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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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Set Up Spam Blocking on Your Home Computers

If possible, set up a first line of spam defense in the service provider network. This may be enough, so we recommend trying the ISP route first, and then see if you need additional protection.

If you need to enable blocking on each of the computers in your home network, as mentioned earlier, most security bundles contain a spam blocking component. This section shows the steps to enable this service.

First, it's helpful to understand a bit about how a spam blocker works. Spam-blocker vendors maintain lists of known spammers, which can be automatically updated on your home computers by the security bundle software. Figure 16-4 shows the components of a typical spam blocker.

Figure 4

Figure 16-4 Spam Blocker Components

The spam blocker works much like the description in the previous section on service provider spam blockers. There is typically a setting (like Medium) that discards e-mail matching known spammer lists, and a higher setting (like High) that additionally compares against a personal address book that you provide and maintain.

It is assumed that you already installed the security product bundle you have selected. Table 16-1 shows the process for enabling spam blocking on both the Symantec and McAfee products.

With the spam blocker enabled, you should see considerably less spam e-mail. We suggest starting off with a Medium setting, and moving up to a higher setting if you are not satisfied with the reduction in spam.

Table 16-1 Enabling Spam Blocking

Steps

Symantec Norton Internet Security 2005

McAfee Internet Security Suite

Step 1:

For Norton: click

AntiSpam.

For McAfee: click

SpamKiller.

Step 2:

Set the level of blocking.

Start with the Medium
or High setting.

Click OK.

Step 3:

(This step may occur
automatically during
install.)

It's possible to import
address books from
other e-mail programs.

Click OK.

Step 4:

You can also add
"friendly" addresses
manually to your
allowed list.

Click Add to add
new addresses.

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