OT: _spam_ (Fred N. van Kempen)

From: Brian Chase <vaxzilla_at_jarai.org>
Date: Wed Dec 4 10:34:00 2002

On Wed, 4 Dec 2002, Lawrence Walker wrote:

> I use Pegasus as my mailer, but it is entered as the email program
> in the program defaults. How likely is it that this could be exploited
> by programs that usually attack Outlook.

Most all the e-mail nasties out there specifically target Outlook, so
I'd say that, depending on the features supported by Pegasus, you're
likely to be rather safe. Of course, if someone decided to write
something targeted at Pegasus Mail, you might be out of luck.

The other thing to do is toss IE. Various types of "spyware" software
have been making tech news headlines for the past year or so. It's
possible to end up with one of these on your system simply by visiting
the wrong website. All the ones I've heard about, so far, are being
used by various unsavory corporations to gather information on the
"infectee's" computer usage habits.

There's nothing preventing a more malicious individual from developing
one of these to raid the addressbooks of any mail client software you've
installed. Admittedly, that's certainly one of the kinder things such
software could do with your system.

In order to protect yourself, if you're running Windows at home, I'd say
it's mandatory to have solid anti-virus software installed, anti-spam
software, and home firewall software, like Zone Alarm. The later
prevents the bad guys from getting in, and also prevents and notifies
you of unauthorized access going out of your network (very handy for
detecting spyware or other unwanted activity on your network).

Do you really want to spend money--effectively you're paying a Microsoft
incompetence tax--on that extra software to secure your network?
Especially when you could be using those dollars to buy more classic
computer hardware?

Received on Wed Dec 04 2002 - 10:34:00 GMT

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