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  Valuable Information for the everyday Internet User and Web Surfer
  A Blog (web log) is a quick and easy way to share timely information (alerts, updated news, trends, and developments), answer questions, express opinions and exchange views. The really valuable and outstanding features of blogging are that it is interactive -- news, views and opinions are exchanged in a timely manner.

Visitors to this Security Alert Blog are encouraged to express their views and opinions on our postings (easily done by clicking on the highlighted 'COMMENT' | TRACKBACK at each post). You'll notice that our most recent Posts appear first. You can use the links in the left column to jump to posts from earlier weeks and months.

Please let us hear from you.
We'll look at your comments and remove anything inappropriate (hateful, abusive, explicit, etc.), before posting your replies. Please stick to the theme of "Security Awareness and Safety on the Internet'. Your email address will never be displayed and will not be shared with third parties.

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                                              .... Richard Rossbauer
  September 29, 2005                Firefox update Version 1.0.7 is available. Have you
                                             updated your Firefox browser and Mozilla Suite?

US-CERT encourages Mozilla users to upgrade to version 1.0.7 and Mozilla Suite users to upgrade to version 1.7.12 as soon as possible.

Use these active links above or go to your Firefox browser or click on the little orange circle with the white Δ in it, to start your download. It's in the upper right hand corner of the Firefox browser header.

While you're at it, be sure your Internet Explorer browser is up to date, too. Even if you use a different browser, IE6 will often pop open for some of the programs and files you launch.

                                                                                        ...... Richard

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  September 22, 2005                  Have a Question? Struggling with a problem?
                                               Not sure where to get answers? Try this:
Find a forum, select a topic, follow the thread of comments and responses.

I've found that nearly all forums are visited and populated by people who ask questions and provide answers based on their own experiences and knowledge, and desire to help others.
You may feel too embarrassed to ask your question, but someone, somewhere has probably asked it already... and someone else has offered an answer. (Really, there are no dumb questions)
The trick is to follow the threads (posted question -- response -- reply -- more replies, etc). If this is new to you, give it a try. You can be a silent observer and learn from the participants. If you wish, you can usually register for that forum and become a participant, too.
How to find the right forum? Do a search (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc). Try a phrase related to your issue, like:
my computer wont shut down + forum
 be sure to include  + forum

Try a couple of the links on the first page of hits. You'll usually find plenty of information to help resolve your problem.

There are a lot of existing security oriented forums. When you find any that seem to work for you, save them to your favorites. If you're like me, you'll always have more questions. I get lots of help from visiting my favorite forums.
                                                                                   ... Richard

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  September 9, 2005        How to make clueless users ‘clueful’

There's a Real Cool article in SC Magazine™ on helping the Unaware user better understand online security.

It fits perfectly with my "Online Security Awareness Campaign".

The Author, Winn Schwartu, refers to the unaware user as clueless. (He isn't using 'clueless'
as an uncomplimentary term here.)

Rather, he devotes his efforts toward increasing the security awareness of clueless computer users and those who may have recently assumed responsibility for maintaining system security.

There's a lot of good awareness advice in his article. Read the whole article at SC Magazine


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  September 6, 2005     How i-Cop, the International Council of Online Professionals,
                                 is supporting the National Katrina long-term recovery effort

What a wonderful country! How heart warming to see so many local and national organizations pitching in to help the shattered families recover from the Gulf Coast tragedy.

Appeals for participation come from so many places and everyday ordinary people. Local Police, Firefighters, EMT's, the nurses in the hospital where I volunteer. These and
literally thousands more civic, professional, local businesses, children, seniors, neighbors,
are all determined to do something that will help.

It's going to take a long, long time to establish some form of normalcy for the survivors. Of course, things will never be the same for them, or even for our whole country.

It's a bit difficult at times to know who to join or where to send contributions. The group of Internet online business professionals (i-Cop) with whom I participate as a member has set up
a program to provide support over the long recovery ahead.

Will you join us? However you do it, please open your hearts and help.        
thank you, Richard


  September 1, 2005          Helping the Victims and Survivors of Hurricane Katrina

First and most important! We all want to help, but there are hundreds of
criminal types who have already taken advantage of the concern and compassion of decent human beings, those suffering and those who wish to help.

These criminals have posted dozens of phony sites with links that will do no more than infest your computers with spyware, Trojans, and other malicious malware so they can steal from you. They are Despicable and Morally Reprehensible - hardly worth being called human beings.
When you contribute, use caution and do it through honest and reliable organizations like the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc.
The New York Times has posted a list of honorable and trustworthy organizations who can accept your help. CLICK HERE for the New York Times Relief Information List

Let's all pitch in to help today, tomorrow and during the trying months ahead.
                                                                                         ... Richard


  September 1, 2005               There’s a problem facing many Firefox users.
                                           It has discouraged me from continuing to use it.

Here’s my problem and I'm presenting it as an Open Letter to the Mozilla Group.

I've been getting a script warning pop whenever I open Firefox and every time I try to change to other sites or web pages. I haven't changed my browsing habits. They pop up for regular sites that I used to navigate to in the previous Firefox version without getting these annoying prompts.
The popup reads “a script on this page is causing Mozilla to run slowly. If it continues to run, your computer may become unresponsive”
My computer does become unresponsive. I’m apparently among many others experiencing the same problem.
There are various posts in the Mozilla Firefox Support Forum regarding this fault, as well as some posts from more experienced Firefox users that describe how to work around it.
I’m not a Newbie, but I don’t care to follow the involved instructions and code entries to possibly create a work-around to make my Firefox browser work the way it used to work.
Here's what I'm going to suggest to my site visitors:
     If you are experiencing a similar problem with Firefox - Change back to full time use
     of Netscape 8, or whatever browser had been working OK for you before changing.

The fix for this Firefox problem is way beyond the understanding and capabilities of most ordinary Internet users who don’t want to do much more than communicate using emails, play games online, do price comparisons, possibly subscribe to and read a few online newsletters, exchange pictures with family and friends, do a few searches, etc.

These are my site visitors - the ones for whom I created my website .

Terms like ‘about:config’, ‘dom.max_script_run_time’, even ‘filter bar’, will scare them off, and they’ll have serious questions about anything I might suggest to them in the future.

So, why should they consider trying to cope with the constant frustration?
How are these everyday Internet surfers who worked up enough courage to change from IE6 to Firefox on my recommendations, ever going to work around this Firefox fault? They’ll probably do what I’m going to do:
1. Retract my recommendations for my website, newsletter and blog visitors to change to
2. Remove Firefox from my system, or at least stop using it until the fault is fixed by Mozilla
3. Suggest to my site visitors that they consider Netscape 8 for now

And if the members of the Firefox Support group feel offended or defensive, they could try to look at the situation as an inexperienced web surfer and Internet user and encourage the Mozilla Group to help the 85 million or more users who downloaded Firefox because they were told it would solve all of the security problems and browser user problems they faced with Internet Explorer.
                                                                                         ... Richard Rossbauer

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  August 31, 2005             Warning for Children - The hidden dangers of Dust Off !
If you have children or grandchildren, PLEASE read this police officer's story
carefully. It's about the tragic misuse of a compressed air product available everywhere there's a computer.

I just became aware of this article, and as a concerned parent and grandparent, I believe it's so important that every caring parent should have access to it.

The heart breaking account was forwarded to me by a special friend who is also a very caring Grandparent. She has spent most of her career as a Nurse and she, too, had never heard of the dangers from such a common product. By sharing this article, I  join her in alerting other unaware or unsuspecting Parents and Grandparents to the potential dangers our children and grandchildren face from compressed air products.

Please Read it HERE. It's short, to the point and compelling... and I urge you to share it
with your children, family, friends and peers. I'm certain they'll appreciate your thoughtfulness and concern.
                                                                                                         ... Richard

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  July 8, 2005   (REPEATED)  A Little More Experience with RSS Readers for
                                          adding current Web Feeds to your daily reading lists
The more I use I use them, the more I like them, but having too many RSS readers was beginning to be a problem.
It was all a bit intimidating a few months back when deciding to add a RSS reader to my Desktop. There were quite a few choices available. Some seemed very complex while others sounded as if they'd be easy to set up. Some even required downloading software in addition to the Reader I tried 3 or 4 products and selected some feeds to follow.

Before too long, keeping track of which feeds I put 'where', became nearly as challenging as trying to manage and use my 'bookmark' selections.

More and more of my favorite websites, newsletters and blogs were displaying
|XML|RSS| buttons. When I added these to my  RSS Readers, I didn't have to go on a search for the latest information they published -- every new bit of information, post, or announcement appeared in my RSS Readers. (The new IE7 is expected to refer to these as "Web Feeds.")
A big time saver, true, but not perfect because now it was necessary to check each of those 4 RSS Readers for updates. I had to find one or two easy to use Readers.
Many of my favorite blogs also displayed this button 
Add to My Yahoo! .
When I did a trial click, my existing 'My Yahoo' page  automatically opened with a dialog box listing the latest posts for that Blog.  All I needed to do was click on one more button and the Feed was added to my 'My Yahoo' page.
Now I have just two Readers - - 'My Yahoo' and ' Quikonnex' which I use with my Mozilla Firefox browser (this saves one click when browsing with Firefox).

Soon you'll find that many of your favorite sites display the little buttons. There will be more and more in the days ahead. If you don't have a Free 'My Yahoo' page, it's very easy to get one from the Yahoo site. The same is true for 

After you put the first Web Feed into you RSS Feed Reader and have up-to-date notices delivered to you without having to worry about opening an email notice, you'll appreciate how great this RSS stuff really is. Try It. You'll enjoy it!.


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