Article Index

1. Introduction

2. Spamming and Hacking Defined

3. Defending Your Computer

4. Antivirus Programs

5. Firewall Programs

6. Avoiding Spammers and Hackers

7. Reporting Internet Crooks to Law Enforcement Agencies

8. Getting Illegal Spammers and Hackers Kicked Off the Internet

9. Finding a Spammer's ISP

10. Finding a Hacker's ISP

11. How to find the ISP for a specific IP address

12. Composing our Email Complaint

13. Article Conclusion







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Fighting Back Against E-mail Spammers, Internet Hackers, and other Web Thieves

Page 3

Defending Your Computer

Firewall Programs

What is a firewall program? A firewall program is software that acts like a traffic cop that intercepts Internet traffic to and from your computer. Like all good traffic cops, your firewall software should stop any software program that breaks the traffic laws (hackers).

It is very important that your firewall program functions effectively as your firewall program is your main defense against hackers that are trying to break into your computer through your Internet connection. If hackers gain entry into your computer they can cause all kinds of mischief and thievery.

Firewall Advice:

For Modem Users. If you use a modem, you are at a much lower risk from Internet attackers. Frankly, most hackers don't want to waste their time hacking into computers with slow Internet connections that are rarely connected to the Internet.
However, just because you aren't the most desirable target, doesn't mean you shouldn't run a firewall program. I suggest you at least use the Windows XP Professional firewall or the free firewall programslike ZoneAlarm if you don't want to buy a commercial firewall program.

I already use the firewall program in Windows XP Professional or Vista, so I don't need another firewall program, do I? The Windows firewall program is designed to block unauthorized access into your computer. It does not block unauthorized traffic from your computer to other computers.

So why is this bad? If a virus or worm gets into your computer, it will have unlimited access to send anything it wants to any other computer -- including personal information about you. Most commercial firewall programs block access to and from your computer - so even if a hacker gets into your computer, he still has to defeat the firewall on the way out.

For High-speed DSL, Cable, FIOS, and Satellite Internet Users. You are a primary target for Internet hackers. If a hacker gains access to your computer, they have free reign to commit computer crimes, crash your computer, steal your personal information, or attack other computers.

You need maximum firewall protection. A leading commercial firewall program that is actively updated by the manufacturer is a must.
Examples of commercial firewall programs include: Norton Personal Firewall, MCafee Firewall, and PC-cillin.

How do you know if your firewall or antivirus program works? You can test your firewall and antivirus program by downloading and running a small program from one of the anti-virus providers mentioned above.

In addition to the online tests, daily use of your security programs should also let you determine their effectiveness.
If you have a high-speed Internet connection your firewall program should be blocking attacks at least once a week. Also, your antivirus software should be reporting viruses it finds in e-mail attachments and from other Internet downloads.
If you aren't getting reports that your antivirus and firewall program are blocking attacks, then either your security programs aren't functioning correctly, the blocking notifications are turned off, you are extremely lucky, or you are a very light Internet user.

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