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You are here > Home > Members > Regional & Local Websites > South Midlands Region > Severn Intergroup > Online Advice

Online Advice

The 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.
Generally a phishing attack will not lead to anything untoward but as Alcoholoics our anonymity can be threatned by such techniques
Dont panic! 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.
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.