computer already comes with a software firewall. To make sure it’s on, click the Start button andin the text box at the bottom, type “Windows Firewall.” Click on the item that says “WindowsFirewall” (the one that says “Windows Firewall with Advanced Security” is more than you need)and just make sure to turn it
if it is not already turned on.There are also some free third-party firewall programs:http://www.zonealarm.com/security/en-us/zonealarm-pc-security-free-firewall.htmhttp://personalfirewall.comodo.com/Of course, most commercial security-suite software—usually with the words “Internet Security”or “Security Suite” in its title—come with its own firewall, which will be enabled by default;such a firewall will replace Windows Firewall’s functionality (and exceed it) and so WindowsFirewall will be shut off.Imagine a firewall as a barrier between your private computer and the very public Internet. Youdon’t want bad stuff on the Internet to get
your computer from the Internet, and you don’twant bad programs (if there are any) getting
from your computer to the Internet, where theycould, for example, send your private credit-card information to some thief. The firewall sits inbetween your computer and the Internet and makes sure that only those programs and servicesthat
be able to get through the firewall are allowed through.
2.Don’t trust your e-mail.
It’s become a regular occurrence for me now: Every six months or so I get e-mail that’s been sentto me, purportedly
me. That’s right—according to these e-mails, I sent
a spammessage about the latest Botox treatment or get-rich scam! Well, of course
send myselfsuch an e-mail; a hacker (a bad person on the Internet) has faked or
my e-mail address,pretending to be me. Actually, it’s incredibly
to fake a “from” e-mail address,
so never, evertrust an e-mail just because it says it came from “so and so”—even if the name given is thatof a trusted personal friend, a coworker, or the President of the United States.
More important than the “name” of the person that sent it is the actual e-mail address it was sentfrom;
but you cannot know that information by simply reading the normal part of youremail.
You must look at what’s called your e-mail header
. Most online e-mail websites(Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail) and offline e-mail programs (Outlook, Windows Mail, Thunderbird)offer a way to look at your email’s header information, so learn how to look at headers in yourparticular e-mail website or program. When there is
question as to whether an e-mail istrustworthy, you want to examine the headers to find the actual e-mail address it was sent fromand the e-mail server (the “location”) it originated from. The headers will tell you the truth aboutthe sender, whereas the default “from” name and e-mail address may be out-and-out
It gets worse: Your friend or colleague may have been hacked, and his or her
address book maybe compromised
. Some nasty programs read a person’s address book (his list of e-mail addresses