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Bewildering Stories

Guarding Against E-Mail Hacks

by Don Webb

Bewildering Stories has a high volume of e-mail, and I regularly receive suspicious-looking messages that ostensibly come from contributors or editors. I’m used to this sort of thing, but a contributor’s e-mail recently contained a virus that infected my own mail. It’s a nuisance but, apparently, no more than that.

However, not all our correspondents are familiar with such traffic. I figure a little explanation is in order.

The bogus messages may have a note appended similar to “Gmail error code: 7569 (Fri Apr 8 15:39:32 ART 2016).” If you see that, you can safely delete the message without further action.

The content of the messages may vary:

If you receive such a message, apply standard procedure:

  1. Don’t open any unfamiliar links. Any link containing will be okay. Our “mailto” link is also secure; any information you want to send us has to go through the Managing Editor, who is a “grey eminence” but by no means a shadowy one.

  2. Don’t open any zipped attachments. We don’t send any, and we don’t open any we receive.

  3. Don’t reply to the mail. The “reply-to” address may not be the same as that of the purported sender anyway.

  4. Delete it.

Sorry for the aggravation. Dogs have fleas, and our pet Internet has its nuisances.

Don Webb
Managing Editor
Bewildering Stories

Copyright © 2016 by Don Webb
for Bewildering Stories

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