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Safety on the Net for the Holidays

January 24th, 2008 · No Comments

Safety on the Net for the HolidaysOr”What do you mean I bought 11 gross of the bright pink lizard skin underwear?”

By Chris Kieff
A brief review of the safety tips I’ve given many of my clients for the holidays. All of the programs I recommend and offer for download on my site are free, Open Source- provided as is.

I don’t offer any warranty, and anyway I don’t have much money so don’t even think about trying to
sue me if your PC explodes and kills your pet gerbil because you used a program I recommeded.

Protecting yourself

  1. Keep your Anti-Virus Up To Date! I don’t want to be repetitive but Keep Your Anti-Virus Up To Date. If you’re not sure how to do this, call or email me and I’ll help you out
    Don’t discount the patriotic duty to you have to not become a pawn in a cyper-terrorist attack. Did I mention you should keep your anti-virus software up to date?
  2. Never reply to an unsolicited email (Spam) and purchase any of the products listed. $10-$15 Dollars in sales pays for a 1 million address emailing for these guys. If you find something you absoutely must have, like that nifty battery operated watermelon seed spitter, then go to your regluar search (google, AOL, whatever) and search for it. You’ll find it without any trouble I promise.
  3. Low Tech Beating Identity Thieves- sending an “official looking” email with a connection to an “official looking” fake web site that is just trying to steal your password or personal information is called Phishing.My free low tech solution- if you’re not sure the site is real or a fake just enter the wrong password (if it’s looking for one). If it’s a phishing site then you will get in and they’ll get a bad password and you’ll get out of there. If it’s the real site you won’t get in with a wrong password.
  4. Phishing Low tech II, don’t ever click on the “click here” in the email. Open your Internet browser and visit the company’s site in the ordinary (search for it) way.
  5. Phishing high tech solution: download spoofstick from my downloads page. It tells you right on your screen the name of the site you are currently on so you won’t be fooled by a site in Zambia claiming to be Citibank. (However this can be uncomfortable if you frequent sites with names that shouldn’t be written in large letters on your screen…)
  6. Use a better Internet Browser and Email Program. I just love Firefox and Thunderbird. They are still under 10% of the Internet so the bad guys are just ignoring them. Which means that the security problems in the Microsoft programs just don’t exist on my computer. And they are Free Open Source available to all.
  7. If you own a web site: make sure the email addresses on your site are spam hidden, (call or me I’ll help you out, all of the email links on this site are spam hidden.) Consider joining some of the anti-spam initiatives- This one- I use on my site, offers spam harvesters 100 new fake addresses everytime they visit your web site (I chuckle everytime I think of it.) They spend their resources on bad addresses, which makes it harder for them to spam real ones.Another anit-spammer idea is Project Honeypot. They put a fake email address on your site which attracts spam. Then they use the info collected to build a list of known spammers which ISP’s use to protect you from spam. I’m hoping this works well, too.

Protecting others

  1. Worried about your Anti-Virus software? I sometimes think a virus may have gotten past my defenses. Visit this site here, and run a free online Anti-Virus check of your PC.
    How this Protects You: Viruses are tricky and if they get in, they can hide even if you installed an anti-virus program later.
    How this Protects Others: Tis much better to recieve a virus from your friends than to give them one. That goes double for your business assoicates, and customers.
  2. Remove Spyware from Your PC. Spyware is a growing problem and if you’ve visited more than 10 sites on the net in the last month then you’ve probibly got some on your PC. Unfortunately today it takes at least two programs, Adaware and Spybot Search & Destroy (You have to love that name!). They are both free and available for download from my site here.
    How this Protects You:Spyware uses your resources and will slow your PC down. It also will broadcast your email address to the Spamers and you’ll get more junk in your inbox.
    How this Protects Others: Just like with a virus- you can occassionally spread this to your friends and associates.
  3. Turn Off Cookies. Cookies are a common doorway for Spyware to get onto your PC. Excellent How to for most Internet Browsers is found here.
    How this Protects You:See #3 above
    How this Protects Others : Ditto
  4. Remember a PC can literally make millions of mistakes per second- never before in human history have so many had access to so much capacity to wreak havock with so little effort.

Happy Holidays to ALL!

By Chris Kieff ©2004

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