For many of us a computer has become an important tool.
We use it to research stuff, conduct business, do banking and to communicate with work/business, family and friends.

As wonderful as these tools are, there are many dangers connected to computers and to emails.

For example, recently, someone sent some slanderous, anonymous emails to many people who write for the newspaper. They used what is called a proxy and a page washer (allows them to remove their IP address effectively hiding themselves) to send these nasty pieces. Beyond that information, the only thing with regard to identity our web host can only tell us with any certaintly, is that a hotmail account was used.

Now for me, the fortunate thing is that everyone who got the email, sent me copies and expressed their deep regret that someone would stoop so low. Some of them even tried to send rather angry emails back to the person, however the email address was a made up one and of course came back (bounced) as undeliverable. These emails were sent via the contact us page on our web site.

Then there was a particularly rude message sent to me, personally.
Upon investigation it was discovered that the only way to find out definitively who did these despicable things was to get the RCMP involved. Only with a subpoena are the companies that provide page washing services or Internet communication services compelled to release information. Needing a subpoena, from what I understand, requires a criminal charge be laid.

So to get to the bottom of who is sending vicious, nasty emails about me to others required me to go and get a case file opened.

Slander on the Internet is a frequent occurrence because people can, if they are savvy enough, find ways to hide that allow them to spew whatever filth they want to dish out and very seldom does anyone go to the trouble and lengths of rooting them out, why? It's a tough, tough, long and potentially costy process.

Then there are emails that contain Viruses and Trojans. I know of a group of people who are all connected to me and each other, they got a Trojan sent to them by a former member of their circle...that Trojan affected a number of people's computers as they did not have their anti virus running.

Protecting yourself on the Internet and in emails from attacks by strangers is one thing.
But protecting yourself from people you know or who know you and are disgruntled and have a grudge is entirely another thing.

Becoming computer savvy in this day and age is vital to everyone who has a computer. Knowing email protocols like removing the email addresses and names out of emails you are forwarding to prevent spammers for accessing that information is critical but not many people seem to understand that.

Ensuring that your anti virus programs are up to date and running, scanning your computer regularly - these things need to be done routinely, but again, there are many who do not understand that. Ensure that your anti virus programs check your emails BEFORE you open them...

Reporting spam and abuses of/to your email account to the email senders hosts is a tool in preventing spam and protecting friends. Understanding how to white list an email account (accept emails you want) and how and when to black list an email account (preventing these emailsrom coming to you, ever) is important to email security.

Black listing someoone has serious consequences attached to it especially for businesses like mine who send out regular emails to people who are members on our site. Getting marked as a spammer is a sure fire way to kill a business - so use caution when black listing some one. You always want to be the things you subscribe and or pay for. If you no longer wish to get something you have subscribed for either unregister from the site or unsubscribe the their news and information emails.

The Internet is filled with wonderful information on protecting yourself whether you be surfing the Internet or using email. I recommend highly for those of you who are unsure and or uncomfortable using computers (or are new to them) to please, research some of the ways and means to stay safe. Mistakes you make in opening infected emails can cost you a filthy fortune.

Here are some very good educational resources that may help you better protect yourself, your computer and your information, not to mention your friends and families:

If you are lucky enough to be riding today, take a walk around that iron steed, stay hydrated use respect with that right hand, and PLEASE ride like everyone around you is blind and can't see you - stay safe.

Belt Drive Betty

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