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“Your Ezy-Internet Safety Guide” by John Williams

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Please Read This First

Terms of Use

This Electronic book is Copyright © 2007 John Williams. All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or

transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording,

or otherwise, without written permission from the copyright holder(s).

You must not distribute any part of this ebook in any way at all. Members of

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Disclaimer

The advice contained in this material might not be suitable for everyone. The

author obtained the information from sources believed to be reliable and

from his own personal experience, but he neither implies nor intends any

guarantee of accuracy.

The author, publisher and distributors never give legal, accounting, medical

or any other type of professional advice. The reader must always seek those

services from competent professionals that can review their own particular

circumstances.

The author, publisher and distributors particularly disclaim any liability, loss, or risk taken by individuals who directly or indirectly act on the information

contained herein. All readers must accept full responsibility for their use of

this material.

All the web addresses listed in this book were checked for accuracy shortly

before publication. But, their ownership and content may change at any time

without our knowledge.

We cannot accept any responsibility for anyone visiting any of the listed sites.

Copyright © 2007 John Williams

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“Your Ezy-Internet Safety Guide” by John Williams

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Contents

Please Read This First........................................................................................2

Terms of Use ...........................................................................................................................2

Disclaimer................................................................................................................................2

Contents ..............................................................................................................3

About the Author ................................................................................................6

The Truth about Web Safety ..............................................................................7

The Biggest Problem ..........................................................................................8

Make Your Computer Safer!.............................................................................10

Keep Your Programs Up to Date............................................................................................ 11

It’s Best to Back-up ............................................................................................................. 12

Check EVERY File.................................................................................................................... 12

Passwords................................................................................................................................ 13

Tips for Better Passwords .................................................................................................. 14

No More Passwords Lists on Paper .................................................................................. 15

Safer Surfing .....................................................................................................17

Don’t Expose Your Friend’s Addresses to Other Friends................................................... 17

Identity Theft .....................................................................................................19

Quick Tips to Reduce the Risks............................................................................................. 19

Click Here for Your Private Information ............................................................................ 21

All Websites have Rules ......................................................................................................... 22

Your Information will not be Distributed. .......................................................................... 22

Using Other People’s Material on Your Web Site...........................................23

Security Software..............................................................................................24

Find Something Good and Stick to it! ............................................................................... 24

Updates and Scans.............................................................................................................. 25

Pep Up Your Computer ....................................................................................................... 25

Suppliers of Security Programs......................................................................................... 26

Web Browser Add-Ons........................................................................................................ 26

Anti-virus Programs ................................................................................................................ 27

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Firewall ..................................................................................................................................... 28

Anti-spyware Programs .......................................................................................................... 29

Anti-malware Programs .......................................................................................................... 29

Anti-spam programs................................................................................................................ 30

More Ways to Reduce Spam. ............................................................................................. 30

Your Email Program ................................................................................................................ 31

Email Programs ....................................................................................................................... 32

PocoMail ............................................................................................................................... 32

Pegasus Mail ........................................................................................................................ 32

Protecting the Family .......................................................................................33

Protecting Your Original Work on the Internet ..................................................................... 34

“Free” can be EXPENSIVE! ..............................................................................35

Seeking Just Friends and Fun .........................................................................37

“Save Money and Live Longer” .......................................................................39

The Enemy – Software......................................................................................40

Viruses ...................................................................................................................................... 40

Worms....................................................................................................................................... 40

Spyware .................................................................................................................................... 40

Trojans ...................................................................................................................................... 41

Email Hazards .......................................................................................................................... 41

Attachments ......................................................................................................................... 41

Links...................................................................................................................................... 41

Web Site Dangers .............................................................................................44

Please Verify Your Account Details....................................................................................... 45

Check Your Spelling................................................................................................................ 46

Check Their Spelling too! ....................................................................................................... 46

Phishing Sites .......................................................................................................................... 47

Under New Ownership ............................................................................................................ 48

Scams Exposed ................................................................................................49

Work at Home Offers ............................................................................................................... 49

Forward Packages – High Pay – Even Higher Risk! ........................................................ 49

Easy Money Straight into Your Account. .......................................................................... 50

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Training for a Guaranteed Job ........................................................................................... 50

Other Old Scams in New Clothes........................................................................................... 51

The Nigerian Scam: ............................................................................................................. 51

Lotteries or Inheritance Scams .......................................................................................... 51

Bargain Travel Scam ........................................................................................................... 52

Email Scams............................................................................................................................. 52

You can Help, but ….!.......................................................................................54

Resources .........................................................................................................55

Helpful Websites...................................................................................................................... 55

Castle Cops .......................................................................................................................... 55

Phishtank.............................................................................................................................. 56

Bank Safe Online (U.K.) ...................................................................................................... 56

Keep Safe – Keep Informed..............................................................................57

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About the Author

I have been using the Internet and writing about its benefits and perils for

about four years.

I try to explain how to use computers and the Internet as clearly and simply

as possible without special terms or too much detail..

I have concentrated on giving you, as far as possible the latest available

information about the threats which we must be aware of on the Internet.

I hope this book will help to guide you through the hype and sensationalism

which is written about this very important subject.

I will put new and updated information on the web site that I set up to help

readers of this book, http://www.ezy-internet.com/

I would also be grateful for your feedback and will try to help you if you

submit any questions related to Net safety through that website.

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The Truth about Web Safety

The Internet is not much different from any other part of our world.

We all face risks every day from the moment we get out of bed in the

morning.

We have to take what we consider reasonable precautions to protect

ourselves, our family and our work or business from possible dangers that

exist in every neighborhood.

But, most of us focus on the many positive aspects of our lives – alert but

not worrying about what we can’t foresee.

That’s also the best attitude to have about using the Internet. There’s too

much to gain from wise use of it for us to let our inexperience, or the often

sensational media coverage of Internet scams and other problems, keep us

away.

I’ve written this book to help you reduce the risks and improve your whole

Internet experience with minimum cost and no stress.

The book covers many areas and I give you the best information that I have.

But, new problems are unleashed almost every day. And, of course, the

products and services to combat these problems are improving too.

With this guide next to your computer, you’ll be better protected and able to

understand the actual degree of risk when new threats appear, and judge

which security products might be worth your time and money.

When you need more information, use the links to organizations in the book

or visit the web site, http://www.ezy-internet.com/ that I’ve set up to provide updates and new information for readers of this book.

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The Biggest Problem

All humans have a desire to improve their circumstances – that’s the drive

which has brought most of the benefits which many of us enjoy or hope to in

the future.

Many people are very interested in finding ways to do that with minimum

cost and effort.

That’s what makes people, including many otherwise upright citizens,

become victims of scams on and off the Internet.

The fact is that you can “cheat an honest man or woman”. Quite a few people

are only honest in proportion to the risk they think there is of being caught.

Some might not report finding fifty dollars in the street if they think no-one

saw them pick it up. Even more might find the offer of hundreds of

thousands of (apparently) untraceable dollars from some ex-Government

official in a foreign country, as a commission for a “simple” transfer of funds,

irresistible.

These people probably think that there is less chance of their involvement in

something shady on the Internet being traced, or that they are “small fish”

that will not attract the attention of law enforcement organizations.

Those can be very costly assumptions.

Of course, there are also many people who only grab these “offers” because

of the almost unbearable pressure they are under financially, often through

no fault of their own.

They feel so desperate that they risk everything when a minute of clear

thought would suggest that “If it seems too good to be true, it usually is just

that!”

That’s just one common human trait that the scammers prey on.

Another is probably the most powerful gimmick, on or off the Internet –

something for nothing! Most of us are going to read what the offer is, aren’t

we?

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Well, just opening an email or visiting a web site can cost you plenty! You

need to follow the steps I’ll outline here.

And, I’ll show you some of the other things you need to consider in the

“Free” can be EXPENSIVE! Chapter.

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Make Your Computer Safer!

My first tip is to consider turning off your computer if it is not going to be

used for, say, a couple of hours. It probably should always be turned off if

you will not be using it for a day or more. That will save power as well as

reducing the possibility of an attack while you are not nearby.

Every Internet user should have security software and a firewall.

Connecting your computer to the Internet without up-to-date security

software, is like walking blindfolded down the middle of a busy motorway and

hoping you won’t be hurt.

Your computer and, especially, the personal information on it, is a target for

destructive software like trojans and viruses, as well as scammers and other

villains, from the first moment you connect to the Internet.

There are several ways that you can protect your computer and your

information from being accessed or damaged.

But, please understand that no program can protect you from 100% of the

risks 100% of the time.

There is always a period of time between the appearance of a new problem

and the moment when security software can be updated so that it will

provide efficient protection against the new threat.

That’s why you have to be careful about what programs or other files you

allow on to your computer.

It’s also a very good idea to keep copies of your most important files in a

secure location completely separate from where your computer is. You could

use CD ROMs, DVDs or an external hard drive to store the back-ups.

A famous movie director was recently the target of a burglary. As well as his

computer equipment and all the information it contained, the thieves also

took his only back-up copy - twenty years’ worth of work and memories

which he’d regularly copied to another hard drive.

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Unfortunately, he kept that hard drive in the same room as the computer he

used every day!

Check the quality of your back-ups from time to time. I always make two

copies of files that I’m using on two different brands of CD ROMs. That’s

probably a bit extreme, but those files can be worth a lot more than the cost

of an extra box of disks to me.

Keep Your Programs Up to Date

You should ensure that you have the most current versions of all the

software that you use.

This includes your operating system (Windows, Mac-OS or Linux) and web

browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera etc).

It’s your choice whether you permit the programs to update themselves

automatically, or you only let them notify you when new updates are

available so that you can decide which ones you will allow to be installed.

Some upgrades can take a length of time and may slow your use of other

programs on your computer until they’re finished. So, you might want to

specify that the updates are done when your computer is not likely to be in

use; maybe just before your turn it off and go to work or to bed.

The older versions of some programs and systems may have flaws which

hackers had found and used to infect them with viruses and other malware

(destructive or spying programs). That is a common reason for new versions

of programs to be released.

Most updates which are responses to potential virus threats are usually free.

But, even when you have to pay for an upgraded program, it’s really cheap

insurance and you will probably find that some other parts of the software

have also been improved.

You may not be able to get assistance if you are using out of date versions of

programs. Some companies do not offer any support at all for older versions

after they release a major upgrade. Others phase out the amount of support

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available over a period of time because it is an expense that no longer brings

them any financial return.

Using current programs and keeping to a regular up-date schedule reduces

the risk but it cannot ever be entirely eliminated.

I suggest that you always have your security programs check for updates or

upgrades just before they start their regular scans of your computer system.

If your computer is continuously on and connected to the Internet most of

the time, then I suggest that you check for updates to your security

programs daily.

If you only use your computer to connect to the Internet much less

frequently, then weekly updates may be sufficient.

Some suppliers routinely release their updates near the same time each

week. When I see this is happening, then I make sure that I check on that

day.

But, with new malware being released every day, you can never be sure that

an extra, possibly vital update will be held back until the regular release.

It’s Best to Back-up

It’s important to back-up your files regularly and store the copies in a safe

area away from where your computer is located. That provides for the

possibility that if your computer and other equipment, such as external hard

drives and boxes of CDs or DVDs are stolen or damaged by fire, you will be

able to access your files for business or personal reasons from the off-site

copies.

Check EVERY File

You should always check every file that comes on to your computer, even if

you know that the supplier has a good reputation or your mother gave it to

you (is she a computer expert?).

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Passwords

You should have a password on your computer, preventing access by people

that don't know it. That's a good start.

Many programs that you use on your computer and some sites that you visit

also require you to have a password and a username.

But many people a bit lazy and they use the first things that come to mind

for their passwords. That's not much better than leaving your front door

unlocked, and just putting a piece of sticky tape on it.

It makes it too easy for scam artists and hackers when people skimp on this

basic precaution.

If they think that your information is worth their personal attention, they can

start by using any of the following:

9 the name of a family member or a pet, which they might get

from your website or a post on a forum

9 The word password (perhaps followed by a number - 1 to 9 -

which you use to make it “hard to guess”!)

9 Open Sesame

9 Your birthday

9 ABCDE or abcde

9 1234 or onetwothree

... And that's likely to give them entry to the computers and information

belonging to a surprising number of clever, but lazy, people.

This information might come to them when your wallet or a credit card

receipt is stolen or copied, but most of it is probably available in the

information stored on your computer. See the next section, “Click Here for

Your Private Information”.

Most attempts to grab passwords from websites are done with powerful,

freely available software programs that make thousands of attempts

automatically and rapidly.

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These programs are, unfortunately, very easy to obtain.

Many viruses are produced using “virus kits” by inexperienced would-be

hackers that are usually referred to as “script-kiddies”. That’s not a

compliment. It indicates they are know-nothings that can only produce their

malware from kits where someone else has already done most of the work.

Tips for Better Passwords

9 With passwords, longer really is better. Microsoft recommends a

minimum of fourteen characters. I would never use less than

seven unless there were restrictions imposed by the security

system used for a particular site.

9 NEVER let your browser (or the browser of the computer you’re

using at work or somewhere else) store any username or

password for you. Yes, people really do this even with

computers that they don’t own.

9 Each extra letter you add could increase the possible

combinations by twenty-five times. That’s still not going to be

much of a challenge for the hacker’s brute-force programs that

churn through combinations at very high rates unless you also

do at least some of the following tips as well.

9 Don’t use common words, the name of a family member or your

baseball team.

9 Just using a mixture of upper and lower-case letters will

improve the strength of your password, but not really enough.

9 Put a couple of symbols, like “#” and “)” in there. Be a little

more creative than just substituting “@” for “a”.

9 Use numbers and letters.

9 Don’t use the same password for any two sites or other access

points.

Copyright © 2007 John Williams

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Free On-line “Password Checker”

Microsoft provide a free Password Checker at this address;

https://www.microsoft.com/protect/yourself/password/checker.mspx which

gives a value for the strength of the password that you enter.

I felt that the values might be a little on the high side for some simple

passwords that I tried but they may be improving that software behind it, so

you could find it more useful than it was when I tried it.

I appreciate that Microsoft have done this with no ulterior motive and

deserve our appreciation. At the very least, everyone that tries it will be

more aware of what is needed to improve their password security.

No More Passwords Lists on Paper

I have always used, and recommended, keeping a small tabbed notebook for

all of your passwords and other computer information rather than storing it

on your actual computer or even some other electronic device.

That’s worked very well but I kept running out of space on the pages for

certain sections which meant getting another book and transferring the still-

current information from the old book to it. If you’re prepared to do that

when necessary, it’s cheap and effective.

Then, I found a very powerful and low-cost computer program that is

recommended by many whose experience in this area is much greater than

mine.

It was a surprise when I read an unsolicited recommendation by a highly

respected Internet marketing professional, who said, "I could not operate my business without Roboform." This endorsement was enough for me to get

the program myself.

You can get a free copy of the program from this link:

http://www.ezy-internet.com/getroboform/.

If you only want to keep up to ten passwords in the program, then you can

continue to use it without any cost. But, you will have to buy the program

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for about thirty dollars after the trial finishes if you want to store more than

ten passwords.

Copyright © 2007 John Williams

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Safer Surfing

When you meet someone on the Internet, you only get the information about

them that they want you to have. That may be genuine, incomplete or

completely false.

For your own safety and peace of mind, you should be miserly about what

personal information you give out anywhere.

It’s nice to be able to tell people that you come to know through their posts

on your favorite web sites about your new job, husband or baby. But, any

information you put into a Forum, chatroom or other social or business site is

likely to be seen by many more people than the relatively few that post –

there is often a much larger group that “lurk” without posting except when

they feel it is to their advantage.

Also, remember that the information that you have freely given will float

around the Net for years!

Don’t Expose Your Friend’s Addresses to Other Friends.

Don’t accidentally share addresses from your address book. Many

people send copies of the same email to a number of friends at the same

time.

The correct way to do this is to put one email address in the To: box and

then put the email addresses of all the other people in the Bcc: box.

I have seen many emails with a dozen to a hundred private email addresses

clearly displayed either in the To: box or in the Cc: box.

If any of the people that get the email indulge in spam (and there are many

“amateur” spammers trying to make a few quick dollars), then your friends

will start getting some unwelcome advertising mail.

The addresses will all be in all of your friends’ email accounts, probably for

months. If any of those accounts are breached by a spammer with a Trojan

or virus, then all those addresses will be added to his spam list.

It may even appear to come from your email address if the spammer fakes

the sending address!

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Even if that doesn’t happen, your friends will all see everybody’s addresses

clearly displayed on your email and know that you shared their addresses

without asking. That’s not good for your reputation.

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Identity Theft

Like most of the tricks and traps mentioned in this book, Identity Theft is not

confined to the Internet. Your information may be obtained through a bogus

web site or email, but it is probably more common for the scammers to get

the information from someone copying your credit card details when you use

it in a restaurant or from a carelessly discarded receipt at your bank branch

or retrieved from your rubbish bin!

Identity theft is devastating for the victims and their families. The money

they lose is just part of the damage they suffer.

They may have all credit stopped, their cash savings, if any, disappear, and

they have to prove the crime or be liable for all debts that the scammers

created with their stolen information.

This may take years. It also often has serious effect on your health, business

associations and personal relationships.

Almost anyone can be a target, not just people with significant assets.

Teenagers are popular targets for the scammers, because many are fairly

casual about security of their information and their credit is usually

unblemished.

The profits from these scams can be huge but, perhaps because of a lack of

knowledge about their effects on the part of legislators and judges,

legislation is not a great deterrent at this time.

It seems like some trials take longer than the sentences imposed on those

found guilty.

Quick Tips to Reduce the Risks

Do not to give out your personal information just because someone asks,

especially your Social Security Number or other sensitive information.

Carefully check your financial statements and all accounts each month as

soon as possible after you get them. Query anything you cannot confirm.

Some people find small, fairly regular amounts being charged to their credit

card every month by some organization that they can’t remember ever

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contacting. Even $5 a month becomes worthwhile to the scammer when it’s

not costing them anything – and they are probably doing the same thing to

many other people too!

Don’t store passwords on your computer unless you use some purpose-made

software that you trust.

Your web browser should not be used to store any passwords.

Never use a password for more than one web site.

Never click on a link in an email. If it is from someone you don’t know and

trust, be extra careful.

If it seems to be from your Bank or other financial institution, call them on

the phone or visit their office to discuss the matter and check the validity of

the email.

If you decide to visit the web site, open a new window in your web browser

and type the address in. Check it carefully before you click the button to go

to the web site.

When you finish making your transactions at your Bank’s web site, wait for a

message that you have been logged out and then close the window

completely. Do NOT use that browser window to visit any other site or even

log back into the same one.

Take the extra few seconds, close the browser window and open a fresh one.

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Click Here for Your Private Information

A convenient feature of all web browsers is the ability to store any passwords

that you use for the websites you visit.

Having read this far, you'll realize that storing the passwords of sensitive

sites, such as your bank, anywhere on your computer is not a good idea. It's

up to you whether you want to use this feature to store other passwords.

But, either way, your browser probably stores much more information about

your Internet activities than you may realize. If your computer was

examined by someone that knew what they were doing, it could reveal many

secrets, including:

copies of pages that you visited

details of files that you viewed and downloaded, and even

information about files that you deleted and thought were gone

forever

There are many software programs available

which you can use to remove most of this

information. The one that I have, and am most

comfortable recommending, is free to use. It is

called CCleaner and you can get it from

http://www.ccleaner.com/.

Another program worth checking out is Privacy

Eraser from http://www.privacyeraser.com/

Of course, removing your usage history

information and cookies from your computer will

not be completely comfortable for you at first.

You will have to type in your username and password for each site that you

visit in the future, instead of the browser inserting them into the form

instantly when you open the web page.

Your choice will depend on how much that convenience is worth for you

compared to the potential risk.

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All Websites have Rules

All web sites belong to someone or a business. You need to know their Terms

for your use of their web site.

Most well-organized sites have a link to their “Terms of Use” at the bottom of

the main (home) page of the site.

For instance, they probably require that you confirm that you own all

material that you post on their site.

They may require that you give them a perpetual license to use anything that

you post on their website in any way they see fit forever.

Most web sites have requirements like this but do not abuse your trust – they

are just covering themselves against any possibility of action for copyright

infringement.

Other sites, however, may use some material that visitors post on their sites

for advertising or other commercial purposes.

You are still subject to the terms even if you didn’t red the fine print.

Anyway, the time and expense of fighting them later could be very high.

It’s much better to check all terms and disclaimers before you decide to post

anything on any particular website for the first time.

Your Information will not be Distributed.

That sounds good, but some people interpret that as meaning it’s okay for

the site owner to use the information you provided when you signed up for

access to their web site as a way of targeting the advertisements you see on

their site to your particular interests.

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Using Other People’s Material on Your Web Site

If you have a web site, you probably want it to be attractive and full of

interesting information.

You should only put material on it which you have specific rights to use on it.

That is, your own original work and any material where you have got specific

permission from the person that produced it to put it on your web site.

I mention this because there are several places on the Internet where you

may be offered pictures, for example, on any subject you are interested in.

Most pictures are subject to someone’s copyright and many producers or

rights holders will go to great lengths to protect their rights. The major

companies digitally mark their pictures and can trace them anywhere on the

Internet, even if they have been edited!

Always read the Terms of Use on any site where you are offered pictures or

other material. I saw one site recently that said that visitors could use any

pictures from that site in any way that they saw fit without attribution or fee.

However, the Terms of Use required that the visitor that used a picture

accept all responsibility and protect the site owner from any claim for mis-

use!

Another case of “always read the fine print”!

The same caution should be used with pictures supplied in collections on CD

Rom or DVD. Always keep the Terms of Use that came with the disc.

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Security Software

This Chapter is an overview based largely on my own experience with

programs as well as the experiences of colleagues and clients.

Most programs for which you have to pay are available in trial downloadable

versions which will run with all or their most important features fully working

for a period of up to thirty days so that you can test the program thoroughly

before buying.

While you are using the trial version, you may not be able to access the full

support options that paid-up clients get.

But, you should submit a genuine question to their support department

during the evaluation period. I found that one significant difference between

some of the best programs that I tried was the prompt (one to two business

days during the evaluation period is fair) and understandable responses

which were easy to use that I got from only a small number of suppliers.

Find Something Good and Stick to it!

Testing different programs was something I felt that I should do so that I

could give you a wider range of information.

But, I advise against chopping and changing between security programs of

the same type, but from different suppliers, just because one announces that

it has a new, and currently exclusive, feature in the new version of its

program.

Every program that you use will require some time for you to learn how to

get the best from it. When you set up a different program of the same type,

you’re more or less back to square one and the virus threats, spam or other

malware won’t wait for you to catch up!

I have always run two anti-spyware programs and not had any noticeable

difficulty. But, that may not work for you.

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Updates and Scans.

I advise that you schedule your various security programs to check for

updates and perform their system scans at different times to the other

programs.

This will reduce the amount of resources which they take away from other

programs that you may be using at the time these procedures are running.

Pep Up Your Computer

If you find that your computer is running more slowly than you are

comfortable with, the main things for you to check would be:

? Have you cleared any unused or obsolete files from your

computer system and defragged it. This may take some hours if

you have not done it for a significant period, so arrange time to

do it as soon as possible.

? Are there programs installed that you aren’t likely to use? Just

having them on the system is reducing the resources available

to you and also increasing the time that the security programs

require to check your computer system.

? Can you add more ram (not a larger hard drive which would just

encourage you to store extra files on your computer) at a

reasonable cost.

A free program that will help you to find the information which you need to

answer those questions is Belarc Advisor which you can download from

http://www.belarc.com/

Some suppliers will just quote you for the maximum amount of extra ram

that your system will accept. I was very pleased when the salesman at my

favorite computer store said that, while my computer had space for two more

gigabytes of ram, he recommended that I only buy one because the

applications that I use are unlikely to need any more.

That saved me about $120 which I was prepared to pay right then. Of

course, it’s likely that he’ll see that money and quite a bit more because I’ll

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be buying most of my future computer needs from the salesman that took

the long view on a fairly small sale.

Suppliers of Security Programs

Here are some of the many quality suppliers of anti-virus programs.

Avira.com Supply a free version of their anti-virus program with limited features (no email scan, for example) and two paid versions.

Comodo.com Supplies a range of free security programs and also full-powered commercial programs for medium to large businesses.

Grisoft.com Supplies a wide range of security software individually or as a suite under the AVG label. There are both free and paid versions of most of

the programs.

Kaspersky.com Supplies well-respected security products.

Lavasoftusa.com Supplier of the highly respected Ad-Aware anti-spyware program. Free and paid versions available.

Safer networking.org This is the home of one of the most highly regarded anti-spyware programs, Spybot S&D (Search and Destroy). It has always

been free though, of course, the developer will accept donations at his site.

Available in several languages and regularly updated.

Sophos.com Powerful anti-virus program

Spyware Terminator Another highly regarded Anti-spyware program –

completely free. They also offer two commercial programs; “Web Security

Guard” and “Crawler Parental Control”.

Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 2008: Excellent suite of security programs which seems to affect computer resources less than some others.

Web Browser Add-Ons

The current version of the Opera web browser has a “fraud detection”

feature which uses the database at http://www.phishtank.com to check sites that you visit.

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McAfee Site Advisor is a free add-in for the Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers which uses their own database to check whether the sites you surf

to are known to have spyware, adware, spam etc.

Anti-virus Programs

An anti-virus program searches your computer for virus programs which it

has information about and also for programs it may not recognize but which

show characteristics similar to programs that have already been added to its

knowledge base.

Your anti-virus program will also monitor important files on your computer

and check any that are changed in size at any time (a possible indication that

a virus or some other malware has affected the file).

It’s very important that you always have the most recent version of the

program and its reference files. I schedule my program to check for updates

every day, just before it starts the full daily scan.

But, if you are not using your computer on the Internet every day, then a

weekly check for updates may be enough for you.

It’s not a good idea to try to run two anti-virus programs on the same

computer.

Some will clash and your computer may even crash. It’s even more likely

that the two programs could claim the other is (or contains) a virus simply

because of the reference files that accompany each program.

Another problem is that having the two programs constantly scanning your

machine, even just on a low priority basis in the background, can reduce the

resources available to other programs you are using and slow down your

work or leisure activities.

Most anti-virus programs will scan your emails as they are received or sent.

This may require you to specify the path to the main file of your anti-virus

program or its email-scanning sub-program when you set up your email

program.

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Not all anti-virus programs will do this. If yours does not, I suggest you think

about upgrading it or getting a different program which is more fully

featured.

Firewall

Your firewall may be a software program installed on your computer or it

might be part a hardware device called a router, which you use to connect to

the Internet.

A hardware firewall is probably stronger than a software program but

hardware firewalls require a power outlet and may also need to be switched

at times so that authorized people (technicians or employees from other

areas) that do not normally use that system can get access.

This makes the system vulnerable, so you should keep them to a minimum

and always run a full scan with the current version of your anti-virus program

as soon as possible after the firewall is restored.

Windows has a firewall as part of the package but many people, including

me, use a firewall program from a different supplier.

I was impressed with the Microsoft program and would still be using it except

that I decided to try a variety of security programs of each type while

preparing for this book.

I was very impressed with another program that I use, so I got the firewall

program from that supplier.

You should not try to run two firewall programs on the same computer. In

fact, most will check when you are installing them and ask you to switch off

or uninstall any other firewall program they find before their installation can

be completed.

There is no valid reason to want to have two firewalls.

The firewall program that you select will probably have in it a reference file

containing details of programs of all kinds that the firewall’s producers know

are safe.

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Your program will scan your computer when you first run it to log the

programs that it recognizes are okay.

But, you will probably also have some programs on your computer that you

trust that are not in the safe list. The first time that each of those programs

starts up after your firewall is installed, you will be asked what action you

want the firewall to take about that program.

You’ve got to train your watchdog and sometimes you will see similar

messages where the program is asking you about may be interacting with

different programs on your computer. Bear with it.

This is another indicator of the clarity of messages that you will get from the