Thuggish trolls online!

22:00, May 10 2012

If you've spent any time online, there is a better than even chance you have stumbled across a troll in your travels.

The subject of online trolls and their anti-social personal habit has been popping up fairly frequently of late at work, at home and (naturally) on some of the message boards I use.

It is fascinating watching one in its natural habitat, lurching from message board thread to thread, spreading poison.

A certain nameless not-so-tech-savvy someone who may or may not be reading this (waves to poor, long-suffering but well-insured husband) gave me a blank look when the word "troll'' was used a couple of days ago.

So for the uninitiated, a troll is internet slang for:
"someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.'' (source Wikipedia)

And the most important piece of advice for anyone who encounters one is this: do not feed the trolls.

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In this case, feeding means responding to their posts, because it is by the indignation, anger or annoyance expressed by other users that these socially inept little creatures get their jollies.

Instead, just ignore them and much like all those other annoyances we encounter in life, they will eventually go away.

Even better, if you are using Facebook, give them a cheery wee thumbs-up by hitting the like button, just to confuse them.

Speaking of things you don't want to meet online, Symantec says beware of a recently discovered Adobe Flash zero day vulnerability, where the glitch in Adobe Flash Player is used for targeted attacks.

Be careful, be cautious with email attachments the company suggests and click here to read more.

Still on the subject of Symantec and computer security, the 2013 public betas of Norton Internet Security, Norton AntiViurs and Norton 360 are now available for free download.

These products are compatible with Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Windows 7, Vista and XP.

Beta testers are encouraged to share feedback and discuss their experiences so if you want to take part, pop along to the beta site and get clicking.