[va-bird] Administrative Caution: Don't Download or Open Attachments

VA-birders --

This note is a word of caution to all of you regarding attachments.  We
all know that there are sleeze-ball hackers out there who are constantly
trying to find new ways to cause problems for the rest of us.  I know of
two instances this week where birders' screen names have been used in an
attempt to send attachments to other birders.  Fortunately, our listserve
systems do a pretty good job of intercepting most attempts that come
directly to the listserve. We have also kept the "acceptable" file sizes
to a minimum to reduce the chance of a virus coming through the system.
However, this also prevents us from sending photo attachments to the
network.  (If you want to post photos, please set them up on a website
and then tell us where to go see them.)

One thing that we cannot do is prevent someone from getting your e-mail
address from your posting, and then sending a note directly to you. A
virus or worm could be included as an attachment in those notes.  So, our
word of caution is to be extremely careful when it comes to opening
attachments from anyone.  Unauthorized use of screen names appears to be
on the rise.  

My personal approach at this time is to keep my various listserve
accounts on "Vacation" or "Nomail" and to go to Jack Siler's
"birdingonthe.net" website to check for bird updates on the listserves.
Another option is to check the VA-bird archives at: 
http://www.freelists.org/archives/va-bird/ 

This approach also reduces the volume of e-mail notes that I receive each
day. Even with my account on "vacation", I can still post notes on the
network whenever I want.  

This final recommendation came from one of our VA-birder subscribers:
"DON'T DOWNLOAD EVEN IF YOU KNOW THE SENDER,  at least where bird list
servs are involved."   As a precaution, you may want to verify with the
sender that they sent you an attachment before you open it.  

Best wishes and great birding to all,

                Larry


Larry Lynch,   Co-Owner
VA-bird listserve
birder6@xxxxxxxx


P.S.  Comments are welcome to me "off-line" at birder6@xxxxxxxx

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