We have been made aware of several instances of virus infected emails that stalled computers in other offices last week.

Monday, November 28th, 2005

Have you ever stopped to think what would happen if your computer was damaged, destroyed or stolen? Here are a few precautions to help you avoid slowing or even stopping your business:


1.     Be wary of email fraud.  If the FBI or CIBC or any financial institution needs information from you they won’t ask for it via email!  Click the following link for examples of email fraud:  http://www.cibc.com/ca/legal/fraud-examples.html

2.    Phishing – is a type of scheme that uses fraudulent e-mail and web pages to gather personal, financial and sensitive information for the purpose of identity theft.  The request looks like an authentic email, branded with a corporation’s look & logos…  For more information and examples click the following link:  http://www.cibc.com/ca/legal/phishing-info.html

3.    Keep your anti-virus software up to date. Activate Auto-Update.  New viruses are discovered every day and Norton can update your definitions every few hours to keep you protected.  Other anti-virus products can do the same.  And run Live Update regularly too, to be safe.

4.    Don’t open attachments if you don’t know what they are or who they are from.

5.    If your computer does become infected or if you receive an email warning you about a virus, take a look at www.symantec.com for up-to-date information.   There is a comprehensive search engine and information on how to remove each virus.  Some email warnings are actually hoaxes and simply waste time – you can find information about these too.

6.    Use remax.net as your email forwarding service.  60% of what is sent to the RE/MAX server is discarded as spam / virus infected and it’s a bonus not to receive it!  From my personal experience last week I received dozens of infected files on my other email address and not even one on my remax.net address.  

7.     If you preview messages in Outlook / Outlook Express you are actually opening the email and risk of running and propogating a macro virus.  Technicians recommend that you disable the viewing pane in Outlook.  Select the Inbox folder and click on “View”, “Preview Pane” to toggle it off (Different versions will have other ways of doing the same thing).  Then click on Deleted Items, Junk Mail and other folders and do the same.  

8.    Backup your valuable data and keep your backups off site (What if your computer is stolen and the backup disk is in it? What if your office burns down or gets flooded?).  Do not back up onto the same disk all the time.  Label your backup disks and have a system in place so you know the date of the backup on each disk.

Be safe!

Wendy Chapman on behalf of Deborah Upton

Managing Broker

RE/MAX Crest Realty (Westside)

3215 MacDonald Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6L 2N2 / #2-1012 Beach Ave, Vancouver, BC, V6E 1T7 Canada

Office: 604.732.1336 (ext 220), Toll Free: 1.800.668.3369

www.remax-crest-vancouver-bc.com / www.happystreet.ca

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