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Home Network Vulnerabilities: Spam, Cookies, Pop-Ups, Spyware, and Scams

Chapter Description

In addition to viruses and worms, there are some other annoying programs and files out there that you need to protect your home network from. This chapter focuses on spam, cookies, spyware, and scams—what they are, how they work, and how to get rid of or at least control them.

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Avoid Phishing Scams

It's surprising that the security bundles, which so far have done just about everything for us, do not have specific tools to combat phishing scams. They do provide spam blocking, which would undoubtedly filter most if not all of them. But it is still surprising that this opportunity has not yet become apparent to the security software vendors.

On the other hand, at least one ISP (EarthLink) is hot on the trail. EarthLink provides a service they call ScamBlocker, which claims to be able to stop phishing scams in their tracks. The way it works is you have to download a web portal tool called EarthLink TotalAccess, which inserts functions into your Internet browser.

Figure 16-5 takes a quick look at the tool. (Note, however, that we did not actually test it with a real phishing scam to see if the claim is true.)

Notice the ScamBlocker icon on the toolbar after we have installed the service. We would expect the security product bundles to quickly incorporate specific scam blocking functions. (By the time this book is published and you read it, it's possible this will be a standard function, so check with your security bundle vendor.)

Figure 5

Figure 16-5 EarthLink ScamBlocker Toolbar

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