Free Virus Protection
Download AVG virus protection (highly recommended and free for personal, non-commercial use!) It's detected virus infected email messages I've received on numerous occasions.
Note: I regularly receive virus infected email addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org
(all detected by AVG before any harm was done). Since most viruses mail themselves to addresses found on the infected PC, it would seem to indicate that at least some of the visitors to this site who have either sent email to the above address or saved the address to their address book have been infected.
Although the source of most viruses is infected email and not in any way related to this site, I strongly urge you to install anti-virus software for the protection of your own PC as well as your friends', and to keep your virus definition files current.
There may be advantages to Norton, McAfee and other anti-virus software applications that you have to purchase over AVG, but I haven't seen any. Automatic updates of virus definition files, automatic scan of email messages (once enabled), etc., AVG appears to do it all.
By the way, I have no financial interest in AVG, but I do like free stuff.
Informative and educational. Downloads, reviews and ratings. Some downloads are freeware, some are free trials. Look for highly rated freeware, unless you don't mind paying for what you can get for free.
"These tools can detect serious spy activity like keyloggers, activity monitoring software, web site loggers and also common Adware, web bugs, tracking cookies and many other items that are frequently encountered on the web. Many people consider them an invasion of their privacy, even though they are mostly advertising related and usually limited to anonymous tracking, at least so they say..."
Snoop Prevention Tools
"Your computer keeps track of your activities in many different ways. Usually, this is more convenient than harmful, however there may be times where you don't want other users of the same computer to stumble across your previous activities, whether by coincident, or by snooping around..."
Article which introduced me to Spychecker.com:
But wait, there's more! Now how much would you pay?... (nothing, if you're at all like me and can get it for free. Just keep reading.)
"The Washington Post Co. and The New York Times Co. are among those suing pop-up king Gator Corp. The companies say Gator is a parasite that siphons away advertising revenue and drives away customers... The spyware can also install on your computer in ways you might not imagine. Sometimes freeware and shareware downloaded from sites like CNET have a small "install stub" attached, called Trickler. Trickler is a program that will silently load whenever you start your computer, and will slowly download the rest of the spyware. All this happens unbeknownst to the user, completely separate from the program they really wanted. According to
cexx.org, a website dedicated to keeping the world up to date on various types of questionable software, "It is suggested that this 'trickling' activity is intended to slip under the user's radar, the steady, low usage of bandwidth going unnoticed..."
For more info see http://hstutorials.homestead.com/removelinkware.html
Download Ad-aware, a free, simple to use spyware/adware (see previous paragraph) detection and removal tool here. You'll likely be surprised at what's lurking on your PC. See also
New scam alert: Permissioned media (See warning below)
"Opening a greeting card from FriendGreetings.com can trigger a software download that will automatically send an e-card to everyone in your address book... "friendgreetings.com" will attempt to send marketing email to everybody in your Microsoft Office address book " Source:
"Due to a huge amount of customer requests, F-Secure IS adding detection of this application to F-Secure Anti-Virus" Source: http://www.f-secure.com/v-descs/friendgr.shtml
To read a typical email response, click here. Okay, maybe it's not a typical response, but it was mine. If you have a firewall, no need to worry.
I don't have any personal experience with this one yet, but the description sounds encouraging...
From the developer: "SpyStopper will block spyware, Web bugs, worms, cookies, ads, scripts, and other intrusive devices to protect you from being profiled and tracked. When you use your computer and the Internet, you may be monitored without your knowledge or explicit permission. Hackers, advertisers, and corporations may use Web bugs, spyware, cookies, worms, ads, and scripts to gain access to your information and invade your privacy. SpyStopper is designed to block those devices that are used without your knowledge. It blocks only those suspicious ads, cookies and scripts that are intrusive and may cause security and privacy concerns.It will protect your online privacy."
I originally posted this under the mistaken assumption that SpyStopper was freeware. Unfortunately, that's not the case. They offer a free trial version, but you have to pay $25 after the trial period ends if you want to continue using it. I would appreciate any user comments regarding freeware with similar capabilities.
Download Pop-Up Stopper® for free here. "Stop Pop-Ups forever with the Original, Free, Award-Winning Pop-Up Stopper Technology by Panicware!" That's their advertising hype, but I've had pretty good luck with it. "A virtual godsend." USA TODAY (Keep in mind that "virtual" means "almost but not quite").
Protect your PC against hackers, unsolicited scans, spyware and Trojan horses, especially important if your PC is connected to the Internet via broadband (cable/DSL).
You can download a free (for personal use) software firewall at one of these sites:
"The Internet Is Like The Wild West Without a Sheriff!" See the Home PC Firewall Guide for some excellent information, resources and reviews.
See also SpyChecker's Personal Firewall page.
For a broader overview of what you can do to protect your Internet security and privacy see the
Firewall Guide Overview. For a comprehensive list of free Internet security products see Firewall Guide Freeware.
Already have a firewall? Test your PC's vulnerability to attack with Gibson Research Corporation's
Shields UP free Internet security checkup and information service, and LeakTest firewall testing utility. Read Steve Gibson's well written detective story and true account of a DRDoS (Distributed Reflection Denial of Service) attack against his web site, complete with 'Script-Kiddies', Stealth Spybots and Attack Zombies (oh my!)
I know that for most people Microsoft Security is an oxymoron, but let's give them the benefit of the doubt for a few minutes anyway. http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect/
For personal use only. Not for sale or hire. Permission to make copies by you for you and your friends is hereby granted. If you find this list to be of value a donation of any amount would be greatly appreciated.
You are advised to consult a knowledgeable physician before using any of the nutrients listed herein. See note 10 for information on obtaining a list of this rare breed of medical doctors.
FOOD SUPPLEMENTS: THEIR EFFECTS ON THE BODY
(c) Copyright 1998, 2001, 2002 by George M Lucich
P.O. Box 424, Glenns Ferry, ID 83623
PC Health Advisories