Archive for January, 2012
In the past few days, I’ve received a few fake LinkedIn e-mails that differ somewhat from the ones I’ve reported on previously. (See, for instance, my post dated December 26, 2011.) One of them says something to the effect of, “Can I post your picture on my page?” (A similar message asks for permission to post “your music.”) The other uses the eye-catching subject header, “Stop spamming me!” and the body reads, “Hello. Please stop spamming me with links to your business!”
As with the other fake LinkedIn messages, there are (at least) two telltale signs that the messages are phony: (1) if they were legitimate, you would receive copies in your LinkedIn mailbox; and (2) when you position the mouse pointer over the links in the messages, you can see the URLs, which clearly have nothing to do with LinkedIn (and are not what they appear to be).
If you receive a similar message, do not click any of the links. I don’t know for sure that the links could cause harm — whether by launching or downloading malware or by taking you to a dangerous web site — but it’s quite possible. And, given the potential for harm, it’s not worth the risk.
Thankfully, my ISP’s spam-blocking software has caught most of these bogus messages. You might not be as lucky.
So be on the alert, and exercise caution.
As of this evening, both of my books have been re-published and re-listed on Amazon. You can find the new version of the Word 2010 book here:
…and the new version of the Word 2007 book here:
As I noted in my previous post, the most significant change to the books is cosmetic (I created spiffy new covers). I made only a few substantive edits, most of them fairly minor.
The descriptions haven’t been posted yet, but the new version of the Word 2010 book is available for purchase now. The new version of the Word 2007 book is not available at the moment, but that should change within the next day or so.
Keep in mind that earlier versions of both books remain available on Lulu.com (and you can view previews there) at the following URLs:
As always, many thanks for your patronage and support!
Because of a change in Amazon’s policies, I am in the process of re-publishing both of my books — Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2010 and Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Office Word 2007 — via Amazon’s print-on-demand (POD) unit, CreateSpace. The current listings on Amazon will be removed for a short period, starting on January 10.
When the books are re-listed on Amazon (probably within a few days), almost everything will be the same: the titles, the prices, the book descriptions, etcetera. The only noteworthy differences are that I have jazzed up the covers somewhat, and I have made a few minor revisions to the content. (The changes in the books’ appearance will be much more obvious than the substantive edits.)
Note that the current editions of both books will remain available on Lulu.com. Buying directly from Lulu is still a good option, especially when you use a discount coupon to offset the shipping charges. Lulu offers such coupons frequently, often for 20% to 35% off the cost of one or more books. Regular readers of this blog know that I post notices about Lulu’s discount coupons as they become available (when I learn about them).
Note, too, that if you are interested in buying multiple copies of one of my books, I can give you direct access to a page on Lulu where I can set a volume discount. I’m not sure if I will be able to do that on Amazon; I’ll find out soon.
In the meantime, you might have noticed some oddities in the appearance of my books’ pages on Amazon. The descriptions of the contents have vanished and have been replaced with some gobbledygook related to used copies that a third party — unrelated to and, for that matter, completely unknown to me — had been selling on Amazon (for a mere $499!!!). Unfortunately, there appears to be no way for me to change the descriptions.
Since the listings will be removed early next week anyway, I might not even bother to ask Amazon to restore the descriptions. You can read the descriptions on the books’ Lulu pages. They are available as follows:
In any case, don’t be startled if you can’t find the books on Amazon for a few days. I’ll post back as soon as they are re-listed.
When you receive an e-mail message that appears even slightly suspicious — whether from someone you know or from a complete stranger — trust your instincts. It’s probably a hoax, at best, or possibly even a trigger for a virus, a worm, or other malware. Rather than risk infecting your computer, take a few minutes to check whether the message is for real or a hoax.
And as a rule, never click a link in an e-mail message (or open an attachment directly from the message) unless you’re absolutely certain that it’s legitimate. In particular, if you weren’t expecting a specific link or attachment, verify that it’s authentic and harmless before opening or downloading it — regardless of whether you trust the purported sender. It’s easy for hackers to “spoof” an e-mail address to make it appear that mail comes from someone you know, when in fact it originates elsewhere.
As for the authenticity of links, sometimes you can see the true path when you position the mouse pointer over a link. But even if it looks like the real thing, why chance a virus or a worm? Keep in mind that things are not always what they seem, especially when it comes to e-mail and the Internet! A quick check can save you a lot of heartache.
Also, as a rule it’s best not to forward gossipy messages — you know, the ones that promise easy money or warn of impending doom — without checking the veracity of the alleged information. If something sounds too good (or too bad) to be true, it almost certainly is.
I’m providing a link herein to a 2010 article from Tech Republic (a site published by ZDNet) listing web sites that track hoaxes, viruses, worms, and the like. (Ignore the somewhat snippy tone of the author, an IT person who obviously has reached the end of his tether with respect to chain letters; the article contains lots of worthwhile info.) I don’t have personal experience with every site mentioned in the article (I’ve used Snopes, Urban Legends, and Hoax-Slayer), but they’re all well-respected. Some are easier to navigate than others. Most allow you to search by key word or phrase.
They’re not necessarily exhaustive or up to date; in fact, I have checked on Snopes and Hoax-Slayers and have not found the latest incarnation of the LinkedIn scam (fake message notifications using the form of “So and so sent you a message”). Even so, they can help you determine whether any given e-mail message is or isn’t trustworthy.
In short, these fact-checking sites will help you stay safe in cyberspace. Keep the list handy at home and at work.
Here is the article: Top 10 Sites to Debunk Internet Hoaxes (Tech Republic)
Happy surfing and e-mailing in 2012!