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Safety Measures 



Fraudulent 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.


Personal Data

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.

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The internet is wonderful for accessing information but you must always be careful, especially with your banking details.