Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #44 2/3/2010

Question: I got a message from a friend that only has a link in it. What should I do?


Currently going around the Internet there are messages that are being produced by some malware that send messages to people from others address books that only have a link in them. Although I have not been able to determine the link does any harm, some of them are on hosting sites know to be harmful.

The short answer is don't click on the link.

Although most of these meet the first requirement I have about clicking on links in e-mails; that they come from someone you know, they do not meet the second which is was the sender supposed to send you a link or does the message tell you what the link is about. In this case the second fails. You can contact the sender and see if it is a legitimate e-mail.

The ones I have seen so far mostly come from a person you know and usually have only about 10 other e-mail accounts sent to. It appears at this time they are just using a worm type approach to send people to various sites. However they may harvest info you may enter there. Also they may be testing a new approach to deposit viruses on the world.

Make sure you have anti-virus and anti-spyware software. A number of leading ones that I like include Norton, AVG, Avast, Superantispyware and others. Except for Norton all of those are available free for home use, although the professional copies have more power.

Make sure you get the updates regularly for your anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Out of date anti-malware software is not much more help than no anti-malware software.

Thank you to Rocky for suggesting this question.