Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Consumer Reports Sept 2007 has a major issue on Internet safety

The September 2007 issue of Consumer Reports is an excellent issue discussing Internet safety. It’s subtitle is “19 Ways to Protect Yourself Online.”

A couple of the major tips are to consider using Mac’s as they are less of a target, or consider upgrading to Vista, offered in January by Microsoft. I have an iMac bought in 2002 and it was not more stable than my Windows machines. I have yet to try Vista, since it is pretty new, but C.R. considers it considerably more immune to many security problems.

It also recommends using disposable email addresses when ordering online, and using at least two anti spyware programs. On AOL, I get some spam, but most of it is very easy to identify at sight (AOL traps about 80% of it, and does give some false positives, so I have to glance at the spam folder once in a while). Banks and financial institutions never ask customers to update information online. Another good piece of advice – when about to click on a hyperlink in an email (or an unfamiliar website) run the cursor over the hyperlink and make sure it matches. (Some sites now have “previews” in cursor mode, and I wonder if this creates an exposure.) It recommends several anti-virus suites.

It also notes that Microsoft MSN now uses Sender-ID to screen out email with spoofed sender-id’s, an idea I discussed on my main blog in January. That would include false Mailer Daemon bouncebacks. I wish AOL would do the same.

Update: Aug 11, 2007

Arise, a company that employs agents who work from home, recommends the following website to check your computer for spyware: Unwantedlinks.
If you go to this site (Windows XP and higher at least) environment, you will see a red "Spyware & Adware Test Scan" 2/3 the way down the page, to check your own computer for these.

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