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  PC-Net's PC News - November, 1999
Don Watkins

Make Your Computer Hacker-Proof

By Don Watkins



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 potential targets.

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.

Visit 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 browsing.

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!

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