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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Dangerous Links in Email Text

To all Internet users:

A web site address is a URL or "Uniform resource locator". BigRigBible.com is a URL. When placed into a browser's address bar and sent to the Internet, computers called DNS or "Domain Name Servers" translate the URL into an IP or "Internet Protocol" address.  All version 4 IP address are of the format of ###.###.###.###.  The IP address of BigRigBible.com server is 208.180.26.21.  Newer format 6 IP addresses are much more intricate.

Links embedded in email text can be Dangerous as they might take you to some place other that what they say.  When you click on a link in an email, it does not have to link to where the email text says.  We use Thunderbird email client to read and write our emails. In Thunderbird, Gmail, Yahoo and other email programs, when you hover over a link, the actual link will be displayed in the bottom left corner of the screen. Here are some examples:

www.BigRigBible.com - this link will take you to www.BigRigBible.com  The first link was created using Thunderbird's "Insert Link" tool and it takes you to where is says.  The second link on this page was automatically created by Thunderbid and it also takes you to http://bigrigbible.com/

www.UsaMotorHost.com - this link will also take you to www.BigRigBible.com We created the first link on this line using the Insert Link tool, but we re-directed UsaMotorHost.com to BigRigBible. And we re-directed the second automatically created link to go the MattsonExpress.com.

Re-directions can get you in trouble, starting up sites or programs such as viruses or malware or advertisements you do not want.

So what to do?
1. First, do not click on any links unless you absolutely needs to access what is offered.
2. If you receive an email from a trusted source, e.g. WebDesign@UsaMotorHost.com, then you know you will not be damaged.
3. However, scammers have ways to fake a trusted source. Therefore we recommend only clicking on email links when you have verbally spoken with the source beforehand.
4. If is safest to never click on an link, but to copy the URL, e.g. http://bigrigbible.com/ from the text of the email to your browser address. Then you know there are no tricks involved.

You need to handle attachments in a similar fashion.  We have never gotten a virus from attachments using the following rules.
a. Never open attachments ending in .exe.  These are programs ready to run on your computer and possibly do damage.
b. Never open any attachment unless you have requested a file to be sent to you.
c. Always confirm the attachment name and content with a trusted email sender.
d. When opening the confirmed attachment, stop and cancel if anything looks amiss and re-contact the trusted sender.

We hope these keeps you out of trouble.

Pete & Ellen