A few years ago, ( while trying to learn how to make one ) I discovered some hard, cold, facts about cookies. Some are just a way to keep track of passwords and the like and other's are used by advertisers as a way to gather information about you in the form of the sites you visit each day...
When I found that out I went and disabled the cookies deal in windows.. but what a pain in the Butt, that was. Every time I would access a site I would get a pop - up confirming that I didn't want a cookie...... " DOHH ! " So I went back in and, enabled cookies. Now I was reduced to deleting the cookies at the end of my computing day..... everyday, and this too has turned into a pain in the you know where. But I did it thinking I was keeping my personal information..... All of my, ( hardrives included ) personal stuff protected.... I was pretty smug, and awfully.. ignorant of what is really going on in my machine.
I was reading my new, ( at the time ) copy of Yahoo Magazine©, ( Oct. 2000 ) and I came across a story about, Spyware. Just the name caught my eye and I began to read the article, " Cover Your Tracks " by Charles C. Mann©........ And he started off telling how when his area finally got the cable high speed Internet service, he and his neighbors eagerly signed up. But then he began to worry, ( once he got it ) about his computer being connected to the Internet 24 - 7, whether he was on-line or not.... And he wondered if just ordinary Internet grunts like you, ( cable modem ) and I, ( dial up ) were safe and spyfree.. while using the Internet or not.
So, he thought about it and it nagged him.. started to make him, " Paranoid Central. " He bought a Fire wall program to protect his computers from, hacker crackers. He worried that he was being to paranoid.. but he wanted to make sure so he installed, BlackICE Defender, ( Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics ) and ran it. 30 seconds into it, the fire wall had detected someone probing his system.. trying to hack into his computer........
Via cable, ( and I was foolishly thinking it didn't apply to me because I was a dial up connection ) and so I settled down and started reading in earnest...... He says that the cable servers claim that their fire walls protect you from, hackers and crackers from the general Internet... but they don't tell you, the hackers and crackers within your own service can and do hack their way into your computer.. look at your drives and can sometimes even take remote control of your computer.
They call this new form of cracker, " script kiddies " snot nosed punks with nothing better to do, than make your life more complicated. He calls them the digital equivalent of monkeys on typewriters. And to make matters worse, these monkeys are using software that allows them to view.. every I.P. number to any and all computers hooked to the Internet.... A ton, to say the least. Once they zero in on your computer.. these skunks go inside and download software in your hardrive that allows other crackers to join in the fun.. Virus protectors don't protect you from these goons.. And as I read a little further... my smugness disappears as I find out.. dial ups ain't safe either.
" So what the heck am I to do.. ? " I wail to no one in particular...... " Fire walls are just to darn hard to figure out... woe is me. " And as I read on I found the real horror to this whole deal.
Outgoing instead of incoming, Internet..... This is a quote from the article, " RealDownload, Netscape's Smart Download and NetZip's Download Demon.. report to corporate headquarters the identity of every file that is downloaded using them.. " He goes on to say, " Some companies including, Quicken and FedEx, place tiny, one pixel by on pixel images in web pages and e-mail that can track who is reading them. "
Wait..! It gets worse..... he says, " Scores of software companies use, SpyWare..which gets downloaded along with the product and then sends back to headquarters information about the user's actions. Even Mattel Interactive used the computers on which children played it's Broderbund CD - ROMS to send out information without informing the kids or their parents. " And Game companies also use this SpyWare.
I'm really freaking out now.... thinking some cracker hacker monkey punk might already hacked me and I find he recommends a, used to be free, ... program that catches them in the action, denies them access and tells you their I.S.P. numbers.... I downloaded it and by golly.. I found I had been hacked.. ! RichDs.. had been hacked. And in the time that it has taken me to type this.... the same hacker has tried to get in 4 times.. !!
The download is called: Zone Alarm©, and it can be found at..
RichDs thinks it is a smart move.
You are a fool if you don't add it to your security tools.