or Hoax e-mails
Any message, whether received via e-mail or through the door, which promises
riches, prizes, or rewards in return for a cash payment or supplying your bank/credit card details should be regarded with
the suspicion it deserves and be deleted or thrown away immediately. Some more subtle tricks have included official-looking
e-mails supposedly from banks, etc., asking you to confirm card details and/or PIN numbers. Delete them. Banks will never
ask for such information to be put in an e-mail.
On a slightly less serious level, false
messages have appeared warning you that you have a virus on your computer and you must delete certain files to remove it.
When you do this you will find that your computer will no longer function. Be suspicious of all emails from unknown sources.
If in doubt, it is a good idea to get a second opinion. Preferably ask someone
with experience of Internet/e-mail matters and whose opinion you trust.
Take as much care with your personal
details on the Internet as you would in other areas of your life. Do not send financial details unless you are sure of the
site and secure access is in force. Only e-mail such information if you are very sure of where it is going. Always think before
giving out details such as name, address and telephone number. This is particularly true in social situations such as e-mail
correspondence and chat room activities. It is relatively easy to ignore someone electronically by deleting their e-mails
or staying away from a chat room, but not so easy if they have your real name, address and telephone number.
Reliability of data
Information retrieved from the WorldwideWeb
is as reliable or unreliable as data obtained from any other source. Always consider the source when judging reliability.
For example it is reasonable to assume that information from the BBC web site will be as reliable (or otherwise) as that contained
in BBC broadcasts. Information obtained from unrecognised web sites will be the equivalent of
being told something by a man in a pub.
An extra problem with web sites is that it
can be more difficult to establish their authenticity. It is relatively easy for an individual to create a web site
that looks prestigious and may even mimic the
appearance of a larger organisation. The legislation, which normally prevents this is a lot more difficult to apply to the
world wide web, where sites may originate from any country in the world.