I NEVER send invitations to anyone from these or other applications. If I find you there I’ll request to add you, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that an email that has my name on it has actually come from me!
Sadly the Internet has become a two-edged sword! I couldn’t function as well as I do in business or with my personal communications without it, but it comes at a cost.
Just two weeks ago today I was infected with a Trojan horse virus that forced me to reformat my hard drive and reinstall/restore everything before I could get back to “normal”. It effectively stole 5 days of productivity from me – and I was extremely angry.
I hope this post gets to my family and friends before they make the same mistake I did and inadvertently get this virus.
I am a PC, Mac and Linux user. The problem this week was PC related so the information below is for PC users. But I caution Mac and Linux users to be cautious also – I have read a few horror stories about virus infections on both my Mac and Linux computers and they are just as terrible to eradicate as on a PC in some cases. Luckily I have not had to deal with those. So, if you’re a PC user – read on.
You are wise to ignore invitations from strangers for anything to do with the Internet – I delete up to 250 unwanted invitations every day (thank goodness for SPAM blockers to help me so I only have to actually see 10-20 of them).
If you received an invitation from me, I DID NOT SEND IT! So ignore it or delete it. You may have visited a web site that has exposed you to phishing and that’s how they got my name to use in this case. You may also have been infected with a tracking cookie or Trojan virus that is feeding e-mail addresses to scoundrels for fraudulent use. In any case you should know it is possible for anyone to use your name and email address to send anything to anyone else.
Having said all that, if a trusted family member or friend invites you to Facebook or MySpace I recommend sending that person a separate e-mail and ask if they sent you the invitation BEFORE you join. I use both of those applications (and a few others) to stay up-to-date with some friends, family members and business associates. However, I am vigilant about deleting or ignoring any unknown request, and because I have experience I know how to determine if the request is legitimate or not.
If you don’t use your computer often, then it may not be a benefit to use Facebook or MySpace – that is up to you, just be cautious. Just 2 weeks ago even I got infected with the “Facebook” Trojan virus because even with my experience I wasn’t paying close attention, and it took me, a computer geek, 5 days to fully recover my computer.
Since you received an invitation from someone claiming to be a trusted person, and find from your separate email they were not the sender – I highly recommend you run a full virus scan. Read this page before you use one: http://techguylabs.com/radio/Main/Anti-Virus. I also recommend you make sure you have installed the Microsoft Windows Defender after you are sure you have removed any virus’. You can download it here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=435bfce7-da2b-4a6a-afa4-f7f14e605a0d&displaylang=en. Lastly, I recommend you download and run the Microsoft Malicious Removal Tool (I run this at least once a week). You can download the latest one here: http://www.microsoft.com/security/malwareremove/default.mspx
I hope this information is useful, and if you have difficulty running any of these you may need technical assistance to remove an unwanted Trojan virus from your PC.