Harley Hahn's Internet Insecurity

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By the author of Harley Hahn's Internet Yellow Pages...over two million copies in print!

Why Your Privacy, Security, and Safety are at risk and what you can do about it.

You are being watched!

  • Do you have at a right to privacy at work? The answer may scare you. See "Why You Are On Your Own" in Chapter 2.
  • Would you like to know how to ...
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By the author of Harley Hahn's Internet Yellow Pages...over two million copies in print!

Why Your Privacy, Security, and Safety are at risk and what you can do about it.

You are being watched!

  • Do you have at a right to privacy at work? The answer may scare you. See "Why You Are On Your Own" in Chapter 2.
  • Would you like to know how to protect your personal information at work? It's easy. Just read "Cleaning Out Your Computer Every Day" in Chapter 4.
  • Do you suspect that your spouse may be having an online affair? Don't be fooled. See "8 Signs That Your Spouse is Having an Online Affair" in Chapter 14.
  • Don't get fooled. That suspicious message may not be true. Find out by reading "8 Sure-fire Ways to Spot an Email Hoax" in Chapter 8.
  • Are you concerned about the government monitoring your Internet activities? You're in for a surprise. See "Is Big Brother Really Watching?" in Chapter 1.
  • Why are big companies allowed to trample on your rights to privacy? Find out the real truth by reading "Have the Cowboys Run Amuck?" in Chapter 6.
  • Are you concerned about your family being exposed to pornography on the Net? Don't be a victim. See "Net Sex and Pornography" in Chapter 14.
  • Is there a sure-fire way to protect your computer from viruses? Yes! All you need to do is follow the instructions in "How to Be Safe: 4 Simple Rules" in Chapter 10.
  • Are you thinking about spending money on the Net? Don't spend a dime until you read "6 Ways to Protect Yourself When You Buy Online" in Chapter 13.
  • How can you safeguard your email address from advertisers and prevent unwanIt's easier than you think. See "Protecting Your Email Address" in Chapter 8.
  • You need to protect your children when they use the Net, but what is the best way to do it? The answer is in "Children and the Net" in Chapter 14.

Real Answers to Important Questions from the Best-Selling Internet Author of All Time.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
How safe is the Internet? Really? The truth, as always, can be found somewhere between the voices of the fearmongers and those of the smug, complacent souls who'll tell you that nothing bad has ever happened to them, so there's nothing to worry about.

Now that the Internet is a routine and constant part of our lives, we need a realistic assessment of the risks -- and the precautions we need to take to minimize them. We need clear thinking, and it's in far too short supply. We need the insights that can be found in Harley Hahn's Internet Insecurity.

If you've been on the Internet awhile, you'll almost certainly recognize Hahn's name: he's the author of Harley Hahn's Internet & Web Yellow Pages, now in its ninth edition, and widely recognized as the definitive Internet directory. Hahn's Internet books have sold more than 2 million copies. His readers know that they'll get intelligent, no-holds-barred viewpoints from him, and this book's no exception.

Hahn starts by grounding you with enough facts about how the Internet works so you can begin to understand the potential privacy and security issues you face there. Hahn quotes leading law enforcement officials on their views about the need to monitor Internet communications -- quotes that may appear in a new light in the wake of recent events. He also raises what may be the key question for anyone concerned about these issues: "Is it realistic to have an expectation of privacy on the Internet?"

Clearly, one place you can't expect any privacy is your workplace. "When it comes to using your computer and the Internet at work, don't hold your breath waiting for anyone to look out for your interests and your rights to privacy. You are on your own. Your computer is owned by your employer, and they own everything on it, including the love notes your fiancée emailed to you (which you thought you erased) and the records kept by your browser that indicate how many Web sites you visited to do your Christmas shopping on company time."

Hahn asks you to imagine a company investigator at your computer. (Maybe he's there for a good reason, maybe for no reason at all.) What would he do? What would he find? Does your computer log you into your chat and instant messaging programs automatically as soon as you start up? They're exposed. What's hidden in your browser? Only the URLs of all the pages you've visited recently (including that job search site). What software is tracking your Internet excursions in real-time? What recently viewed images are stored in your Windows cache? What can he tell from the names you've given to your files and folders? What keywords will come up when he searches for them? Which of your personal files have been copied onto the server, and are backed up on tapes stored off-site for the next several years?

OK, by now, you know better than to leave tracks at work. What about the rest of your life? Hahn explains how cookies can be used to help remote Web sites keep track of you, and where to find software that can help you control which cookies you will and won't accept. You'll find step-by-step guidance on protecting your browser at home; and learn how to protect Windows from those nasty scripts floating around (Hahn recommends disabling Windows Scripting Host).

You'll also learn what you need to know about shopping on the Web, including techniques for protecting yourself against Internet fraud, five ways to evaluate an online vendor, and when it's OK to specify fake information on a Web site. There's also a chapter on sex and relationships on the Net -- including "8 signs that your spouse is having an online affair."

Notwithstanding that last point, Hahn's goal is not to terrify you. When he thinks you're not at risk, he tells you so. For example, in his opinion, most users don't need personal firewalls, unless they have home networks and high-speed always-on Web connections.

Read Hahn's book. Understand the issues. Follow the procedures. And sleep better at night. (Bill Camarda)

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer with nearly 20 years' experience in helping technology companies deploy and market advanced software, computing, and networking products and services. He served for nearly ten years as vice president of a New Jersey–based marketing company, where he supervised a wide range of graphics and web design projects. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130334480
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 10/12/2001
  • Pages: 525
  • Product dimensions: 5.53 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 1.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Harley Hahn has a degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Waterloo, Canada, and a graduate degree in computer science from the University of California at San Diego. Before becoming a professional writer and the author of more than two dozen books, Harley studied medicine at the University of Toronto. When Harley is not writing, he reads a lot, paints, plays the piano and gives advice to anyone who will listen.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Toward A Grand Unified Theory 1
Chapter 2 Is Your Business Their Business? 27
Chapter 3 Staying One Step Ahead 49
Chapter 4 Taking Control 79
Chapter 5 The Psychology of Privacy 113
Chapter 6 You Just Think You Have Rights 131
Chapter 7 The Politics of Privacy 157
Chapter 8 Our Need to Communicate: Email, Chatting and Privacy 189
Chapter 9 The Mystery of Viruses: Revealed 249
Chapter 10 Protecting Your Stuff: Viruses and Common Sense 277
Chapter 11 Protecting Your Stuff: Configuring Your System 303
Chapter 12 Understanding Money (Really!) 329
Chapter 13 Protecting Your Money: Shopping and Selling Without Fear 381
Chapter 14 Protecting Your Family: Sex, Relationships and Children 433
Appendix 469
Index 475
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A Personal Note From Harley Hahn

During the twentieth century, the human race made so much progress that we came to believe that, given enough science and technology, we could control our own fate - if not as individuals, then at least collectively. What the Internet has shown us is that this assumption is false. As you will see in this book, we are influenced by strong forces that are far beyond our control.

The Internet is so complex, so powerful, so important and so new, that no one can truly explain what it is. Nobody knows why we built the Internet or what it really means to us. As a result, our society is awash in an enormous amount of misinformation.

Most of our worries and concerns about the Internet come from misconceptions and from our inability to understand our motivations clearly. It is my job to explain those misconceptions, and to put everything in perspective - to explain what is happening and why.

Have you noticed how much the world has changed since the mid-1990s when the Internet began to spread so widely? Have you also noticed how, in such a short time, the Internet has insinuated itself into every important aspect of our lives?

I do not want you worrying needlessly about things that are not really a problem. For example, regardless of what you might hear, you do not need to worry about computer viruses or about unknown perpetrators breaking into your system - not if you take a few simple precautions (which I will explain in Chapters 10 and 11).

There are far more important things I want you to think about: how the Internet affects your privacy, your security, your money, your relationships, your work, and yourfamily.

In this book, I am going to explain a lot of ideas that other people don't want you to know: Why are companies so mean-spirited when it comes to treating people well? Why is government so ineffective when it comes to standing up to big business? Why do people love to pass on misinformation to their friends? Why do so many "experts" try to scare us?

I am also going to explain ideas that are crucial to using the Net well, but are mostly ignored in our popular culture. Do we have a biological need for privacy? What is money, and why is it important to us? Why do we need relationships, and what happens to them when we start using the Internet?

The Internet is a lot more than a global computer network. It is a permanent part of our everyday life and, if you and I are to use it well, we must first understand ourselves and our culture.

For this reason, I am going to talk about much more than technology and computers. I am going to discuss psychology, history, philosophy, science, money and relationships. Although these may seem like unrelated topics, I promise you that, by the time you finish reading this book, it will all come together.

I hope by now you understand that this is not a normal computer book, not by a long shot. Indeed, it is my hope that you will find this book to be unlike anything you have ever read.

If you buy this book, I will make you several promises:

  • I promise to explain everything you need to know to use the Internet in a way that makes you and your family safe and comfortable.
  • I promise to show you the best strategies for protecting yourself against the strong forces that control so much of our society.

And finally,

  • I promise that, as long as you are reading this book, you will never be bored.

I want you to read this book for two reasons. First, it is interesting and useful. Second, by the time you finish, you will understand the world a lot better than you do now.

I promise.


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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2002

    The Must for All Computer Users

    Harley Hahn's engaging, personable, and humorous style commands the reader to become educated and responsible for their every move on the internet. What an eye opening look at the history of our society, nation, business, and computing industry. A great read!! A tremendous guideline for a successful future on our internet.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2001

    A Fascinating and Informative Book

    This is the third Harley Hahn book I have bought and although I have greatly enjoyed them all, this one stands out, because it covers topics not normally found in computer books, and is looking towards the future where the internet will play an ever increasing role in our lives. The potential pitfalls of email and computer use are explored, inluding an in-depth look at privacy, viruses, online relationships, shopping online and much more. I saw myself in many places in the book, and would have liked the opportunity to read it 3 years ago, when I might have been able to avoid some of the mistakes I subsequently made regarding an online relationship. The book is more than merely informative. It is written in an entertaining and amusing style, so that even the technical information is enjoyable to read. Thoroughly recommended.

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