Bookmarks for Desktop Self-Defense

Basic Security Tips

Get Safe Online
http://www.getsafeonline.org/
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
http://www.inc.com/magazine/20051001/email-intro.html
A guide to the biggest e-mail concerns, particularly security, compliance, and archiving.
Stay Invisible
http://www.stayinvisible.com/index.pl/basic_security_tips
Random Password Generator
http://www.winguides.com/security/password.php
Pick how many letter, whether you want capitals, numbers or a mix, and hey presto! instant random passwords.
GetNetWise
http://www.getnetwise.org/
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
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/quiz/phishingbasics1.mspx
Good basic quiz to test your knowlegde of email scams.
Tips for Mastering Email Overload
http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item.jhtml?id=4438&t=srobbins
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
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/edcams/spam/consumer.htm
From the FTC, tip sheets to help stop spam from filling your Inbox.
Email Etiquette
http://www.emailreplies.com/
Good tips to follow & things to avoid when writing and sending email.
PayPal - Protect Yourself from Fraudulent Emails
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=xpt/general/SecuritySpoof-outside
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
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/phishingalrt.htm
From the FTC, a guide to email scams - what to look for and how to avoid them.

Viruses

Preventing email worms
http://antivirus.about.com/od/securitytips/a/emailsafety.htm
This article goes over some basic rules to help avoid becoming infected with email viruses and/or worms.
Executable file extensions
http://antivirus.about.com/od/securitytips/a/fileextview.htm
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
http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/index.html
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
http://us.mcafee.com/virusInfo/default.asp?cid=10371
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
http://www.snopes.com/
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.
Vmyths.com
http://www.vmyths.com/
The truth about computer viruses & hoaxes.
PC Hell: What Are Computer Viruses?
http://www.pchell.com/virus/virusbasics.shtml
Handy guide to the basics of computer viruses.

Browser Security

Block Pop-up Windows with Internet Explorer
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/web/sp2_popupblocker.mspx
How-to guide for Windows XP Service Pack 2.
Sunday Smackdown: Mozilla Firefox 1.0 vs. Internet Explorer 6
http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-3000-5568116-1.html
A comparison of the two most popular PC web browsers.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Installing the Firefox Browser Program on Windows
http://webuse.info/firefox/
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
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/default.mspx
Links to updates, software downloads, and information to keep Windows computers more secure.

Firewalls

How Do Hackers Break into Computers?
http://netforbeginners.about.com/b/a/207189.htm
Good basic explanation of how hackers work, and steps you can take to protect yourself.
Archive of SB 1386 Disclosures
http://www.strongauth.com/regulations/sb1386/sb1386Disclosures.html
List of websites whose security has been compromised, and what happened.
Why You Need a PC Firewall
http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/support/zasc/whyFirewall.jsp
Lots of info on the whats, whys and hows of firewalls.
How Firewalls Work
http://computer.howstuffworks.com/firewall1.htm
How firewalls work, what sorts of firewalls are available, software reviews.
Shields Up: Internet Security for Windows Users
http://grc.com/su-firewalls.htm
Ins and outs of firewalls, tests to check your computer's vulnerability.
Test Your Firewall
http://www.hackerwatch.org/probe/
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
http://www.popupcheck.com/pop_up_blocker.asp
Real-time test of your browser's popup blocking protection.
Zombie Computers Abound
http://www.aarp.org/learntech/computers/howto/zombie.html
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
http://www.cert.org/tech_tips/denial_of_service.html
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
http://toolbar.google.com/
Find out about and download Google's free toolbar, which offers a pop-up blocker.
Yahoo Toolbar
http://toolbar.yahoo.com/
Find out about and download Yahoo's free toolbar, which offers a pop-up blocker and spyware protection.
Test Your Knowledge: Spyware Quiz
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/quiz/spywarebasics1.mspx
This quiz will help reinforce your knowledge of spyware and its symptoms!
Online Spyware Scan
http://www.spywareinfo.com/xscan.php
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
http://www.intek.net/support/9_warning_signs_of_spyware_or_ad.htm
Handy tip sheet.
Spyware (information from the FTC)
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/spywarealrt.htm
FTC consumer alert page about spyware: how to avoid it, what to do about it, and how to file complaints.
Symantec Anti-Spyware Information
http://enterprisesecurity.symantec.com/content.cfm?articleid=5667
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?
http://antivirus.about.com/od/whatisavirus/a/zombiepc.htm
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.
SpywareGuide
http://www.spywareguide.com/
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
http://www.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
http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html
Website for Spybot spyware removal software.
Ad-Aware Information
http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/
Website for Ad-Aware - adware removal software.
What Is Spyware?
http://www.spychecker.com/spyware.html
Website offers good explanation of spyware, and links to software tools you can download.