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Newsgroups, Listservs, Newsletters, Chats & Phishing

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Newsgroups, Listservs, Newsletters, Chats & Phishing. Electronic Writing & Publishing. What is a Newsgroup?. Traditionally: part of the usenet news system Now: A topic-based discussion forum & repository

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what is a newsgroup
What is a Newsgroup?
  • Traditionally: part of the usenet news system
  • Now:
    • A topic-based discussion forum & repository
    • Still part of the usenet news system, with hierarchies based on topic (soc, alt, comp, talk)
    • Accessed/received via email, website (often requiring login), or a newsreader
    • Topics can be almost anything
    • Often includes spam, trolling, & flaming
where can i find newsgroups
Where can I find Newsgroups?
  • Goggle Groups search:
  • Newzbot:
  • FAQ on usenet newsgroups:
  • Brief intro to newsgroups with a selection of newsgroups:
what is a listserv
What is a Listserv?
  • An electronic mailing list for discussion
    • often topic based
  • A public forum or community
  • Requires a subscription (usually easy to obtain by sending an email to the listserv email address)
  • Messages sent to all members
  • Available: email sent to inbox, digest form, online
  • Often has less spam than newsgroups due to the subscription and possible monitoring
how a listserv works
How a Listserv works

Image from Tri-Service Toxicology Consortium

where can i find listservs
Where can I find Listservs?
  • Catalogue of listservs with a search:
  • Use a search engine (google, yahoo,…) and search for your topic and listserv [Example search: cats listserv]
  • Look up professional organizations in your field. Many should have listserv
  • For more info, including how to join & hints of being part of a listserv:
what is a newsletter
What is a Newsletter?
  • Newsletters are not Newsgroups! They are not discussion lists
  • Newsletters are one-to-many emails originated by a single source (often a company) and sent out to those who have subscribed
  • Like the old paper newsletters
  • Examples include news updates from NY Times, CNN, or other sources; company newsletter; quotes of the day; recipes of the week; a groups monthly news; and so on
what is chat im
What is Chat/IM?
  • Synchronous online communication
  • Usually between just two people & fairly short
  • Various “types”
    • Instant messaging (IM)
    • AOL Instant Messenger (AOL IM)
    • ICQ (“I seek you”)
    • Yahoo Chat (Y!)
    • IRC: not owned by a company, requires client program
  • Universal clients available that allow you access several chat types at the same time (Trillian, Zango,…)
examples of chat interfaces
Examples of Chat Interfaces

Example chat window

Example interface

  • “Crackers” send fraudulent emails “from” a trustworthy source to lure victims to give up sensitive info (such as passwords, account numbers, credit card numbers, and the such), often require people to log in at fake sites and in the process giving the info to the phishers, often use scare tactics to get people “hooked”
    • Examples: emails from a bank asking for account info, email from ebay wanting info
    • Started on AOL
    • Tips:
      • DO NOT follow the email
      • DO NOT use the url in the email
      • If unsure go to the real website type in the URL yourself or call the company
      • Most companies want you to send any phishing email your received “from” them to them