Computer Viruses and Spam
Computer viruses and Spam are discussed together in section because they are
related problems - both are unwanted and unsolicited intrusions, and both can be
serious threats to your computer and even to your business.
See Virus and Spam Filtering for more details on the impact viruses and spam have on business today.
A virus is a program that automatically copies itself, thereby
"infecting" other computers without the user knowing it. They are
typically designed to replicate by broadcasting themselves through your email
program and often change or destroy computer data. Sometimes they are a simple
prank, such as an annoying pop-up message on a certain day, but too often, they
are a malicious attempt to damage your data and programs.
Closely related to viruses are Trojan Horses, which are files that claim to
be something desirable but, in fact, are malicious. Trojans contain
malicious code that damages data and sometimes even steals and transmits your
data and personal information. Trojans are activated when you bring the program
into your computer - for example, by opening an email attachment or downloading
and running a file from the Internet.
Do I really need to worry about computer viruses?
Absolutely! Viruses are a serious threat to your computer and
your business that simply cannot be ignored. Security experts estimate
that one in every 300 emails sent is infected by a virus. So if you don't take
action to protect yourself, you will most likely find yourself with a computer
Computer viruses do more than just put your
computer at risk - they can even put your business at risk. Without virus
protection, you can easily pass on viruses to your clients, which can seriously
harm your customer relations. If you are using email, you simply must have virus
protection. However, as new viruses arise and evolve on a daily basis, the job
of keeping your virus protection current and functional becomes increasingly
time-consuming and expensive. And many popular anti-virus programs simply don't
catch email viruses effectively.
Spam is slang for unsolicited email - the equivalent to junk mail you receive
in your mailbox, but more prevalent, largely because it costs the sender
virtually nothing to send it out.
Spam is not as much of a risk as viruses, but it is a growing
problem that wastes both time and resources. In fact, it has recently been
reported that 10% of incoming email is unsolicited email, and that proportion is
growing. A recent study has concluded that the cost to US businesses alone
exceeds $AU 15 million per year! Not only is Spam expensive, but also typically
inappropriate, fraudulent and often offensive. Spam protection is therefore
another important aspect of managing your email communications that you can't
What's the solution?
Virus and Spam senders get more sophisticated all of the time. To
protect yourself, you need automated protection and good internet and email
Voice Virus and Spam Protection
Your best protection is Voice Virus and Spam Protection. For just a few dollars per month-a fraction of the cost of most
anti-virus and Spam protection programs-we will automatically scan all incoming
and outgoing email, maintaining and updating our virus and Spam database on a
continual basis. You don't have to buy or maintain any software at all. We do it
all for you.
Good internet and email practices
In addition to Voice's SPAM and Virus Protection, you should also adopt good
anti-Spam and anti-virus practices. Here are a few noteworthy suggestions:
Be very careful about where you give out your email
address. Only give it out to friends and business associates. Once your
email address gets on spammer mailing lists, you will be inundated with
Never give out your email address on web sites. Many
require an email address to access the site or download something. If you
must enter an email address, set up a separate email address. Set up a
web-based email account on hotmail.com (which isn't good for anything but Spam
anyway) or some other web based email service.
Keep your real email address away from, chat rooms, mail
lists and newsgroups.
Never respond to Spam, or purchase anything from a
spammer, even if it is a product that interests you. Spam is not a
legitimate way of conducting business, so you are likely to be defrauded.
Be very cautious about opening email attachments, even
from someone you know. Remember that many viruses will come from someone you
know. If you are suspicious, email back and ask the sender about the
Don't respond to emails requesting that you forward the
message, even if it promises money. These are almost always hoaxes used by
spammers to collect new active email addresses.
Online petitions are generally a waste of time, because
they never get read by the intended recipient. Most politicians and
activists will tell you that email petitions are totally ignored.
If you are sending an email address to a group of people,
place the multiple addresses in the BCC address field. This hides their
email addresses from other recipients. Request that others do the same when
sending emails to you.
When forwarding emails to groups of people, send them via
the BCC field, this shields their address from others. Ask others to send
emails to you this way too.
When you receive email from someone you don't know, be
very cautious and never open attachments.
Learn to use your email programs filters. For example,
select Message Rules under the Outlook Express Tools menu. You create as
many email filters as you like.
Voice Spam protection adds **SPAM** to potential Spam messages, allowing you
to easily identify them and even set up automatic filters.
Add spammers to your blocked senders list. This is only
partially effective because so many spammers change their email address
constantly, but it will still eliminate a significant portion of your
is an excellent (and free, although so good that I made a donation!) program
that lets you preview email messages and headers before you download them.
It even allows you to "bounce" the message, convincing spammers
that your address is no longer valid. It's an easy-to-use and highly