Seemingly overnight, the World Wide Web has turned into the Big Bad Net. You can’t open a newspaper (or dial up a newspaper’s web site) without reading about another privacy threat traveling over the wires or across our WiFi networks.

More and more it seems like we’re engaged in a cyber war, and the bad guys are winning. Spammers overwhelm our inboxes with sleazy come-ons, and no one seems able to stop them. Every few days a new email worm appears, more virulent than the last. Trojan Horses and spyware infect our PCs and steal our data, or turn our machines into tools for digital delinquents to launch attacks. If online stalkers don’t track us down, identity thieves surely will, ruining credit ratings and reputations in the process. You say you live to swap MP3s? You may live to regret it when a record industry subpoena lands on your doorstep.

Meanwhile, your browser holds a veritable cornucopia of personal information about you and your habits, which rapacious e-marketers will capture and sell to the highest bidder. And no one, not even a child, is safe.

Is life on the Net really that bad? No. But it can be, if you don’t take sufficient precautions. Here are some real-world ways to protect yourself in cyberspace.


Erase Your Browser’s Footprints, Part 1

The Annoyance:

I surf the Web every day and never give a thought to online threats. But what about the information on my surfing stored on my PC? Can anyone simply walk up to my computer and ...

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