More on Google Docs

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Yesterday I mentioned Google Docs as a free alternative to Microsoft Office.

All you have to do is sign up for a free Gmail account and you also receive a calendar program and Google docs, among many other free programs.

With Google docs you can create and share your online documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. You don’t have to share them, of course, but you can if you want or need to collaborate with someone.

I’ve started to use it and find it fully-featured and easy to use. It comes with

Here's the To Do List Template.

Here's the To Do List Template.

a lot of templates. There are templates for resumes, to do lists, photo albums, budgets, business invoices and many, many others.

To find Google docs, click here.

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Spam from Your Own Address

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Here’s an e-mail question Ms. Ducktoes recently received:

Ms. Ducktoes, I’m receiving spam from my own address. Does this mean my e-mail account has been hacked? Is my computer in jeopardy? Do I have spyware or viruses? Dedicated Ducktoes Reader David

Dear David,

No, you have not been hacked and this e-mail spam doesn’t mean you have spyware or a virus. Your e-mail address has been spoofed. Spoofing means an fake e-mail address (in this case your own) has been substituted for the real sender’s address. Neither your e-mail security nor your computer have been breached.

Ms. Ducktoes has also been receiving spam from her own address, many a day! They’re all from the same sender, a mail order pharmaceutical company selling viagra and cialis.

This is the ad in the e-mail.

This is the ad in the e-mail.

Ms. Ducktoes’s feathers are ruffled by even the insinuation that her marital nest is anything but scintillating!! Tee hee. No really they obviously don’t realize Ms. Ducktoes isn’t of the masculine gender…so there’s nothing personal. But it is annoying to have one’s Inbox full of stupid ads.

This is a photo of my Inbox:

All the ones from are the same spam e-mail above.  title=

My Inbox: All the ones from are the really same spam e-mail above

So, David, just relax and delete. That’s all we can do for now. Delete, delete, delete. And let’s hope this spam-fest from our own addresses is short-lived.

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Stop! Freeze! Drop that E-mail Attachment!

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Whatever you do don’t open it!

I’m sorry I haven’t been posting. Ms. Ducktoes has been busy removing tons of malware from computers. On two of them, the clients opened an e-mail attachment that claimed to be from a friend. It was actually a worm working overtime and sending out e-mails from the friend’s infected computer.

When in doubt, check it out, my fearless feathered friends, before opening an attachment. Both clients got hundreds of spyware and a worm or two or ten, it’s hard to remember, I think I’m still in post-traumatic stress from it all. Before downloading, e-mail the friend and ask if they sent it to you. They definitely did, or, rather, a worm on their computer did, but if they don’t know it and didn’t send it deliberately, then it’s dastardly worm full of nasties.

So please give Ms. Ducktoes a rest and don’t download e-mail attachments that you’re not absolutely sure of, especially anything ending in .exe or .dll. You can open photos and text files but not executables!!!

If you do open one, call a tech, they may want to do a reformat, since for many techs that’s the knee-jerk reaction to a virus or spyware of any sort. They must be getting exercise from all that knee-jerking, I can tell you, with all the malware that is out there right now. You don’t have to lose everything, however, you can get rid of malware without reformatting, you really can.

Call 403-483-0105.

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And the Answers Are …

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Clients and friends (a recent one is my friend Joyce) often ask me three questions, “(1)Just who are these people who spend their time creating malware and spyware?” And this is usually followed quickly by, (2)”Don’t they have anything better to do?‚”and “(3)Why do they do it?” Now, after a recent article in the Calgary Herald by Jan Ravensbergen of Canwest News Sevice, I can give you three more concrete answers.

1. 17 kids from Quebec. 2. Obviously not. 3. For the money.

The 17 kids were from Quebec aged 17 to 25, all male but for one 19-year-old female. They were computer-savvy young adults who took over 1 million computers in 100 different countries. They turned these computers into very, slow unresponsive “zombies” they commanded for their own ends: identity theft, data theft, and fraud. They put the zombies on a botnet, which makes these youthful perpetrators “zombie herders.”

Botnets are big networks of the zombie computers which are herded or commanded to perform various illegal tasks such as sending spam e-mails; collecting and storing private data such credit card numbers, account numbers, and passwords; or serving pornography.

You’ve probably received a phish e-mail purporting to be from Paypal, e-bay, or a bank or other financial institution. If you clicked on a link in the e-mail, it took you to a fake or “phish” website that looked like the real thing, Paypal or a bank etc., but actually, was a phony copycat. If you were unfortunate enough to have typed in your data, it gave whatever you typed such as your user id or account number and passwords to the people running the botnet.

Trojan horses and worms are usually the means to taking over computers, so it is imperative that you run both anti-spyware and anti-virus software on your system. Many people believe they are safe if they run anti-virus software alone, but the zombie herding used by the 17 kids and other computer fraudsters, is mostly carried out with Trojan horses, a form of spyware. So you need the anti-spyware.

Prevention is so much cheaper and easier than reformatting your hard drive and dealing with identity theft and fraud. So don’t wait until its too late, install anti-spyware and anti-virus software today!! If you live in Calgary, Ducktoes can help you do it. Or you can learn how to do it yourself.

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More about Phishing

Yesterday, I talked about Phishing, and how to watch out for it. Interestingly enough, today I read in the Virus Bulletin about a US supermarket chain that almost lost 10 million dollars to a phish scam. Read the article here.

Everyday I receive phishing e-mails. Today I received one pretending to be from PayPal. They asked for my credit card number and pin. Right now some unsuspecting person probably is putting in his or her information on that fraudulent site.

To blow the whistle on the phishers, and prevent more potential victims from getting scammed, there is a site called Phishtank, where you can post phish websites. I posted the Paypal phish on it. When you get phish e-mails you too can post them and the websites they link to on Phishtank

Get your web feet wet, safely, with Ducktoes!

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