posted January 23, 2002 01:06 PM
something that I have been concerned about lately is secrity and privacy on the internet. You should care about it too, especially if you have an always-on high bandwidth connection. Without getting deep into it, there are a number of security risks on the internet especially viruses, hackers, trojans, and spyware.
of course, you should have a virus checker on your machine that is properly configured to scan all incoming files and automatically download virus sig. updates. You should also have your windows computer set to notify you when critical updates to your Operating system are available.
There are vulnerabilities in your system that exist even if you are virus free and updated - communitcation ports that may inadvertently be open and allowing easy acces to you computer. you need a firewall to block these. I like Zone Alarm, it is free: http://www.zonelabs.com/ . You should keep your firewall updated and check it occasionally with port scanners like "Shields UP!" available at www.grc.com . that is a great security site - lots of info and a good read. I think www.dslreports.com also has a free port scan. A good firewall will also detect Trojan like activity if it gets missed by your virus scanner.
The last, and least know threat is from spyware. These are little programs that act in the background of your internet browser and send your personal information to an advertising company or worse. The send info like webpages you visit, personal information, email addresses, and even account names/passwords. Spyware is usually bundled with freeware. There is a good program to detect known spy ware called Ad-aware - http://www.lsfileserv.com/index.html . Be sure to keep its reference list updated with Refupdate (another freeware program). for an interesting article on spyware, see http://www.poenews.com/inhouse/vx2.htm
Security rant complete... Feel free to add and stay safe.
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