Tech – for Everyone

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

Send and Receive E-cards Safely

Hacker Season Approaches

E-cards are prime vehicles for distributing viruses and other malware, and the bad guys’ efforts to reach you through these cards skyrocket around such holidays as Valentine’s Day.

While Valentine’s Day is months away yet, we are nearing Hacker¹ Season. Criminal activity will double, and redouble, the nearer we get to the “Holiday shopping season”. It is time for us to ratchet up our paranoid cautiousness factors, and vigilance.

Today I am not going to re-invent the wheel, but merely direct you to a concise, cogent, and bang-on-target article written by a neighbor of mine, Kim Boatman — Send and Receive E-cards Safely. It’s a short read, and the tips there can be applied to other things as well.

Or you can be like me.. and simply not open them… and miss out on the cute animated bunnies…

¹ The term “hacker” has become part of or lingo, but it is greatly misused by the media, and is generally out-of-date. “Cyber Mafia”, “Foreign Cyber-Warfare Agents”, and “Criminals” are what are really being discussed.

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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October 22, 2010 Posted by | computers, cyber crime, hackers, how to, Internet, security, tech | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ladies, please! The right way to send me pics

It seems that not everyone saw my earlier article on the proper way to send me those pictures of yourselves, so I will repeat myself for the sake of being perfectly clear. I will start with an example of what NOT to do.


As this screenshot of my Inbox shows, when you send me your photograph using Facebook, or similar social networking or photosharing site, it looks to me like a phishing scam.. very similar to the phony Hallmark e-Card spams that try to install malware (virus, worm, spyware, etc.).

I very much appreciate the time and trouble you took to send me your photo, but I don’t touch these– except to delete! (So, if that was you Dear Reader, I’m sorry. You’ll have to try again.)

The proper way to send:
1) Write a short note as an e-mail from a legit-looking e-mail address ( is NOT legit-looking. Use your account), and put something rational in the Subject field.

2) Attach your .jpg*. Do NOT send me GIFF’s or PNG’s or PDF’s. I won’t open them.

That’s it. Sending by this method will ensure that I will see you. Tech Paul fans and loyal readers of Tech–for Everyone will know that I will treat your mailings with the utmost respect and privacy.

* More on sending images: Because digital images like .jpg’s (aka JPEG file) can be quite large, you may have trouble e-mailing them. Please see How to send big files (updated). The section specific to digital images is about halfway down.
(Short version: use an image editor – like Paint (found in the Accessories folder) and find the option labeled “resize”; and, “Save As” a JPEG.)

[note: for those of you new to my style of humor, this is an article about cyber-crime. As an Extra Added Bonus, I threw in a troubleshooting tip. To date, no fan has sent me any photos. (please make sympathetic noise here.) ]

For more on cybercrime in your Inbox, see In These Tough Times, Could You Use Some Extra $$$’s ?

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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July 12, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, e-mail, how to, Internet, spam and junk mail | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


Folks I have written articles advising you to immediately delete, unopened, these types of e-mail, which are inevitably forwarded to us by well-meaning friends and family.
There’s one going around right now, warning about “the worst virus ever”, and another about a Hallmark e-card.

Please read, SEND THIS E-MAIL TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!, and then please forward it to those friends and family members who show a proclivity to be helpful and concerned — and fall for this scam. (You know who they are.)

These e-mails will contain an image (attachment) which will automatically be downloaded and displayed when you open the e-mail — please see, HTML e-mail and image spam (repost) — which automatically gives the cyber-criminal a matching valid e-mail address and machine/IP address– yours.

You don’t need to click any links, you just need to view the message, and the damage is done.

So even though the Subject line may advise DO NOT DELETE, go ahead and do so– immediately and unopened. You’ll be protecting your Inbox and Identity.
And, need I say it? The “warning” is a bogus fraud, carefully crafted to play off people’s ignorance and fear.

Today’s free link: Today’s link is to a bargain shopper’s Website recommended to me by a Loyal Friend and True of Tech–for Everyone. has the steals, online coupons, price comparisons, and forums you’re looking for.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

March 4, 2009 Posted by | advice, cyber crime, e-mail | , , , , , | Leave a comment