Return to home
page Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Home / Beth Cox Reports / Beth Cox Report: April 2014
Home | Beth Cox Reports Index

Beth Cox Report: April 2014

Dear Loyal Readers, Authors, and Publishers,

We at the Midwest Book Review have been using America Online (AOL) as our primary email service for almost as long as we've had an online presence. So you can imagine my personal indignation in response to a recent scandal involving AOL. I will let this excerpt from an email that AOL sent us speak for itself:

"...Recently, our systems alerted us to an increased incidence of email users receiving spam emails from "spoofed" AOL email addresses. AOL's security team immediately began investigating the cause of the spoofed emails. Spoofing is a tactic used by spammers to make it appear that the message is from you in order to trick the recipient into opening it. These emails do not originate from the AOL Mail system – the addresses are just edited to make them appear that way. AOL is working with other email providers like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Outlook·com to stamp out spoofing across the industry, and we have implemented measures that will significantly limit its future occurrence."

In other words, spammers and other scam artists discovered a way to flood people with "spoofed" spam email, often containing hyperlinks to websites with viruses or malware, and make it appear that this spam came from the AOL email account of someone the spam recipient knows. All without directly hacking or taking control of any AOL email accounts.

My personal AOL email address, which I generally limit to private correspondence, was directly affected - several of my close friends received dubious emails that seemed to come from me, and they emailed me back with warnings. But when I checked my "sent" mail folder, I didn't find any record of sent spam; the counterfeit emails didn't actually come from my own account! As of this writing, I don't know whether the MBR's business email address has also fallen victim to spoofing.

Here's a recent online article by PC Magazine, about the entire debacle:,2817,2456926,00.asp

The MBR can ill afford to change email providers; our AOL email is embedded in directories that mention us, our company stationary, and countless people's contact lists. All we can do is trust that this mess will eventually be fixed. But I'm beginning to truly understand why my father despises cybercriminals so much!

So, April's Link of the Month is

one of the most established and most reputable services on the Internet for reporting spam, getting a spam-free email, or acquiring a free blocking list. There are many other online resources for the war against spam, of course, but please be extremely careful of fake websites that just might sign you up for even more spam!

I'll sign off with April's Review of the Month:

Teen Self Defense
Lieutenant Colonel Garry Klaus, USMC Ret.
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
c/o Bohlsen Group (publicity)
9781491813508 $28.99

Retired marine Garry Klaus has studied martial arts under Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and American teachers since 1968. He shares his knowledge in Teen Self Defense, a handbook of self-defense techniques created especially to help teach teenagers and young adults. The techniques cover how to escape from holds and grapples, how to fight back when threatened with a gun or knife. Each technique is described at length, and illustrated with full-color photographs. Perhaps just as valuable is the practical-minded advice for remaining alert and aware of potential dangers during everyday life. "Be aware of your instincts! If a situation feels wrong, trust that feeling and leave! Sometimes this is nothing more than a feeling that something just is not right. Some people call it a sixth sense, others call it 'gut instinct'. Whatever you call it, it's usually a good idea to pay attention to it." Like all martial arts, Teen Self Defense needs to be practiced with partners, preferably under the guidance of a skilled teacher, for best effect; it's an excellent supplementary manual for self-defense courses.

Although written especially to be accessible to teenagers, Teen Self Defense has invaluable wisdom for readers of all ages. In today's dangerous world, one cannot be too prepared - in real life or online.

That's all for the April 2014 Beth Cox Report. Stay safe!

Bethany Cox
Managing Editor
The Midwest Book Review

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design