Saturday, June 18, 2011

Just One Click

Before we left Blogstream, John the Squabbler and I shared email addresses. He's a fellow NY stater, wasn't sure what he was going to do and didn't want to lose touch. I was among the first people to comment on his blog. There are times when I wish I had his writing ability although he says (I think he's lying) that I write better than he does.

One can believe they have knowledge of someone else through their interpretation of the writings of that person. That knowledge I believe I have leads me to think that his email has been hacked. I received 3 emails from him a week ago which came to me as "No subject" and didn't contain anything except a link to someplace. Something didn't feel right to me about them. My belief in who John is leads me to feel that if this were something he wanted me to see, he'd have said so. John likes words. Lots of words.

His only access to us, at the moment, is from a library computer and possibly a cell phone. Even given that he would have to be working quickly, I still believe he would have said something in explanation. Since that's how I feel, I didn't click the links. I did send him an email asking if his email could have been hacked, however, the only response was more emails with more links and still no explanation. The last that I received occurred at 3:30 this morning.

I am no longer even opening them on the off chance that they contain malware. He has a Facebook account and another online friend of mine with a Yahoo email had her email hacked via her Facebook account the same day I started receiving the ones from John. Facebook is a hotbed of problems like that. I can have enough trouble with Twitter along those lines if I were not careful about clicking on links. Come to think of it, most of the malware picked up in Twitter are posted through peoples Facebook account.

For the social media addicts, being able to post once and have it occur in all of their accounts at the same time seems to appeal to them. With the number of people who still use the internet without proper security on their computers the number of computers that can be infected is infinite. Once infected, that computer sends out the malware infected emails to all those listed in the computer address book and so it goes. On and on and on. Very hard to contain when that happens, since most don't know they've been hacked until their friends start complaining about the unwanted items they were sent.

That reminds me, in case opening the first of those emails infected my computer with something, don't open anything I send you if there isn't something said by me in the subject line. I keep checking my "Sent" folder and nothing is in there that I didn't send. I'm not sure that's a good way to tell, but it seems to me to be. After all, if I send out something it's in there, so why wouldn't a hacker's be too?


  1. I never use any of those FB apps for just that reason, a lot of them contain worms. A worm will go into your computer and gain access to your email or any other computer on your network (if you have one) and will automatically send itself to people in your email list. I'd send him a warning that he has a worm..although doesn't have a personal computer and is going online via phone or library computer then that means the computer in the library has a worm and it is going through all the email log in information that sits inside the computer. That's a big can of worms, so to speak.

  2. I will alert John via FB that this is happening, Sherry. I'm certain he is unaware. I've been talking to him on FB a bit today, in fact.

    I've not had much trouble with FB. I hope that remains true...

  3. Red,

    You can also get them by clicking links from emails sent to you by trusted friends. That's how almost everyone I know who got one actually got it.

    My friend got it by clicking on a link in an email from her sister that asked "Who is in this picture?" Her sister had been infected. By a similar scam in FB.

  4. Paul,

    Thank You, just found an email from John that is actually from John. Just answered him so he'll know which email addy to dispense with.

    LOL, if he wasn't so much in love with words, I might have clicked on those links. I guess my instincts are better than I give myself credit for sometimes.

  5. On FB they're relatively easy to get...and get rid of if one is careful. Had it happen to me a few months ago...posted a SHOUT out to all my FB friends not open it...reported it to FB who promptly removed it. All virus/spybot scans have been clear.

  6. Bookworm,

    John did not know for a week that his email was compromised. Thanks to my post and wayf's having FB contact with him today, he can take care of the problem. I'm clean probably because I didn't click the links. I trusted what I thought I knew about him, we can't always be sure, but in this case it was wise on my part.

  7. So far I don't believe any viruses have affected my email accounts, now my kids have downloaded plenty of them about melting down the family computer several times.

  8. Every once in awhile I think I really screwed up buying an Apple MacBook Pro (laptop). Then I read a post like yours and really appreciate this machine even more. Apple just doesn't have the 'issues' that PC's have. I keep telling Pup she needs to get one - but so far - I've not convinced her, so if I can't talk my own wife into one - I doubt if I can talk anyone else into it - but the 'freedom' to go wherever you want on the Web and not have to worry - is worth every penny (extra) I paid for this computer. And, it's not that hard to get a handle on. Hell If I can - anyone can.

    All that being said - I hope you and John get together real soon.

  9. Beach Bum,

    Since I'm the only one using this computer, I'm the one to blame if it gets something I don't like. Fortunately, I'm of an age where clicking links isn't something I absolutely have to do. Which is how most people get those little gifts.

    Some of the temptations I've received through Twitter from users FB accounts have very interesting questions attached which is why people click the link.

    I got a direct message in Twitter once asking "Is this you in this pic? I can't believe it!" and, of course, there was a clickable link. I didn't. Yet, thousands of Twitter users who received the same direct message did. It had a worm attached. All were adults, so you can imagine how a teen would react to seeing something like that.

    The worm took over their Twitter accounts and sent out links to porn sites. Twitter had to close their accounts to clean this worm out and some were repeat offenders so they didn't get their accounts back right away.

  10. Ice,

    In places like Twitter and Facebook, the user has to click on a link that is infected. If you don't click the links, you don't catch the infection. The other great place to catch these things is game sites. I'm not a gamer so I seem not to draw too much attention from hackers.

    Fortunately this occurred in an account that John doesn't use much. Wayf was commenting with John in FB, read my post and let him know about it so he emailed me from his main account. Which is something I did have, and had forgotten I had it or I would have used it myself a week ago.

    Funny, I remembered that Captain Morgan had a Mac and Chey used a PC. He couldn't convince her to switch either. I miss the both of them.

  11. Sherry,

    After reading this, I checked my g-mail account, which I rarely use, and discovered about twelve such messages from John in my spam folder. I think I like g-mail.

  12. I've had some difficulty getting comments through to John. Fortunately, I haven't logged into FB for awhile. Now I remember why. (It's 4 am so there are a more than few things I can't remember.) Thanks for the heads up, Sherry.

  13. Paul,

    Gmail is pretty handy at catching spam. Poor John is having a problem fixing the situation, but I'm sure he'll prevail.

  14. Bupu,

    John needs to get an internet service where he lives so he can keep track of what his emails are doing. LOL. His only options are dial up and satellite. I can understand why he might not wish to use either. One is slow and the other can be expensive.