You are previewing Absolute Beginner’s Guide To: Security, Spam, Spyware & Viruses.
O'Reilly logo
Absolute Beginner’s Guide To: Security, Spam, Spyware & Viruses

Book Description

Batten down the hatches! Hackers, spammers and thieves (oh my!) are after you! The mere act of turning on an Internet-connected computer can put you, your family, and your personal finances at risk by exposing you to viruses, scam artists, hackers, identity thieves, and spammers. How do you fight back? Absolute Beginner's Guide to Security, Spam, Spyware and Viruses is your first line of defense.

Clear, easy-to-understand definitions of viruses, spyware, and hackers will help you understand what you're up against everytime you go online. Then, you'll learn about other threats, such as identity theft, phishing, and other potential dangers you'll face in your everyday computing. Find out how to search out and destroy spyware, malware and other viscious programs that could potentially harm your computer. Then find out how to lock out hackers, spammers, and theives for good.

We'll tell you how to immediately cut the risk of being attacked in half — in less than 10 minutes! Protect your bank accounts, digital photos, digital music collection, masters thesis, and everything you hold near and dear on your computer with the help of the Absolute Beginner's Guide to Security, Spam, Spyware and Viruses.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. About the Author
  3. Foreword
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. We Want to Hear from You!
  6. Introduction: Ignore This Book at Your Own Peril!
  7. How This Book Is Organized
    1. Chapter 1—Viruses: Attack of the Malicious Programs
    2. Chapter 2—Spyware: Overrun by Advertisers, Hijackers, and Opportunists
    3. Chapter 3—Hackers: There’s a Man in My Machine
    4. Chapter 4—Identity Thieves and Phishers: Protect Your Good Name and Bank Account
    5. Chapter 5—Spam: Unwanted Email from Hell
    6. Chapter 6—Wireless Network Snoops: Lock Down Your Wi-Fi Network
    7. Chapter 7—Privacy Snoops: Cover Your Tracks and Your Reputation
    8. Chapter 8—Let’s Smash-Proof Windows: Tweak Windows XP Nice and Tight
    9. Chapter 9—Starting from the Beginning: Wiping a Hard Drive and Rebuilding from the Ground Up
    10. Chapter 10—Ongoing Maintenance: Fend Off Future Threats!
    11. Chapter 11—Selecting Software: Steals, Deals, and Software Duds
    12. Chapter 12—Tools of the Trade: Security Products You Should Own
    13. Glossary
  8. Special Elements Used in this Book
  9. Reader Competition...of Sorts
  10. I. Security Basics: Some Very Real Threats
    1. 1. Viruses: Attack of the Malicious Programs
      1. What Is a Computer Virus?
        1. What Is It?
        2. Who Triggers a Computer Virus?
        3. How Does It Spread?
        4. What Damage Can It Do?
      2. Viruses: As Many Kinds As Sniffles in Kindergarten
        1. Macro Viruses
          1. The Scary Stuff
        2. Memory-Resident Viruses
          1. The Scary Stuff
        3. File Infector Viruses
          1. The Scary Stuff
        4. Boot Viruses
          1. The Scary Stuff
        5. Multi-Partite Viruses
          1. The Scary Stuff
        6. Worms: Network-Savvy Viruses
          1. The Scary Stuff
        7. Trojan Horses: Hey Helen, the Achaeans Left Us a Present!
          1. The Scary Stuff
        8. Virus Hoaxes: Fake Viruses that Scare the Heck Out of You
          1. The Scary Stuff
          2. How to Spot a Virus Hoax
      3. Who Creates Computer Viruses?
      4. What Not to Do!
      5. When Viruses Attack!
        1. Disconnect As Soon As Possible
        2. Virus Infection Found! How to Cleanse Your System
        3. My Antivirus Program Won’t Update!
      6. Now I Have Your Attention...
      7. Antivirus Checkup: 10-Minute Tactics
        1. Install Windows Security Updates
        2. Update Your Virus Signatures
      8. Fortify Your Computer: Strong Virus Defense in a Few Hours
        1. Install or Upgrade an Antivirus Program
        2. Scan Your Computer for Viruses
        3. Install Service Pack 2 and Enable Virus Protection
          1. Firewall
          2. Automatic Updates
          3. Virus Protection
      9. No Worm in My Apple?
      10. Is That a Virus in Your Pocket?
    2. 2. Spyware: Overrun by Advertisers, Hijackers, and Opportunists
      1. What Is Spyware?
      2. What Does Spyware Do and Why Is It Bad?
      3. How Does Spyware Sneak onto My Computer?
      4. Types of Spyware: Snoops, Adware, Cookies, and More
        1. Spyware: I Spy with My Little App
        2. Adware: Attack of the Pop-ups
        3. Snoopware: I Wanna Know What You’re Up To!
        4. Browser Hijackers: Turn This Browser Around, We’re Going to
        5. Key Loggers: Snooping on Your Typing Skills
        6. Dialers: Dial In, Dial Out, Dial Often
        7. Trojan Horses: Pretty Ponies with Deadly Insides
        8. Cookies: Does My Oreo Have a Tape Recorder in It?
      5. Who Is at Risk?
      6. How Do I Know If I Have Spyware?
      7. Defend Yourself Against Spyware
        1. Spyware Countermeasures: 10-Minute Tactics
          1. Download a Free Anti-spyware Program
          2. Increase Browser Security Settings
          3. Run Windows Update Frequently
          4. Update Your Spyware Signatures
      8. Ban All Spies: Strong Spyware Defense in an Afternoon
        1. Run a Full System Scan
        2. Install a Second Anti-spyware Program
        3. Inoculate Your System
        4. Use Firefox
        5. Clean Cookies
        6. Spyware Infection Found! How to Scrub Your System
          1. Clean, Yes! Spyware, No!
          2. What to Do When an Infection Is Found
          3. If the Removal Routine Fails
        7. How to Fix a Browser Hijack
          1. HijackThis: An Introduction
          2. Recruit a HijackThis Expert
          3. Do It Yourself HijackThis
          4. Check the Memory First
          5. Here Spyware, Spyware. It’s Time to Die
        8. Decimate the Little Suckers with CWShredder
        9. Microsoft Mimics HijackThis: System Explorers
    3. 3. Hackers: There’s a Man in My Machine
      1. What Is a Hacker?
      2. Who Are the Hackers?
      3. What Damage Can Hackers Do?
      4. Targets of a Hack Attack
        1. Corporate Networks
        2. Web Servers
        3. Personal Computers
          1. Denial of Service Attacks
          2. Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam
          3. Storage
      5. Hacker Motivation: I Think Therefore I Hack
      6. Tools of the Trade: Pass Me a Trojan Horse, Would You?
      7. Firewall: Shut Out the Hackers
      8. Software Firewalls: Programs That Stop Hackers
        1. Windows Firewall: Built-in Defense
        2. Third-Party Software Firewalls
        3. Recommended Firewall Freebies
        4. Hardware Firewalls
        5. Easy Defense with a NAT Firewall
        6. Stateful Inspection: The Meticulous Traffic Cop
      9. How to Detect a Hacker Attack
      10. How to Fix a Hacker Attack
        1. Steps You Can Take Immediately After Being Hacked
          1. Disconnect While You Assess
          2. Install a Firewall
          3. Assess the Damage
          4. Wipe the System and Start Fresh
      11. Batten down the Hatches—10-Minute Tactics
        1. Turn on Windows Firewall
        2. Activate the Firewall on a Mac OS X System
      12. Wall off the World—Install a Better Firewall in an Afternoon
        1. Install a Two-way Software Firewall
        2. Install a Hardware Firewall
    4. 4. Identity Thieves and Phishers: Protect Your Good Name and Bank Account
      1. What Is Identity Theft?
        1. Techniques Thieves Use to Steal Your Identity
        2. How They Become You: Identity Theft Techniques
        3. Preventative Measures: How to Not Become a Victim
        4. Signs You’re a Victim
        5. What to Do If You’re an Identity Theft Victim
      2. What Is Phishing?
      3. How Does Phishing Work?
        1. Email Address Spoofing
        2. Link Spoofing
        3. Web Address Spoofing
      4. What Is Pharming?
      5. What Damage Can Be Done By Phishing?
      6. Who Is at Risk? Everyone!
      7. Don’t Get Phished: 10-Minute Tactics to Stay Off the Hook
        1. They Won’t Ask, You Don’t Tell
        2. Use Caution and Cut and Paste
        3. Communicate Securely
        4. Install an Anti-spam Filter
        5. Block Phishing Sites with NetCraft
        6. Carry a Big Spoofstick
        7. Keep Your Antivirus and Anti-Spyware Programs Up-to-Date
        8. Keep Your Computer Software Up-to-Date
      8. Ensure You Are You: Take an Afternoon to Protect Your Identity
        1. Check Your Credit Reports
          1. United States
          2. Canada
          3. United Kingdom
          4. Australia
          5. If Your Country Is Not Listed
        2. Shred It Before You Chuck It
        3. Read Your Statements
    5. 5. Spam: Unwanted Email from Hell
      1. What Is Spam?
      2. Why Does Spam Keep Coming?
      3. Why Doesn’t Someone Stop the Spammers?
      4. How Do Spammers Get My Email Address?
        1. Website Harvesting
        2. Dictionary Spamming
        3. Commercial Email Lists
        4. Newsgroups, Discussion Forums, and Interactive Websites
        5. Contests and Other Free Offerings
        6. Email Forwarding
      5. The Damage Spam Can Do
        1. Reduce the Flow—10-Minute Tactics to Reduce Spam
        2. Don’t Respond
        3. Don’t Post Your Email Address on the Web
        4. Webmasters Shouldn’t Use mailto
        5. Turn Off Image Display in Email Programs
          1. Outlook 2003
          2. Outlook Express 6
        6. Turn On Junk Mail Filtering
          1. Outlook 98, 2000, and 2002
          2. Outlook 2003
      6. Kill More Spam—In an Afternoon
        1. Install an Anti-spam Program
        2. Fight Back!
    6. 6. Wireless Network Snoops: Lock Down Your Wi-Fi Network
      1. What Is a Wireless Home Network?
      2. What Damage Can a Wireless Network Snoop Dish Out?
      3. Who Are the Snoopers?
        1. Wardrivers
          1. How Wardrivers Operate
        2. Bandwidth Bandits
        3. Wireless Hackers
      4. Your Wi-Fi Network Is Full of Holes!
        1. How to Access Your Router Set-up
      5. First Line of Defense: Secure Your Wi-Fi Network
        1. Turn On WEP
        2. Turn On WPA
        3. MAC Address Filtering: Keep Out the Scottish
          1. How to Locate Your MAC Address
          2. Windows XP
          3. Windows 95, 98, and Me
          4. Mac OS X
          5. How to Filter by MAC Address
      6. Detecting a Visit from a Wireless Snoop
      7. I’m Under Attack! What to Do If You Discover a Wireless Network Snoop
        1. Turn Off Wireless Access
        2. Activate Security Measures
        3. Assess the Damage
      8. Wireless Security Workup: Quick Tactics and Some That Take a Little More Time
        1. 10-Minute Tactic: Change the Router’s User ID and Password
        2. 10-Minute Tactic: Change Your Default SSID
        3. 10-Minute Tactic: Turn On the Windows Firewall
        4. 10-Minute Tactic: Turn Off UPnP
        5. 10-Minute Tactic: Turn Off Your Router When Not in Use
        6. Time Intensive Tactic: Be Careful with File Sharing
          1. Windows 98/Me
          2. Windows XP Home
          3. Windows XP Professional
    7. 7. Privacy Snoops: Cover Your Tracks and Your Reputation
      1. Why Your Privacy Is Important
      2. What You Leave Behind on Your Computer
        1. Web Browser
        2. Documents
        3. Movies and Audio Players
        4. Email
        5. Chat Programs
      3. Who Are the Privacy Snoops?
      4. The Consequences of Being Caught
      5. Emergency Tactics—I Am Being Snooped On!
        1. Administrator
        2. Limited Users
        3. Guest Accounts
        4. How to Create PC Privacy
          1. Administrate Your Fate
          2. Be Like Fidel: Take Control and Limit Users
          3. Password Protect the Hidden Administrator
          4. Privatize Your Files
      6. Obscure Your Trail—In About 10 Minutes
        1. Microsoft Internet Explorer
          1. Clear Your Cache
          2. Clear Your History
          3. Clear Your Cookies
          4. Clear Search Forms
        2. Mozilla Firefox
      7. Cover Your Tracks—In an Afternoon
      8. Clean Multimedia Players
        1. Windows Media Player 10
        2. Real Player 10
        3. Protect Your Email
        4. Turn Off Saved Sent Items
        5. Empty Deleted Items Folder
        6. Don’t Leave Email on the Server
        7. Wash Windows
          1. Empty Your Recycle Bin
          2. Clear My Recent Documents
          3. Turn Off AutoComplete in Windows Search
          4. Erase the Contents of Your Temp Folder
          5. Clear the Clipboard
        8. Scrub Microsoft Office
        9. Deleted Files Are Not Gone
        10. Turn Off Chat Logs
          1. MSN Messenger 7
          2. Yahoo! Messenger and AOL Instant Messenger
        11. Clean Restore Points
  11. II. Strategies for safe and secure computing
    1. 8. Let’s Smash-Proof Windows: Tweak Windows XP Nice and Tight
      1. If Windows XP Is a Dike, You’re a Little Dutch Boy
        1. Step 1: Trash Unnecessary Programs
        2. Step 2: Install Firefox
        3. Step 3: Install Antivirus Software and Scan for Viruses
        4. Step 4: Install Anti-Spyware Software and Scan for Spyware
          1. Microsoft AntiSpyware
          2. Install a Second Anti-spyware Program
        5. Step 5: Block Out the Bad Guys and Install a Firewall
        6. Step 6: Install and Configure Microsoft Updates and Service Pack 2
          1. Installing SP2: The Big Fix
        7. Step 7: Install Netcraft’s Anti-Phishing Toolbar
        8. Step 8: Protect Yourself from Spam
        9. Step 9: Managing Your File Sharing Security
          1. Windows XP Home Edition
          2. Adding the Security Bar
          3. Windows XP Professional Edition
    2. 9. Starting from the Beginning: Wiping a Hard Drive and Rebuilding from the Ground Up
      1. Light the Fuse and Stand Back
      2. Let’s Get Started
        1. XP Installation CD or System Recovery Disk
        2. Windows SP2: The Mother of All Service Packs
        3. Collect Your Drivers
        4. Installation CDs for Your Programs
        5. Internet Service Software and Settings
        6. Security Programs
      3. Step 1: Download Drivers and Software You Need for the Re-install
        1. Got a Recovery CD? That’s Good News!
        2. Retail Copy of Windows XP? There’s Some Work to Do
          1. Motherboard or Chipset Drivers
          2. Ethernet Drivers
          3. Video Drivers
          4. Security Software
          5. Mozilla Firefox Web Browser
      4. Step 2: Back Up!
        1. Outlook
        2. Outlook Express
        3. My Documents
        4. IE Favorites and Cookies
        5. Firefox Favorites
        6. Saved Games
        7. Pictures, Music, and Videos
        8. Microsoft Office 2003 Settings
        9. Windows Media Player
        10. Other Odds and Ends
      5. Step 3: Pull the Plug on the Network
      6. Step 4: Wipe Away Windows
        1. Using a System Recovery CD
        2. Using a Windows XP Install CD
      7. Step 5: Re-install Windows
      8. Step 6: Re-install Your Drivers
      9. Step 7: Install Protection Against Malware
        1. Install an Antivirus Program
        2. Install an Anti-spyware Program
          1. Turn on Real-Time Protection
        3. Install a Firewall
          1. Hardware Firewall
          2. Third-Party Software Firewall
          3. Windows Firewall
      10. Step 8a: Install Windows XP Service Pack 2 (from CD)
      11. Step 8b: Install SP2 from the Internet
      12. Step 9: Configure Your Security Settings
      13. Step 10: Install Firefox
      14. Step 11: Configure Your Networking
        1. Home Network
        2. Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
        3. Cable Internet
        4. Dial-up
      15. Step 12: Update Windows with All Recent Security Patches
      16. Step 13: Update All of Your Security Programs and Security Signatures
      17. Step 14: Activate Windows
      18. Step 15: Re-install Your Programs
      19. Step 16: Other Things You Can Do
    3. 10. Ongoing Maintenance: Fend Off Future Threats!
      1. Note to Self: Keep Computer Secure
      2. Daily Routines: Walk the Dog, Feed the Kids, and Secure the Computer
        1. Update Your Antivirus and Anti-Spyware Signatures
        2. Update AVG Signatures
        3. Update Microsoft AntiSpyware
        4. Update Spybot Search & Destroy
      3. Weekly Routines: How to Never Be Bored on Saturday Morning
        1. Scan for Viruses and Spyware
          1. Microsoft AntiSpyware
          2. Spybot Search & Destroy
          3. AVG
        2. Check for Firefox Updates
      4. Monthly Routines: Clean the Garage, Trim the Hedge, and Update Windows
        1. Windows Updates
        2. Inspect Other Computers
        3. Router Firmware Updates
        4. Patch Microsoft Office
        5. Software Updates
      5. Bathe Once a Year Whether You Need It and Reformat and Re-install, Too
        1. Wipe Your Hard Drive and Re-install Windows
  12. III. Tools for Maintenance and Protection
    1. 11. Selecting Software: Steals, Deals, and Software Duds
      1. Security Software: Nothing in Life Is Free, Except Software
        1. Payware: Software You Pay Hard-Earned Cash For
        2. Freeware: Don’t Pay a Cent Software
      2. Weirdware: When It’s Not Payware or Freeware
        1. Gimpware: Free Software, but Not All the Bits Work
        2. Trialware: It’s Free, Until It’s Not
        3. Shareware: I Trust You to Pay Me
      3. What Should I Pay for My Security Toolbox?
      4. Choosing the Right Security Software
        1. Antivirus
        2. Anti-Spyware
        3. Firewall
        4. Anti-Spam
    2. 12. Tools of the Trade: Security Products You Should Own
      1. Which Security Software Is Right for You?
      2. Antivirus Programs
        1. Freeware
          1. avast! Antivirus
          2. Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition
          3. AntiVir
        2. Payware
          1. Symantec Norton AntiVirus
          2. McAfee VirusScan
          3. Eset NOD32
          4. F-Secure Anti-Virus
          5. Kaspersky Anti-Virus Personal
          6. PC-Cillin Internet Security Suite
          7. Panda Titanium Antivirus
      3. Anti-Spyware
        1. Freeware
          1. Spybot Search & Destroy
          2. Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition
          3. Microsoft AntiSpyware
        2. Payware
          1. McAfee AntiSpyware
          2. Webroot Spy Sweeper
          3. Norton Internet Security AntiSpyware Edition
          4. eTrust PestPatrol
          5. PC Tools Spyware Doctor
      4. Firewalls
        1. ZoneAlarm Free
        2. Sygate Personal Firewall Standard
        3. McAfee Personal Firewall Plus
        4. Norton Personal Firewall
      5. Anti-Spam
        1. McAfee SpamKiller
        2. Cloudmark Desktop
        3. Spam Arrest
  13. IV. Appendixes
    1. Glossary