Web safety

Web, email, chat, password and kids safety

Reports show that 74% of all e-mail is spam, and that one in 137.5 e-mails contain a malware of some sort, and that one in 200 e-mails is a phishing attempt.

Viruses are most easily spread by attachments in e-mail or instant messages.Phishing e-mails impersonate Banks, PayPal, eBay and Retailers.

If your e-mail application allows it, disable images in your e-mail. The primary reasons behind image blocking features are to prevent spammers from knowing if users open their messages.

Never open a Chat or e-mail attachment without virus scanning it first!

  • Don’t open any attachment unless you know whom it’s from and you were expecting it.
  • Never unsubscribe from spam e-mail as this just validates your e-mail address to the spammer. Instead just delete it.
  • If you receive a chat or e-mail message with an attachment from someone you don’t know, delete it immediately.
  • Use antivirus software that scans attachments as you open them and keep it updated.
  • Use an e-mail program with spam filtering built-in.

Never respond to request for personal information through an embedded link in e-mail or through chatting.

  • Keep your chat software up to date.
  • Never send personal information through an instant message.
  • When you’re asked to enter or sign up for a chat nickname, choose a name that doesn’t give away your personal information.
  • Don’t open attachments or click on Web links sent by someone you don’t know
  • Phishing scams typically masquerade as e-mails from legitimate companies such as a financial institutions and contain links back to sites that look real. The reality, though, is these sites and e-mails are all fake and are
    simply being used to try and steal your information so that they can attempt an identity theft with your information.
  • Spam mail is basically unwanted and unsolicited e-mail. There are companies whose entire business model is to send out unsolicited e-mail and flood your inbox with trash. People have and still do loose their entire life savings to spammers.
  • Keyloggers can be installed by opening attachments in e-mail or in chat sessions.
  • Chat rooms and social networking websites are virtual magnets for harvesting software.
  • One address posted in a chat room received spam mail nine minutes after it was posted.
  • Spambots constantly scour websites and chat rooms looking for email addresses to
    add to their lists. It’s not that they might lift the address, it’s that they will lift the address.
  • CHATDANGER is a site all about the potential dangers on interactive services online like chat, IM, online games, email and mobiles.

Pop-ups and URL redirection

Never click on pop-ups ads! Many of these actually lead to some form of malware including virus, trojans, adware, spyware and browser hijackers.

Use the Windows Task Manager to close pop-up windows. Press simultaneously the CTRL, ALT, and DELETE keys, and, from the resulting window, click the Task Manager button.

In the Task Manager, click the Applications tab, then select the pop-up window from the list and click the End Task button. If you’re unsure of which task corresponds to the pop-up, close all the browser tasks in the list.

  • URL redirection is the first sign that your PC may be infected.
  • Be very suspicious if you click a link and end up somewhere you didn’t intend to be or start seeing pop-ups for porn and security software.
  • You might be left with an adware toolbar installed into your browser as well as some pesky pop-up advertising for rogue security software.
  • Avoid clicking on pop-ups even to close them. Instead, close pop-ups from the system tray with a right mouse click and choose Close.
  • Increase your browser security settings by using the Pop-up blocker.

How to configure the Pop-up Blocker in most browsers

Is your pop-up blocker working?

Anti phishing resources

Anti-Spam tools and resources

  • SPAMfighter Whenever new mail arrives, it will automatically be tested by SPAMfighter, and if it’s spam, it will be moved to your spam folder. If you receive a spam mail that is not detected, click a single button, and the spam mail is removed from the rest of the 4.013.339 SPAMfighters in 218 countries/areas in seconds.
  • SpamPal is a mail classification program that can help separate your spam from the mail you really want to read.
  • Any email messages that SpamPal considers to be spam will be “tagged” with a special header; you simply configure your email client to filter anything with this header into a separate folder and your spam won’t be
    mixed up with the rest of your email anymore!
  • Trend Micro eMail ID is a browser plug-in that helps you identify legitimate email messages in your inbox.
  • Use a free disposable e-mail address instead of your real one for web forms, surveys, chat sessions, message
    boards or anywhere you would rather not take the chance of receiving spam in your main e-mail account.
  • Hoax-Slayer is dedicated to debunking email hoaxes, thwarting Internet scams, combating spam, and educating web users about email and Internet security issues.
  • eCops is an online reporting service to which the Internet user can report crimes committed on or through the Internet.
    • You needn’t worry about who is qualified for what, eCops makes sure
      that your report is being investigated by the appropriate service.

Fraud resources

More spam prevention tools

Password safety

To create a strong password use a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and other characters such as * ? $ % ^ & # to make the task of cracking it more difficult.

The best defense against typical password cracks is length. The one drawback to lengthy passwords is that there are websites that put length restrictions on passwords or only allow letters and numbers, although Windows allows up to 120 characters for passwords.

The key is to make a password that is easy to remember yet creative enough to fend off anyone trying to crack it.

  • Never share the password with anybody through e-mail or telephone conversation.
  • If you use a password manager, never give out your master password.
  • Don’t write passwords on pieces of paper and stick them in your drawer or pockets.
  • Password managers are not safe on a shared computer. It’s best to only use them on your personal computer.
  • Using personal information for your password is not secure, such as your address, birthdays, initials, names, etc. And NO, using “password” is not a safe password.
  • Using the same password for everything is a bad idea. If that password is discovered, all your accounts can be stolen.
  • The longer the better. Don’t make a password that’s less than 6 to 8 characters. Anything less can be easily cracked using brute force software.
  • The more random and meaningless the password the better. Catch phrases can easily be cracked.

I have been noticing a bunch of bloggers lately stating that using a blank password is safe. Microsoft even mentions it in this article: Strong passwords: How to create and use them. If anyone thinks that this is a safe method I encourage you to read this article by MS MVP ShadowPuterDude: The Sheer Lunacy of Suggesting the Use of a Blank Password

Password strength tests

What to do if your password is stolen or if you think your identity has been stolen or you’ve been defrauded.

Alternate Instant Messengers

These are malware free Instant Messenger programs which allow you to connect to multiple IM services in one program! (AOL, Yahoo, ICQ, IRC, MSN and more)

Knowledge building

Kids safety

If your children use the Internet at home, you already know how important it is to help protect them from inappropriate content and contact.
Much like the way marijuana is a gateway that leads to other drugs, children viewing pornography at a young age can also lead to more dark and reckless activities. Setting limitations in our children’s online world is one way to help combat the temptations of viewing material that they are not ready for.In a survey of approximately 6,000 Canadian children, 26 per cent of the 9- to 10-year-olds said they visited private and adult-only chat rooms. The number increased to 66 per cent for 15- to 17-year-olds.

Kids web browsers, web sites & search engines

  • AOL KOL For Kids – Kids Site by AOL
  • AOL KOL Jr. – Children’s site by AOL
  • Ask Jeeves For Kids – At Ask Jeeves For Kids, answers have been evaluated for appropriateness.
  • Glubble – Browser that creates a trusted surfing environment for kids which you have chosen.
  • Kid’s Channel – Safe place for children of all ages to play and explore the internet.
  • KidsClick! – A database of over 6400 sites compiled by librarians.
  • KidRocket – Safe Web Browser for Kids.
  • Kids Playground Web browser – Safe browser that children can use in order to visit links which you have chosen.
  • KidZui – A Web Browser, Search Engine & Social Network Just for kids.
  • Miss America Kids – Kids only interface that girls love and some for boys!
  • ThinkQuest Library – Over 6000 student-created Web sites.
  • W3kids.com – Kid safe search engine.
  • Yahooligans! – Designed for Web surfers ages 7 to 12. Sites selected by the YAHOO! Inc. staff.

Enabling porn filters for major search engines

  • AOL Search – Doesn’t appear to offer a filter, but enabling Parental Controls might have an impact on web search matches.
  • Ask Jeeves –Use options for Content Filtering on the Your Settings page or try Ask Jeeves For Kids, listed above.
  • Google – See the SafeSearch help page for instructions on setting up filtering on a permanent or as-needed basis.
  • Lycos – Use the Adult Filter section of the Advanced Search Filters page.
  • MSN Search – Use the Safe Search Filter on the Settings page.
  • Yahoo! – Set the SafeSearch Filter option via the Search Preferences page.

Kids safety & cyber crime reporting

Free parental control software

Commercially licensed parental control software

4 Responses to “Web safety”

  1. Top Webmaster Forum Says:

    Didn’t know about it. Very nice information. Submitted this post to Google News Reader.

  2. Exposed Wallpapers Says:

    I would love to write and say what a great job you did on this, as you have put a lot of work into it.

    **I disabled your link. You have popups leading to malicious sites and I will not allow that here**

  3. Cherokee Says:

    Good stuff, I “Stumbled” you. My DIGG account got messed up but I like Stumbling better anyway.

  4. Single Mom Says:

    Great site! Keep it up!

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