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YOU NEED TO BEAT YOURSELF OVER THE HEAD A FEW THOUSAND TIMES

I am working on the best way to do this...... stay tuned.

Once you have your safe computing measures setup, you need to test them.  There are four things to test:

1) Your antivirus software.  I don't know of a really good way to do this without actually downloading some virus laden files.  And I would NOT recommend that you do this.  In this case, we almost have to trust in the antivirus provider :-)  There are sites which will run a gamut of tests on your PC, using ActiveX and java scripting.  Be prepared to accept all these to come through!   This site will test your email security and the antivirus functions protecting it.

2) Your firewall function.  Absolutely the best place to go is www.grc.com.  Steve has some new firewall checking capability with his new "nanoprobe" techniques at http://www.grc.com .  Select the "Shields Up" link, and scan the most common ports.  Basically he writes all his code in assembly language, and has a much tighter control of his testing capabilities.  The nanoprobe site is a fantastic site. 

You can also ask me, and I will run an "nmap" probe on your IP address from my Linux server. 

3) Your antispyware function.  One thing you can easily do is crank up the cookie protection in IE (only available in IE6).  Go to tools -> Internet options -> privacy ->  and crank it up to High and see if you can live with this.  You probably cannot for the sites that you want to remember you.  In this case, just add the site to your "trusted list." Then go to a bunch of web sites and you will get some cookie warnings on the bottom of IE.  Double click on the cookie, and take a look at its report for the current web site.  You should see the restricted web sites that IE6 has blocked.

4) There are several sites which will check your browser settings:

This site, no 1, and this site, no 2.  The first site changed my browser settings and didn't restore them, but I thought the testing and FAQ pages were quite good at explaining what it did.  The second sight was not quite as educational, but did seem more professional in its testing. 

In addition, you need to check your PC for the presence of trojans and unwanted guests attempting to use YOUR PC for their purposes.

 

 

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Copyright John D Loop Saturday January 22, 2005