Safe and Fun E-Cards

by Barbara J. Feldman on September 18, 2007

E-cards, or electronic greeting cards, have grown in popularity over the past few years, and for good reason too. Instead of going to the store and picking out a card, then mailing it, you can send one in an instant through an email for virtually any occasion, from a birthday greeting to a card just saying hello.

Fun with e-cards

So what exactly is an e-card? An e-card is a greeting card sent via email. The recipient gets it in their email inbox, and then follows a link to open the card. Often, e-cards are animated, and have short little videos, music, and a personalized greeting or message you can type in to the person you send it to.

You can send an e-card for just about any occasion. There are holiday, birthday, thank-you, thinking of you, get well, and congratulations e-cards, among others. Some are serious, while others are playful and more fun. You can personalize them with a message that shows up after the e-card has played.

There are a number of different companies that offer e-cards. Blue Mountain, Yahoo Greetings, and Hallmark are just a few such websites that offer free e-cards that you can personalize and send. Other companies offer e-cards for a fee, anywhere from a couple dollars a month to $15 a year. For obvious reasons, these sites aren’t as popular as the free ones.

Safety with e-cards

As with anything sent over the computer nowadays, there is also a certain amount of risk that goes with e-cards. Some e-cards are actually viruses or scams that download spyware, viruses, or adware onto your computer when you open them. Some of these e-card viruses are more annoying than harmful, such as those that barrage you with pop-up ads or send junk to your email; others are more serious and can hack into your email address books and send embarrassing spam emails to all of your contacts. For this reason, it is important to take a number of precautions when opening your e-cards.

First of all, always make sure your computer has an anti-virus and anti-spyware software installed, and make sure you keep it up to date. This can help protect your computer from any viruses or threats that come from bogus e-cards.

Next, never open any e-cards from a name you don’t recognize. You can almost be sure that anyone who doesn’t already know you won’t be sending you an e-card, so there’s a good chance it could be fake. Also, avoid opening any e-cards from names such as “Your Secret Admirer,” or “Your BFF.”

You should also avoid opening any attachments. Legitimate e-cards don’t come in the form of attachments. Instead, you follow a link to the company’s website and pick up your e-card by clicking on a link. Opening or downloading an attachment could result in you downloading a virus onto your computer.

When sending e-cards, make sure you are sending them from a reputable e-card site and not from a link you have followed from somewhere else. Also, avoid filling in your friends’ email addresses to certain sites.

While most e-cards are safe, when it comes to your information and your contacts, you can never be too careful. You can have fun with e-cards but be safe at the same time by staying alert when it comes to opening up e-cards.

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Feldman, Barbara. "Safe and Fun E-Cards." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 18 Sep. 2007. Web. 9 Dec. 2014. < >.