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How Artists, Writers, Publishers Can Save Time and Sanity by Keeping Viruses and Spam Far Away

© 2002 Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

The "Klez" virus is still arriving as an e-mail attachment, and now the "Manymize" and "Urick" viruses are starting to appear. These are all mass-mailing worms. These viruses grab one address in the victim's Microsoft Outlook address book and use that as the FROM address. Then the virus sends itself to every e-mail address in the address book.

Viruses Threaten Our Computers and Our Books

Although these latest viruses only send copies of themselves, many others can destroy the contents of our hard drives. Happily, as long as we use a good antivirus program such as Norton AntiVirus, and update the program frequently, we are pretty well protected. If we use Eudora as our e-mail program and avoid using Outlook, we have another level of protection.

Viruses and Spam Waste Our Time

Even when we have protected our computers with antivirus software, we are wasting time downloading unwanted attachments. We are also wasting time downloading spam. Those who are receiving spam and virus-laden e-mails daily find that they are squandering a great deal of time. Some of my clients who naturally have a large volume of e-mail have been infuriated at the time consumed while waiting for unwanted mail to download.

Everyone who checks e-mail while traveling certainly notices the problem of time lost while downloading viruses and spam. When we are using a laptop in a hotel to dial a local access number, or using an Internet Café or a Business Center, we are paying by the minute. We certainly want to avoid spending money to download spam and viruses.

The Solution is Webmail

Webmail is mail accessed by using only a browser. Webmail is not a program to be purchased, rather it is an application which can be added to your Web site account by your Webmaster. Nearly every Web site is ready to have Webmail set up for that site. Setup is a simple procedure, and there is no additional monthly charge for using Webmail.

When we have Webmail installed on our Web site account, we can sit down at any computer with online access, fire up a browser, and review our mail. The mail stays on the Web server, so we aren't spending any time at all downloading junk. If we use Webmail to delete all attachments before downloading them, we will be sure that a virus will never be downloaded to our computers in e-mail!

When using Webmail, we use a browser to quickly review the mail and delete all spam and virus attachments without waiting for them to download. After deleting unwanted mail, we can respond to the legitimate mail. In fact, we can carry out all of our e-mail transactions using Webmail. This is a tremendous advantage while traveling.

When we are using our own office computer, we can use Webmail first to clean out the undesirable mail, then download the good mail. Or, we can simply use only Webmail to carry out all of our e-mail work.

Using Webmail we can:
  • Get our e-mail easily anywhere
  • Check the mail and quickly delete e-mails with suspicious attachments.
  • Immediately delete spam e-mail messages.
  • Save time and money by eliminating unwanted mail and shortening e-mail download time.

I recommend using Webmail to avoid downloading viruses and spam. Use Webmail to protect your computer and manuscripts from viruses and save time and money.

~ Copyright 2002 Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D. is an Information Architect who publishes both in print and online. Contact her at virginia@spawn.org or visit her Web site at http://www.cognitext.com

 

 

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