November 1999--I don't know if a
day goes by without hearing a report about another hacker* break-in
at a computer installation. Many of us have thought that such
troubles only concern large computer installations. But with the
advent of home local area networks (LAN), our computers have become
Why should you be concerned if your computer is
not part of a network? The answer is that when you connect to the
Internet, your computer becomes part of a large LAN, exposed to the
world and potential hacker attacks. The good news is that there are
some simple steps to safeguard your computer.
I have found a great Web site that gives you
details about the potential problems--and solutions. The best part
is that the basic solutions are free. Steve Gibson, the fellow who
put together this site, is well known in the industry. I have used
most of his products and recommend them. Gibson wrote a column for
Infoworld for many years. His main product, a back-up data
protection utility called Spinrite, is a tool that has made my life
easier many times. I have never experienced any form of data loss
using this program and would not hesitate to run it when needed.
Gibson's site can test your system for some of the
most common problems. If it finds any, it suggests fixes. Yes, this
also is free. And you can't beat that.
Gibson Research and click on the "Shields Up!" link to start the
process. There's a lot of good information there, so spend some time
Until next month, stay connected!
*Yes, I know, I know, hacker used to mean
something else. I get it but I go with the flow!