Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

One of the earliest and most common ways that viruses propagate is by using your address book to email all your contacts. Protection is required.

For the last two days and previously about a month ago, I have mails sent to all my contacts that are stored in my address book. These mails have an advert attached for a discount firm located in China. I've written to the firm and told them what is happening but I get no reply. I thought if I deleted the addresses I no longer want and keep those that I do want but not stored in my computer, I could solve the problem. But I just can't find how to delete these addresses. Any advice you can give me would be appreciated.

The contents of your address book is not the problem.

In fact, you likely have a much larger problem that you need to address an entirely different way.

Having email unexpectedly be sent to everyone in your address book is a classic sign that your machine is likely infected with a virus or some form of malware. That "attached" advertisement is likely not an ad at all, but rather a copy of the virus itself attempting to spread.

Needless to say you should immediately make sure that you're running up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software, with up-to-date databases.

"Having email unexpectedly be sent to everyone in your address book is a classic sign that your machine is likely infected with a virus... "

Hopefully, the people in your address book knew not to open attachments, but if the email came from you, then it's perhaps possible that they did. If so, then they too are possibly infected and should be making sure to take the same steps: up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware scans.

The company in China might not have any idea what you're talking about. They could be responsible for the virus but that seems a little too blatant. It's more likely that they had nothing to do with this. In any case I'd be shocked if they responded.

So deleting entries from your address book, while it might reduce the number of people that get sent this viral email, isn't solving the problem at all.

Though, to try and answer the question you asked: you didn't indicate what email program you use, but in most you can open your address book or view your contact list by clicking on a menu item, button or other control that says "Contacts" or "Address Book". Once there you can typically click on a specific contact and then either click on a delete button, or right click on the contact and select delete. As you can see, the specifics vary from program to program, but the concepts are pretty much the same everywhere.

Article C3392 - May 22, 2008 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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2 Comments
sara pava
May 22, 2008 7:45 PM

How can I get TVI (Tamil Vision International) from Toronto through the Internet. It is free for the first 3 months. Thereafter it is $9.99 for a month.TVI is a Tamil Language Program perhaps supported by CMR (may be Canadian Media ....)

My computer is Emachine T2484 four years old. Difficult to get any helpful information from TVI.

How can I direct the signals from my Computer to our TVs in 2 different rooms wireless? Your help appreciated.
We are 77 years old and cannot afford to buy top of the line new computer.

TVI's Email: [Email address removed]

Simon Brew
May 28, 2008 2:18 AM

The "comment" above on TVI is not a legitimate reply to Leo's article above - PLEASE do not clutter up his excellent website and articles with irrelevant questions.

Older TVs and PC monitors are not the same technology even though they look the same, so there is no easy answer to your question. Try Google, or a friendly local PC store for more help.

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