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FW: TOURBUS -- 19 JUNE 1999 -- CRISPEN'S FIVE ANTIVIRUS RULES

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  • Popplestone, Ann
    ... From: Patrick Douglas Crispen [SMTP:crispen@NETSQUIRREL.COM] Sent: Sunday, June 20, 1999 1:28 AM To:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 21, 1999
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      -----Original Message-----
      From: Patrick Douglas Crispen [SMTP:crispen@...]
      <mailto:[SMTP:crispen@...]>
      Sent: Sunday, June 20, 1999 1:28 AM
      To: TOURBUS@... <mailto:TOURBUS@...>
      Subject: TOURBUS -- 19 JUNE 1999 -- CRISPEN'S FIVE ANTIVIRUS RULES

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      TODAY'S TOURBUS STOP(S): Crispen's *Five* Anti-Virus Rules
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      ------------------------------
      Crispen's Five Antivirus Rules
      ------------------------------

      In light of the recent Melissa and WormExplore.Zip virus outbreaks, I
      decided to rewrite my rules on how to protect yourself from computer
      viruses, Trojan horses, or worms. Regardless of your operating system,
      these five rules will protect you from most of the over FORTY THOUSAND
      viruses that are currently floating around the Net.

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      1. PURCHASE A GOOD, COMMERCIAL ANTIVIRUS PROGRAM LIKE NORTON
      ANTIVIRUS OR MCAFEE VIRUSSCAN.
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------

      Most commercial antivurus programs usually cost between US$40 and
      US$50 and can be purchased at almost any computer store in the world. [You
      can usually save about US$10 if you purchase the software online-visit
      http://www.shopper.com/ <http://www.shopper.com/> for more information].
      Antivirus program manufacturers also release minor upgrades every
      two to three months and major upgrades every twelve to eighteen months. YOU
      NEED THESE UPGRADES. Minor upgrades are usually free, and major upgrades
      usually cost anywhere between US$20 and US$40, depending on the manufacturer
      [think of this as an expected expense-just as you have to change your car's
      oil every 3,000 miles, you have to upgrade your antivirus software every
      year to year-and-a-half].
      To see if any minor or major upgrades are available for your
      antivirus program, visit your antivirus program manufacturer's homepage. A
      list of antivirus manufacturers' homepages can be found at
      http://www.yahoo.com/ <http://www.yahoo.com/> or at AOL keyword "virus."

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      2. UPDATE YOUR VIRUS DEFINITIONS FREQUENTLY (AT LEAST ONCE A
      WEEK).
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------

      With over 250 new viruses being discovered each week, if you don't
      update your definitions frequently you won't be protected from ANY of the
      new viruses floating around the Net.
      How do you update your virus definitions? That depends on the
      antivirus program you use. Norton Antivirus has a "Live Update" button
      built into the program; click on it, and Norton automatically downloads and
      installs the latest virus definitions from Net. McAfee VirusScan has a
      similar update function (go to File --> Update VirusScan).
      If you are unsure of how to update your virus definitions, visit the
      homepage of your antivirus software manufacturer and look for their
      "download," "update," or "technical support" section.

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      3. NEVER DOUBLE-CLICK (OR LAUNCH) *ANY* FILE, ESPECIALLY AN EMAIL
      ATTACHMENT, REGARDLESS OF WHO THE FILE IS FROM, UNTIL YOU
      FIRST SCAN THAT FILE WITH YOUR ANTIVIRUS PROGRAM.
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------

      This is probably the most important rule of them all. There are
      currently over forty thousand viruses out there, there are over 2.8 trillion
      possible files names out there, and any one of those viruses could be hiding
      in any one of those file names. A lot of people think that you can protect
      yourself from a computer virus by being on the lookout for one particular
      virus or one particular file name (hence all of the virus warnings you have
      received in your email inbox lately). That's not only silly, that's
      dangerous. If you want to protect your computer from viruses, you need to
      ignore ALL of the virus warnings you receive and instead beware of EVERY
      file you see, especially every file that is attached to an email message.
      It is important to note that, despite all of the warnings to the
      contrary, there is no such thing as an email virus. You can open your
      emails, regardless of their subject lines, without fear of infecting your
      computer, provided your email program doesn't automatically open attachments
      (most don't) . It is the files that are ATTACHED to emails that you have to
      fear.
      Think of a computer virus as a well-packaged letter bomb. You can
      move a letter bomb from room to room in your house without any danger. Open
      the letter bomb, however, and you die. The same is true with computer
      viruses. You could download a billion virus-infected files from the
      Internet and receive another billion virus-infected files attached to email
      messages and your computer still wouldn't be infected with a virus. Open
      just ONE of those files, though, and your computer is dead. Remember, to
      infect your computer with a virus, you have to launch (or double-click on) a
      file that contains a virus. As long as you don't launch that file, you
      really have nothing to fear.
      How can you scan a file for viruses? It depends on the antivirus
      program you use. The best bet is to read your antivirus program's
      instructions or read their online help section. If you use Norton Antivirus
      or McAfee VirusScan, right-click (or, if you have a Mac, click and hold) on
      the file in question. A pop-up menu should appear, and one of the choices
      should be "Scan with ..." and the name of your antivirus program. If that
      doesn't work, just open your antivirus program and try to scan the file from
      there.
      Do you have to scan EVERY file, even if that file is from your
      friends or coworkers? Yes! Both the Melissa and the WormExplore.Zip
      viruses distributed themselves by opening your email program, looking at
      either your 'friends' list or the list of email addresses in your inbox, and
      then distributing virus-infected files to everyone on that list.
      In the world of computer viruses, you can't trust anyone.

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      4. TURN ON MACRO VIRUS PROTECTION IN MICROSOFT WORD, AND BEWARE
      OF ALL WORD MACROS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT MACROS
      ARE.
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------

      Word Macros are saved sequences of commands or keyboard strokes that
      can be stored and then recalled with a single command or keyboard stroke.
      They enable advanced Word users to easily accomplish what would otherwise be
      difficult tasks. They also allow virus writers to do serious damage to your
      computer. For example, the Melissa virus was actually a Word Macro virus.
      If you use Word 97, go to Tools --> Options. Click on the "General"
      tab. Make sure that "Macro virus protection" (at the bottom of the list) is
      checked.
      If you use Word 2000, Double-click on the Tools menu, point to
      "Macro," and then choose "Security." Select the level of security you want.
      High security will allow only macros that have been signed to open.
      Unsigned macros will be automatically disabled. Medium security always
      brings up the macro dialog protection box that allows you to disable macros
      if you are unsure of the macros.
      With Macro virus protection turned on, Microsoft Word will warn you
      every time you try to open a Word document that contains a macro. The
      warning gives you three choices: the option to open the file but disable its
      macros ("disable macros"), open the file with macros enabled ("enable
      macros"), or the option to not open the file ("do no open"). Chose the
      first (default) option: "disable macros."
      For more information, visit the Macro Virus Protection page at
      http://officeupdate.microsoft.com/focus/articles/o97mcrod.htm
      <http://officeupdate.microsoft.com/focus/articles/o97mcrod.htm>

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      5. IF SOMEONE UNEXPECTEDLY SENDS YOU AN EXECUTABLE FILE-IN
      OTHER WORDS, A FILE THAT ENDS IN .EXE-THROW IT OUT.
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------

      Most of the forty thousand viruses that are floating around the Net
      right now are hiding in executable files. If someone, even a close personal
      friend, unexpectedly sends you a file that ends in .exe-or if they
      unexpectedly send you a zipped file that contains a file or files that end
      in .exe-your safest bet is to delete the file without opening it.
      The key word here is "unexpectedly." If you are expecting a friend
      to send you an executable file, you certainly don't need to delete that
      file-just virus scan it first before you open it.
      However, if you are in an environment (like a home) where you don't
      often receive ANY files attached to your incoming email messages, a better
      rule would be: "When in doubt, throw it out ... and doubt EVERYTHING."
      How well will these five rules protect your computer from becoming infected
      with a virus, Trojan horse, or worm? Take a look at the following
      questions, and decide for yourself. How many people whose computers were
      infected with the Melissa virus ignored at least one of these rules? ALL OF
      THEM! How many people who followed these five rules had their computers
      infected by Melissa? NONE OF THEM! How many people whose computers were
      infected with the WormExplore.Zip virus ignored at least one of these rules?
      ALL OF THEM! How many people who followed these five rules had their
      computers infected by the WormExplore.Zip virus? NONE OF THEM!
      These five rules will not protect you from every computer virus, Trojan
      horse, or worm, but they will so significantly decrease your computer's
      chances of becoming infected that you can all but forget about the next
      virus scare and all the ones that will follow.

      ---------------------------------
      TODAY'S SOUTHERN WORD OF THE WEEK
      ---------------------------------

      SKOO (Noun). Educational institution.
      Usage: "Bubba's the scholar in the family ... he didn't drop out of skoo
      'til the third grade."
      [Special thanks to "DonnelsonJ" for today's wurd]
      You can find all of the old Southern Words of the day at
      <A HREF="http://netsquirrel.com/crispen/word.html
      <http://netsquirrel.com/crispen/word.html> ">
      http://netsquirrel.com/crispen/word.html
      <http://netsquirrel.com/crispen/word.html> </A>
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      .~~~. ))
      (\__/) .' ) )) Patrick Douglas Crispen
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