Tech Works Corner

Tech Works Corner

Electronic Greeting Cards and Security

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Another holiday season is over as I write this (Jan. 2, 2015). Thanks to everyone for the physical cards, email notes, and electronic greeting cards!

I did, however, feel obligated to write a little note about electronic cards. The ones I'm talking about are generated online by a free or commercial website, then sent to the designated recipient. While I do appreciate them as much as any other form of communications, they are a potential security risk!

The reason is that the recipient gets an email from an unknown source (the greeting card service) inviting one to click on the link to the card. The gesture is nice, but this is the most common way for our computers to get loaded with viruses and other malware! It's very easy for a hacker to fake one of these emails and direct us to a web site that infects our computer.

As the recipient, to minimize the risk on my end, I make sure I am on my Chromebook or a computer running the Linux operating system when I click on the link to open the greeting card. These systems are what I have around which are least likely to be infected by a bad site. An Android or Apple phone or tablet should be OK too, though that could change in the future as hackers start to target these big "markets."

So if you want to send me a note, a simple email is appreciated as much as anything with fancy graphics and animation!