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Information page on use of e-mail for spam, viruses, and worms
Main topics:
  1. Forgery: People can fake the "from" address
  2. Attacks: Email can contain attacks in it or in attachments

Forgery: People can fake the "from" address

It is possible to use software which allows email to be sent out with a fake "from" address. This means you can receive email which appears to be from someone, but it's not really from them at all, and has nothing to do with them.

This is almost exactly the equivalent of putting a fake return-address on a letter you mail via normal postal mail, and you should know that the email itself may have no relation to the name it appears to come from.

How is this significant? It is possible for someone to send you a letter and it appear to come from voy.com--yet it has nothing to do with voy.com and did not go through VoyForums systems. It is, again, just like writing a fake return address on a letter prior to sending it--you can put any address on it, any name or country you want (aside from the bad and possible illegal nature of your act).

Email can contain attacks in it or in attachments

Because of the email software you are using, you may be prone to attacks in the emails you receive. Please see our page, [ Information: Programs, security, viruses ] for information on the programs you use, and simple alternatives to protecting yourself--it's more simple than you might think!

Additionally, with some exceptions, attachments will almost always pose a threat, as people can send attachments which, if opened/ran by you, can do almost anything they want to your computer. Sometimes you do not even have to open/run an attachment, remember (again, see Information: Programs, security, viruses for important information about how you are likely at risk, and what you easily do about it).

Usually it is clear when you get an email from someone you know, but sometimes you receive messages from people you don't know, or it looks strange. For example, recently viruses have been distributed with fake source addresses--people have even sent out mail with viruses and the messages claim to come from VoyForums (voy.com). Those emails did not come from VoyForums (voy.com) -- the source/From: address is falsified. Be careful with those emails because they are likely a virus!

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