Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

You Have 6 New Flirts


How did Mr. or Ms. YearEndCloseOut know I was thinking about buying a new automobile?

* My loyal readers know why I highlighted the paperclip. Do you?

October 22, 2010 - Posted by | Internet scam, spam and junk mail


  1. I get a bunch of stuff like this in my email as well. Fortunately, GMail’s spam filter has worked very well (so far at least). On the paperclip thing, I suspect that your wording means there’s something to be concerned about that I may not be aware of. I know that the clip indicates that the email has an attachment, but my understanding is that I’d have open it independently of opening the email, meaning I’d be safe from whatever the attachment contains. Am I wrong?


    Comment by IzaakMak | October 22, 2010 | Reply

    • IzaakMak,
      1) Yes, Gmail’s spam filter is probably the best of the various webmails.

      2) Yes, the ‘paperclip’ means there is an “attached” object.. usually a file of some type.

      3) Yes, typically, you do need to ‘open’ the (attached) file for the bad things to effect your machine..

      4) But, simply opening just the email (and not the attachment) will, at the minimum, verify your email as valid, and – BINGO! – you are now on that spammer’s Suckers List, which he will sell to other spammers. (See, How did they get my e-mail?)

      5) Folks, you do not want to open unsolicited e-mails.. and certainly not unsolicited e-mails with paperclips. (The odds of that particular attachment being unpleasant are pretty darned good.) Even if your curiosity is aroused. (or your greed or vanity or fear, etc.)


      Comment by techpaul | October 22, 2010 | Reply

  2. Has anyone else noticed that Gmail has advertisements off to the right of your opened mail that are directly related to keywords taken from the email you are reading? Or, if the email has several “threads” (Replies to replies to replies, etc.), the advertisements are all targeted to keywords throughout EVERY email in the thread?

    I find this to be an extreme invasion of privacy, even though that’s one way Google makes their money and are able to offer “Free email with 7512 MB of space” (Not to mention that we agreed to their conditions of use). Big Brother is here to stay my friends, and it is not just Google that’s doing it. Watch what you say to your contacts, not only in instant messenger applications but also in email. As TechPaul says: “STOP. THINK. CONNECT.”


    Comment by KsTinMan | October 24, 2010 | Reply

    • KsTinMan,
      I have not mentioned this in a while, so I’m glad you brought it up.

      (To test this at home, folks, send yourself an email (to your Gmail address) with the Subject of.. oh, let’s say, Authentic WWI helmets. Paste that into the “body” of the message too. Send, then Open it, and look at the ads in the right-hand column.)

      When I did mention this here before, I got very little reaction.. and most of that was “who cares” or “so what”.

      Google has its fans.
      (Might as well: it’s one of the world’s two Superpowers.)
      And, my guess, this kind of issue probably strikes most people as being beyond their power to do anything about anyway. Way of the world, so to speak.

      Bottom line — don’t type anything you wouldn’t be proud for your mother to read.

      Recently I posted two articles (and a video) on your privacy — see, Big Brother Big Business, and Protecting your “identity“
      (The video should be required viewing, IMHO.)


      Comment by techpaul | October 24, 2010 | Reply

      • Great video and a poignant reminder that our privacy is a thing of the past in this highly technically advanced society. Thanks!


        Comment by KsTinMan | October 25, 2010 | Reply

        • KsTinMan,
          Facial recognition software and surveillance cameras every ten feet are missing ingredients from a total Big Brother scenario. Give it 5 years.
          (London and certain areas in China are approaching this already..)

          But.. if you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.



          Comment by techpaul | October 25, 2010 | Reply

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