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Virus, Spam, Popups and Spyware Info Page

Best advice:To protect yourself, do not execute email attachments or other files you receive over the net if you are not 100% sure they are secure and get a decent Anti Virus software.

A Virus cannot be contracted by simply reading an email. I repeat A VIRUS CANNOT BE CONTRACTED BY SIMPLY READING AN EMAIL. An email Virus must be executed. They can come as attachments in the form of a Word or Excell document containing macros that can be executed if you open the document or as .exe, .com, .bat, .vbs and more, programs. In either cases you must willingly open or execute it.

99.99% of VIRUS WARNINGS that you receive through email asking you to forward to everyone in your address book are HOAXES. Jerks who write those are simply incapable of programming real viruses, so they rely on well intentioned internet newbies to propagate it. The best advice (see above) is to ignore it (or reply to all letting them know it's a hoax), having a good antivirus program (up-to-date, update it every few days). When you're not sure, just type the name of the, supposed, virus a search engine like google (http://www.google.com).

Sites where you can go to check for viruses (real and hoaxes):

For those using Microsofts IE, a free on-line antivirus scanner (nothing to install) is available at:
http://housecall.antivirus.com
http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/solutions/activescan/?
http://www.kaspersky.com/virusscanner
http://support.f-secure.com/enu/home/ols.shtml
http://www.bitdefender.com/scan8/ie.html

This will help you get out of trouble, but in no way does it replace a good antivirus scanner on your pc. Free ones are available for download:
Avira AntiVir at http://free-av.com
AVG at http://free.grisoft.com
Avast at http://www.avast.com
BitDefender at http://www.bitdefender.com
ClamWin at http://www.clamwin.com
PC-Tools at http://www.pctools.com/free-antivirus

MacAfee (Viruscan), Symantec (Norton Antivirus), Trend (Pc-cillin) and probably the best one Kaspersky antivirus all offer a free trial period.

>ShieldsUP! Free Computer Vulnerability Tests at https://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2

 If you have a file you're not sure of, subscribe and send it to: http://www.webimmune.net/ they'll analyze it for you (it's free).

Use a firewall, especialy if you're on a high-speed connection. A free one is available at:
http://www.zonelabs.com/

Always keep your internet software up-to-date. Patches and new versions come out regularly for products like ms-ie, ms-outlook, ms-windows, netscape, etc.

SPAM

SPAM is the name used to describe most Unsolicited Commercial Email. Like all the "get rid of debt" or "enlarge wathever pills" or "make millions", etc. Even some that seem to offer free services "XXX". They're a real pain. Many sites explain what it is, here's one http://www.cauce.org/.

Being a member of a yahoogroups, like internaf, doesn't make you automaticaly spam bound. Yahoo has a spam policy, see it here http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/groups/groups-05.html. But if you subscribe to Yahoo explicitely, get a nickname and yahoo email account, then you must edit your marketing prefs in your account info to change them because by default yahoo puts all choices to "yes, I want to receive offers from...". To modify this, go to http://my.yahoo.com/, then click on "Account info" (at top) and then "marketing preferences" (in member info.).

Here are some suggestions to help you reduce the amount of spam that you receive:

Do: Open a webmail account (hotmail, yahoo, etc) that you can use as an address for ICQ, MSN, AIM, YAHOO, MIRC, etc. profiles and to put on forms of sites, you're not sure of, that ask you for it.

Don't: Reply to unsolicited e-mail messages with a "remove" request because this only validates to the sender that your address is current.

POPUPS

This is another very annoying thing, windows that keep poping-up while you're surfing the net with a browser with all sorts of advertizing. Or even just while working on your computer, from windows messenger and more.

Here's a way to get rid of some under Windows XP:

1- Click on «Start» then on «Run»- Type "services.msc" (without the "")
2- Double-click on "Messenger"
3- In the window that opens, click on the «Stop» button
4- In the startup type: item, select «Disabled»

For the browser type popups, read on and install one of those popup killers:

http://www.panicware.com/ go and download it, there's a free 30 trial
http://www.meaya.com/ go and download it, there's a free 30 trial

SPYWARE

Another source of problems is spyware (what's that?). It's not aimed at damaging your computer (like viruses) but it's a privacy invasion tool, collecting info on you and your internet useage. Ad-Aware is a free program to get rid of those. Use the program to keep it up-to-date. You should run it regularly, as you should your anti-virus application. Aspecialy after you installed a freeware or shareware program you downloaded from the internet.