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Learn English Network - Security Centre

Fraudulent Emails | Hot linking | Privacy Policy |Safety | Trolls
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This page covers the privacy policy of the Network and any security issues.

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy sets out how 'The Learn English Network' uses and protects any information that you give when you use our sites.

We are committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.

When using certain parts of the network the following information may be collected:-

* Your IP address
* Your email address (if provided when registering an account)
* Demographic information such as the country you are accessing this website from
* Browser statistics (such as type, OS, screen resolution, javascript enabled etc)

Controlling your personal information

Learn English does not sell, distribute or lease any information to third parties.

What do we do with any information you might write in the forums etc?

Pretty much nothing.

Sometimes we like to look at what country visitors come from, especially out of the way places. It's cool.

Sometimes we like to see what browsers are being used so that we can check the site for compatability.

We don't send out emails, because "WE HATE SPAM!" The only communciation you may receive from us is if you've signed up for the forum, the newsletter or the magazine and that's pretty rare.


We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure we have put in place security procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.

We will never ask you for private information. We are not interested in your ASL, your income or your bank balance.


Cookies are delicious biscuits, made with butter and the best ones have chocolate in them. They are also tiny pieces of text that web sites use to track sessions through the website, so they can find out what pages interest their visitors the most, but we don't know who you are, and we don't know where you live. You can disable or delete cookies using your browser settings (this might affect the functionality of some of the games or tests on this site though).

We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (don't worry, this doesn't include your name, address, email, telephone number or shoe size) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and would like to know your options in relation to·not having this information used by these companies, click here.

Links to other websites

The Network contains links to enable you to visit other relevant or interesting websites easily. We try to only provide links to safe content, but we don't run these websites, and so this policy doesn't cover them. Once you've followed those links you're pretty much on your own. So exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.


The increased use of spamming has led us to cut out all email contact from all our web sites. People can still contact us via the forum.

If you are having similar problems you may be interested in this article:-

How to get rid of spam.

Bogus Emails

If you ever receive an email that looks like it was sent from Learn English, it wasn't. We will not use your email address to contact you. We use the forum, or one of the social networking sites, or we simply talk to you in a session.

Learn English will never send you an email requesting any personal information. We don't run membership accounts, there is no admin, no administrator, no registration, no webmaster and no support. In addition we don't provide email addresses to anyone. There are no "officials" here.

So, the bottom line is you should be suspicious when you are asked by email for any information, or to open any attachments, especially if you did not initiate the contact.

Frequently Asked Questions about "Phishing"

1. How can fraudulent emails get my email address? They most likely have gathered the email addresses from publicly available places.

2. What should I do if I receive a fraudulent email?

  • Don't open it.

  • Don't click on any links. Always go to a website yourself through your browser.

  • Don't open any attachments.

  • Do NOT respond to the original email. That will only confirm your mail address and you may receive further attacks.
On the bright side you can learn a new word

Phishing is a practice used by con-artists (scum of the earth) on the internet to steal someone's bank account or credit card number or other personal information. They accomplish this by sending fake emails which may claim to be from Ebay, Microsoft, your internet service provider, some other legitimate website (like mine), your bank or even a law enforcement agency.

The term "phish" was first coined in the mid 1990s by crackers attempting to steal America Online (AOL) accounts. An attacker would pose as an AOL staff member and send an instant message to a potential victim. The message would ask the victim to reveal his or her password, for instance to "verify your account" or to "confirm billing information." Once the victim gave over the password, the attacker could access the victim's account and use it for criminal purposes, such as spamming (the act of sending unsolicited electronic messages in bulk).

"Phishing" is sometimes said to stand for password fishing. Some theories accredit the term "phishing" to originate from the name "Brien Phish," who was the first to allegedly use psychological techniques to steal credit card numbers in the 1980s. Others believe that "Brien Phish" was not a real person but a fictional character used by scammers to identify each other.


What is hotlinking?

Every image that is displayed on my pages is uploaded from my own web space. However, it has come to my attention that some people are displaying images directly from my web site onto theirs.

This is known as hotlinking, leeching, or direct linking and it is something you should never do. It's bad enough to use an image from another web site without permission, but hotlinking is even worse.

Why you shouldn't do it

Some of the images stolen may be viewed dozens, hundreds and in a couple of cases thousands of times. Each time it costs me money, me personally, not a company, me - a freelance English teacher running a free to use web site.

Posting a link to an image is not the same as hotlinking. If you post the URL for the image so that people can click on it and see the picture you're referring to, that's fine. If you actually make the image appear in your page / email / post, using a learnenglish.de or learn-english-online.org URL, that's stealing.

So please, don't do it. If you really have to use a picture on this site right-click on it, save it to your computer, upload it to your own personal webspace, and then put *your* URL in the img tags. If you want to say where you got the picture from in the first place - even better, but be aware, we often pay to use images, and the copyright holders will be within their rights to pursue you for use of their images.


Some of you may have heard me talking about trolls. But what are they really? This article attempts to explain.

The best way to deal with trolls is to report them to whoever is in charge, and then ignore them. Like most imaginary creatures, they will soon disappear.

Keep Safe

Only adults should use the forum and chat services.

Some people online may not be who you think they are. In order to protect yourself you should not publish your real name, address or give any personal or contact details or anything that would comprimise your location or identity.

Don't give out your email address especially if it contains part or all of your name. The English Forum has a very good (free) messaging system which is like e-mail that you can use by becoming a member (free). Or you could use a special e-mail address that you don't mind deleting (hotmail yahoo etc...)

Don't give any details about your routine (for the lessons make one up). For example don't tell them which college/university you go to or the places you like to go and when you'll be there.

You are strongly advised to NEVER meet anyone that you know just from the Internet.

Do not open URLs that are posted by other users whom you would not trust with your life, they may contain links to viruses or sites with disturbing content.

If someone offers you lots of money or tells you you've won something for doing nothing, just remember the golden rule. "If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is."

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