Email can be a real blessing. It lets us communicate quickly and inexpensively with loved ones far away, even outside the country. It's convenient for business/customer communication, too. But good sense and good manners dictate certain guidelines. Cick on any of the following "rules" to see the accompanying text.
There are hundreds, maybe thousands of smart, crooked people out there looking for ways to steal from you or damage your computer. A message from your bank may not be from your bank at all. If it asks for information you don't want the world to know (like an account number or password or your Social Security Number), do not respond to it
. (If your Internet Service provider has an anti-"phishing" policy (Comcast does), they may want to know about it.) Legitimate institutions will never ask for secure information in an email.
(Even if they do, they shouldn't, so do not give it to them.)
There are so many dire warnings floating around the Internet; so many emails that say, "Did you know this bad thing about that so-and-so?" Each comes with the urgent injuction, "Forward this to everyone you know!" Please don't
. Or, if you feel you must, then at least check it out first
, because at least 98% of these "urban legends" are hoaxes. You can usually get the straight story by going to Snopes.com
and searching for a few keywords. If you want to know more about urban legends, read the Wikipedia article
Spam is any message that is broadcast to large numbers of email addresses, hoping some of them will "bite" on whatever is being offered. There are two things I do to fight spam: (1) I never do business with a spammer, period
. Not even if they're selling something I want to buy. I don't respond. I don't even "unsubscribe," because then they will learn that the email address they used is valid. (2) When I do (VERY rarely) get an email that I want to forward to a few other folks, I make sure I delete all previous recipients' email addresses
from the message before I send it on. And if I'm sending it to multiple folks who don't know each other's addresses, I will send it to them as "bcc:" rather than "to:" recipients. DO NOT expose other people's email addresses
-- it's not good manners or good practice.
COMPRESS PHOTOS whenever possible.
When you send a photo to a friend or relative, they don't need all the wonderful detail your digital camera has captured. Their eyes can't perceive it, and most photos don't require it. So I go into Windows Explorer, find the photo I want to send, and double-click on it. This brings up (on my machine) the Microsoft Office Picture Manager, which is typically part of Microsoft Office. I click on Edit Pictures
, then on Compress Pictures
, then on the Web pages
option. This takes my multi-million pixel photo and shrinks it to about a 3"x4" size, meanwhile doing a data compression on it. A photo that originally took three million bytes now takes only about 50,000 bytes - a reduction of more than 98% in both the time it takes my correspondent to receive it, and the space it takes up on his or her hard drive. This is always
If you need help with any of this, a SNaP volunteer will be glad to help. Just let us know.
-- Roland Foster