The very first rule when using the internet is NEVER NEVER open any emails from people who you do not know! If you do actually open such an email NEVER EVER  click on any attachments or graphics, or links that will take you to a web site. Delete the email straight away. If it was a genuine email and was important then the sender will usually get back to you by some other means anyway if they don’t get a reply from you.

Most internet providers will send you your emails with the graphics turned off. This  is because some spam emails will have a graphic so small and embedded within the text (approximately 1 pixel x 1 pixel) that you can not see it. This graphic can pick up all the information from your computer and send it back to the scammer or phisher. Sometimes it will deposit a virus on your computer that will send back to the scammer or phisher all the information about which keys you have pressed on your keyboard and so will sort through all this and will then have all your email addresses, passwords, and details of everything else that you have typed. This virus is called a “Key Logger” and is the most popular method of obtaining information from your computer and yourself. Clicking on graphics in emails can also have this effect; as can clicking on a web site link that takes you to another web site page which is probably insecure and will send a virus back to your computer. (See information below about the “Key Logger” virus.) If your email account always shows up the graphics in an email then DO TURN THEM OFF. Following are a few tips to help you keep your computer clean and safe and protect you from fraudsters.

  1. *   Always delete your computers’ “History” cache , after every session, if possible. Look for the “History” panel at the top of the web page, click it and  look down the list for “Clear History”.

  2. *    Always Delete all your “Download” items in your Download Folder as often as possible too.   

  3. *    The same applies for “Cookies”. Delete them all as soon as possible despite what the web page tells you about them. Cookies will send back information about your web site habits and history as well as other information. They will always re-appear when you visit that site again.

  4. *    (Every action on a computer will store a file in its cache (storage) and keeps a copy of what you have just done. You may not know that your Email facility stores all its graphics and attachments in a Download Folder and this will very quickly fill up with files and take up a lot of valuable space. In this folder will also be all the files that you have downloaded from internet sites you visited. Internet chat programmes (Messenger etc) and social networking sites (Facebook etc.) will also keep History files in a cache or history folder.)

  5. *  Most computers have an application that will delete all the History files, Downloaded items and Cookies, all in one go, so do use this after EVERY use of the internet. Use a reputable web site to download the software if it’s not already on your computer or consult a respected IT technician if you are not sure about this. Doing this will also free up a huge amount of memory space on your computer and it will operate a lot quicker than before!

  1. * If you follow the next few tips it will confuse the cookie sender, phisher or spammer...

  1. *    Your Modem or Wi-Fi equipment also holds a “History” cache so every week turn it completely off for about eight hours (overnight) or more. This will delete all the stored History files on the equipment and will also give you a new ISP address for your equipment and computer, confusing any previous scammers, phishers or Key Loggers! This will also help to keep your equipment running at its optimum speed.

  2. *    Clean your computer REGULARLY with anti-virus software that will also clean out any viruses. If you can not do this yourself then do get someone qualified to complete the process for you. IMMEDIATELY afterwards change ALL your passwords to 10 characters to include capital letters as well as small letters, and include some numbers and some non-letter characters too. Keep a note of all your passwords safe, but you won’t need to learn all these new passwords because most computers will save them for you.

  3. *    DO NOT change all your passwords before the virus scan or clean-up because if there is a Key Logger virus on your computer the sender will obtain the new passwords etc. before the clean-up!!

The very first rule when using the internet is NEVER NEVER open any emails from people who you do not know! If you do actually open such an email NEVER EVER click on any attachments or graphics, or links that will take you to a web site. DELETE the email right away. If it was a genuine email and was important then the sender will usually get back to you by some other means anyway if they don’t get a reply from you.

The “Key Logger” virus is a very clever and common virus. It works by someone initially sending you what seems to be an innocuous email and it encourages you to click on a graphic or a web site link. They often “thank you for your recent purchase” of tickets or goods (usually from what appears to be a genuine company) and want you to download the invoice which obviously contains the virus! THIS IS FATAL if you actually do this - the virus will be loaded onto your computer! The same applies if you click on a web site link - which is probably a ‘false’ site anyway and it will send the virus back to your computer.

Having clicked the graphic or web site link the virus is now on your computer. EVERY time you press your keyboard it sends that information back to the sender who trawls through all this to find all your passwords that you typed in, as well as everything else, personal or not!! It is best practice NOT to type in your passwords every time you log into sites or email facilities but to save them on your computer so that they will be inserted automatically. Most computers and browsers today have this facility but there are Password Saving software packages available today as Password Managers, readily available on the internet.

So what does the Key Logger virus do next? Having got your passwords, especially to your email account, they now log in to your email account and send an email with lots of graphics to hundreds of false email accounts which do not exist. These will then come back to you as “Undelivered Item Returned to Sender.” You could have hundreds of returned emails to your account, with graphics, that will take up so much space in your email account, and on your computer, that nearly all the memory on your computer will be used up which in turn slows down your computer almost to a stop - and you will also have to delete them all to get to the real emails!

Of course, you have probably read all the information above about how to avoid this -  so, DO NOT OPEN SUSPICIOUS EMAILS!!

To find out if you have been subjected to such a “Key Logger” virus, or if your email address has been ‘captured’ by other hackers, you can check it out on this Australian web site set up by a security researcher and blogger who wants stamp out this crime. When you get there just type in your email address and the site will indicate whether any personal information has been hacked from your computer, or if you are on any of the millions of illegally obtained email lists being sold and distributed around the world to fraudsters. There is also a facility there to subscribe to a “Password Manager” facility that will automatically enter your passwords for you without having to type them in, and so beat the “Key Logger”!

Click the graphic below to find out......

Have I Been Pwned? is a website that allows internet users to check 

     if their personal data has been compromised by data breaches.

                               Click the graphic below to find out:


Has your email address been compromised? Check here:

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Some information about “Cookies”....How to protect your own personal information from data harvesting.....

“Cookies” are a very small files that will be placed on your computer every time you visit a web site. This not only helps the site to function correctly but they will also collect information about ALL you activities on your computer as well as noting all the sites you visit. The sites then collect all this information, collate it, and then send it on to third party data collection sites and businesses; in other words they sell all the information they collected on you to anyone else who will pay them for it!! Cookies dropped on to your computer will also allow further cookies to be put on your computer from “other interested parties”. Here is a simple example: after visiting a web site about a holiday hotel I started getting adverts on my Facebook page about hotels for weeks!!

If you block the cookies on your computer some web sites pages will not show up and your Facebook page will not work! So how can you overcome this problem?

The best way is to delete all the cookies AFTER you have finished visiting web sites, and this includes social media sites and email sites. I visited my email web page then went on to my Facebook page then looked up my cookies list and found that 34 cookies had been dropped on to my computer just from visiting these two web pages!!

So if you want data protection delete all the cookies after visiting web sites.

There are some software packages that will do this for you, including deleting your browsing history - which is also an important and protective thing to do. Here’s how to do it manually yourself....

Chrome browsers: On the top left-hand corner click on “Chrome” and then choose “Clear browsing data” then follow the instructions to delete cookies and history files.

Safari browsers: On the top left-hand corner click on “Safari”, choose “Preferences”, “Privacy”, and click on “Manage website data” to remove all cookies, you will be surprised just how many are there!!

Firefox browsers: On the top left-hand corner click on “Firefox”, choose “Preferences”, “Privacy and Security”, then tick the button or box to include blocking “cookies from unvisited sites”. Also at the same time check the box to “Do not track” - this will stop your personal data from being sent on the third party sites via cookies.

For any other browsers the methods are very similar to those above, so if you have a PC it is best to search for a page on Google about the particular PC browser you are using and how to delete its cookies and history files.




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