It's War I Tell You!
As you may or may not know, a new computer is extremely vulnerable when you first get online with it. There are ways to insure security though. You can get the Windows Update CD from Microsoft and install that before you get online. You can also get most Antivirus Definitions dnloaded and save em to disk and then install those before you go online. Course you have to be using that Product in the first place. And you can get AntiSpyware on a disk and do the same. But how many people do that in their excitement to take it out of the box and hook it and see what She'll do.
Sans Internet Storm Center says those people will have their Puter infected with adware or worse in less than 20 min! Virgin Puters online stick out like a sore thumb. And the pain from that sore thumb will be considerably less that the person who soon realizes their brand new puter is sick. First comes the shock, then the anger, then the question. How do I fix it? If they are lucky they can fix it fairly cheaply. It might involve a lot of time listening to elevator music while you're in the hold queue. Either way it?s no fun.
Education is what?s needed here folks.
Ok, now the Browser part. A touchy subject with many. I use Firefox mostly and IE only when I have to. Unless you've been living in a hole you know IE has its Vulnerabilities. Nothing against IE folks. It gets targeted so much because that?s what people use most. Hackers, Spammers, Phishers, and the rest know this and swarm like sharks. Firefox has its problems too. They are getting noticed and they are having to work harder too at keeping their browser safe too. Whatever you use, keep it updated. Whatever you use, get some monitoring software, like Bigfix or Winpatrol. Learn how they work and you'll be a happy Websurfer.
While we're talking about software products, let?s think about what you do online. There are many Products out there that try and cover all aspects of protecting your puter. It?s hard to write software though to do all that. I've found a mixture of products do well for me. Right now I use Win patrol, Sygate Firewall and AVast Antivirus with Ad-Aware SE to cover my bases. But what works for me may not work for you. So how do you find the right combination or if you're lucky the single product that will do the job? Education. Pure and simple. You have to become educated in what is going on out there on the WWW and be prepared for it. We're not talking a lot of money either in most cases. There is some great products out there that are free! The Web is diverse, with Forums, Blogs, Instant Messaging, Video Conferencing, and of course Websites. Especially the new .XXX ones. Each has its own uniqueness as far as vulnerabilities. Whatever your preference, make sure you're safe.
Chances are though, you'll pick up some spyware. It?s hard for the Hardware and software Suppliers to keep up to the minute patches available. Although I've seen patches available in under 3 hours from some suppliers. Hopefully what gets you will be harmless, just annoying. This kind just puts a cookie on your puter and tracks you as you go from website to website. Marketing info is what they are after. But some Spyware can be Nasty. They log your keystrokes, and this means your logins and Credit Card numbers.
And now for Email. How the human race ever did without email we may never know. Its one of the greatest conveniences ever and what a timesaver. You don't need a stamp and there?s no dash to the mailbox in the rain. But as always, along with the good comes the bad. People want to use your Bank account to put money in, They want you to open this attachment, and please just click on this URL! Spammers, Hookers, Phishers Oh My! My advice, scan anything that is not from someone you know with Anti-Virus. Never click on a URL from your Bank. Go there yourself from your Browser. Check to see if your Mail Program has an option to warn you if there is anything in the email that may be a virus, like in Outlook Express. It can be inconvenient sometimes, but worth it. Some of the better Web based services like Yahoo have a Junk Mail Folder that helps immensely. I never even open the folder, I just delete the contents everyday.
Remember, you need to become educated if you're going to be on the Internet. I hope to see in my lifetime the end of Spyware.
Copyright 2005 SpywareBiz
About the Author: Doug Woodall has a web site at http://www.spywarebiz.com There he provides free information and recommended products to combat Spyware. His Website is recognized by Learning Fountain and ISafe Doug's Articles have earned him Trusted Author Status at ImpactArticles.com He is a member of the IWA (International Webmasters Association) Article edited for proper content by Wendy McCallum Permission to copy ok as long as about author info remains with article.