SPYWARE AND ADWARE
- The Internet Crime Complaint Center - "The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National White Collar Crime Center, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. IC3's mission is to serve as a vehicle to receive, develop, and refer criminal complaints regarding the rapidly expanding arena of cyber crime. The IC3 gives the victims of cyber crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations."
- Know whom you're dealing with. If the Web site of a seller or charity is unfamiliar, check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau. Get the physical address and phone number in case there is a problem.
- Don't believe in easy money. If a Web site or e-mail claims you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little risk, it's probably a scam.
- Think twice before entering contests operated by unfamiliar companies. Fraudulent marketers sometimes use contest entry forms to identify potential victims.
- Guard your personal information. Don't provide your credit card or bank account data unless you are paying for something. Your Social Security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.
- Avoid downloading programs from unfamiliar Web sites. Illicit sites contain viruses that destroy computer files or connect your modem to a foreign telephone number, resulting in expensive phone charges.
- Source: National Consumers League's Internet Fraud Watch.
- U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team - Established in 2003 to protect the nation's Internet infrastructure, US-CERT coordinates defense against and responses to cyber attacks across the nation.
SPAM BLOCKERS (SPAM is unsolicted E-mail)
- AVG Anti-Virus - Free anti-virus software.
- Avast Free Antivirus - Avast Free 5, an A-list freeware antivirus app, provides the same steadfast protection of well-known, pricier antivirus programs. Avast is remarkable for both its effectiveness and arguably providing the most complete free antivirus on the market.
- Avira AntiVir - Avira's AntiVir has been a player in the security world for some time; however, in 2008 its status boomed because of its remarkably strong detection rates. It still remains near the top of independent antivirus efficacy tests.
- CA Anti-Spyware - Detect and remove spyware and adware with the free scan available at this site.
- LavaSoft's Ad-aware - Anti-Spyware program.
- Malwarebytes: Free anti-malware, anti-virus and spyware removal download - "Malwarebytes products have a proven record of protecting computers by completely removing all forms of malware, including viruses, Trojans, spyware, adware and rootkits. When it comes to the safety of your computer, Malwarebytes provides the ultimate in protection from the cutting edge of technology!"
- Microsoft Security Essential - "Use Microsoft Security Essentials to guard against viruses, spyware, and other evil software. It provides real-time protection for your home or small business PCs. Free Antivirus for Windows."
- PC Hell - Spyware and Adware Removal Help and Resources.
- PC Pitstop - Free PC diagnostics and tuneups. Special section to deal with 'Gator/Claria' applications.
- Spybot Search and Destroy - Spybot - Search & Destroy can detect and remove spyware of different kinds from your computer.
- Spyware Blaster - Prevent the installation of spyware and other potentially unwanted software.
- Spyware Center - Spyware slows down your computer, hijacks your Web browser, and sends your personal information to advertisers. Find out how to combat this threat.
- SUPERAntiSypware - "Detect and Remove Spyware, Adware and Remove Malware, Trojans, Dialers, Worms, KeyLoggers, HiJackers, Parasites, Rootkits, Rogue Security Products and many other types of threats."
- Webroot Software - Automatically detects and can remove all common forms of malicious programs including Trojans, system monitors, keyloggers and adware.
- Windows Defender - "Windows Defender is software that helps protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software by detecting and removing known spyware from your computer."
- Yahoo Security Center: Spyware
FIREWALLS (How Firewalls Work)
- 0Spam.com - 0Spam.com is a free and simple solution for keeping spam out of your inbox.
- MailWasher - MailWasher is a free (for 30-day trial) E-mail checker with effective spam elimination. Discover the safe way to stop unwanted viruses and e-mails before they get to your computer.
- SPAMfighter - SPAMfighter is a free (for 30-day trial) plug-in for Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express, that automatically and efficiently blocks spam.
IDENTITY THEFT AND OTHER RESOURCES
- - If you have DSL or a cable modem, your IP address is permanent. Although this has benefits, it also carries the serious shortcoming of rendering your PC vulnerable to attacks. A firewall, in this respect, becomes not just desirable but a necessity. ZoneAlarm is a top choice, and best of all, the basic version is free.
IDENTITY THEFT RESOURCES:
- Identity Theft: Take Charge - Fighting Back Against Identity Theft - Was your identity stolen? This guide from the Federal Trade Commission tells you what to do when bad things happen to your good name.
- How Not to Get Hooked by a 'Phishing Scam' - Phishing is a high-tech scam that uses spam or pop-up messages to deceive you into disclosing your credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information. This Federal Trade Commisson Consumer Alert offers ideas how to deal with this growing Internet problem.
- Anti-Phishing Working Group - Phishing attacks involve the mass distribution of 'spoofed' e-mail messages with return addresses, links, and branding which appear to come from banks, insurance agencies, retailers or credit card companies.
- Identity Theft - This site by the Federal Trade Commission offers contacts for reporting theft and monitoring your credit reports.
- Identity Theft Resources - This site by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse offers articles, advice, court cases, and more.
- Consumer Tips: How to Opt-Out of Cookies That Track You - Methods to manage your cookies when you browse the Web.
- Email Abuse - This site is dedicated to informing users of this potential abuse and providing them with the tools to avoid becoming a victim and to fight back at Email Abusers.
- OnGuard Online.gov - Practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information.
- Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Products & Web Sites - "Rogue/Suspect" means that these products are of unknown, questionable, or dubious value as anti-spyware protection.
- Safe Surfing: Part One - PC Pitstop site shows you how various Web sites and software publishers target your children and teenagers with threats such as spyware and adware.
- Safe Surfing: Part Two - PC Pitstop site looks at what you can teach your kids about how to surf more safely in spite of the dangers. Featured are danger signs that can provide a tip that something is amiss, and show how to respond in a way that can protect your kids and your computer.
- Safety on the Internet - This site is dedicated to helping the average PC user make full and safe use of the Internet. It is a collection of pages outlining defenses against the various threats and annoyances and the steps that can be taken to ensure that we continue to enjoy the Internet.