At 02:59 PM 2/6/2005 -0800, steven austin wrote:
>Who would consider using any link supplied in an email from someone they
>don't know personally?
A couple of years ago, PC magazine published a letter of mine on the
subject. The editor had offered an observation akin to yours and I took him
to task. Most infectious agents and increasingly spam, phishing and the
like come from people you know - or, at least, from e-mail addresses of
people you are likely to know. As they concurred, safe handling of
attachments consists of
0. Discarding any which is not justified on its face or by history.
1. Scanning with current anti-intrusion software.
2. Viewing before opening.
3. Opening with safe tools whenever possible.
Thus, most .DOC files can be opened on a PC with WordPad - which cannot
execute a macro or otherwise endanger your system. Attachments should be
examined first in a real file manager, not Explorer, so that the dreaded
double extension can be seen and killed. Most such file managers have safe
viewers for common file types.
It all sounds very tedious, but it's not. I'd say that it's at least four
orders of magnitude easier than cleaning out your first infection and
probably as much cheaper than regaining a stolen identity.
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