Home, Personal and Internet Security Advice

Subject Information:

Tonbridge U3A Privacy Policy

You need to login to view this content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

Searching for information

When advice on applications is sought, we use the great power of the internet. Using a smart phone is literally like having the great libraries of the world in the palm of your hand. To prove that point as I write this I just thought I would test this by finding out the name of F D Roosevelt’s dog. Including the time to type the question it took less than 5 seconds to find the answer: Fala (April 7, 1940 – April 5, 1952), a Scottish Terrier. 20 years ago how long would that have taken to find the answer?

Q: So what’s the problem?

A: Maintaining the information.

That’s not going to be a problem with FDW’s dog as it will always have been Fala (unless we become a totalitarian state!). The problem is that information on the plethora of software and their latest releases it becomes difficult for the software companies to maintained the information, let alone alternate internet sources of help.

The morals is

  • If your first search does not seen to answer your question keep looking for other sources
  • Be mindful of who runs the site, and the date of the posting
    • As an example I was recently searching the web to find why my Edge browser (the default browser for Windows 10) would not save my passwords. I found lots of suggestions on the internet giving directions like “click the more button, go to Settings, click Advanced -> Passwords and Autocomplete -> enable Save passwords “. This I duly tried but even these basic instructions were way out of date. Then I tried looking up the version of Edge I have (it is up to date as I write): 44.18362.4490 I found the answer I required: The Microsoft moderator for the blog site stated that because of all the problems with Edge they were redesigning the browser and basing the new design on the Chrome engine! Nowhere else did I anyone say that.


Andrew Brookes


Tonbridge U3A Website Improvements

Dear Members

In this time of constraint we at the web team wish everyone good health. We would like to update you on recent improvements to the website so you might like to take another look.

Comment has been passed to us that the website is difficult to use. We have been unable to find any extensive evidence of this but we take all comments to heart and consider them. We always aim to improve the site on an ongoing basis.

We have carefully considered what improvements we can make, and have planned to implement them.

• Improve clarity where possible

• Remove unnecessary information from pages

• Make it easier for users to see non-sensitive information without logging in

• Make it easier for prospective members to see what goes on in Tonbridge  U3A, without compromising security

• Make navigation easier, typically by adding links to the front page

• Keep basic information about Interest Groups available at the top of the Group pages

• Advice as to how users could make logging in easier by making your device safely remember your password and use it automatically. We do not allow non-logged in members to view personal details and precise locations of Group meetings. This maintains member privacy.

• Note: ‘non-logged in users’ refers to both non-logged in members and non-members (= the public) alike.

Website changes already implemented

• Quick link buttons for common tasks on the home page have been added: later we will be making them into textual link lists

•At the top of each Group’s page of posts we have created an opening paragraph, containing basic but non-sensitive information. This will be visible, whether logged in or not.

‘Fastest Access to a Group’ works whether user is logged in or not

• We have added a ‘login/logout’ link on the home page under the top pictures so it is visible on most devices

• To improve clarity: the ‘Join Us’ menu item has been removed and the extra content added to the ‘How to Join’ page

BBC Sounds and Podcast leaflets, written by Kate Izzard, has been added to give members a project to pursue during Lock-Down.  We have added a button on the home page and also an entry in the Members menu

Proposed Website changes

• Basic information about groups will be fixed to the top of the relevant page so they are visible without scrolling All information will be made public EXCEPT personal details in accordance with privacy requirements unless the Group requests otherwise.

• We will be replacing the three paragraphs near the top of the home page with a single reduced version of what the U3A and what Tonbridge U3A is about. Clicking ‘more’ on this paragraph will take the user to a page expanding the information

• Possibly add a site map, which will simply be a single page display of the layout of the Menu system. This will show the user what is there and how to navigate to it using the menus

• A help page for users on how to use our website to its best

Andrew Brookes, Website Team Support

30 April 2020

Latest Scams

The National (England & Wales) Trading Standards Scam Team


helps to tackle mass marketing scams and to disrupt the operations of the perpetrators behind mail scams. It has recently launched an initiative with Royal Mail and Trading Standards Scotland to create a new process for cancelling the contracts of companies that send fraudulent mail. So far over 6,000 items of mail have been returned as part of this operation, and more than £186,985 has been returned to victims.

Scams affect the lives of millions of people across the UK and the people scammed experience shame and isolation as a result. Phone and internet scams are increasing and all need to be aware of them. If you are unsure of a phone call put it straight down.

1.  A phone call purporting to be from Windows or Microsoft is a SCAM. Neither company will call you suggesting you have a problem. You may be asked to allow them remote access to your computer – NEVER ALLOW REMOTE ACCESS TO YOUR COMPUTER.  If you are scammed in this way call 0300 123 2040 or report it to https://actionfraud-az-microsoft-frauds .

2. If you receive a phone call from the Inland Revenue – it is a  SCAM. The caller will tell you that you owe tax going back years and it must be paid immediately and they do not send letters as it is all communication by phone only. They ask you to pay immediately or you will start incurring hefty fines. They want you to pay by card over the phone. DON’T – IT IS A SCAM. The Inland Revenue will only send you a letter on inland revenue paper with the appropriate headings and your personal number.

Preventing Fraud – advice from U3A National

We have had a couple of calls into the advice line regarding U3As who have experienced financial related scams.

One of these involved a degree of sophistication whereby the email seemingly came from a hotel where the U3A was due to hold an event resulting in the U3A making their payment to a fraudulent account.  Another U3A received an email via its website also requesting a payment which they did not make.

Please be vigilant in respect of any requests for payment that come via email and double check that these have been sent from the appropriate source before making any payments.

Fraud and scams

The Metropolitan Police Service FALCON unit (Fraud and Linked Crime Online) have created resources which are freely available to the public to assist in raising awareness about Scams and Fraud.

Available for download for free are:

There are also 5 short animated videos to help raise awareness with regards to defending yourself against online crime:

In the next few weeks, five more will be released including Computer Software Fraud, Payment Fraud and Romance Fraud and Money.


Members should be aware that on-line scams are becoming more prevalent and that you need to be ever vigilant. An attempt to hack into parts of the TU3A web site containing confidential information was recently made. Members are advised NEVER to open links to unknown sources and NEVER to reveal confidential information to anyone, particularly pin numbers and passwords.  To obtain further information on topics such as “phishing”, members are advised to visit the web site of the National Cyber Security Centre, https.//www.ncsc.gov.uk


You need to login to view this content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

Internet Awareness

The internet can be an amazing resource providing us with masses of opportunities we’d never have had before from education at your fingertips to connecting with family and friends around the world.  However, like many new technologies, it can also be abused.  It is important to ensure you stay safe on the internet especially when nowadays it touches almost all aspects of everyone’s daily life.  Below are a few points to take into consideration when online.

  • Email links/attachments from strangers – Viruses can be spread through email attachments and links. If you’re unsure what you are opening do not open it.
  • Email scams – Email scams are not uncommon and can include companies promising you’re entitled to millions of pounds and asking for your personal information.  Another common scam involves companies pretending to be your bank claiming there is a problem with your account, if this happens either forward the details to your bank, visit them or phone them up and they can let you know if it’s from them.  The majority of legitimate companies will never email you asking for your password.
  • Be wary of suspicious emails even from friends – incidents have occurred where a person has received an email from a friend stating that they’re stuck in a foreign country after having their wallet and passport stolen from them.  They then ask for money to be sent over to them. This is all done by a hacker who has managed to get into an email account.  If you think you have been hacked, change your password straight away.
  • Online banking – Ensure when doing online banking that the technology you’re using is secure and has relevant anti-virus software that can guard you against potential hackers.  Never access your online banking through an email sent to you and complete transactions online only when the URL says ‘https’ instead of ‘http’, the ‘s’ stands for secure.

Janet Greenroyd 

Kent Community Warden Service Mid Kent, Maidstone and Tonbridge and Malling Team Leader – Public Protection Service  Growth, Environment and Transport

Insurance information

The Third Age Trust has produced an informative booklet which gives an overview of its insurance policy including Frequently Asked Questions.  This can be found on their website at www.u3a.org.uk.

You will need to log on to the members area, then click onto the Document Downloads icon.  Scroll down and click onto Reference Documents, then scroll down to find insurance information under ‘Information Booklets’ or, below that, the insurance cover note.

Latest News

Redacted Handbook 2021-2022

Please click here to read our Handbook 2021-2022 which has personal details removed.

Travel News

Dear Members

Exploring South West Wales – Saturday 23 April to Saturday 30 April 2022

Our holiday for 2022 will be 8 days exploring the history and heritage of this area of the UK.


Our trip to the Christmas lights at Kew in 2018 proved extremely popular and so we have organised a visit to Leonardslee Gardens, at Lower Beeding, near Horsham for their Illuminations and Christmas Market. The Illuminations should prove to be spectacular and atmospheric, with a 60-90 minute stroll through the beautiful grounds of Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens as they come to life with

Crossness Pumping Station and Buffet Lunch, Thursday 21 October 2021

We will travel to the Crossness Pumping Station at Abbey Wood where tea, coffee, soft drinks and biscuits will beavailable on arrival. Followed by an illustrated talk giving the historical context and build up to the Great Stink of 1858, a look at the sewer system model showing Bazalgette’s engineering solution to London’s public health crisis, a guided tour of the Crossness site and the engines (Prince Consort the restored engine is unlikely to be operating because of a technical problem) and then we will be free to explore the Great Stink exhibition and view a wonderful collection of toilets!

Fancy a Cuppa? Friday 17 September and then on the third Friday of each month