You check your e-mail program and it reports your
password as no longer valid.
You call your Internet service provider
(ISP) to discuss the problem and they tell you they turned off your
account due to "abuse". "Abuse!" you cry to the customer service
operator, "What are you talking about?"
"Someone used your computer this past Saturday night in an
attempt to hack into a government computer system. They made the
attempt at 1:20 a.m. from your account," replies the rep. "Look in
your windows registry for a file called QAZWSX.hsq."
You punch a few keys and sure enough the file stares right back
at you. "What is it?" you ask, scared to know the answer.
used a Trojan Horse virus" to remotely control your computer and
cloak the identity of the hacker. Here's how to get rid of it,
What you just read happened very recently to someone I know quite
well. A computer hacker found an open port on his computer when he
switched over from a dial-up Internet connection to an "always-on"
high-speed connection. The hacker used a robot scanning the Internet
for available "ports", openings in a computer that allow data to
pass back and forth from a network connection like the Internet.
Once the hacker found an unprotected port on my friend's computer
he simply inserted a Trojan Horse virus that rides along with
Windows Notepad, a handy utility used by just about everyone who
makes web pages. (*)
When my friend activated the notepad program he also activated
the virus. The virus in turn transmitted all of my friend's security
information to the hacker and allowed him to gain access and control
his victim's computer in the middle of the night.
Count me as the last person to sound paranoid, but, as always-on
connections through DSL, cable, and T-1 lines proliferate, this
story will repeat itself over and over until people learn to protect
Most people underestimate or are completely ignorant about the
importance of information they send over the Internet when surfing
websites and checking email. Even if you only use a simple dial-up
account, you can unknowingly transmit a significant amount of
You can analyze the security of your web connection for free by
http://www.symantec.com/SecurityCheck/ . You can also
verify the presence of any known viruses or Trojan horses on your
computer. The information I saw when analyzing my personal computer
frankly shocked me. I saw data I didn't even know existed staring me
right in the face after I performed this analysis.
To protect your computer hardware and sensitive data you should
obtain a software package called a "firewall". A firewall, when
combined with a good anti-virus program, helps stop unauthorized
access on your computer, prevents virus infection, and "cloaks" your
data ports against a hacker scanning for openings.
Symantec.com and McAfee.com both offer excellent personal
firewall and anti-virus software from their websites or you can buy
them off the shelf at your local office supply store. A wise
investment for anyone on the net... before it's too late!
--- Jim Edwards is the author of "How to
write and publish your own Outrageously Profitable ebook in 7 days,
even if you can't write, can't type and failed high school English
CLICK HERE to become a profitable author. (c) Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved
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