SUMMARY: I'm a little concerned about the volume of virus emails I'm getting in the last couple of weeks, so I wanted to take a second and talk about computer security. Because I have close to 20,000 people on my subscription list, many people have me in their address book. The latest viruses exploit your address book by emailing every email address they can find on your computer, and faking the originating email. I'm now getting more than 500 virus emails sent my way every day. This means there are a lot of infected systems out there. These latest bugs is pretty nasty. In addition to turning your computer into a zombie for future denial of service attacks and SPAM forwarding, some actually go through your media files and deletes stuff.

So, what to do. First, NEVER run any kind of attachment that comes by email that you weren't expecting - even if you know the person who might have sent you the attachment. Anything with a .bat, .scr, .exe, .com, extension is probably a virus. Windows XP will sometimes hide the extension, so you think it's a text file, but it's actually a virus. A little paranoia goes a long way.

Next, make sure you're patched up to the latest version of your operating system. You can access the Windows Update here.

You should also consider running some kind of antivirus software. Here are three links:

Trend Micro (this is what I'm running)
Symantec
McAfee

Finally, consider a program like AdAware or Spybot, which can intercept renegade programs accessing the Internet without your knowledge.

Stay safe folks.

Fraser Cain
Publisher
Universe Today

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