GATOR

When you’re downloading software, watch for an innocuous item named ‘Gator” that will appear checkmarked in the list of items to download. It’s an evil piece of software that monitors your surfing and pops advertisements in your face that it believes are related to the site you’re visiting. It’s not polite about it – advertisements can appear any time you’re online. […] continued

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CODE RED & SIRCAM

The SIRCAM virus may have come your way – I got several copies in my mailbox. The usual precautions apply – don’t open file attachments to e-mail, keep your antivirus software up to date. And if you’re running Microsoft Office 2000, visit the Office Update site and install Service Pack 1 or 2 plus the Outlook E-Mail Security Update. […] continued

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HOMEPAGE VIRUS

There’s another virus travelling around quickly this morning. It’s similar to the Anna Kournikova “Love Bug” virus – annoying but it doesn’t damage your computer. The “Homepage” virus will arrive in a message from someone you know, with the subject line “Homepage.” The attachment is a .vbs visual basic script that opens a porno web site on your computer and sends the message on to everyone in your Outlook address book. […] continued

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MICROSOFT TO CHANGE PASSPORT PRIVACY POLICY

Microsoft is hustling to revise its privacy policy for Passport and Hotmail, after a torrent of criticism from privacy advocates. (See my item on March 30.) Microsoft says it’s a terrible misunderstanding, just some old legalese that they forgot to update. Here’s an article about the gosh darned oversight.

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MICROSOFT AND CONFIDENTIALITY

Microsoft has new initiatives on the way that are meant to move programs and data online, relieving companies and users from some of the burden of maintaining it all. Confidentiality will be the key issue that will persuade or dissuade people from trusting the services.

Many of the new .NET services are built on the Passport system created by Microsoft. […] continued

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UNDERSTANDING AND GUARDING AGAINST INTERNET-BASED ATTACKS

Another Symantec bulletin uses plain English to describe how hackers look for a computer to attack over the Internet, what might make you a target, and steps you can take to protect yourself. This is also highly recommended reading.

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TOP TEN WAYS TO PRESERVE YOUR DATA

Symantec circulated a very nice list of basic ways to protect your computer and preserve your data. This is highly recommended reading. Common sense, plain English descriptions about backups, creating Windows startup disks, updating virus definitions, preventing hackers, disabling the Windows Scripting Host, and more. Check it out!

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NORTON ANTIVIRUS BUGGY E-MAIL PROTECTION

Norton Antivirus offers a feature called “e-mail protection” that I routinely turn off. It’s a service that scans e-mail for viruses as messages come into your system – an appealing idea, but it’s implemented badly. It changes the settings for your POP3 server and frequently prevents e-mail from being retrieved at all. […] continued

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