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Archive for the ‘Security Help’ Category

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

Web Accelerator Vs. Updates

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

If you have a web accelerator on your computer you may need to turn it off before downloading updates for Norton Antivirus and other programs.

Set your programs for manual updating and find out how to temporarily disable the accelerator.

This advice comes from a reader named Syd “who learns everything the hard way”.

~ David

David Samuel Thomas… Continue reading

Top 10 Security Flaws – 2nd Quarter 2005

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

10 August 2005

I ran across SANS Institute’s TOP TWENTY SECURITY FLAW list for the second quarter of 2005 and thought that it brought to light some good information. SANS releases these lists so that organizations and users can check the status of their systems to ensure all security holes or flaws are patched. The top twenty is really two smaller lists of ten. The two lists that I speak… Continue reading

3 August 2005

I can’t speak for others but I personally could go the rest of my life without hearing how much more “secure” Apple’s OS X operating system is compared to Window’s XP. It doesn’t help when it seems like you’re constantly hearing of all the horrible malware attacks on XP machines.

To me it’s always been a numbers game more than about the operating systems themselves. I believe… Continue reading

Control Internet Access

Thursday, August 25th, 2005

I don’t want my kids using the internet while I’m gone. Is there a way to stop them?

In my opinion, if you can’t be there to monitor activity, then prevent activity. Call me a mean dad if you want, but online mischief is very tempting when there’s no supervision.

First off, you should create a seperate, limited user account for your children. In XP you… Continue reading


Thursday, August 25th, 2005

27 July 2005

Rootkits have been around for over 10 years, and known by other names before that. They are suites of small programs that exploit your system in a way that can be next to impossible to detect and even harder to remove if one finds its way on to your system. The name comes from what it does—it gives the attack administrator access to the

Don’t Block Yourself

Saturday, August 20th, 2005

Do you occasionally send email to yourself? Has it started going to your Deleted items folder? You may have accidentally added your own address to your spam filter’s enemy list or reported yourself as spam.

“Huh? I’m not that dumb!” you reply.

Neither am I, but the other day I was going through my Inbox and deleting spam when I noticed that it forged my email address as the sender… Continue reading

How Spyware Effects Internet Usage

Saturday, August 6th, 2005

13 July 2005

Once bitten, twice shy. Well, at least that’s what a study conducted by Pew Internet & American Life Project is suggesting.

Their study concludes that the threat of unwanted software programs is changing the way people use the internet. It ended on July 6th, 2005 so the info is quite fresh. In this study are some hard numbers supporting the theory that the majority of adult internet… Continue reading

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