Email Greeting Cards: A New Risk

With the growth in popularity of email as a quick and easy method of communicating with friends and associates, near or far, we have also seen the popularity of electronic greeting cards develop. We all know the delivery method---you receive an email from the card's production company notifying you that your friend has sent you a greeting card and it is waiting at a linked address which you click to see your card in a browser window. Simple, easy, fast---and dangerous.

Now, there is a risk that the linked address could execute some program code which you unwittingly unleash on your system, believing that it will display a personal greeting. The program code could be embedded in a downloadable module that you are told is a necessary 'plug-in' for your browser to display the card, or it could be emebedded in the code of a webpage.

Here are a few suggestions to protect you:

  • Don't accept any such emails on your business email account (just delete them)
  • Forward the email to an online email account (like hotmail or yahoo) to view
  • Examine the 'link' and manually type the domain ( into your browser to verify that it is a legitimate ecard company
  • Reply to the sender to verify that they sent the card before opening the card