Bookmarks for Desktop Self-Defense

Basic Security Tips

Get Safe Online
Get Safe Online will help you protect yourself against internet threats. The site is sponsored by government and leading businesses working together to provide a free, public service.
Complete Guide to E-mail
A guide to the biggest e-mail concerns, particularly security, compliance, and archiving.
Stay Invisible
Random Password Generator
Pick how many letter, whether you want capitals, numbers or a mix, and hey presto! instant random passwords.
Nice collection of useful tips for staying safe online, from email security, to keeping kids safe online, to keeping personal information safe.

Spam, Scams & Viruses

Phishing Basics Quiz
Good basic quiz to test your knowlegde of email scams.
Tips for Mastering Email Overload
This article looks at ways you can spend time more efficiently reading and sorting through your email. It also offers tips on effectively replying to messages.
Limiting Spam
From the FTC, tip sheets to help stop spam from filling your Inbox.
Email Etiquette
Good tips to follow & things to avoid when writing and sending email.
PayPal - Protect Yourself from Fraudulent Emails
PayPal has been hit more than most by phishers. To combat it, they have created a very helpful guide to spotting email scams.
How Not to Get Hooked by a 'Phishing' Scam
From the FTC, a guide to email scams - what to look for and how to avoid them.


Preventing email worms
This article goes over some basic rules to help avoid becoming infected with email viruses and/or worms.
Executable file extensions
Don't just rely on your antivirus software! This article lists the file extensions most often used by viruses, and offers useful tips to protect your computer from viruses and worms.
Symantec Security Response
This site will help you stayed informed about the latest virus threats. if you use Norton Anti-Virus, you can download new virus definitions here.
McAfee Virus Information
McAfee is the other big provider of anti-virus software. this site, like Symantec's, will keep you up-to-date on new virus threats, and allows you to download the latest virus definitions.
Urban Legends & Myths
Ever ponder if a virus threat is real? This site will help you separate fact from fiction. Can your mobile phone get a virus? Urban myths and legends proven or debunked. Site has a great search engine.
The truth about computer viruses & hoaxes.
PC Hell: What Are Computer Viruses?
Handy guide to the basics of computer viruses.

Browser Security

Block Pop-up Windows with Internet Explorer
How-to guide for Windows XP Service Pack 2.
Sunday Smackdown: Mozilla Firefox 1.0 vs. Internet Explorer 6
A comparison of the two most popular PC web browsers.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Installing the Firefox Browser Program on Windows
Handy guide has screen shots to guide you through the process (for version 1.04 but is correct for later versions, too), if you decide to try another web browser.
Microsoft Security Center
Links to updates, software downloads, and information to keep Windows computers more secure.


How Do Hackers Break into Computers?
Good basic explanation of how hackers work, and steps you can take to protect yourself.
Archive of SB 1386 Disclosures
List of websites whose security has been compromised, and what happened.
Why You Need a PC Firewall
Lots of info on the whats, whys and hows of firewalls.
How Firewalls Work
How firewalls work, what sorts of firewalls are available, software reviews.
Shields Up: Internet Security for Windows Users
Ins and outs of firewalls, tests to check your computer's vulnerability.
Test Your Firewall
This website allows you to test your computer's vulnerability to intruders. it also offers an activity map to monitor hacker activity - who is getting hit, and where the hits are coming from.
Popup Blocker Test
Real-time test of your browser's popup blocking protection.
Zombie Computers Abound
Zombie computers have been taken over by a worm and send data out without the owner's knowledge. the performance of a zombie computer is badly compromised. This article provides information on what to look for and how to stop it from happening to you.
Denial of Service Attacks
DNS attacks can bring down a whole network, or ISP. In some cases your computer may be unwillingly involved! This site will tell you how.

Spyware and Adware

Google Toolbar
Find out about and download Google's free toolbar, which offers a pop-up blocker.
Yahoo Toolbar
Find out about and download Yahoo's free toolbar, which offers a pop-up blocker and spyware protection.
Test Your Knowledge: Spyware Quiz
This quiz will help reinforce your knowledge of spyware and its symptoms!
Online Spyware Scan
Handy online scanner will check your computer or spyware infections. Note: this is a scan only, it won't help get rid of the spyware!
9 Warning Signs of SpyWare & AdWare
Handy tip sheet.
Spyware (information from the FTC)
FTC consumer alert page about spyware: how to avoid it, what to do about it, and how to file complaints.
Symantec Anti-Spyware Information
Ignore the plugs for Symantec software, and just read this article to better understand where spyware comes from and the problems getting rid of it.
Is Your PC a Zombie?
A zombie computer is one that has been taken over by a remote computer and can then be used in serious problems like Denial of Service attacks.
This site provides links to anti-spyware software, offers information on detecting spyware and what are the most common spyware products, and also offers a free online scanning service (note: it only lets you know if you have it, it doesn't get rid of it!).
Adware Info
This site offers definitions and information about adware and spyware. It also has links to free and shareware adware removal software.
Spybot Info
Website for Spybot spyware removal software.
Ad-Aware Information
Website for Ad-Aware - adware removal software.
What Is Spyware?
Website offers good explanation of spyware, and links to software tools you can download.