Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Google says 10% of websites are dangerous

Why genealogists must protect their computers

DearREADERS,

As computers are now a main-stream tool of family history researchers, it is imperative that we protect our machines with the best anti-virus, anti-phishing, anti-spam, [ANTI-BAD GUY] software. Ok, those capital letters were placed there for added emphasis. ZD-Net NEWS just posted an article titled Google: 10 percent of sites are dangerous by Tom Espiner of Silicon.com, May 15, 2007, 7:56 AM PT.

Google is warning Web users of the increasing threat posed by malicious software that can be dropped onto a computer as a Web surfer visits a particular site.

“The search giant carried out in-depth research on 4.5 million Web sites and found that about one in 10 Web pages could successfully "drive-by download" a Trojan horse virus onto a visitor's computer. Such malicious software potentially enables hackers to access sensitive data stored on the computer or its network, or to install rogue applications.

Google's report (PDF:
The Ghost in the Browser: Analysis of Web-based Malware), published last week, said the rise in Web-based malicious software has been aided by the increasing role that the Internet plays in everyday life, along with the ease in setting up Web sites.” http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1009_22-6183818.html?tag=nl.e622

In a more troubling comment, Tom explains “Seventy percent of Web pages hosting rogue software are found on legitimate sites targeted by hackers.” IBID.

Ol’ Myrt just doesn’t want to see you lose all those notes and ancestors if your computer is compromised. Please follow an accepted protocol involving:

· Weekly (I do it daily) full system anti-virus scan using software on your computer
· Weekly online “active scan” at
www.pandasoft.com
· Email anti-virus scans
· IM scan as they arrive
· Anti-phishing scan of websites as you visit them
· A firewall, particularly if you have high-speed internet access

Most main-stream computer hardware sales involve the addition of 60-90 free software protection. Many ISP (Internet Service Providers) such as AOL and Comcast provide free software protection as well.

If you purchase a custom computer from a local computer geek, be sure to have such protection software included

To learn more about reputable software to protect your computer, see these websites:

· AVG
http://www.grisoft.com/
· McAfee
http://mcafee.com/us/
· Norton is offering free trialware.
http://www.symantec.com/index.jsp

Check with your local computer group, to see what your friends are using to keep those computers running safely.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com
www.DearMYRTLE.com

(c) 2007 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved

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