No eCards Please!
Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanza, New Years… tis the season for sending holiday cards to those we like, plus our family and business associates. And now more than ever, I ask you, Don’t Send eCards!
If you like me, are related to me, or work with me-- don’t send me one of those fancy eCards with pictures and characters that dance and sing, twerk and sparkle, or are just the wittiest thing you’ve ever seen. If you really like me, please send me a card that looks like this:
Tom.. I wanted to wish you a happy holiday. I deliberately chose not to link to a graphics site or add an unexpected attachment, so you would know that not only do I like you, but I respect you enough not to send you something that might be confused with malware.
Or for those that need to draw a picture as much as draw a breath, you might follow this tried and true graphic approach and add:
This season, just like last and the one before that, many millions of accounts will be used to send many hundreds of millions of malware-laden emails disguised as a holiday greeting. While some will still have ridiculous misspellings, bad grammar, and come from email accounts like firstname.lastname@example.org , a vast many others will appear to come from your family, friends, and coworkers who have been duped into passing along this malware—and these will look real.
This years hot malware is much worse that last years’, as it is likely to carry the CryptoLocker ransomware, which encrypts all of your files and then demands a payment of $300 dollars to get the key. While we strongly recommend off-line backups like a thumb drive (since CryptoLocker also tries to encrypt automatic backup sites with some degree of success), it’s better just not to get infected in the first place.
Lets not make it any easier for the bad guys by clicking on anything with the word ‘Holiday’ in the title. Instead, send and receive just as heart-felt, just as thoughtful, and just as clever holiday greetings, but do it the old fashion way-- Use your words.
P.S. If you really want to stand out, you could go the retro look and use paper cards, stamps, and the Post Office!