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Archive for the ‘Security Help’ Category


Tuesday, December 6th, 2005


Spyware, adware, trackware and all the other parasites on the web have been around as long as free downloads have been. I remember when I first started writing the Downloads of the Week articles Steve told me that I needed to pay careful attention to the Privacy agreements. He wanted to make absolute sure that we weren’t suggesting that people invite malicious code into their PC’s. Privacy agreements are… Continue reading

Macromedia Flash Player Security Patch

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005


An important security patch for three known weaknesses are now available for Macromedia Flash Player. If the “updates available” window has been asking you to update, don’t delay. If you have your automatic updates reminders shut off, check out the official Security Bulletin about the patch.

~ Chris Fisher… Continue reading

WISC- Windows Internet Security Center

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

Weekly Security Tip: Windows Internet Security Center

Microsoft is really trying to make its presence known in the computer security market with the release of yet another set of security services. In the past year Microsoft has bought up anti-virus and spyware removal companies, using them as building blocks to produce security software products. Now Microsoft has introduced a set of online services (still in beta testing) designed… Continue reading

Consumer Fraud and Identity Theft- You’re actually less likely to be struck by lightning!

According to the Federal Trade Commission database, there were over 635,000 consumer fraud and identity theft complaints in the U.S. in 2004. That includes stolen credit card numbers as well as full-blown identity theft, but that’s still a lot of people.

In comparison, 12,994 people were killed or injured in lightning strikes in the U.S. from… Continue reading

Break in that new PC

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

Everyone loves getting a new PC. Why not? It’s exciting and fun. However, there are a few things you might want to do before you plug it in and start surfing the web. These good practices include backing up data, taking care of online and physical security, and a few other ideas to help make the migration to your new system as seamless as possible.

According to Swedish security company… Continue reading

CVV or CVV2 defined

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

When ordering online at our software store or other places online, you may be asked for your CVV number. This three-digit number follows the last four digits of your credit card in the signature space on your card. Because it’s on the back and not raised for easy copying, we ask for the CVV number online because it means that you probably have the card in your hand… Continue reading

Weekly Security Tip: Setting an Administrator Password

The Administrator account is actually the default account on a new install of Windows XP. It has no restrictions on changing any facet of your system, giving this user full control. Sometimes a computer will come with a guest or a general account created for the initial user. This is typical if you buy your PC from one of the larger companies. Otherwise… Continue reading

Disconnect from internet when not in use

Monday, October 24th, 2005

To Connect or Disconnect When Not in Use?

No, I’m not about to wax Shakespearean about the slings and arrows of outrageous spyware, as amusing as that might be.

This choice relates to so many readers’ questions. Should you leave your computer connected to the internet when you aren’t working online? “It takes so long to re-dial,” or “I can’t reach the connection cord, but I’ve heard (fill in your… Continue reading

My kid is getting out of control on the internet. He’s erasing the history, and he knows all the passwords on our PC. What can I do?

The more computer savvy the kiddies get, the harder it’s getting to enforce the First Rule of Internet Parenting: Kids don’t cruise the web without at least occasional supervision by a human being. I’ve gotten more questions like this… Continue reading

Weekly Security Tip: Flash Drive Protection

Yes, you read correctly. This week’s Download and Security Tip go together, but they’ll make more sense in this order. Next week, the schedule will return to usual.

Yesterday, I showcased a couple of applications that run directly form a flash drive (Memory card, MP3 player, or thumb drive). Don’t have one of these little guys yet? We sometimes have really good deals on… Continue reading

Security Tip of the Week: Iconix Email Icon Identifier

Everyone knows how prevalent Phishing scams have been, especially if you’ve been reading our newsletters. These soulless attackers use any technique they can to gain your trust long enough to give them what they want, and the majority of these attacks emanate through email.

Most users have anti-virus software to protect them from viral attacks, but what about phishing… Continue reading

ActiveX Controls

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

ActiveX controls are software components used by web pages to allow your browser to do something with the page, much like a Java applet. They make the website more interactive and program-like. For example, a page might have an ActiveX control to allow viewers to see a working excel spreadsheet in a webpage. Like any piece of technology, the bad guys sometimes create pages with malicious ActiveX components. That threat… Continue reading

Passport Services for password storage

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

You may hear about passports on the internet these days, but they’re not talking about international travel. MSN/Hotmail users are probably already familiar with the concept: one username and password for multiple online services. Here’s the newest twist. Passport service companies will store all of your usernames and passwords for you for some monthly fee. Then you just have to remember your username and password to the passport service, and… Continue reading

Worldstart Clipboard Cleaner

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

Download of the Week: WorldStart Clipboard Cleaner

OK, this is probably about the simplest program we’ve ever recommended here at WorldStart, and by far the easiest I ever wrote :-)

The windows clipboard is one of the handiest little utilities ever conceived, but at the same time it can leak your sensitive information and slow down your computer if you have a large file copied to it. So I was… Continue reading

Stealing Clipboard Info

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

Stealing Clipboard Info

Have you ever copied information to your clipboard, then later went online? If the info you copied was of a sensitive nature, then this is gonna scare ya like Bigfoot jumping out of your bathroom closet.

Did you know that a website can easily snatch the info on your clipboard with about one line of Javascript? Yup, it’s true. Not all browsers are susceptible to this, but… Continue reading

Firefox 1.07 security update

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

Weekly Security Tip: Firefox 1.07

Attention, all FireFox users (oh yeah, or Mozilla or Netscape users)! On September 22, the Internet browser Firefox released a security update of utmost importance that should installed immediately. The update patches two “critical” security flaws that had been recently discovered. One of the flaws is only for Linux users, while the other affects any users of the browser.

The vulnerability in FireFox is a… Continue reading

XP Syskey Trick

Last week we mentioned the #1 Rule of Internet Parenting: Kids don’t cruise the web without at least occasional supervision by a human being. What do you do when you aren’t home? There are a few ways to make it impossible for the kids to log onto your PC without your permission.

1. Sure, you could add a password to your system, but there are… Continue reading

Checking up on kids’ web use and clearing your web history

Want to know what sites the kids (or your spouse) have been visiting on the internet? Besides the #1 rule of internet parenting (No child should use the web without at least periodic living human supervision), you can check the sites in History. In Internet Explorer, the icon looks like a clock with an arrow going counter-clockwise.

The… Continue reading

Run antivirus on flash memory

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

Do you use a flash memory stick, sometimes called a ‘thumb drive”, to carry information between different computers? You can (and probably should) run your antiviral software on that drive. When you open your antivirus program of choice, select that drive as the location to scan. As always, make sure those virus definitions have been recently updated!

~ Chris Fisher… Continue reading

Are you seeing Red X’s where images should be in your email messages? Outlook express users, help is here! Yahoo email users, this tip is for you. The missing pictures are blocked by Outlook Express as a security feature to prevent you from downloading pictures and other content (like viruses) from the email server. Like all sp am filters, sometimes it also blocks information you want to receive… Continue reading

7 security tips for back to school

Monday, September 26th, 2005

Seven Security Tips for Back to School

This week I ran across an article at Microsoft Security site that I thought would be useful for anybody, especially anyone who travels and is using possibly more than one computer over the course of day. The article was basically a checklist of good practices to keep users and their systems safe. Let’s take a gander at what Microsoft recommends.

1. The first… Continue reading

Two Bad Brothers

Friday, September 16th, 2005

Sept. 9, 2005- I noticed something as I was surfing through my favorite security sites, looking for any new threats on the horizon: a pattern of total domination by two worms over all other cyber menaces. During the past few months, Netsky and MyTob have taken control of many computer systems, surpassing only each other in the number of systems infected, with no relief for end-users in the future.

The… Continue reading

Skip the User Login Step

Friday, September 16th, 2005

I am the only user name on my computer. How can I skip the user login step?

For security reasons, it can be a good idea to leave this be. However, if saving time is important to you, try the following:

In Windows XP Go to “Start” and choose “Run”.

In Windows Vista click “Start” and type in the Search Bar


Thursday, September 15th, 2005

On 16 August 2005 security company Sophos discovered a new worm that was taking advantage of the Microsoft exploit MS05-039. You may have heard of this Worm in the news. It’s responsible for infecting computers at several high profile companies such as The New York Times, CNN and ABC. Microsoft thought the threat so severe that it rolled out an update for its Malicious Software Removal Tool before the normal… Continue reading

Adware included- beware!

Thursday, September 15th, 2005

This one gave me a real laugh: did you know that if a program admits to including adware in their licensing agreement and you accept that license, you are violating the agreement if you remove the adware! There may even be a legal obligation if the program is used without the adware. If I find adware on my system, I’m removing it—and any program that put it there. Go ahead… Continue reading


Thursday, September 15th, 2005

There’s a nasty virus out there, the W32IRCBot.Worm. It’s an Internet Relay Chat-based virus that takes advantage of unpatched Windows systems via the MS05-039 vulnerability.

The Worm received a High security risk assessment from McAfee when it was initially discovered on the 17 August 2005 due to prevalence. The next day the virus was downgraded to a Medium security risk due a decline in the rapid infections, but still warns… Continue reading

Phishing for Faxes

Wednesday, September 7th, 2005

August 17, 2005

Phishing has been around for a while now, I would say everyone has a pretty good grip on how this scam works. If not, you should think about reading our phishing scam article from earlier in the year.

One thing that has been a constant in the phishing game is that the attacks usually attempt to lure you in with a fake email that attempts to pose… Continue reading

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