Saturday, March 06, 2010
My 11 year old granddaughter now has her own laptop and email account. I sent her an email on Internet Safety, and it occurred to me that EVERYONE could use a reminder on that subject.
Working so many years in the criminal justice system has made me always see a darker side, I suppose, or maybe it's just made me more aware of reality, hmmm?
Anyway, there are two major things you should be aware of when sending emails. (Fortunately, you don't have to worry about either of them if you use SparkMail!)
Hopefully, your email address does NOT contain your FULL NAME. Even if it doesn't, your full name may well show up on all the emails you send, IF you have it in your computer! Usually when you first set up a computer, there is a place where you enter your name. THAT name is going to show up when you least expect it. I always use Karen L. and that's how my name shows up on emails I send.
NEVER give your FULL NAME away unless you are at a secure site such as a banking site or a shopping site. Those places will show a small lock in the address bar to show they are secure.
So check with your friends, or send yourself an email to another account and see if it has your full name on it. If so, do some investigating into your PC and change it!
Go to CONTROL PANEL, USER ACCOUNTS, CHANGE AN ACCOUNT, click on your name, and there's an option to CHANGE MY NAME. Use the initial of your last name, instead of your full name.
FORWARDS. Here is where most people overlook what they are really doing when they forward something to all their friends. They are sending all the email addresses on that forward out to the whole wide world! You send a forward to 10 people, who send it on to 10 more, and on and on an on. Eventually your email address is spread over the world and you'll be getting more SPAM down the road.
Sooner or later you'll get some with a virus attached. Or you'll get some emails you'd really rather not read. Once someone took my email address and used it to send spam. So all the poor spammed people thought it came from ME! My internet provider shut me down for sending tons of email spam! Took a while to figure it out and get it fixed.
So, when you SEND A FORWARD, before you HIT SEND, look at the top of the message part and you'll see all the email addresses it's already been sent to. DELETE THEM before you send your forward. You'll be doing everyone a big favor, protecting your friends, and NOT helping spammers and untold other crooks out there just waiting for more victims!