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Are you secure online ?

Question : What information can websites get about me when I visit them ? Can they figure out my e-mail address ?

Answer : Normally there's no way a website can "steal" your e-mail address just because you visit it.

But that doesn't mean that websites can't find out a good deal of information about you when you stop by. Websites today can log a lot of information about you, including what browser you're using, which operating system you have installed on your computer, and where you're hooking up to the Internet from.

A website -- and your Internet service provider -- can also log your IP address, which is a unique number that identifies your specific PC on the Internet.

A malicious website could plant a virus on your PC that then tracks your movement online or even upload information stored on your PC. That's why it's important to have security software installed on your computer -- and to avoid sites you don't trust.

Gaming sites and those that feature pornography are the most notorious for hosting malicious software, whether knowingly or not.

Microsoft makes available to users of Windows a malicious software removal tool, which you can download for free ( http://tinyurl.com/5lyxe ). You can run this in conjunction with other antivirus or antispyware software.

Question : Are Internet cookies dangerous ?

Answer : Almost never. Cookies are essentially small text files that are deposited into a special folder on your computer. The files are used by the websites to maintain enough information about you so that you are remembered when you return. If you were to open a cookie file, you'd see the name of the site that deposited it, along with a bunch of numbers and some -odd-looking special characters. The cookies never contain sensitive information -- such as passwords -- that are recognizable by humans. Also, because cookies are just text files and do not contain any executable code, they can't be used to launch a malicious program on your PC.


Security may need tinkering

Security away from home

Encryption security on wireless network

Beware of strange computers

Staying updated on security

Task Manager mysteriously disabled

How hackers attack your PC

A Password for Every Router

Are you secure online ?

Recovering a lost password



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