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Is there danger in just opening emails?


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#1 newbleeping

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 07:46 AM

Hi everyone,

     I notice that in my emails the more I click on"report phishing",the more of those darn messages seem to flood my inbox and spam.As a novice and from being here at BC from the very start of my computer journey I do know not to EVER open any unfamiliar attachments,as a matter of fact I don't even open attachments that come from someone I do know,for fear they may have inadverdently sent me something that they are unaware that has something malicious bundled on to it(I may be a bit paranoid?)

   So,my question is...by simply opening an unfamiliar email or one from an advertisor,can this cause any problems or is it a way they can infect you?Thanks to Quietman I believe I have more than sufficient antispyware,antimalware and firewall protection.I use Windows XP and have hotmail as well as gmail.

    Thanks for any information you may have for me,it is greatly appreciated

                                                                    Avid BC fan,Kwik(newbleeping)

 


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#2 mr.meyer

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:47 AM

99% of e mails are safe, the danger lies in attachments. Don't open when you don't know from where it came. Think this way, if I didn't have email I wouldn't be getting this anyway, so I really don't need to see it.

Other danger lies in downloading programs or music or etc.



#3 Dolby

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:51 AM

...I used to do the same thing (Report Spam), & get the same result - Now I just simply "delete", & then empty deleted folder ,& slowly but surely the spam diminished. I've read a lot about this, & what I've found, (apparantly), is that when you report, it only serves to verify to whoever sent it that it is a valid email address, so they spam it more. I still get a few, however, I've also read that your very ISP sends you spam themselves. Remember, it's NOT your email box, THEY OWN it, it's only yours TO USE. Kinda sucks how you pay for something, & they still abuse, & take advantage of you, (& when I read/research, I don't read just one or a few, I SPEND some serious time getting a lot of answers, & when 1 or 2 are overwhelmingly popular, I;m usually safe to pretty much go with that. As for opening attachments try Sandboxie so everything you do in the sandbox, (virtual environment), is "poofed out of existence" when you close it (providing you follow the tutorial below), or some other sandboxing program, or a "virtual" software to protect your host system in real time, all the time. Sandboxie also puts an entry in the right click menu "Run Sandboxed" so if you want to open a file or something, right click on it & select "Run Sandboxed" - it also sets up a copy of whatever is your default browser as sandboxed. I have IE8 as default, but I use Comodo Dragon, & IceDragon most of the time because IE sucks & needs all the help it can get. If you want to open a CD or thumb drive in it, you have to have "autorun" in Windows turned off & open "My Computer" right click on that item, & click "Run Sandboxed".

http://www.sandboxie.com/index.php?DownloadSandboxie

http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/introduction-and-quick-guide-sandboxie.htm

 

...Here is a Microsoft link on how to disable autorun so a CD or thumb drive or whatever you go to play or run doesn't start automatically, & infect you if there is a malware present on it. It's especially helpful if you want to scan it before you play or run it, whatever it is. You have to scroll down to the "Fix-It" - There is one to disable autorun, & one to enable it if you want to change it back...

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/96

P.S. If you choose to download Sandboxie from the link, make sure you pick the button marked "Sandboxie", that says, "Doxnload From This Site", and NOT from the other 3rd party ones.


Edited by Dolby, 23 August 2013 - 09:27 AM.


#4 quietman7

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 04:06 PM

Opening HTML or plain-text messages from unknown senders is just as dangerous as opening e-mail attachments from strangers. While most people may know not to open e-mail attachments, many don't realize that dangers can lie in the body of an e-mail as well. HTML e-mail or messages that contain embedded photos are just as dangerous. Embedded images and PDFs can contain malicious code that is harmful.

The 10 Most Dangerous Things You Can Do Online!

Email & Attachments: How to Protect Yourself Tips from Microsoft:Email & Attachments: Other Resources for How to Protect Yourself:
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#5 MzLindyOne

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:09 PM

When you open an email, the loading of an image from the spammer's server will let them know you opened it.  And yes, that will usually encourage them to keep sending.  I have an email program I set to not load images for this very reason.

 

At the same time, the more you report, the more data there is to catch them.  You don't have to report it all the time - whatever you feel like doing is good.



#6 newbleeping

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 05:55 AM

Thank you all for all the information you all have given me.I must say,Dolby,I am just a novice computer user(lol)so that is way over my head so I really don't understand  alot of the computer lingo but I will try to look up alot of what you said and try to learn.

    Quietman,nice to hear from you again and as always you are a  wealth of information"thank you"....I am glad you have confirmed what I suspected as far as simply opening emails(potentially dangerous)and I now think it is best to simply delete as I dont want to hear from any of these people anyway.I read everything in the links you provided and all I can say is"wow"!

    I really thought you had to open them to report phishing but now I understand that by doing this they just keep multiplying as I am actually informing them that they made contact...duh,dummy me

   Do I need to change my passwords again?

                                                                                                     Gratefully,Kwik


 BC is the best!!  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!Greetings & Blessings from the Sunshine State                                                                .Kwik :love4u: ....aka "newbleeping"


#7 quietman7

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 06:53 AM

When in doubt it never hurts to change your password as a precaution.
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#8 Simply_Michael

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 07:19 AM

yup, mr.meyer is right, there is no any harm to open mail instead of downloading any attachment.



#9 quietman7

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 07:33 AM

I disagree and I explained why in Post #4.
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#10 cmptrgy

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 07:59 AM

I understand your concerns about opening questionable email messages

I have had some email messages sent to me as part of some distribution list by what appears to be by someone who I know but it isn't from that person

--- If I'm in doubt, I will call that person and talk to them about it

--- I do not reply to them by email since I suspect the hacker knows that I'm alive and "well"

--- In a few instances, my friends did ask me to help them out and I was glad to do so

--- I have had a few times in which someone didn't take action on their part to address their situation, but I let them know I'll remove their email address from my address book plus I block their email address

------ This may sound harsh but to me I will not allow my computer to be compromised if I can help it

Additionally when I want to send to multiple recipients or I receive messages that have multiple senders included but a respond is 'necessary", I use bcc

--- The reason I have necessary in quotes is because it must be necessary issue

--- I do not forward or reply to messages that ask to to do so for good luck or whatever

I hope this helps



#11 quietman7

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:14 AM

I have had some email messages sent to me as part of some distribution list by what appears to be by someone who I know but it isn't from that person...

Most likely from a spambot which is a type of web crawler designed to scan the Internet and extract e-mail addresses and hyperlinks from various sources (newsgroups, bulletin boards, web pages, chat rooms, etc) in order to build mass mailing lists for sending unsolicited e-mail (spam). The spambot stores the email addresses to use as targets for spam, and then follows each hyperlink to a new page, where it starts the process all over again.
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#12 newbleeping

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:24 AM

Hi cmptrgy

    Its good to hear from you,and I hope you are doing very well,Yes,your suggestions are very helpful but you reminded me of something I have been meaning to ask.....what is bcc and the cc,I see it pertains to "my contacts"but what does it mean and how do they differ?

  Oh yea,I also have a friend that I correspond with and suspect she's been hacked as I get very many emails from her that contain no message and sort of a little ad,I just delete them and have let her know this happens frequently and it is still happening....should I block her,simply delete these msgs,what do you suggest....after all the info I read in Quietmans links I think it wise to not open them?                             

   BTW,have a great weekend!                                                                       truly.Kwik(newbleeping)


 BC is the best!!  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!Greetings & Blessings from the Sunshine State                                                                .Kwik :love4u: ....aka "newbleeping"


#13 cmptrgy

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 09:18 AM

quietman7 thanks for that info. I've seen those terms pretty often and you made it easier for me to look them up. I have to admit I don't grasp the entire picture but I like to at least have a basic understanding of what's going on



#14 cmptrgy

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 09:37 AM

newbleeping,

--- on cc: when you send an email to someone their email address is in the Send To box but then if you have someone else or a few others who should get that email message you can put their email addresses in the cc box in order to copy them. The intent is that the primary receiver is in the Sent To box while additional recipients are in the cc box as need to know recipients

--- on bcc, which is a blind copy - additional recipients to the primary recipient are entered into the bcc box. When each recipient receives your email they cannot see who else has received your email and that's why it's called blind copy.

--- My friends know why I use bcc although many of them do not bother to do so themselves

------ That said I don't always use bcc as it depends on how many recipients are involved

------ Also when I receive email messages a friend who wants a response to some "beautiful" message but it included multiple forwarded addresses - well, I don't usually reply - but on the few that I do I will eliminate those multiple email addresses and use bcc for the ones I wish to reply or forward to



#15 newbleeping

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:41 PM

Gee cmptrgy,

    I am not sure I am understanding this information correctly,does this mean,for example,when a friend sends me a joke that shows 19 other peoples addresses that they all know I am getting this message or is the issue that I can see them because it is sent cc?

  It sounds to me like its always best to use bcc,when you don't want a particular person to know who else you are sending the same message to,did get that right?Does it also hide your own address or is that even possible to do?

  I'm so glad it is you who responded because you already know that I am just learning and I don't have to explain all that(lol)

                                                                                     thank you so much,Kwik


 BC is the best!!  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!Greetings & Blessings from the Sunshine State                                                                .Kwik :love4u: ....aka "newbleeping"





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