The Ins and
Outs of eMail Attachments
© 2004 By
The Internet people have figured out a way
to allow you to send formatted documents, photos, sound and
video files as attachments to your eMail messages.
Any file that can be stored in your computer can be sent to
another computer as an attachment. As good as this sounds,
the creeps who develop the dreaded computer virus strains
also use attachment to carry the infection.
The first rule of attachments is; Never ever open an
attachment from someone your DON'T know!
The second rule is: Never open an attachment from someone
you DO know, unless it is expected!
Some infections steal whole address books and send deadly
attachments to unsuspecting friends who open without
thinking, based on the return address.
The procedure for attaching files varies depending on the
type of eMail program you use. In general, you click on the
"attach" icon, such as a paper clip, located on the toolbar
of the program.
You then select the file you want to attach by locating it
on your hard drive or on disk. Once you've selected the
file, either its name will appear as part of the eMail
header, or as an icon within the body of your eMail message.
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The recipient must have software that is compatible with
your file(s). For example, if you send someone a Newsletter
created in Microsoft Publisher, your recipient must have
Microsoft publisher installed to see the file you attach.
Make sure what you send is compatible with your recipient's
computer; a Macintosh machine may not be able to read some
Windows files, and vice versa.
The people at Adobe(R) have figured a way to make documents
play on all machines, regardless of the software that
created them. A way to make documents portable. The software
that allows this portability is called Acrobat(R).
Acrobat documents have a .PDF suffix, which stands for
Portable Document Format. Almost every computer sold in the
last several years has Acrobat Reader(R) installed. When a
document comes attached to eMail, a click on the attachment
automatically opens the Acrobat Reader(R) and the document
is displayed just as it was created, type fonts, pictures,
layout, design and color. PDF documents can be printed or
saved to disk. In most cases, PDF documents are not
editable. Portions of text cannot be highlighted, copied and
pasted into other documents. PDF documents are read only.
To create a document in PDF format, you will need the Adobe
Distiller(R) a program for sale at computer retailers
everywhere. To read an Adobe document, all you need is the
Acrobat Reader(R). It is easy and simple to get and install,
and it is FREE. Anyone can do it in a matter of minutes.
There are several places on the Internet that will convert
your document to Acrobat for free. And companies (other than
Adobe) who make software that will convert documents to PDF
To download and install Acrobat Reader(R), please visit
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How do I view an attachment?
In most eMail programs, you click on the attachment Icon or
the name of the attached file. If the corresponding program
is in your computer, It will open and display your
attachment. If not, you can right click you mouse over the
attachment name and select -open with- and indicate the
program you want to use to open, read or display the
NEVER open an attachment from someone you DON'T know, or an
attachment you did NOT know would be sent to you.
Attachments are the primary delivery vehicle for the dreaded
computer virus. Especially if the attachment has an
extension which looks like "filename.exe".
Never open an exe attachment unless you are absolutely sure
what it is and where it came from. Opening it to see for
yourself could release a virus bug that may spell the end of
your computing for some time, not to mention the loss of
everything on your hard drive.
Just receiving an attachment will not infect your computer.
Opening or running it can. If you don't know why you got an
attachment, contact the sender directly to verify that it is
what it appears to be.
Be very suspicious of any eMail from a stranger. Your
"delete" key is sometimes the most useful key on your
computer. If you have any doubts, delete the entire e-mail
without opening it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
BIG Mike McDaniel is a former successful radio station owner
and major market TV News anchor and nationally recognized Speaker,
Author, and Small Business Consultant. Subscribe to "BIG Mike's BIG
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