Be careful online

Links are the part of a text message on your phone or an email message on your computer that directs you somewhere else.  The link itself is usually a different color from the rest of the message and/or it may be underlined.  

Don’t open every email, text message, or click on every link you are sent, even if you know the person.   Sometimes, hackers may get your list of contacts so it could be a familiar name sending you a link.  But the link may not spell anything or looks too bizarre—a strange combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.   Don’t click on that link at all.  

It may not be worth the risk of your getting a computer virus which may also send that same virus to everyone on your contact list.   Instead, call that person to verify that they sent you a link if it looks like something you are interested in.  

Some of the same links sent on email is also being sent as text messages on cell phones.   The phone number is different each time (block it if possible), but the message tries to coax you into clicking on the link.  Each text promises you something different:  a prize, cash, a job, an adventure, a freebie, medications from Canada or Mexico, etc.  The same old wisdom is still true: “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is!”

Some websites you actually use will send you constant links or unwanted notifications.    Facebook does it 24 hours a day, notifying you of any change that a user or stranger with a place in your group has made, whether new picture, new photo, etc.   For example, if you have a Facebook friend who has sent out invitations to strangers under “public” (which covers the world), any of those strangers may become your friend and send you messages and/or invitations.  Facebook has 2.41 billion users.  I don’t answer requests when I don’t know the person.

Even a dating site like Ourtime.com will send you a message that someone is sending you a flirt just to start some interaction going.   The person may not even know that a flirt has been sent in their name.   On top of that, several dating sites are owned by one company, and they use the same participants on each site.

Finally, I’ve found it helpful to actually log off and turn my computer off after each use.   As a matter of fact, I don’t turn my computer on every day.   I missed a few worldwide viruses that way.    And, if Google asks you if you want them to save your password, I would pass that opportunity by.   Also, anyone who wants you to stay logged in 24 hours a day is suspicious.  Although I use antivirus software, I’m also suspicious of any company that says they CAN keep your information safe like Lifelock, Experian, Norton, McAfee, the Cloud, etc.   It’s been proven time and time again that ANYONE and ANYTHING can be hacked.

Source: https://www.statista.com for Facebook statistics

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

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