Month: April 2009

Keep your computer safe and secure on the Internet – Part 2

I can’t believe the naivety of some folk! Only last week I had to help a colleague with her home computer that was “not working” The computer was full of viruses. She had no anti-virus software on her computer and she seemed convinced that because she was “not connected to the Internet” she wouldn’t get a virus on her computer. She failed to consider that perhaps the flash disks that she brought from work and the pirated game CDs that her children were using on her PC were the source of her virus infections… This is the second article...

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Keep your computer safe and secure on the Internet – Part 1

I was busy fixing a computer for a colleague and while I was waiting for the anti-virus scanner to complete its task I got to thinking about computer security in a workplace such as the University of Stellenbosch: The Internet is just not a safe place to connect your computer to – even if you are using a University computer. There are worms constantly scanning for vulnerable computers to infect, trojans disguised as helpful programs but actually install malicious ones, spyware that reports your activities back to their makers, and hijackers that take control of your web browser and...

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Protect Your E-mail Address with Scr.im

Most people know they shouldn’t post their e-mail addresses in plain text on the Web anymore. Bots and spammers regularly scan sites for e-mail addresses and add them to their subscription lists. Trying to hide your address with a trick like “myname AT sun DOT ac DOT za” is helpful, but some bots can see straight through that. Scr.im hides your e-mail address behind a link and a captcha to make sure that spammers don’t get a hold of it, or at least have to prove they’re human before they can see it. You want to give your e-mail...

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Conficker – a real threat or just hype?

For those who are doomsayers insisting that the world will come to an end on April 1, 2009 with the outbreak of the Conficker worm – take a deep breathe (or a Prozac) and revise your prophecies. Yes, the Conficker worm is a definite problem, but not some apocalyptic harbinger of doom! Simply put, Conficker is a large, P2P-based botnet, allegedly with millions of infected machines and on Wednesday, on April 1, it is set to activate its new “variant C”. A bot is a Trojan malware program that has complete control of an infected computer. It can be...

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