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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

New PC security tips

In addition to the basics - a firewall and anti-virus and -spyware software - there are five tips for further security, reports USATODAY's Kim Kommando. These are good and, particularly for parents, the two about 1) having the PC the kids use function as a limited user account (to keep outsiders from taking control), and 2) telling your kids to "watch out for crush sites." A real vulnerability for family PCs is kids' natural curiosity, playfulness, and tendency not to think about consequences. So when they get a message with a subject like "Someone has a crush on you" or "How does your body rate?", they'll quite likely click to the site with the "answer." In the case of the crush come-on, "a link [in the email] directs you to a site that resembles a dating service. To find out who has the crush, you must guess by entering the correct email address," Kim writes. That's one way spammers collect email address and screennames. The link in the email can also take gullible ones to nasty sites that upload malicious software code on their PCs. You get the picture - this is good fuel for a family discussion on PC security (and kids' critical thinking).

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