Online AdviceThe Internet is great place for seeking information or just looking to
see what is available but it has a predatory side to it. In general if
you use the internet you would be well advised to use an Anti virus
program to monitor your exchanges with the internet. Mine checks for
Viruses, attemptrs to hijack your computer for nefarious purposes, warns
when I encounter a suspicious web site, etc. I expect most AV programs
do some of this if not all and more.
One function that it carries out
is to check emails for malicious code, because this is a favorite way
of delivering a virus. What it cannot do is check to see if links are
directed to a piece of code that is capable of stealing information from
your computer. Such activities are generaly directed at social
profiling by a method called phishing.
Phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive
information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and
sometimes, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by
masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.
a phishing attack will not lead to anything untoward but as Alcoholoics
our anonymity can be threatned by such techniques
Banks, Building Societies, Governments (local and national) and even you
email provider employ techniques that eleviate the problem of theft.
You will need to make sure thatr you do not keep a plain text record of
your passwords/codes on your computer.
We have , recently, been
subject to several social profiling attacks and they can be easy to
avoid if you know what you are looking for.
Do you know the person
that an email is coming from. Even if there name aoppears in the
address, is it the known senders address. Are you expecting them to
contact you and is the subject something that you would discus with
them? It is easy enough to contact them and ask!
If there is a link Do Not click on it.
is apparent that these emails have tended to come from similar
servers using similar email addresses so it would be easy enogh to place
address on a blocked senders list.
In any event don't become paranoid about it the Internet is a fairly safe place.