By Tom DiFrancesca III
I’ll start this column off with yet another e-mail hoax alert.
Say you receive an e-mail, supposedly generated by your Internet service provider, and it states something like “Your e-mail account will be disabled because of improper use in the next three days — if you don’t re-register your account information.” Totally, absolutely, ignore that e-mail — and, whatever you do, do not open the attached file if there is one.
The perpetrators of this hoax are trying to obtain your Internet access information, that way they can log on with your account, hack into other computers and direct the authorities back to you.
Another computer “expert” with way too much time on his/her hands.
But, there is a positive side to all of this: It’s a gentle reminder that we should all go review the current e-mail hoaxes floating around on the Web. The best place to go is:
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In last week’s column, I mentioned Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ” — what I didn’t mention was my own wonderment of whether or not the movie would probably make its way onto the Internet, and, if so, how quickly.
My sources tell me that the movie became available for download over peer-to-peer networks the same day the movie was officially released. The movie is now being downloaded for viewing thousands of times a day.
Hollywood would be complaining and causing a major commotion if it were one of their films. I’m waiting to see what Mel Gibson’s reaction will be.
My opinion, for what it’s worth, is: Many a folk who would never ever go to a theater to see a movie about Jesus, or even rent a DVD, just might be willing to watch it in the privacy of their own homes. Maybe the movie will reach far more people than originally counted on.
We’ll see how it all comes out in the wash a little later down the road.
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I do have some good news to share with you — my faithful readers — some of you have asked me a number of times, “When are you going to write a book?” Well, alas, that time has come. I’ve had a book manuscript accepted for publication.
The book should be on the shelves of local and national bookstores, and available on the Web at sites like Amazon.com and such. The subject of the book, you ask?
It’s all about getting maximum use out of Internet Explorer, with a little bit of information on the history of Web browsers and such thrown in. It’s light reading, not real hard technical terms or anything like that — actually, it’s written pretty much like this column. Just check out my Web site occasionally for publication updates.
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I’ll close this column with a little bit of information about passwords. I’ve learned these things over the past few years — and, in fact, need to put them to use myself.
First of all, never use a word that is in the dictionary. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? But a lot of password-cracking software simply utilizes the dictionary to just keep trying words that may be used as passwords.
The simplest thing to do is to take a word that you like as a password, and put a couple of numbers in the middle of it. You could go a little further than that, and intentionally misspell a word — and then, stick a number or two in the middle of it.
Tom DiFrancesca III is a freelance columnist and a resident of Clovis. He can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org or www.trackertom.com