Chapter VI.1. Lock Down: Spies, Spams, Scams, and Slams

In This Chapter

  • Taking responsibility for your computer's security — proactively

  • Discovering how and why you're vulnerable

  • Avoiding the best-engineered traps: scareware, botnets, keyloggers, and phishing trips

  • Becoming part of the solution, not part of the problem

  • Knowing when you've been bitten

Windows XP had more holes than a prairie-dog field.

Vista was built on top of Windows XP. The holes were hidden better.

Windows 7 includes some truly innovative security capabilities. It's getting harder and harder to take out Windows. Of course, the bad guys are getting smarter and smarter — and they have more money these days.

The settings in Windows 7 focus on keeping the software itself intact: Firewalls, automatic updates, and user account restrictions — the Windows Security Holy Trinity — are all meant to keep the bad guys out of your computer. Windows Defender, bolted to the side of Windows 7, offers some spyware protection, but it's prone to problems of both omission and commission (see Book VI, Chapter 5). Dozens of software companies can sell you antivirus protection, but it can't cover 0day assaults, malicious programs that take advantage of newly discovered security holes. (I tell you more about 0day assaults later in this chapter.)

Security goes deeper than the Windows 7 applications. Much deeper.

In this chapter, I explain the source of real threats. (More details follow in the next few chapters.) I also take you outside the box, ...

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