How to Become Invisible (Almost)
By James C. Moberg
Do you ever wonder how much information you unknowingly freely give out about yourself online? Are you 100% sure that the software that you just installed isn't reporting back your activity or allowing others uninhibited access to your computer? Did you ever wish you could do something about spam other than just delete it? If so, here's some things you can do to fight back.
How To Block Ads (& Web Bugs) Without Extra Software
Many ad companies record where you surf whenever you view one of their ads. Even pages without ads can track your surfing by including "Web bugs" (tiny, invisible graphics). By blocking ads and Web bugs, you can block the recording and help protect your privacy. In less than two minutes you can eliminate 90% of the ads on the web from your surfing day. For more information, read my article here:
For Webmasters: Gatoring & SmartTags
Microsoft XP and Interenet Explorer 6.0 have introduced SmartTagsTM. This allows "someone" to control the links on your webpages without your knowledge and/or approval. Other companies have been doing this for some time and the practice has been termed "Gatoring". In order to prevent your pages from spawning external pop-up ads and having your content linked to unknown, outside sources, put the following metatag in your HTML Header:
<meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="TRUE">
Who Owns You?
With the current spread of the Red Code virus 1 and 2, I've seen a tremendous increase in attempts on my computer. Sometimes the attempt comes from within when I download software and it secretly communicates with someone on the outside. Many computers and networks are unknowingly hosting material because of inadequate (or non-existent) security. To protect yourself, download and install ZoneAlarm (Free). This will allow you the opportunity to choose which programs are allowed to communicate with the internet as well as deny all incoming attempts from other computers to communicate with your computer:
Say No to Cookies
Bounce Spam Back to the Sender
Tired of spam? Who's not. Responding lets them know that your email address was correct and keeps your address on the list for other spammers to use. Most email addresses are gleened from websites. An easy way to protect your email addresses on websites is to convert them to unicode:
If you already receiving spam, you can filter your email and send a fake bounce message back to all spammers as well as automatically blacklist them from sending you email again using MailWasher:
Are You Ready to be Tested?
Gibson Reseach Corporation has a couple tests and software utilities that you can test against your computer to determine how well you are protected.
Opt Out - Big Business may be SPYING on you through the Internet "for your benefit.":
Shields Up - Can anyone crawl into your computer while you're connected to the Internet?:
Regain Control of Your Browser
In following the theme of blocking ads and such, Jason Duncan from The Christian Fellowhip Chapel came across this small plugin for IE 5.1 or later. "I must say it does a good job and you might want to try it out for yourself. Since I've been using it, I've had no 'pop ups' and I usually am bombarded with them all the time."
AdIEFiltr (Windows/IE 5.1+)
Editor's Note: Another great Pop-Up/Banner Ad filter is AdShield (Windows - FREE) available at http://www.adshield.org. It allows you to block banner directories as well as banner ad domains. A nice commercial package is AdsGone (Windows - $14) at http://www.adsgone.com/
If you know of any Macintosh software that is similar to any of the above, please email me at 2000@YouthPastor.com
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