Wake me when the hour arrives
Was it you?
Close your eyes and stay a while
Was it you?
My MAIN e-mail account: This is the one I guard with my life. I only give it out to people that I trust. This is usually the one that I am paying for (in some way). If I have given you this email address consider yourself a close, trusted friend.
MY "DIRTY" ACCOUNT: By "dirty" I mean the same way that you get dirty while you do dirty work (like cleaning or yard work). This can be a purchased account or a free one - a purchased one works better. The idea here is to reduce the amount of spam you get as much as possible, but to use it for things that you MIGHT want from time to time.
For example, I might use this account to register at a website that I trust or that I use a lot. I also, use this for email for my bank account and entities that I make payments to.
MY SPAM ACCOUNT: When I get mail from the mailbox at home that is OBVIOUSLY junk I just throw it right in the garbage - I don't even open it. I give it the respect it deserves... This is how you should look at this account. Just about anything that comes here is junk. It's a big electronic trash can.
Why even have one? How many times have you went to a website that wouldn't give you the time of day without registering and they have to have an email address? Another thing I've seen many times is this same situation, but they want you to VERIFY your email address by opening the email they send you and doing something with it. Use this account for that.
I actually have two of these - both of them are free.
"Which virus checker do you use?"
My answer shocks them...
They often look at me like I'm from Mars or something and then I have to start explaining. My answer is simple - just like life if you practice "Safe Computing" you'll stay out of trouble except those times when someone is bound and determined to get you into trouble. In those cases even if you had virus detection software you'd still get in "trouble".
Virus protection software, in a word, stinks (I'd like to say something a bit more direct...but...). It is the most invasive piece of software you will ever install on your machine (Lime Wire and other file sharing software gives it a run for it's money, but more about that later). It takes your nice, fast computer and brings it to it's knees because EVERYTHING you do on your computer - even the things you are CERTAIN are safe - are first considered by it to be unsafe and scrutinized before you can use them. It considers everything (including yourself) is bad and tries to protect you by being an overzealous watchdog.
For the typical computer user - even if they realize that everything worked great until they installed "X" virus protector - they can't DE-install it. Why can't they DE-install it? Because the virus protector considers this an unsafe act and says "you don't know what you are doing, so I'm not going to let you do it". You now have a program in your system dictating to you what you can and cannot do on your computer - most people just give up.
So, my recommendation (and it's worked for many years) is to practice "Safe Computing". My kids have grown up understanding this and they do it without thinking about it now. It's not hard, it's not magic, it's liberating and it's very safe.
The other day I decided that I would write all of the things that I do to keep my computers safe without using the watchdog so that maybe people (at least those that will listen) can start using their computers again.
Part One coming up...