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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.

 We are very pleased that you're here today, and look forward to your early return. Using our feed or bookmarking this page will make it a lot easier to visit with us again. Thanks,
                                              .... Richard Rossbauer
  June 27, 2005      It's Back to the Drawing Board on Anti-Spyware

A recent update to an article written by Bill Hely (Author of "The Hacker's Nightmare™") has prompted me to change the anti-spyware programs that launch automatically when I boot up and shutdown my computers.
 AdAware and either Xoftspy or Spybot-S&D launched at Startup. Not the best choice anymore, it seems. Webroot Spy Sweeper performed a full spyware sweep at shutdown.
In Bill Hely's article on Adware and Spyware Removers, he reported that Eric Howes, an independent tester at the University of Illinois compared and tested more than 20 of the most popular and best respected anti-adware applications against hundreds of adware threats, and the results surprised a lot of the experts.

AdAware SE came in 3rd and Spybot-S&D was 7th. probably OK for a couple of free programs, but the disturbing thing was the actual detection figures. Spybot detected a mere 33% of the hundreds of adware components tested for, and AdAware didn't fare much better at 47%. Those two combined, a combination that is usually recommended, could only come up with 54% of the total infections.
The new recommendations, based on Howes' research are Giant AntiSpyware with a detection score of 63% and Webroot Spy Sweeper - next best with 48%. Combined, they had a rate of 70%, by far the best of any possible combination of two packages.
Giant Software was acquired by Microsoft in December 2004 -- their version of the software that was tested by Howes is now called Microsoft AntiSpyware and is currently available as a Free download.
Unfortunately, it isn't going to be available for my Win98SE machine. I will definitely use it on the Win2000 Desktop and XP Laptop machines in our household.
I hope you have a chance to read Bill's full article at the Articles and Reports section of our "Firewalls and Virus Protection" website. It includes many more valuable suggestions for avoiding and removing these pests.
                                                                                         ... Richard

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  June 18, 2005     I was nearly trapped by a  Rogue Anti-Spyware
(from a recent article by Richard Rossbauer)
Recent problems when using may computer raised my suspicions that a hijacker or other malware program had infiltrated its protective software.
Too many crashes and program hang-ups were taking place to be normal. Yes, there really shouldn't be any problems in a virus and spyware free computer. But, who is blessed with such a pure machine?
The experts nearly all agree that upwards of 90 percent of all computers used to visit the Internet are infected with some sort of virus, adware, spyware or malware. And even though my startup routine includes automatic sweeps by two different spyware sweepers and one virus scanner, stuff could still get in.
So, I tried a new anti-spyware software advertised in a recent newsletter to which I subscribe. This program indicated that two of the nastiest browser hijackers in circulation and two equally nasty malwares were buried in my Registry and "ini" files!
I was dumbfounded! How did my top rated protective programs miss them? Not only did they get by the start-up protective software, but
(read full article)
                                                                                  ... Richard

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  June 12, 2005        Yet another of my favorite sites is posting with RSS

 Bill Hely, author of the "Hackers Nightmare" has kept owners of his ebook updated with periodic emails. His email message to me today announced that future updates will also be presented in his new Blog with an RSS feed.
And why not? As delivery of email messages becomes more uncertain due to increasing Spam filtering activity, the potential for missing these important updates increases significantly.
Bill isn't the only author, publisher, internet marketer and Blogger
adding the little orange buttons to their online offerings. The 
icons are appearing on an increasing number of web logs, product promotion, newsletter, service, and general information sites.
One of the great things about RSS, in my opinion, is the potential for
reducing spam, virus and spyware infections, identity theft, browser hijacking and other malicious practices. Why? (Read more)
                                                                            ... Richard

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  June 10, 2005    A Few Basic 'Being Safe Online' Tips

 One of our website visitors prepared and sent me a brief list of tips she follows when surfing online. Bea Kunz wrote it as a short, quick reading article.
I feel it's really worthwhile sharing because it's a good reminder of the basic things we should all know but might occasionally forget.
She said  "I have repeated this so many times that my friends and family are starting to run when they see me coming".
I hope you take a minute to check out her Safe Surfing reminders HERE


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  June 8, 2005      Spammers are looking for your email address
I just read this article by News Columnist Jim Edwards. He described some things that anyone can do to minimize having their email addresses harvested and used by spammers.
If these spammers have criminal intent, the spam they send could be loaded with sneaky spyware that might eventually trap you into some really unpleasant situations.
Here's what Jim wrote:

Despite the fact that Federal legislation (the CANSPAM act) made it illegal, harvesting email addresses from the web using automated robots remains alive and well.
Spammers who need fresh email addresses release software spider programs that comb the Internet and suck email addresses off Web pages, guest books, and anywhere else you might post your email address.
Once they get your email address, spammers will trade it around like 5th graders with a new pack of Pokemon cards at recess and you can expect the avalanche of email to begin flooding your inbox.
In order to combat this still rampant practice of stealing (read full article)


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  June 2, 2005   Are you sure you selected the best anti-spyware

Everywhere you turn anymore - TV,radio, Newspapers and magazines -there's an advertisement for anti-spyware software - - all claiming to be the best of the best.
Too many choices - which anti-spyware solution should you use and how can a person know which one will really keep them safest?
I suggest that it'll take more than just one program to provide the best protection. Two, and possibly even three are necessary.
Making the choices among the increasing number of available programs can be somewhat overwhelming.
Here's a way to make it a bit easier. Just do a quick (read full article)

                                                              .... Richard


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  May 31, 2005    Add this excellent  information blog to your list of
                        Must Read spyware avoidance resources

In my opinion, the more useful information you have about the scourge of malicious spyware, the better chance you'll have of
avoiding the grief it will bring.

I just found Wayne Cunningham's Spyware-Confidential blog. On the chance that it could take you as long to find it as it took me, here's a link directly to it.

Information so well written and presented fits perfectly into my personal
campaign to educate the lesser informed and everyday Internet users about the 'problem' of  surreptitious attacks on our personal security and privacy.

I encourage you to visit it:

If you're collecting RSS feeds, use this one for
                                                          ... Richard


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