Terms and Definitions:
Virus
A program which replicates itself, incorporating itself into other programs shared on a computer system.
Trojan Horse
A program that appears innocent, including HTML files and screen savers, which can then gain control of and damage or allow remote (third party) access to your computer."
Worm
A program which can replicate itself, attaching copies to other programs.


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Virus, Trojans, Worms

RootsWeb's mailing lists are filtered and attachments are removed. A virus that is distributed as an attachment will not reach you through a RootsWeb mailing list.

New virus, trojans, or worms are constantly being found, along with older version that are still being circulated. A good virus protection software can be invaluable, providing you keep it updated. It is impossible for us to list the thousands of versions here, so we encourage you to refer to the Web sites of companies that list the current versions - especially if you believe you have received a new version. These are a few of the sites, including one that will do an online check of your computer (the first one).

What can you do? Protect yourself by never opening an attachment from someone you do not know, or that look suspicious, and keep your virus protection software updated (check for updates periodically, and anytime you have heard of a new virus). If an unexpected attachment comes from someone you do know, write to confirm they sent the attachment prior to opening it. If you receive an e-mail that appears to come from RootsWeb (other than a mailing list digest), and there is an attachment of any kind, don't open it.

If you feel the attachment is legitimate, use your virus protection software to check that the file isn't infected. The newest varieties of virus', trojans, and worms, will appear to come from someone you know (such as RootsWeb), or have a file name that would make it look legitimate. Don't assume that because you know the sender, or that because the subject line or file name appears to be legitimate that it is safe - if it is infected, those fields will be forged to appear legitimate.

Remember, if you do not open attachments, you substantially reduce the chances of becoming infected with a virus. Delete it. Then empty the trash bin to make sure it is gone. If you are using an e-mail program that stores attachments elsewhere on your computer, such as Eudora, find it there and delete it, too.