Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saturday Soapbox: A Computer Virus

Not that writing this will change anything as far as people creating viruses, but I want to say it anyway, in case the hints below save someone else from a disaster like mine. I have been using a lot of "previous" pictures for this blog, and it is a constant reminder of my loss.

Since I got my first digital camera, we have updated cameras, computers and programs multiple times. In fact right now I have 4 different places on my computer that I can - have to - go to get pictures... someday I will figure out a picture program I really like and move them all to one place. But that's a little scary for me.

About 3 years ago my computer got a virus. At that time I had 2 Kodak programs, the old and the new. The new program had ALL of my first pictures of our minis... ALL of my baby pictures of Justice and Impatiens... and ALL of our rescue pictures for the first few years of rescue, including ALL of Wilbur's pictures. We sent the computer to be fixed and requested that all pictures be put on disk before work was begun. Well, the guy forgot to do that, and when he wiped out the virus, it took with it my new Kodak program, and all my pictures. Thankfully a couple of people I had sent pictures to, ironically both named Carol, had not erased them from their own computers:

and my mom had printed out some that I had sent to her, which we then scanned back in, so I did manage to salvage a small percentage, although the quality of the scanned photos is not near what it was:

It still hurts. Justice got sick and died at 2 1/2 years old - he's gone and I don't even have very many pictures of him. We weren't able to save Wilbur - he's gone and the only pictures I have of him are the ones I had put on the website. For all the rescues that were adopted out, I have one picture of each from the adopted page and that's it, the rest are gone. And lots of other things from the rest of our life those few years, all gone.

So, a couple of years ago I got this e-mail and from time to time I send it out. The information is good and there are still a lot of people out there that don't know it and don't do it. If sharing it causes even one person to follow the simple steps, and avoids one other person getting a virus and losing something important, it's worth it!

Do you wonder why you get viruses or junk mail?

Do you hate it?

Every time you forward an e-mail there is information left over from the peoplewho got the message before you, namely their e-mail addresses & names. As the messages get forwarded along, the list of addresses builds, and builds, and builds, and all it takes is for some poor sap to get a virus, and his or her computer can send that virus to every e-mail address that has come across his computer. Or, someone can take all of those addresses and sell them or send junk mail to them in the hopes that you will go to the site and he will make five cents for each hit.

That's right, all of that inconvenience over a nickel!

How do you stop it? Well, there are two easy steps:

(1) When you forward an e-mail, DELETE all of the other addresses thatappear in the body of the message (at the top). That's right, DELETE them. Highlight them and delete them, backspace them, cut them, whatever it is you know how to do. It only takes a second. You MUST click the "Forward" button first and then you will have full editing capabilities against the body and headers of the message. If you don't click on "Forward" first, you won't be able to edit the message at all.

(2) Whenever you send an e-mail to more than one person, do NOT use the To: or Cc: columns for adding e-mail address. Always use the Bcc: (blind carbon copy) column for listing the e-mail addresses. This is the way that people you send to only see their own e-mail address. If you don't see your Bcc: option click on where it says To: and your address list will appear. Highlight the address and choose Bcc: and that's it, it's that easy. When you send to Bcc: your message will automatically say "Undisclosed Recipients in the "TO:" field of the people who receive it.

So please, in the future, when you go to forward something, remember my lost pictures... Let's stop the junk mail - and the viruses.

1 comment:

Jen said...

definitely hate spam. A good way to protect your photos. i either download them onto a cd-r or a thumb drive...worth taking the extra steps :0)