone it is worth doing.

...well that and continuing to encourage users to not just blindly click on anything and everything that gets sent to them in email, and encouraging users to run and keep up-to-date virus protection, and to keep up-to-date with all Windows and Office updates -- but honestly if that approach worked we wouldn't have this problem.

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