Windows Lockdown!: Your XP and Vista Guide Against Hacks, Attacks, and Other Internet Mayhem (Adobe Reader)

Windows Lockdown!: Your XP and Vista Guide Against Hacks, Attacks, and Other Internet Mayhem (Adobe Reader)

by Andy Walker

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Overview

Windows Lockdown!: Your XP and Vista Guide Against Hacks, Attacks, and Other Internet Mayhem (Adobe Reader) by Andy Walker

 Today, if you own a Windows computer you need to understand the risks and the potential damage security threats pose. The mere act of turning on an Internet-connected computer can put you, your family, and even your personal finances at risk!

This book defines all the threats an average household might face and provides strategies to turn novice and basic users into adept home security experts, making you safer and more secure from cyber criminals.

 

We start off with plain English definitions for security mumbo jumbo, and then we dig in with step-by-step instructions to help you cut your exposure in less than 10 minutes! Finally, we provide steps for more involved security measures that you can do in a weekend.

 

We also take an in-depth look at the security measures Microsoft put in Windows Vista. We also look at how Vista responds to the key threats. It teaches you how to tweak the system and make Microsoft’s new security features–like the User Access Control–less annoying and helps you adjust the system to be usable. It shows you how to set up Vista to protect your system from your kids–the biggest security hazard to your computer.

 

     •    More than 5 million spam emails flood the Internet daily–many with your name on them–we show you how to make yourself invisible to detestable spammers!

     •    Did you know that hackers are snooping around your IP address right now, while you read this? They might already have breached what security you have and could be running amok with your personal data. Stop them dead in their tracks with a few simple steps!

     •    Identity theft is the most popular form of consumer fraud today, and last year thieves stole more than $100 million from people just like you. Put a stop to the madness with the steps provided in this book!

     •    Spyware–nasty little programs that you might not even know you have installed on your PC–could be causing your PC to crash.  We show you how to root it out of your system and prevent further infection.

 

Andy Walker is one of North America’s top technology journalists and is the author of Que’s Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Security, Spam, Spyware & Viruses and Microsoft Windows Vista Help Desk. Since 1995, he has written about personal computer technology for dozens of newspapers, magazines, and websites. Today, his columns (and hundreds more technology how-to articles) are published at Cyberwalker.com where more than 5 million unique

visitors read the advice annually. Andy co-hosted the internationally syndicated TV show Call for Help with Leo Laporte. Alongside his ongoing TV guest appearances, he also hosts the popular tech video podcast Lab Rats at LabRats.tv.

 

 

 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780132714846
Publisher: Pearson Education
Publication date: 07/28/2008
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 480
File size: 18 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

Andy Walker is one of North America’s top technology journalists and is the author of three books published by Que including Microsoft Windows Vista Help Desk. Since 1995, he has written about personal technology for dozens of newspapers, magazines, and websites. His personal technology advice column was syndicated across Canada and today the body of work is published at Cyberwalker.com where more than 5 million unique visitors read the advice annually. Andy has appeared as a tech expert on hundreds of TV and radio broadcasts and he also co-hosted the internationally syndicated TV show “Call for Help” with Leo Laporte.

 

Andy hosts and produces the acclaimed Internet video show “Lab Rats” at www.labrats.tv and appears weekly on the TV show “HomePage” on the Canadian news channel CP24. He also stars in his own technology teaching DVD called “Getting Started with Windows Vista.” You can get more info at www.gettingstartedvideo.com.

Andy was born in the United Kingdom, educated and raised in Canada, and now lives in Toronto with two cats and a really secure personal computer.

 

Table of Contents

Part 1:    Security Basics: Some Very Real Threats

1     Viruses: Attack of the Malicious Programs........................................... 3

    What Is a Computer Virus?......................................... 4

        What Is It?........................................................................................... 5

        Who Triggers a Computer Virus?.............................................. 5

        How Does It Spread?...................................................................... 6

        What Damage Can It Do?............................................................. 7

        Viruses: As Many Kinds As Sniffles in Kindergarten...... 9

        Macro Viruses................................................................................... 10

        Memory-Resident Viruses.......................................................... 12

        File Infector Viruses...................................................................... 13

        Boot Viruses...................................................................................... 13

        Multi-Partite Viruses..................................................................... 13

        Worms: Network-Savvy Viruses............................................ 14

        Trojan Horses: Hey Helen, the Achaeans Left Us a Present!          16

        Virus Hoaxes: Fake Viruses That Scare the Heck Out of You         18

    Who Creates Computer Viruses?................................. 20

    What Not to Do!..................................................... 22

    When Viruses Attack!.............................................. 23

        Disconnect As Soon As Possible............................................ 25

        Virus Infection Found! How to Clean Your System.... 26

        My Antivirus Program Won’t Update!.................................. 27

    Now That I Have Your Attention….............................. 29

    Antivirus Defense: Tactics for XP and Vista.................. 31

        Install Windows Security Updates and Service Packs 31

        Update Your Virus Signatures................................................. 32

        Install or Upgrade an Antivirus Program............................ 34

        Scan Your Computer for Viruses........................................... 38

        Install Service Packs on Windows XP................................. 38

        Monitor and Tweak Windows Security Center.............. 39

        Understanding User Account Control.................................. 42

        I Hate UAC......................................................................................... 43

        Review and Set Up Administrator and Standard User Accounts.  44

        Review and Tweak Data Execution Prevention Settings.   44

    No Worm in My Apple?.............................................. 48

    Is That a Virus in Your Pocket?.................................. 49

    Absolute Minimum.................................................... 50

2        Spyware: Overrun by Advertisers, Hijackers, and Opportunists 51

    What Is Spyware?................................................... 52

    What Does Spyware Do and Why Is It Bad?................. 52

    How Does Spyware Sneak onto My Computer?.............. 53

    Types of Spyware: Snoops, Adware, Cookies, and More. 55

        Spyware: I Spy with My Little App...................................... 55

        Adware: Attack of the Pop-ups............................................ 55

        Snoopware: I Wanna Know What You’re Up To!......... 56

        Browser Hijackers: Turn This Browser Around, We’re Going to Cuba.com               57

        Key Loggers: Snooping on Your Typing Skills................ 59

        Dialers: Dial In, Dial Out, Dial Often.................................... 59

        Trojan Horses: Pretty Ponies with Deadly Insides...... 60

        Cookies: Does My Oreo Have a Tape Recorder in It? 61

    Who Is at Risk?....................................................... 63

    How Do I Know If I Have Spyware?............................. 64

    Defend Yourself Against Spyware............................... 65

        Spyware Countermeasures: 10-Minute Tactics........... 65

        Download a Free Antispyware Program............................. 65

        Increase Browser Security Settings.................................... 70

        Run Windows Update Frequently.......................................... 72

        Update Your Spyware Signatures......................................... 72

    Ban All Spies: Strong Spyware Defense in an Afternoon.. 73

        Run a Full System Scan.............................................................. 73

        Install a Second Antispyware Program.............................. 74

        Inoculate Your System............................................................... 75

        Use Firefox As Your Primary Browser.................................. 76

        IE7’s Protected Mode on Vista............................................... 77

        Clean Cookies................................................................................... 79

        Spyware Infection Found! How to Scrub Your System 81

    The Absolute Minimum.............................................. 84

3        Rootkits: Sneaky, Stealthy Toolboxes................................................. 87

    What Is a Rootkit?.................................................. 88

        What Are Rootkits Used For?.................................................. 88

        Rock Star Rootkit: Sony’s Famous Malware................... 89

        How to Recognize a Sony Copy-protected CD............. 90

        How to Remove Sony BMG Copy-protection.................. 91

        How to Remove XCP..................................................................... 91

        How to Remove MediaMax........................................................ 92

        How a Rootkit Works.................................................................... 92

    Rootkit Detection and Removal.................................. 93

        Mostly Protected? You Can Do Better Than That!..... 94

        Free Rootkit Scanners................................................................. 95

    How to Use System Restore to Turf a Rootkit............... 98

    The Absolute Minimum............................................ 100

4        Hackers: There’s a Man in My Machine............................................. 101

    What Is a Hacker?................................................. 102

    Who Are the Hackers?............................................ 102

    What Damage Can Hackers Do?................................ 103

    Targets of a Hack Attack........................................ 103

        Corporate Networks................................................................... 103

        Web Servers................................................................................... 104

        Personal Computers.................................................................... 104

    Hacker Motivation: I Think, Therefore I Hack.............. 105

    Tools of the Trade: Pass Me a Trojan Horse, Would You? 105

    Firewall: Shut Out the Hackers................................. 106

    Software Firewalls: Programs That Stop Hackers......... 108

        Windows Firewall: Built-in Defense................................... 108

        Third-Party Software Firewalls............................................ 110

        Recommended Firewall Freebies.......................................... 112

        Easy Defense with a NAT Firewall..................................... 114

        Stateful Inspection: The Meticulous Traffic Cop...... 116

    How to Detect a Hacker Attack................................ 117

    How to Fix a Hacker Attack..................................... 119

        Steps You Can Take Immediately After Being Hacked 119

    Batten Down the Hatches–Ten-Minute Tactics........... 123

        Turn on Windows Firewall....................................................... 123

        Installing a Firewall on a Mac OS X System................ 125

    Wall Off the World–Install a Better Firewall in an Afternoon 125

        Install a Two-way Software Firewall............................... 125

        Install a Hardware Firewall..................................................... 129

    The Absolute Minimum............................................ 131

5        Identity Thieves and Phishers: Protect Your Good Name and Bank Account           133

    What Is Identity Theft?.......................................... 134

        Techniques Thieves Use to Steal Your Identity........ 134

        How They Become You: Identity Theft Techniques 135

        Preventative Measures: How to Not Become a Victim 136

        Signs You’re a Victim................................................................. 137

        What to Do If You’re an Identity Theft Victim........... 137

    What Is Phishing?.................................................. 138

    How Does Phishing Work?........................................ 141

        Email Address Spoofing............................................................ 141

        Link Spoofing.................................................................................. 142

        Web Address Spoofing.............................................................. 144

    What Is Pharming?................................................. 145

    What Damage Can Be Done By Phishing?.................... 148

    Who Is at Risk? Everyone!....................................... 149

    Don’t Get Phished: 10-Minute Tactics to Stay Off the Hook 149

        They Won’t Ask, You Don’t Tell.......................................... 149

        Use Caution and Cut and Paste.......................................... 149

        Communicate Securely............................................................. 150

        Install an Anti-Spam Filter..................................................... 151

        Block Phishing Sites with NetCraft.................................... 151

        Carry a Big Spoofstick.............................................................. 152

        Keep Your Antivirus and Antispyware Programs Up-to-Date           153

        Keep Your Computer Software Up-to-Date................. 154

        Vista’s Anti-Phishing Features............................................. 154

    Ensure You Are You: Take an Afternoon to Protect Your Identity      156

        Check Your Credit Reports..................................................... 156

        Shred It Before You Chuck It............................................... 158

        Read Your Statements............................................................. 158

    The Absolute Minimum............................................ 159

6        Spam: Unwanted Email from Hell........................................................... 161

    What Is Spam?..................................................... 162

    Why Does Spam Keep Coming?................................. 163

    Specialty Spam..................................................... 164

        Malware and Scam Distribution........................................... 164

        Hobbit Spam................................................................................... 165

        SPIM and Non-email Spam..................................................... 165

    Why Doesn’t Someone Stop the Spammers?............... 166

    How Do Spammers Get My Email Address?.................. 167

        Website Harvesting.................................................................... 167

        Dictionary Spamming................................................................. 167

        Commercial Email Lists.............................................................. 168

        Newsgroups, Discussion Forums, and Interactive Websites             168

        Contests and Other Free Offerings................................... 169

        Email Forwarding.......................................................................... 169

        Data Theft....................................................................................... 170

    The Damage Spam Can Do...................................... 170

    Reduce the Flow–10-minute Tactics to Reduce Spam.. 172

        Don’t Respond................................................................................ 172

        Don’t Post Your Email Address on the Web.................. 172

        Webmasters Shouldn’t Use mailto...................................... 172

        Turn Off Image Display in Email Programs..................... 173

        Tweak Junk Mail Filtering on Your Mail Server............ 175

        Turn on Junk Mail Filtering...................................................... 176

    Kill More Spam–In an Afternoon............................... 177

        Install an Anti-Spam Program............................................... 178

        Fight Back!...................................................................................... 179

    The Absolute Minimum............................................ 180

7        Wireless Network Snoops: Lock Down Your Wi-Fi Network... 183

    What Is a Wireless Home Network?........................... 184

    What Damage Can a Wireless Network Snoop Do?........ 187

    Who Are the Snoopers?.......................................... 188

        Wardrivers........................................................................................ 188

        Bandwidth Bandits....................................................................... 192

        Wireless Hackers.......................................................................... 194

        Dead-End Wi-Fi Access Points............................................ 194

    Your Wi-Fi Network Is Full of Holes!.......................... 195

        How to Access Your Router Setup.................................... 196

    First Line of Defense: Secure Your Wi-Fi Network........ 200

        Turn On WEP.................................................................................. 200

        Turn On WPA.................................................................................. 204

        MAC Address Filtering: Keep Out the Scottish.......... 208

    Detecting a Visit from a Wireless Snoop..................... 212

    I’m Under Attack! What to Do If You Discover a Wireless Network Snoop?    214

        Turn Off Wireless Access........................................................ 214

        Activate Security Measures.................................................. 214

        Assess the Damage.................................................................... 214

    Wireless Security Workup: Quick Tactics and Some That Take a Little More Time    216

        10-Minute Tactic: Change the Router’s User ID and Password     217

        10-Minute Tactic: Change Your Default SSID............ 217

        10-Minute Tactic: Turn On the Windows Firewall.... 219

        10-Minute Tactic: Turn Off UPnP...................................... 222

        10-Minute Tactic: Turn Off Your Router When Not in Use               222

    10-Minute Tactics: Vista Network and Sharing Settings 223

        Private vs. Public......................................................................... 224

        Network Discovery...................................................................... 224

        File Sharing...................................................................................... 225

        Public Folder Sharing................................................................. 225

        Printer Sharing............................................................................... 225

        Password-Protected Sharing................................................ 225

        Media Sharing................................................................................ 225

        Time-Intensive Tactic: Be Careful with File Sharing 226

    The Absolute Minimum............................................ 231

Part 2:    Hardcore Help for Safe and Secure Computing

8        Damage Control–How to Remove Viruses and Spyware Infections               235

    Evasive Action: Quick Steps You Can Take to Halt the Infection       236

        Disconnect the Internet and Evaluate............................ 236

        Inventory Your Tools and Their Status.......................... 238

        Gather Information...................................................................... 241

        Jump into Safe Mode................................................................. 243

    Search and Destroy: Techniques to Target the Infection and Remove it       245

        Replace Tools and Update Signatures............................. 246

        Scan Your System...................................................................... 247

        Infection Found!........................................................................... 248

        System Restore............................................................................ 249

        Scan and Remove with a Targeted Tool........................ 250

    How to Manually Remove a Virus.............................. 252

        Do Your Research........................................................................ 252

        Disconnect....................................................................................... 253

        Back Up Data................................................................................. 253

        Disable System Restore........................................................... 254

        Work in Safe Mode...................................................................... 255

        Clean Out Windows Startup.................................................. 255

        Turn Off Services........................................................................ 256

        Clean Out the Registry............................................................. 257

        Disable Malware that Runs as a Windows Service... 258

        Delete Files and Folders Related to the Malware...... 259

        Restart and Check...................................................................... 259

    Remove a Browser Hijacker with Hijack This!............... 260

        Installing and Using HijackThis............................................. 261

        Recruit a HijackThis Expert.................................................... 262

        Do-It-Yourself HijackThis........................................................ 263

        Check the Memory First........................................................... 264

        Here Spyware, Spyware. It’s Time to Die..................... 265

        Decimate the Little Suckers with CWShredder.......... 268

    The Absolute Minimum............................................ 269

9        Ground Up Security–Wipe Your Hard Drive and Build a Secure Windows PC from the Ground Up           271

    Light the Fuse and Stand Back................................. 271

    Let’s Get Started................................................... 272

        Installation or System Recovery Disc.............................. 272

        Windows Service Packs........................................................... 273

        Windows XP SP2: The Mother of All Service Packs 274

        XP SP3: Even More Fixes........................................................ 275

        Windows Vista SP1: Microsoft’s Repair Job.................. 275

        Collect Your Drivers.................................................................... 275

        Installation Discs for Your Programs................................. 276

        Internet Service Software and Settings........................ 277

    Step 1: Download Drivers and Software You Need for the Reinstall    277

        Got a Recovery CD? That’s Good News!........................ 277

        Retail Copy of Windows? There’s Some Work to Do 278

    Step 2: Back Up!................................................... 282

        Outlook.............................................................................................. 283

        Outlook Express/Windows Mail............................................. 284

        Documents Folder........................................................................ 285

        IE Favorites and Cookies......................................................... 285

        Firefox Favorites.......................................................................... 285

        Saved Games................................................................................. 286

        Pictures, Music, and Videos.................................................. 286

        Microsoft Office 2003 Settings............................................ 286

        Windows Media Player.............................................................. 286

        Other Odds and Ends................................................................ 288

        Saving Your Windows Settings............................................ 289

    Step 3: Pull the Plug on the Network......................... 291

    Step 4: Set Your Boot Sequence.............................. 292

    Step 5: Start the Installation................................... 294

    Step 5a: Using a System Recovery CD/DVD................ 295

    Step 5b: Using a Windows XP CD.............................. 296

        Destroy the Partition................................................................. 297

        A Fresh Copy of Windows XP............................................... 302

        Input the License Key and Finish Up................................ 302

    Step 5c: Using a Windows Vista DVD......................... 304

        Install Vista from the Desktop............................................. 306

        Installing a Fresh Copy of Windows Vista..................... 307

        Finish the Vista Install.............................................................. 311

    Step 6: Reinstall Your Drivers................................... 314

        Use System Restore Before Installing Drivers............. 316

    Step 7: Install Protection Against Malware................. 317

        Install an Antivirus Program................................................... 318

        Install an Antispyware Program........................................... 318

        Install a Firewall........................................................................... 319

    Step 8: Install Firefox............................................. 321

    Step 9: Configure Your Networking........................... 323

        Dial-up................................................................................................ 323

    Step 10: Install Security Fixes and Service Packs........ 324

        Windows Update in XP.............................................................. 325

        Windows Update in Vista........................................................ 327

        Windows Validation in XP........................................................ 327

        Windows Validation in XP........................................................ 328

    Step 11: Configure Your Security Settings................. 329

        Security Tweaks for Windows XP...................................... 329

        Security Tweaks for Windows Vista................................. 333

        Tweak User Account Control................................................ 335

    Step 12: Update All of Your Security Programs and Security Signatures       336

    Step 13: Activate Windows..................................... 337

    Step 14: Reinstall Your Programs.............................. 337

        Microsoft Office Updates........................................................ 338

    Step 15: Other Things You Can Do........................... 339

    The Absolute Minimum............................................ 341

10     Ongoing Maintenance: Fend Off Future Threats!....................... 343

    Note to Self: Keep Computer Secure......................... 344

    Daily Routines: Walk the Dog, Feed the Kids, and Secure the Computer       344

        Update Your Antivirus and Antispyware Signatures 344

        Update AVG Signatures............................................................ 345

        Update Windows Defender..................................................... 346

        Update Spybot Search & Destroy...................................... 347

    Weekly Routines: Never Be Bored on Saturday Morning. 348

        Scan for Viruses and Spyware............................................. 348

        Check for Firefox Updates...................................................... 350

        Report Problems, Get Solutions........................................... 351

    Monthly Routines: Clean the Garage, Trim the Hedge, and Update Windows  352

        Windows Updates........................................................................ 353

        When Updates Bite Back......................................................... 355

        Check for Anti-Rootkit Updates.......................................... 356

        Inspect Other Computers....................................................... 356

        Router Firmware Updates........................................................ 356

        Patch Microsoft Office.............................................................. 358

        Software Updates....................................................................... 360

    Bathe Once a Year Whether You Need It or Not and Reformat and Reinstall, Too     361

        Wipe Your Hard Drive and Reinstall Windows.............. 361

    The Absolute Minimum............................................ 362

Part 3:    Tools for Maintenance and Protection

11     Selecting Software: Steals, Deals, and Software Duds.......... 365

    Security Software: Nothing in Life Is Free, Except Software   366

        Payware: Software You Pay Hard-Earned Cash For 366

        Freeware: Don’t Pay a Cent for Software.................... 367

    Weirdware: When It’s Not Payware or Freeware.......... 368

        Gimpware: Free Software, But Not All the Bits Work 368

        Trialware: It’s Free, Until It’s Not...................................... 369

        Shareware: I Trust You to Pay Me................................... 369

    What Should I Pay for My Security Toolbox?............... 370

    Choosing the Right Security Software........................ 372

        Antivirus............................................................................................ 372

        Antispyware.................................................................................... 373

        Firewall............................................................................................... 374

        Anti-Spam........................................................................................ 375

    The Absolute Minimum............................................ 376

12     Tools of the Trade: Security Products You Should Own........ 379

    Which Security Software Is Right for You?................. 380

    Security Suites..................................................... 380

        Symantec Norton Internet Security................................. 381

        McAfee Internet Security Suite.......................................... 382

        F-Secure Internet Security................................................... 383

        CA Internet Security Suite Plus.......................................... 384

        Webroot AntiVirus with AntiSpyware & Firewall........ 384

        ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite................................... 384

        ESET Smart Security................................................................. 386

        Panda Internet Security.......................................................... 386

        Trend Micro Internet Security............................................. 387

    Antivirus Programs................................................. 387

        Freeware........................................................................................... 387

        Paid Antivirus Programs............................................................ 389

        Antispyware.................................................................................... 392

        Freeware........................................................................................... 392

        Paid Antispyware Programs.................................................... 395

        PC Tools Spyware Doctor....................................................... 396

    Firewalls.............................................................. 397

        ZoneAlarm Free............................................................................. 397

        Comodo Free Firewall................................................................ 397

        PC Tools Firewall Plus................................................................ 398

    Anti-Spam............................................................ 398

        McAfee Internet Security Suite (Anti-Spam)............. 398

        Cloudmark Desktop..................................................................... 399

        Spam Arrest.................................................................................... 400

        CA Anti-Spam 2007.................................................................... 401

        SpamBayes...................................................................................... 401

           Glossary............................................................................................................... 403

TOC, 0789736721, 7/9/08

Preface

Introduction: Ignore This Book at Your Own Peril Introduction: Ignore This Book at Your Own Peril!

As I started to write this introduction, a disturbing statistic arrived in my inbox. Security software maker F-Secure reported that the total number of viruses and Trojans will hit one million by 2009.

One million viruses! That's astounding. Now for the good news: The reason so many are being written is that it's become more difficult for these infections to succeed in infecting systems. That's because security practices have been improved. Computer owners are more educated. Security software is increasingly effective. We are simply more savvy about computer security. And that's great!

In response, the bad guys are shifting their strategies and using new tools to make their malware more effective against us. So while much has changed since I wrote the first edition of this book, much is still the same. The hacks, attacks, and scams keep coming.

So sitting back smugly is not the thing to do now. It's clear to me that we have to always be one step ahead in this game. And that's why I wrote this book.

The first version of this book was first released in 2005 as the Absolute Beginner's Guide to Security, Spam, Spyware, and Viruses. Back then it had become clear that malware had shifted from being an ego trip for its authors to a source of revenue. Viruses and spyware and other electronic trickery, like phishing and spam, made money for their authors.

This book builds on the original book, expanding on what has changed since 2005—like the arrival of WindowsVista—and adding lots more useful information.

In this book, I'll show you how to cleanse your computer, halt further infections, sidestep scams, do major damage control, plan for the future, and lock down Windows XP and Vista nice and tight.

To that end, I've updated and added new content to every chapter and written two new ones, including Chapter 3 on rootkits, and Chapter 8 on how to remove infections.

By the time you get through the whole book, you'll not only be able to protect yourself and your family from the threats out there on the Internet, but you'll be well equipped to help your grandma, your friends, your co-workers, and anyone who owns a computer and is not properly protected.

So congratulations on picking up this book, because it shows a commitment to the malware writer that you will not be defeated. There may be one million malware programs out there, but they'll have to write even more to keep up with us.

I say bring on the next million!

How This Book Is OrganizedChapter 1—Viruses: Attack of the Malicious Programs

In this first and vividly exciting chapter, I tell you what viruses are, why they are a problem, and how to get rid of them. Plus, you will learn secrets, such as the real reason people write viruses in the first place.

Chapter 2—Spyware: Overrun by Advertisers, Hijackers, and Opportunists

Spyware is a modern-day computer pandemic. Your computer is probably rife with this malware. Bad companies are making money with it learning what you do on your computer. At the same time, spyware is also slowing your computer down. Most people experience a 30%–50% performance boost when they get rid of spyware for the first time. How's that for an upsell?

Chapter 3—Rootkits: Sneaky, Stealthy Toolboxes

Root kits were made famous by Sony's blundering move to sneak them onto computers using their music CDs. But the problem is much bigger than that. Learn why rootkits, when used by malware writers, make it difficult to remove infections.

Chapter 4—Hackers: There's a Man in My Machine

Who are the hackers? And why do they want to get into your computer? I tell you why and then show you how to shut them out. And I make a good joke about cheese in this chapter.

Chapter 5—-Identity Thieves and Phishers: Protect Your Good Name and Bank Account

These people are going to suck your bank account dry. And they trick you into helping them do it. I show you how to stop them.

Chapter 6—Spam: Unwanted Email from Hell

Junk mail is a deluge, but like a Shop Vac on spilled ketchup, it's easy to clean up. I'll show you how in only a few pages.

Chapter 7—Wireless Network Snoops: Lock Down Your Wi-Fi Network

Let's pretend you're free of all the other nasties in this book, but I bet if you have a wireless home network, your neighbors are using your Internet connection and maybe even snooping in places they shouldn't be inside your computer. I help you stop them.

Chapter 8—Damage Control: How to Remove Viruses and Spyware

This is the chapter you go to after shrieking: "Oh no! I have a virus!" Most people will buy this book for this chapter alone because I show you how to get rid of an infection here.

Chapter 9—-Ground Up Security: Wipe Your Hard Drive and Build a Secure Windows PC from the Ground Up

When all else fails, you can always wipe your system clean and start fresh. This chapter shows you how to scrub your system and rebuild it so it really is locked down!

Chapter 10—Ongoing Maintenance: Fend Off Future Threats!

Learn what you need to do to keep your system running infection-free for the rest of your days. Lots of cool strategies that are easy to learn.

Chapter 11—Selecting Software: Steals, Deals, and Software Duds

Next, I'll go over what the story is with lots of different security software. Do you have to buy it or can you get it all free?

Chapter 12—Tools of the Trade: Security Products You Should Own

And in the final chapter I'll tell you what software is really good and where to get it.

Glossary: Computer Threat Lingo

Also, my talented assistant, Ted Gallardo has written the best and most exciting glossary you have ever read. It's really scintillating and has been nominated for glossary of the year.

Special Elements Used in this Book

You'll also see a lot of help in the margins of this book. Here's how it looks and what it means.


Cautions —These blurbs keep you out of trouble. I hope. If you don't read these, you're asking for trouble. Security is risky business. I've done my best to point out common pitfalls, gotchas, and other assorted nasties.



Tips —These succulent bits of info should help you with odd problems or give you insight into issues that are confusing. Don't skip these! Here, you'll find faster ways to accomplish tasks, insider tidbits, and expert tips I've accumulated along the way.



Notes —This is stuff that I figured I should tell you when it popped into my head. Notes aren't essential reading, but I urge you not to skip them as you'll learn a lot of extra stuff here that you might not find elsewhere.



Sidebars - Occasionally, I've added some additional information that's ancillary to the main topic, but still worth reading. Think of these as important stuff that didn't fit anywhere within the confines of the chapter you're reading, but is too important to skip.


Reader Competition...of Sorts

If you are one of the first 10 people to tell me the name of the guy that wrote the HijackThis program and what page he is mentioned on, I'll send you a copy of my fun and informative DVD, "Getting Started with Windows Vista." Learn more about this blockbuster DVD at http://gettingstartedvideo.com.

When you email me at lockdown@cyberwalker.com, include the answer and your full name, and put "Windows Lockdown Contest" in the subject line.

Finally, if you want to contact me and say nice things, tell me about how you saved your grandma with advice from this book, or send me chocolate cake (which I also love), email me at andy@cyberwalker.com.


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