If you get an e-mail attachment (or paperclip) called Happy99, do not open it - just throw it away. If you have already opened it, you have a worm virus. Do not send out e-mail. Have your system serviced. Tell the service person you have the happy99 worm.
If you get a happy99 attachment and do NOT open it AND DO throw it away, you are safe from this particular virus. You might want to give the person who send it to you a call on the phone and tell them they have the virus though.
You should never open attachments unless you are expecting what is being sent and trust the sender. In the case of the happy99, you will receive the attachment along with normal e-mail that is ok from someone you may trust. The sender is unaware the virus was sent. In this case, just trusting the sender isn't enough. But if you weren't excepting the attachment, you shouldn't open it.
It is also helpful to be aware of the level of computer knowledge the sender has. Someone can send you a little cutisee program that displays some neat stuff on your screen. They might send it, tell you they are sending it, and you get a virus. The techies amoung us run virus protection and scanning program to reduce the risk of getting and spreading viruses.
If you are scared, use a virus protection program. Otherwise, the safest course is not to open attachments. For the most part, links to web pages, picture files (jpg and gif), are usally ok, but again trust the sender and be expecting the attachment.
Text e-mail is still safe
It is important to note that the virus requires you to open an attachment or paper clip on an e-mail. Text e-mail is still safe.
The worst thing this virus does is corrupt your e-mail files - And spread itself to other people you send e-mail to. Other viruses aren't so gentle. Always beware.
Symantec's page on happy99 - also contains some info on how to get rid of the virus for the tech inclined. The virus makes a list of who all you infected in the file \windows\system\liste.ska - You might want to telephone those listed and apologize for sending the virus. Hopefully they didn't open it and unknowingly send it to everyone they knew.
VERY IMPORTANT : DO NOT SEND AN E-MAIL TO PEOPLE TO WARN THEM ABOUT THIS VIRUS!
If you infected them, call them on the phone, take them out to dinner and hope they will not be scared to open e-mail from you in the future. Sending e-mail warnings just doesn't make sense since that is they way these viruses spread. Also, so many hoaxes about viruses are sent out in e-mail that people don't believe them. Instead call them and tell them about it, also give them this page address.
Did You Infect Your Friend?
Feel bad? You did it unknowingly. Doesn't make you feel much better? Here is a good deed you can do when you meet someone and talk about the internet, e-mail, or computers in general, just bring up some of these points:
Disclaimer: There is nothing you nor anyone can do to totally protect themselves from viruses. You can only reduce the risk. That is what this page and others like it out on the 'net are about. Note: a text only e-mail could activate an already present virus in your computer.
- Say, "You know it is NOT a good idea to open attachments to e-mails?" Go on and share your story with them.
- Know that just getting and reading text e-mail is ok and safe. You have to open an attachment for it to cause problems
- Don't download programs for internet sites you don't trust. How do you know who to trust? Would you eat candy from Microsoft? Would you eat candy from Joe Blow's fun links company? Would you eat candy that your friend made? How about if that candy is candy that your friend doesn't know from where it came? Did he get it from a friend's cousin's uncle? Would you eat candy that has been handled that many times?
- Purchase and keep up-to-date virus protection software.
- DO NOT E-MAIL WARNINGS ABOUT VIRUSES TO PEOPLE!!!
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