Helpful advice

Flood Warning System explained

By Roger Baker

The North Yorkshire Division of the Environment Agency has installed a new flood warning operation in their offices in York which is operational 24/7. In order to demonstrate and communicate the facility, representatives of all flood risk areas were invited to a seminar on 7 July 2018. In order to provide a localised communication link within the village Rodney Wilson, Ken Barker and I have agreed to become flood wardens, consequently we attended the seminar

Basically all the Environment Agency personnel leaders involved in the system presented their part in the operation and the seminar was concluded with a tour of the facility. It was emphasised that some areas
rely heavily on forecast information such as Tadcaster which is quite different to Bishop Monkton. However as more accurate equipment is introduced we recognise the benefit of maintaining a presence in the system.

In the immediate term communication from the system is communicated to Flood Wardens however if individual persons wish to receive Flood Warnings, the office in York will add the persons to the contact list. The numbers to ring are as follows

Customer Service Line : 03708 506 506

Incident Hot Line:  0800 807060

Floodline: 03459 881188

The Environment Agency Contact Person is Lisa Gifford.

Flood Risk Manager is Jenny Baker( no relation).


Computer Scams Warning

By Martin Minett
There's no such thing as genuine Microsoft or Windows Support'.  These people, often Asian sounding, have no idea of what might or might not be a problem on your computer or modem or broadband link - they are making it up.  

That is until you agree to them 'helping' you, when they (remotely) take control of your machine (so they move your cursor around) and start taking a variety of actions.  Some actions might remove/harm your antivirus and other security  software, some might be removing icons, some might be searching for passwords,  some might be planting a seed so that when you restart computer you have to input a code that can only be 'bought' from them.  Some just leave 'damage' in  your system.  

They are just after your money either by getting payments for curing these non existent or to allow you back into your computer after re-booting or details of your cards/bank so that they can continue to 'extract' money.

If they ring or email you then you should ignore/delete or shout what ever you want to at them!  Do not agree to anything.  Do not let them in.  Do not give them any details.  To cut them off then put the phone down or turn off your modem.  Delete any emails or label them as Spam.  You don't want to have to pay them £200 or have them take money from your Bank or Credit card and you don't want your computer operating damaged. 
If you do get taken in then cut them off as soon as you can and quickly contact your bank and credit cards - you might be able to stop a payment of to stop the card/account being fraudulently used.   

Try to restart your computer (initially in to Safe Mode if that means anything to you)  but without a link to your modem (or the modem switched off) and keep your fingers crossed.   

Check that everything is still available and working, particularly your security software (anti-virus, anti-malware and firewall).  Perform full scans of your complete computer (anti-virus and anti-malware). Check, via 1471, if the've left their calling number and note it (a later Google search of it can be quite revealing!).  

If all seems OK then switch on your modem and then link to the internet.  Just check that basic internet running is ok (say by viewing the village website) and if all seems to be ok then you need to change all of the passwords - that's e-mails, websites, accounts etc and possibly even the one you use when the computer starts (though not everybody has or wants a Windows password). 
If, however, you are aware of changes and or problems then you are probably going the need help from someone very experienced or from a computer shop - the two in Ripon (Laptops on the ringroad by the first roundabout going north or the PC Clinic in North Street) are both pretty helpful and reasonable.  Even they might not be able to return your computer to exactly the state it was and with all of the security and software or with all of your own files.  

If you have to use them then take with you all of the original CD/DVD's that either came with your computer (and printer etc) or those Windows System Backup DVD's that you should have created once your system had been installed and was up and running!
So make sure you don't get stung, ensure all of your security software keeps up to date and that your computer is regularly (weekly) fully scanned.   Also regularly backup all 'important' files (documents, photos and possibly e-mails unless you are using webmail like Gmail or Outlook) onto some offline device (a large USB memory stick or better an external USB Hard Disk) and include these in your scanning for viruses and malware.  

Delete all dodgey looking e-mails (from the Senders 'name' or the Subject) and remember the banks  and similar bodies never importantly communicate in this way - only for  marketing!).  If it's important they will always send another one (or you can ring them to check).
Unfortunately the 'bodies' that could help trace these vermin and then take action are, for whatever reason, seemingly not very responsive - such as the Internet Service Providers, Trading Standards or the Police (through Action Fraud).  Perhaps the volumes are too great (though I've not heard of any prosecutions or blockings) and even though they often leave UK phone numbers (from a subsequent 1471 check), the claim is they operate from outside the UK and apparently there is nothing that can be done - sounds a bit weak to me!