Anonymous Email

Spring 1999 CSANews Issue 31  |  Posted date : Mar 01, 2007.Back to list

Many of us have now experienced the wealth of information that is available on the Internet. Unfortunately, if you spend any time online, or have an e-mail account, you will have also experienced the darker side of the Web. One of the great things about the online experience is that you are able to surf and find information and material on all subjects and interests. As you know, often subject matter that is not of interest finds you.

Usually it comes in the form of an anonymous e-mail offering links to anything from online casino gambling to the most graphic sexual material imaginable. I would like to offer several bits of advice related to this situation. Firstly, it has nothing to do with your service provider. I maintain several different accounts with AOL and other ISPs and it is all the same. I get this unwanted mail in all my accounts. You can stop this mail altogether if you choose to, by going to keyword Mail Controls. In this area, you can select the level of control you wish to exercise over your inbound e-mail. You can go as far as blocking all mail from anyone except those names you add to a special list. This may be a little bit of "throwing the baby out with the bath," as it removes one of the more fun benefits from the online world...meeting and communicating with new people.

A better solution is to simply be smart and immediately delete any unsolicited mail you receive. One additional word of caution: Do not, under any circumstances click on any hyperlinked text (blue underlined text) or download any e-mail attachment in any e-mail unless you know for certain the identity of the sender. For more information on this subject, you can go to keyword "Neighborhood Watch."

If you have grandchildren around, you may want to set up a separate screen name for them on your computer. This costs nothing and has two big advantages. If your grandchildren are using their own screen names, they do not have access to your personal information. Secondly, you can set up parental controls, or perhaps we should call it "grandparental controls" to provide a different level of access to the service than you provide for yourself. On AOL, this can be found in the Neighborhood Watch section. If you use another browser and ISP, you can set up software such as Net Nanny to manage your grandchildren's use of the Internet.

On a completely unrelated matter, if you have tried to book an airline ticket on-line, you know it can take a lot of time. Many airlines offer you Web-only fares and you have to go to the airlines sites to find them. Well no more! This week saw the launch of a new Internet search tool that automatically logs into, and checks many airline sites simultaneously.

Try it at

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