The Complete Idiot's Guide to Protecting Yourself Online

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Do you like buying things on the Internet with your credit card? Think other people wouldn't like buying things with your credit card, too? Have you given out personal information to register for "contests" and "events?" Beware. Sometimes the wizard making the promises is only a little man sitting behind a curtain pulling levers and talking through microphones. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Protecting Yourself Online makes sure that you take the necessary steps and precautions when registering, ordering, or even ...

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Overview

Do you like buying things on the Internet with your credit card? Think other people wouldn't like buying things with your credit card, too? Have you given out personal information to register for "contests" and "events?" Beware. Sometimes the wizard making the promises is only a little man sitting behind a curtain pulling levers and talking through microphones. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Protecting Yourself Online makes sure that you take the necessary steps and precautions when registering, ordering, or even just conversing on the Internet. Keep people out of your personal life by creating hacker-proof passwords, removing your name from databases, and eliminating a third party's ability to accumulate information about you—such as address, Social Security number, credit card numbers, and more.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789720351
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/16/1999
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 7.35 (w) x 9.07 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Preston Gralla is Executive Editor for ZDNet, and a long-time journalist with Ziff-Davis Publications. Preston is the author of 11 books, including the popular How the Internet Works, and The Complete Idiot's Guide® to Online Shopping. An award-winning writer and editor, he has written about the Internet and technology for many newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and PC Magazine.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
How to Use This Book 2
Extras 3
Part 1 The Basics of Internet Privacy and Security 5
1 Understanding the Internet and Online Security 7
What Do the Brady Bunch, Disco, the Internet, and World War III Have in Common? 7
It's More than Magic: How the Internet Works 10
What's This TCP/IP Stuff I Hear About--And Why Should I Care? 12
The Web Is Not the Entire Internet 14
2 What Dangers Are There to Your Privacy and Security? 17
What Kind of Privacy Dangers Are There? 17
Your Credit Card Information Can Be Stolen 21
The Dangers of Shopping Online 22
Pick a Number...Any Number--It Identifies You 24
Viruses and Other Ugly Beasts 25
Online Dangers for Kids 25
Part 2 Putting Up Your First Line of CyberDefense 29
3 Making Sure Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) Protects Your Privacy 31
What Kinds of Information Do Your ISP and Online Service Know About You? 32
Making Sure Your ISP Protects Your Privacy 33
Protecting Your Privacy on America Online 36
Boob Tube Access: How About Cable Modems and WebTV? 38
What Kind of Privacy Do You Have at Work? 41
4 How to Create Hacker-Proof Passwords 43
Why You Should Worry About Passwords 43
How Hackers Steal Passwords--It's Not How You Think 44
How to Handle Passwords So That Hackers Can't Steal Them 45
How to Create Passwords That Even Hackers Can't Crack 48
5 Fighting Back: How to Remove Your Name from Web Databases 51
You Mean, They Can Find That About Me on the Web? 51
Why You Should Worry About What's in Web Databases 54
Keep It Private: How to Get Your Name Out of Web Databases 56
6 How to Protect Yourself Against the Most Common Internet Scams 63
How to Recognize Online Scams 64
The Most Common Internet Scams 65
What to Do If You've Been Scammed 68
Best Sites to Get the Inside Skinny on Consumer Advice and Scams 72
Part 3 Snoopers Everywhere: How to Keep Your Email Private 77
7 How Does Email Work, Anyway? 79
The Mail Starts Here 79
...And the Mail Goes to There 82
8 Dangerous Delivery: What Dangers Are There in Email? 87
How Your Email Can Be Read by Others 87
Your Boss Owns Your Email 89
Why Spam Can Leave a Bad Taste in Your Mouth 90
Why Email Spoofing Is No Joke 92
Is There Such a Thing as a Mail Bomb? 92
Can You Get a Virus from an Email Message? 94
9 Keeping Your Email Private with Encryption 97
What Is Encryption, Anyway? 98
Here's How Encryption Works--And How to Use It 98
Is Pretty Good Privacy Really Pretty Good--And How Do You Use It to Encrypt Email? 102
How to Use a Digital Certificate to Encrypt Email 106
10 What Is Spam and How Can You Protect Yourself from It? 107
What Is Spam and How Is It Created? 108
How to Hide Your Name from Spammers 111
Using Your Email Program to Stop Spam in Its Tracks 117
Using Spam-Fighting Software to Kill Spam Dead 120
Fight Back! What to Do If You've Been Spammed 121
11 Staying Anonymous with Anonymous Remailers 125
What Is an Anonymous Remailer, Anyway? 126
I'm a Pretty Honest Person. Why Would I Use an Anonymous Remailer? 127
How to Use Anonymous Remailers 128
Where to Find Anonymous Remailers on the Internet 133
Part 4 Protecting Your Privacy and Security on the World Wide Web 135
12 What Dangers Are There to Your Privacy and Security on the Web? 137
How Your Web Surfing Habits Can Be Traced 137
Why Web Cookies Can Leave a Bad Taste in Your Mouth 140
The Dangers of Web Registration Forms 142
Beware of Viruses and Other Malicious Programs 143
13 No, They're Not Oreos: What You Can Do About Cookies 147
What Are Web Cookies? 148
Why Are Web Sites Serving Cookies? 148
Where Are Cookies Stored? (No, They're Not in Your Cupboard) 151
Fighting Back: How to Make Cookies Crumble 154
14 Beware of Registration Forms on the Web 159
Why Are Registration Forms Used? 160
Do They Really Need to Know All That Information About Me? 161
Your First Line of Defense: Checking Out a Site's Privacy Policy 162
Smart Techniques for Protecting Your Privacy When Filling Out Forms 165
15 Holy Cow! My Browser Shows All That Information About Me? 169
No Escape: What Kinds of Information Does Your Browser Show About You? 169
What Information Is Kept in Your Browser's Cache--And What You Can Do About It 172
How to Kill the Information in Your History List 174
How to Hide Your Email Address 175
Keeping Newsgroup Information from Prying Eyes 175
Using the Veil of Darkness: How to Surf Anonymously Without a Trace 177
Protecting Your Identity Online--Becoming Schizophrenic 178
Part 5 Protecting Yourself in Chat Areas and Usenet Newsgroups 179
16 How to Keep Safe and Protect Your Privacy When Chatting 181
What Kinds of Ways Are There to Chat on the Internet? 181
What Dangers There Are in Chatting--And How You Can Stay Safe from Them 184
Don't Let IRC Irk You: The Special Dangers of IRC Chat 188
17 Protecting Your Privacy on Internet Newsgroups and Discussion Areas 191
Can We Talk? What Are Usenet Newsgroups? 192
What Dangers Are There in Newsgroups and Discussion Areas? 193
Help to the Rescue: How to Protect Your Privacy in Newsgroups and Discussion Areas 194
Why Your Words Live Forever: Deja.com, Your Permanent Profile, and What You Can Do About It 197
Part 6 Protecting Your Children and Family Online 201
18 What Kinds of Dangers Are There for Children Online? 203
What Are the Dangers That Children Face on the Internet? 203
Are There Really Stalkers Online? 205
How Can Kids View Inappropriate Material Online? 206
How Kids' Privacy Can Be Violated 208
19 Best Rules for Keeping Kids Safe and Protecting Their Privacy 211
The Best Line of Defense: Good Parenting 211
Rules for Keeping Kids Safe Online 213
Protecting Your Children's Privacy Online 216
20 How to Keep Your Kids Safe on the Internet 221
What to Watch for on the Web--And How to Keep Kids Safe 221
Should They Talk? What to Watch for in Chat 226
How About Kids and Email? 229
Should Your Kids View Newsgroups? 230
How About Site-Blocking Software? 231
Award-Winning Safe and Fun Sites for Kids 232
21 Keeping Kids Safe on America Online 235
What Kinds of Dangers Are There on America Online? 236
Taking Control with Parental Controls 237
Kids Safety Tips on America Online 243
Some Final Words to Parents 244
Part 7 Let's Go CyberShopping: How to Buy Online Safely 245
22 Show Me the Money! How Do You Buy Online--And What Dangers Are There? 247
How Do You Shop Till You Drop in Cyberspace? 248
What Dangers There Are in Online Shopping--And How to Protect Yourself 251
Taking Stock: How to Make Sure You Don't Get Burned When Buying Stock Online 253
23 How to Protect Your Credit Card and Buy at a Secure Site 257
How to Know You're Buying Through a Secure Site 258
Check for the Locked Lock 259
How to Check Out a Site Before Buying 260
Where You Can Get the Lowdown on Shopping Sites 261
24 How to Stay Safe When Buying at Auctions 267
Sold American! What Are Online Auctions? 268
Bidding Your Time: How Do Online Auctions Work? 268
What Kinds of Auction Sites Are There? 269
First Things First: Checking Out the Auction Site Before Bidding 271
How to Make Sure You Don't Get Scammed at Auctions 273
Part 8 Protecting Yourself Against Viruses, Trojan Horses, and Other Nasty Creatures 277
25 What Are Viruses and How Do They Work? 279
What's a Computer Virus? 279
So How Do Computer Viruses Work? 280
How Do You Get One of These Nasty Things? 283
How Can I Make Sure I Never Get Infected? 284
Virus Myths, Hoaxes, and Urban Myths 285
26 How to Keep Your Computer Safe from Viruses 287
Top Tips for Avoiding Viruses 287
How Does Anti-Virus Software Work? 290
How to Use Anti-Virus Software to Keep Your Computer Safe 292
Backup, Backup, and Backup. Oh, and Did I Mention Backup? 296
27 Keeping Safe from Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX Applets 297
Java...Does That Have Something to Do with Coffee? 298
How to Protect Yourself Against Rogue Java Applets 300
Now I Have to Worry About JavaScript, Too? I Thought We Just Covered That in Java 302
Does ActiveX Have Something to Do with The X-Files? 304
Part 9 Protecting Your PC and Other Privacy Issues 307
28 Keeping Your PC Safe from Prying Eyes 309
How About Password-Protecting Your PC? 309
Surprise! People at Work Might Be Able to Read Your Files--Right from Their Own PCs 313
How to Encrypt Your Files so That Snoopers Can't Get at Them 314
How to Permanently Erase Data from Your PC 316
29 Use the Internet to Get Information About Privacy and Security 319
How You Can Use the Internet to Protect Your Privacy and Security 320
Credit Where It's Due: How to Get Your Credit Ratings Online--And Correct Them 320
I'm Talking to You in My Underwear...How to Get Your Name Off Telemarketing and Junk Mail Lists 324
Best Privacy-Related Sites on the Internet 325
Glossary 329
Index 335
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