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What if your email address could demand respect?

How the criminals get to you –

Email – Email is the main form of mobilizing dangerous computer payloads. The term SPAM, once defined as undesirable commercial email, has been broadened to include dangerous payloads, such as computer viruses, ID Theft phishing attempts and Snooping Spyware that is looking to watch your every Internet move and make public your most private information.

Web SurfingSurfing the web, as harmless as it may seem, can, at the worst, attract and install a devastating computer virus and on the lighter side, leave your computer open to prying eyes waiting to steal your private information.

As much as we would like to trust our Internet Browser to know better than to allow harmful things to happen automatically, we cannot. The triggering of these undesirable events is known as an exploit – a simple and unknown method that triggers unexpected results within a seemly safe piece of software. Hackers work night and day to find exploits and then use them for their ill-gotten pleasures.

Some simple rules of thumb will keep this door shut:

  • Don’t download software from unknown sites. If you read about a piece of software, and would like to download it, be sure the article is from a reputable source and be certain that you are downloading only from the source the article mentions.
  • Browser plug-ins can be beneficial and very powerful. They can make web surfing fun, exciting and enjoyable BUT, these are nothing more than small computer programs and therefore, can also be very dangerous. So, never approve the installation of a plug-in when asked by an unknown source. See comment above.
  • Don’t click on a suspicious Web address. http://www.myplace.com?z=as00asdf0to07907as Web addresses that have many letters and numbers after the .com (or .net, or .org etc..) could be used to trigger a software bug in your browser. BUT, there are also many good uses of these letter and number codes within a Web address. For example: http://www.myplace.com?newinvitation=4&inviter=jenn, so don’t toss out the good with the bad. Simply take it slow - If you believe a Web link you are about to click on is of value but you are not yet sure of its safety do the following - Copy and paste the Web link but before you click GO remove the all the numbers after the “.com”. This will take you to the Web address http://www.myplace.com at which time you can now inspect the site and decide if you think the link with the codes will be safe to go back and use.
  • Turn on your browser’s auto update feature allowing it to automatically check for and install the most recent security patches.

Port Sniffing – A computer has ports to allow various programs to communicate with the external world. Think of this as similar to how an old fashion telephone switchboard used separate connections to patch one party to another. In a computer, ports are always available and continually listening for someone to talk to. Where this can get ugly is that your computer ports alone can not discriminate from friend or foe.