What does this have to do with Paris Hilton?
Let me tell you a story. This really happened to me recently. But I am very lucky. You see, I am the owner of a few Yahoo lists. Someone sent an email to me. The topic is “Paris Hilton Becomes a Mormon…And Marries a Paparazzi”. This sounds like something you read in the US or British tabloids. But it’s as phony as a three-dollar bill. Why? If I open the email – which is a safe practice, as it contains no attachments – you are shown a picture that resembles Grant Wood’s American Gothic. Instead of a man and woman – well dressed – with the man carrying a pitchfork, something wicked emerges. Paris Hilton is carrying the pitchfork, with her famous TV girlfriend companion. Underneath is an innocent enough link, but a dark and wicked monster lurks!
The Detectives Saved Me
Fortunately, I am a fan of famous detectives. Two are quite famous in world literature:
- Aratha Christie wrote about the famous character Hercule Poirot. A biography of the author is found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agatha_Christie
- Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle wrote about Sherlock Holmes. A biography of the author is found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Conan_Doyle.
My two other favorite detectives are Monk and Colombo. Colombo is a famous TV homicide investigator for the LAPD. Monk is a crime consultant for the San Francisco police department. It would be very probable these two might meet and work together. But their different styles…their different lifestyles…their personal approaches to cleanliness…THEY WOULD DRIVE EACH OTHER CRAZY! In fact, someone put together a great video of these two meeting. Check it out! It is only about ten minutes:
What happened to Paris Hilton…Mormonism… Paparazzi?
Hey! Aren’t you off topic? What happened to the email? Glad you asked! From my time with the detectives, something hit me. Nothing in the recent news talks about Paris…Mormonism… Paparazzi…in the same sentence! So I use a simple computer detective trick. I run my mouse over the link, and I see an EXE file. Then my brain circuits scream. Warning, Will Robinson! Danger! The old “Lost in Space” episodes filling my brain!
So what can you learn from this? Never trust emails you don’t know. Unless your computer is a Mac or Linux system, viruses are lurking for Windows users. Often they try to trick you! But let me teach you some tricks!
Run a software (I.E. – Windows firewall) and hardware firewall, wherever possible
Open email in a web based option, if possible. This usually provides addition protection, if there is an anti-virus program on the email server.
Check out the site http://www.virustotal.com/. One can upload a file free, and have several anti-viral programs check it.
If you don’t have a commercial anti-viral, then install a free one. Some good ones are:
Remember the detectives! Don’t forget! The Paris Hilton criminals are still free in cyberspace.