Norton Internet Security for Dummies


You can?t see them, but they?re lurking out there ominously. They loom in all shapes, sizes, and disguises. And sooner or later, one will probably try to worm its way into your computer. They?re viruses, hackers, and other kinds of attackers set on sabotaging your computer and data, stealing your identity, using your address book to target more innocent victims, and more.

It?s Norton Internet Security on guard and to the rescue?IF you have ...
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You can’t see them, but they’re lurking out there ominously. They loom in all shapes, sizes, and disguises. And sooner or later, one will probably try to worm its way into your computer. They’re viruses, hackers, and other kinds of attackers set on sabotaging your computer and data, stealing your identity, using your address book to target more innocent victims, and more.

It’s Norton Internet Security on guard and to the rescue—IF you have it installed, configured, and updated properly. Norton Internet Security For Dummies helps you use the software’s suite of applications to protect and streamline your online experience. It takes you from installation to configuration to troubleshooting. You’ll discover how to:

• Set up Norton Personal Firewall to respond to alerts

• Configure Norton AntiVirus to take advantage of the Auto-Protect feature

• Use Live Update to keep your software current (the bad guys don’t give up, so you can’t let your guard down)

• Use the Browser Privacy component to prevent your Web browser from giving information to Web sites you visit

• Implement Ad Blocking to reduce annoying pop-up ads

• Use the AntiSpam component to reduce unwanted commercial e-mails

• Use Norton Parental controls to restrict what your kids do online and track where they’ve been online

• Use Norton Productivity Control (on the professional version) to block employees’ access to certain sites

Written by Greg Holden, author of Starting an Online Business ForDummies and owner of Stylus Media, this guide goes beyond the basics to include tips on:

• Creating better passwords

• Dealing with spyware and cookies

• Making your laptop, cellphone, or PDA more secure (Yes, they’re after them, too)

• Recognizing suspicious e-mails

• Tracking hackers with WHOIS and DShield

• Customizing access for different users

With a list of search engines especially for kids, suggestions of more tools to enhance your privacy and security, a glossary, a list of Web resources, and more, Norton Internet Security  For Dummies helps you enjoy the Web, knowing Norton Internet Security is on guard against invaders.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764575778
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 381
  • Product dimensions: 7.52 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Greg Holden is founder and owner of Stylus Media, which creates Web pages for other small businesses. He's a prolific author and a devotee of Norton security software.
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Table of Contents

Pt. I Creating your own homeland security 9
Ch. 1 Preparing your online security blanket 11
Ch. 2 Getting started with Norton internet security 37
Ch. 3 Setting rules for your firewall 69
Ch. 4 Strengthening and customizing your firewall 93
Pt. II Handling viruses and malicious code 113
Ch. 5 Working with Norton AntiVirus 115
Ch. 6 Blocking other weapons of mass insecurity 135
Ch. 7 Performing updates and other housekeeping 151
Ch. 8 Welcome to the land of quarantine 165
Pt. III Safeguarding your privacy and your network 179
Ch. 9 Canning spam 181
Ch. 10 Blocking weapons of mass distraction 203
Ch. 11 Wireless and laptop security 221
Pt. IV Access control 235
Ch. 12 Issues for networks with multiple users 237
Ch. 13 Issues for young users 251
Pt. V Getting under the hood 271
Ch. 14 Troubleshooting 273
Ch. 15 This old computer : housekeeping and restoration 289
Ch. 16 Working with log files and advanced options 303
Pt. VI The part of tens 319
Ch. 17 Ten most common attacks 321
Ch. 18 Ten more tools to boost your privacy and security 329
Ch. 19 Ten security threats NIS doesn't cover 335
Pt. VII Appendixes 343
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First Chapter

Norton Internet Security For Dummies

By Greg Holden

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-7645-7577-5

Chapter One

Preparing Your Online Security Blanket

In This Chapter

* Uncovering how Norton components work

* Understanding who hackers are and what they want

* Recognizing common attacks at home and work

* Preparing your computer for security applications

* Setting up good privacy strategies

The term security isn't one that leaps to mind when you think about the Internet. You don't connect to the Internet to be secure, after all. You connect in order to learn, to explore, to be entertained. The first thing you think about when you go online is getting your e-mail or visiting a Web site. Chances are you only think about security when something goes wrong - or when you are made aware of one of the many threats to your privacy and security that you face from the Internet. You may have purchased this book because your computer has been infected with a virus, or because someone has mentioned that, along with your fast new cable modem or Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), you need to have something called a "firewall" or something called "anti-virus software."

No matter what your level of experience with viruses, hackers, and spyware, this book will help you defend yourself against them with the help of a powerful and user-friendly suite of software programs called Norton Internet Security (NIS). This chapter gives you an overview of the program and how to take advantage of its many features. You also find out how to prepare your computer by making use of the resources on the Web site.


To find out more about Norton Internet Security or Norton Internet Security Professional, go to the Symantec Products and Services page (symantec. com/product) and select the product you're interested in from the dropdown list near the top of the page. You'll go to a page with more specific details about the package you chose and links to a trial version you can download or a version you can purchase online.

Making the Case for Norton Internet Security

Think about how it easy it is to connect to the Internet through your home network. Whether that network consists of a single computer or two or more machines, after you do the initial setup you have no problem downloading software, reading your e-mail, or even listening to Internet radio. The problem is that it's just as easy for technically adept individuals who like to break into remote systems - hackers - to connect to your computer, too, unless you install software like Norton Internet Security, or other security hardware or software.

Norton Internet Security is a suite of software programs, each of which provides a different kind of protection. It's especially designed for home and small business users who need to access the Internet securely. The following sections give you a quick overview of the various component programs and what they do.

Erecting a firewall

A firewall is an application that monitors and filters all the traffic going into and out of your connection to the Internet. That connection is commonly called a gateway. In the physical (that is, the real) world, a gateway may be nothing more interesting than a modem with a phone line or cable plugged into it. From the perspective of your computer, a gateway is the point at which information enters and leaves your network.

You may already have heard that a firewall is something you need when you get a high-speed connection to the Internet such as a cable modem or Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) connection. Firewalls can be complex to configure and maintain. The firewall that's part of Norton Internet Security, and that is called Norton Personal Firewall, automates many of the administrative tasks, however.

Monitoring and directing traffic with firewalls


Communication on the Internet is always a two-way street. When you connect to the Web site of the auction site eBay, for example, your computer and the Web site's servers communicate by exchanging segments of digital information called packets. First, your browser sends requests to the server in the form of one or more packets. The requests flow in the outbound direction from your computer. Then, the server responds by acknowledging the requests, and then sending images and text files from the Web site's servers to your computer so they can be displayed by your browser. Those files flow in the inbound direction to your computer. The exchange of messages is illustrated in Figure 1-1.


Two elements mentioned in Figure 1-1 bear explaining. A packet is a segment of digital information. Each packet can be broken into different sections, including a header and a data payload. Within the header, a number of different bits of information called flags signal to another computer on the network what is being requested. The flags are analyzed by programs such as Norton Personal Firewall in order to recognize and block known types of intrusions.

The fact that data packets flow in two directions between your computer and others on the Internet might seem obvious. But it's important to keep this in mind. When you begin to work with Norton Personal Firewall (a process described in Chapter 2), you'll be asked to set up a series of rules. Those rules determine how the firewall will respond to a particular type of data based on the direction in which it is going. Some rules can restrict information flowing in the inbound direction; others can restrict only outbound data going to a specific computer; other rules can block or allow information flowing in both directions.

Your computer's "secret" conversations

Another important thing to remember is that your computer continually carries on a series of packet exchanges with other computers on the Internet whether you're actually using the machine or not. When you have a connection that is always on, such as a DSL line, you can easily leave your computer connected to Web sites and go off and do other things. I, personally, like to listen to Internet radio. Many radio stations have the capability of sending their signal to listeners on the Internet in a process called streaming. I frequently leave the computer connected to a station and listen to it while I'm doing chores around the house. While I'm listening, my computer and the server that provides the data stream are in constant communication, checking with one another to make sure they are still there, to make sure the data is available, to verify that it is being received, and so on.

You may think you're doing a single thing on your computer, but in reality, a variety of different connections have been established or are underway. As I write this, my Web browser is connected to the popular Web site Google, and I'm listening to an Internet radio station. Those are only the obvious things going on. In fact, many more connections have been established, and the computer is listening for connections on virtual openings called ports (see the section "Port scans" for a more detailed explanation of these important network communications elements). In reality, my computer might be connected to an e-mail server and waiting for incoming mail, to another Web site, and to other computers on my home network.

Why worry about packets and all the "behind the scenes" communications your computer makes with others on the Internet? The point is this: These communications often occur in the background without your knowledge. Computers can try to connect to your computer while you are on the Internet and you have an Internet application running. Your computer is sending out responses that may or may not provide those remote computers (and their owners) with information about you and your network. Without a firewall, you don't have any control over such communication. Hackers - individuals who try to gain access to other computers on the Internet - can and will probe your computer for openings, and then try to exploit any openings they find. (See "Understanding Hackers," later in this chapter, for more information.) A firewall is essential for anyone who has an always-on connection to the Internet for precisely this reason: The firewall polices traffic in a way that you can't. It's like a sentry on duty, day and night.

Combating viruses

You may wonder why hackers try to connect to other computers they find on the Internet. Many reasons exist, but one is that they want to plant a type of virus called a Trojan horse (or other harmful program) on someone else's computer. Viruses come in many varieties and perform many different functions. But in general, they function in a way that's similar to the viruses that make you sick:

  •   They contain segments of code that cause problems. In the case of a human virus, the code is DNA. Computer codes are what make up computer viruses, and what cause those viruses to do harmful things.
  •   They come in many different forms. According to the Big Picture Book of Viruses ( html), there are human, fowl, equine, and many other viruses that affect living creatures. In the world of computing, the term "malware" is often used as a catchall term that includes variations such as viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and other harmful software programs.
  •   They are difficult to detect and infiltrate without your knowledge. Human viruses can only be seen with the aid of powerful microscopes. If you start sneezing or feeling bad, you can tell you have a virus. Computer viruses can get into your computer as files contained in software you download, or as attachments to e-mail messages that seem harmless. If your computer slows down or stops working, you can tell it has a virus.
  •   They spread. All viruses have the ability to move from one place to another and duplicate themselves so as to spread the infection. In one type of harmful program called a worm, this is the only function: Worms continue to multiply, consuming disk space and computing resources. Others duplicate by e-mailing themselves to other users whose addresses they find in Microsoft Outlook Express's address book, for example.

Viruses are among the most harmful security threats on the Internet, and anyone who goes online should have some form of virus protection. For whatever reason, a lot of people all over the world seem to take pleasure in phishing: sending e-mail messages to other people with attachments that contain viruses or other malicious programs. I regularly receive several such e-mail messages each week. The body of the message might say, "Your document is attached," "Look at this," or perhaps nothing at all. Anyone who clicks on the attachment to open it will unleash a virus or other program. And people unknowingly cause their own computers to be infected all the time by such means.

Norton AntiVirus takes the uncertainty out of receiving messages with suspicious attachments. It has the capability of recognizing attachments that are likely to contain harmful code; it can even scan the attachments and detect the viruses. It sends up alert messages, such as the one shown in Figure 1-2, before you even open up a message.

After identifying the virus, Norton AntiVirus takes steps to repair it (in other words, to change the code so that it doesn't cause any damage to your files or perform any unauthorized actions). If the file cannot be repaired, AntiVirus stores it in a special file called a quarantine area, where it cannot cause harm to your computer or the files within it.

Norton AntiVirus can protect your computer from viruses and other harmful programs such as worms, macros, and Trojan horses. But the program has to be periodically updated with new information about these programs so it can recognize new ones as hackers develop them. See Chapter 5 for more about how to use Norton AntiVirus.

Blocking unwanted content

Anything that consumes time, disk space, processing power, and browser "energy" detracts from your experience of the Internet. This isn't the way businesses that provide content and services on the Web think, however. They send you e-mail messages you didn't ask for, advertising products you don't necessarily want. They want to advertise other products and services, and frequently, they do so by causing browser windows to pop up (or under) the Web page you really want to see.

Popping Web page pop-ups

One of Norton Internet Security's most welcome features is its capability of preventing pop-up pages from appearing by means of a component called Ad Blocking. Ad Blocking not only stops banner ads and new browser windows from appearing, but stops Flash presentations and other intrusive content, too. It illustrates the fact that Norton Internet Security exists not only to block security but to improve your overall experience of the Internet, which includes giving you more control over what you see online.

See Chapter 6 to find out more about how to use Norton Internet Security to block ads as well as "spyware" and other programs that erode your privacy.

Throwing out spam

Norton Internet Security exists not only to make your experience on the Internet more secure, but more pleasant as well. One of the things that makes cyberspace unpleasant is the amount of unsolicited e-mail messages you receive. The number of messages circulated online appears to be steadily rising, despite legislation in the United States (specifically, the CAN-SPAM Act that's supposed to regulate it). One of Norton Internet Security's component programs, Norton AntiSpam, is designed to cut down on spam before it ever gets to your e-mail inbox. See Chapter 9 for more on AntiSpam, and "Adopting Effective Privacy Strategies," later in this chapter, for details about how you can provide extra control yourself.

Keeping your business secure

A survey conducted by the Business Software Alliance in 2003 found that two-thirds of corporate security professionals surveyed believe that they are likely to experience a major cyber-attack on their organization. However, only 78 percent of those security professionals believe their own organization is prepared to defend against such an attack.

Attacks can come from outside the corporate network. But in many cases, the real threat comes from within. Employees who have been fired or who have an axe to grind against the organization can cause substantially more harm than hackers on the other side of the world.


Excerpted from Norton Internet Security For Dummies by Greg Holden Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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