Some people come here and are not that familiar with the Internet and how their actions can put them at risk. Others are Internet literate, yet haven't learned some important things regarding safety.
Here are a few suggestions that will help keep you, your computer, and your personal information safe and secure.
- Show caution regarding the information listed in member profiles. The safest behavior is to only click on web links provided by members who post here with at least some regularity and have screen names you are familiar with. The Member list actually shows how many times each member has posted. If the member has not made any posts, don't click on their website link to see what it there.*
-Consider not including your personal or "real" email in your member information. Alternately, if you do want people to be able to email you, consider creating a hotmail, gmail, Yahoo, or similar email account just for the purpose of using on this board (or any other).**
-If you get any Private Messages from any member you do not know and it's not related specifically to one of your posts or RLS, let one of the moderators know.
-This is a public forum. Anyone who happens upon it can read it, whether he or she is a member or not. This includes your family, friends, and people you don't know. It is also owned by the RLSF Foundation and, as such, they hold the copyright on what is written here.
-Do not add--or remove if it's already there--any personal information in your profile that would let people relatively easily figure out exactly who you are. For example, if your email address is your first and last name and you say you live in Portland, Maine, anyone could find your address and other information about you.
*Each day we get 50-100 new registrations; these show up on the registration list, even though they are not yet approved. Only 1-4 of the registrations we get each day belong to people who are interested in RLS, the others belong to potential spammers.
At least 3-4 times a day the moderators weed through these and delete the registrations of spammers. However, since the spammer registrations are displayed in the membership list, even though they are not yet approved, you can click on the links to their websites. At the best, these take you to Google or some advertisement site. At the worst, these take you to graphic pornography or to sites that can infect your computer with a virus.
**If your only experience of the Internet is wonderful forums such as this one or emailing your kids, grandkids, or friends, you may not realize how many potentially bad things are lurking on the Internet. Spammers come to sites such as this to copy the registration list. This provides them more emails to send spam to.
Save yourself trouble and use an email address that you don't care if it gets on a spammer list. You can always delete it and create a new one. If you do not post your "real" email anywhere on the Internet, you will help reduce the risk of the amount of spam you get.