We live in the age of the email. When you turn on your computer what’s the first thing you check? Email. It has really transformed our lives and in particular the way we communicate to one another. Does anyone remember writing letters? I once had a girlfriend who was apart from me for summer break in school. We would write one another letters. After you wrote it you placed it in the mailbox and waited for it to be picked up. Then you waited a week for her to get it. If she wrote back immediately it took another week. If she waited a few days then so did I. Wow, that was a hassle. It is so much simpler to sit down at a computer or phone and write your message. Seconds later the other person has it. Replies can come in minutes. Unfortunately, everything that has a good side tends to have a bad one. Remember all the junk mail from your regular mailbox? Well it followed you to your email box. I have tried to unsubscribe from recurring messages but they just come in a slightly different form. At times I have even had to get a different email address. Some of the junk are well-disguised viruses or “bloatware.” You may get what looks like a normal email from a (relatively) trusted source. When you try to open it you receive a message saying, “In order to see this message you need to update to the latest version of ‘Blank’ software. Click here to download.” You know the company and their software is on your computer so you download it. When it’s done (after about 5 ads) your home page has changed and you can’t get it to change back. There is a toolbar on your internet browser that wasn’t there before. Your antivirus program is doing its impression of the robot from “Lost in Space.” (If that reference is too old for you just understand it is a warning.) Pop ups appear that weren’t there before. Now you try to uninstall the software you just upgraded. After doing so, however, the problems are still there. You try everything you can but the software is so ingrained that you have to call your antivirus company and have them remove it. If you’re lucky you have a service plan where they will do this for you as many times as is necessary. If you don’t have one then you are paying somewhere around $80-$200 every time this happens. Then it takes the technician 2 hours to remove everything. Once they are done, though, you have to go back and reset all your preferences. All that was because of a simple, respectable looking email. The kicker is you didn’t have an infection on your computer. It was bloatware and is apparently perfectly legal. I had 3 instances of it in one week! I feel like the Unibomber is after me and my computer. I’m even skeptical of most emails and it still happens. Then there are the ones that you get that simply have to be a scam. They usually use broken English and tell me either I have a rich relative in some central African country who died and left me money or they have inherited money but need to get to London or wherever in order to receive it. They never say how they need my help. That is saved for email number two which I never receive because I instantly delete email number 1. So we have corporate sponsored scams and your run-of-the-mill personal scams. That doesn’t even take into account the evil people who think up ways to send you a real virus disguised as something else. Snail mail was tedious but at least I could throw the junk out.
Fantasy fiction is my passion. This series embodies my love for a good story and action. You will find it to be many things, but not boring! Read what you love and love what you read...