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Safe Surfing: E-Mail and Antivirus tips

Here are some tips to help you rid your world (and thereby mine) of the dreaded computer viruses.

First off, the obvious: Get a current anti-virus program and keep it updated. AVG by Grisoft has an excellent product and the best part about it that it is free. Get it at www.grisoft.com

Another thing you should not surf without, especially if you use a cable or DSL modem is a firewall. ZoneAlarm has my favorite type (free and bulletproof) at www.zonealarm.com

Test your firewall here. Then stick around for the scary stories. GRC.com is an invaluable resource for web users.

Just a guess, but I'll bet the average internet user has more than 20 programs currently active on their computer and sending out all sorts of information to data banks all over the world. You too, count on it. Nuke 'em all with Ad-Aware.

Trojans and Scumware? No computer should be without SpyBot. With Spybot you can detect and remove most browser hijacks, protect your Home or Start page and block content from many known sources of scumware. Constantly updated and always free, do no surf the web without it.

For really stubborn hijacks you can use HiJack This. It is more for the advanced user but sometimes it is the only thing that will work for you.

JUNK MAIL?

 NO More, with Mail Washer !!!

Download this MUST HAVE, FREE product to get rid of your junk mail http://www.mailwasher.net/

Microsoft and viruses

Microsoft FrontPage 2000 reports antivirus as a mis-spelled word. The suggestions are anti-viral or ant virus. Seems they've never heard of computer viruses

A couple of things you can do with your e-mail client to protect yourself and everyone in your address book.

1. Turn off the Preview Pane in Outlook or Outlook Express. You will find the option under the View menu in each. (Outlook Express is View -> Layout). With Auto Preview turned off you can now safely delete any email and it speeds the process up considerably as you do not have to wait for HTML emails to load. In Outlook you need to do this in each folder.

2. Outlook also has a nifty Auto Preview selection which will display the first few lines of a text message so you can quickly scan your messages. HTML messages do not preview at all so you are protected from  HTML embedded viruses and unwanted cookies.

3. Place a dummy e-mail address in your address book called !!0000 with the email address !!0000@wormalert.avg . This will not keep  a rogue program from sending messages using your Address book but the first message will go to this address and it will be returned to you. This will let you know that you are infected if your anti-virus program missed it.