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Computer Tutorials

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Tired of your computer disks being scattered all over the place?

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER

FROM

HACKERS

VIRUS

WORMS

TROJANS

SPAM

SPYBOTS

CLUTTER

STALKERS

COMPUTER DEFENSIVE SYSTEMS


My guess is that if you are reading this, you are not a computer engineer working for NASA, a systems analyst for IBM, a computer geek of any kind, or a ten year old kid (the only ones that seem to really understand all of this). Instead, you are probably a nice person sitting in your home wondering why it seems that millions of bad guys have targeted your computer as their own personal playground; and how you are going to protect yourself (and your computer) from them. Don't worry, - this tutorial was written for "real people" like you, and it will teach you everything you need to know to make your computer safe.

Also, this tutorial is full of hyperlinks (the little blue words) that you can click on to take you to other tutorials. Each of these tutorials offer you additional information, and free software, to help solve your computer defense problems. For instance: if you clicked on the word VIRUS you would find a tutorial that explains what a virus is, how to defend yourself, and a free program to protect your computer from viruses. The same goes for every hyperlink in here. This tutorial, and the materials in the associated hyperlinks, are intended to educate you and to provide you with all the free software you need to protect your computer.

HOW YOUR COMPUTER WORKS


It is not my intention to teach you how your computer works in this tutorial. I've written two other tutorials ("Computer Basics" and "The Best Computer Tutorial Ever Written") which you can read to learn how your computer works and how to keep it running well (get rid of the clutter). Today's tutorial has a different purpose. It's to teach you how to defend your computer from the dangers of the Internet.

YOUR COMPUTER IS A CASTLE


If I wrote a technically accurate tutorial with each and every detail of the techno mumble jumble thrown in (plus a few thousand pages of computer schematics) it probably would not be of much help to most people. You would probably be just as confused as the day you opened the box (the one your computer came in) and wondered, "How do I put this darn thing together?". So instead, I am going to present the ideas within this tutorial by disguising them as something else, something far simpler, something that even an adult (lol) can understand. I am going to present them to you as a "castle". Your castle. And I am then going to present the problems that most of you will encounter on the Internet as problems you would also encounter with owning your old castle. Maybe it sounds dumb, but if you read the following information an hour from now you are going to feel like a genius. You will be able to describe all kinds of cool things to your friends, and while not being a computer geek, you will be able to sound like one.

YOUR CASTLE HAS ARRIVED


Boom! Something just happened - you're not sure what - but somehow you have been magically transported back in time. You just left the age of computers and entered the land of brave knights, fearsome dragons, and of course castles. But hey! You don't have a castle. So after some haggling at Castles-In-A-Box with a salesman named Sam, who offers you a world of complicated gadgets and calls it the simplest thing on earth, you finally order yourself up a new castle.

A few months later your castle arrives. It's in pieces. There are stacks and stacks of bricks, boards, lumber, doors, windows (portals) and spires each with a series of numbers and letters inscribed upon it. Of course you are not one for following directions; you throw caution to the wind and begin stacking bricks. Six months later you have a large stack of bricks and nothing that even vaguely resembles a castle. Finally you give in and hire the ten year old kid from next door and a week later your castle is complete.

You have achieved your life's greatest dream. You are now officially the king (or queen) of your own castle.

DEFENSES


One of the really cool things about buying from Castles-In-A-Box was that the salesman, Sam, told you that all the perimeter defenses you would need (remember, there be dragons out there) are included. Unfortunately, he was only telling a half truth. The box only included half the defenses that you will need and all of the defensive systems Sam included turned out to be "trial versions" which basically fall apart after a few months. The good news is that you can "buy" the "full versions" from their manufacturers (Catapults-R-US). The bad news is that you don't have any money. The worst news is that the dragons have new friends called hackers and they have surrounded your castle and are preparing for some kind of germ warfare (don't let them sneeze on you).

What are you going to do?

IT'S A MIRACLE


A knight in shining armor arrives at your door. He (or she) says, "I'm a member of the Knights of Kindness" and we are trying to save the world from the dragons and associated bad guys." You're thinking wonderful - they can fight the dragons for me. The knight continues, "We cannot fight the dragons for you". (You groan.) "But, we can teach you how to fight them yourself". You're wondering how much this is going to cost? The knight says, "Everything we are offering you is free. You can learn how to fight the dragons, we can teach you, but it's up to you to read the instructions." You groan louder this time. Ughh! More instructions! You hate instructions. But you figure what the heck, it's free, the knight seems like a nice enough chap and the air seems to be filling with dragons breath (too bad mouthwash is still a thousand years in the future).

DEFENSES


The knight begins by walking around the outside of your castle. He looks it up and down. He frowns. He gets a worried look on his face. He asks, "Where's your moat?" Moat? Yikes! How could you have forgotten to buy a build-your-own-moat-kit? You ask the knight, "Do I really need a moat?" To which he replies, "In the old days moats were just for appearance, the bad guys could not swim. However, recently a new tribe of scavengers has arrived from the east and not only can they swim, but they can climb the castle walls to climb in through the portals (Old English term for windows), steal your information and then swim back across the moat with it to where the dragons are waiting.

HACKERS AND FIREWALLS

(MOATS)


So you ask the knight where you can get a free moat kit (firewall), he explains, and you begin to dig. The bad news is the knight has also said that there were too many portals; that all these open portals allow the hackers free entrance into your castle. He suggests that the free moat kit also comes with locks that you can put on all the portals so that they can be only be accessed by you and those you allow to access them. Then he hands you a book called, "
How To Install a Free Firewall (Moat)"

You're feeling better already, until...

THE SPAMMERS ARE COMING


The spammers arrive. Millions upon millions of spammers arrive at your door. You are overwhelmed with spammers. They are the absolute scum of the earth. They are trying to show you things about your neighbors wife that you would really rather not know. They are trying to sell all kinds of junk to your children (you're wondering - hey! Where did these children come from?). These spammers seem to know everything about you and there are so many of them you can barely breathe. You want to go get your crossbow but the knight suggests something else. He says that instead of spending all your coinage on anti-spammer hardware (at Heckler and Koch) that you learn to become invisible to spammers. He suggests that you stop eating so many cookies (the lady at the cookie store has been giving out your address to spammers); that you avoid Zelda's (Zelda runs a greeting card shop that a lot of spammers tend to visit); and that you quit posting your picture and private information on Castle-Net (there are better ways to make friends), etc. In fact, he hands you an instruction manual on "How to Become Invisible to Spammers"

Life is good! Until?

ZEEK MAIL


One of the greatest inventions of the day is something called Zeek-Mail. It seems that there is a large family with the sir name of Zeek. They tend to be the fastest runners on earth and they are willing to carry mail from one castle to another for what amounts to a pat on the back. Not only will they carry letters (which have become known as Zeek-Mail), but they will now carry all kinds of things. These guys are wonderful; they would do anything for a friend.

There's only one problem. The Zeek's aren't known for their intelligence. They don't know the difference between a friendly note, a threatening letter, spam or packages that were built with ill intent. You could show anyone of the Zeeks a friendly letter with a friendly package and a second letter with a second package containing something really dangerous and ask him to tell you the difference; and Zeek would only stare dumbly at you. It turns out that although Zeeks can run fast, they can't read.

VIRUS


The dragons have learned to take advantage of Zeek-mail. What better way to attack a castle than from the inside. And of course the first thing most of us do when we see a Zeek is yell, "Yippee! I've Got Zeek-Mail" and the second is to open the front door all the way open and see what kind of goodies Zeek has for us. The dragons are counting on our gullibility. They know we trust the Zeeks (who wouldn't trust a Zeek?), and that we would happily open any package without even thinking of the consequences because "Zeek brought it to us".

So the dragons have been doing something really bad. They have been gathering up all the villagers who are sick and having them cough and sneeze on what at first glance would be a bunch of goodies. Sometimes it's a pretty picture, maybe a new calendar, maybe even that new swimsuit catalogue from Mr. Sears and Mr. Roebuck. Whatever it looks like, the bad news for us is that it contains a virus. If that virus gets inside our castle we will be infected. If we forward the package to our friends they will be contaminated, too. In fact, unless we are careful, the entire nation could become infected.

ANTI-VIRUS


As the knight watches Zeeks running in and out the front door, without anyone paying the least bit of attention, he begins to shake his head. He says, "Wow, if you don't hire a guard you're gonna be in a whole world of hurt". He says, "The dragons could sneak a package in here containing some kind of virus or something and it could destroy your castle from the inside out". He goes on to say that the Zeeks are, of course, fine upstanding people, but he also says that they need someone to protect them from their own innocence, too. So the knight suggests that you post a guard 24 hours a day; and this guard has to be trained in how to tell the difference between plain old Zeek mail and mail containing viruses. He refers to this guard as the Anti-Virus. He then offers you
a free manual that explains viruses and where you can hire a "Free Anti-Virus"

YOU'VE GOT WORMS


You thought things were getting better until the knight noticed something in the basic wooden structure of your castle. At first glance you think: "Yuck termites!" The knight however is convinced it's something far worse. You've got worms! You nearly vomit. There is probably no feeling on earth worse than telling you that you've got worms. Imagine those ugly little creepy crawly things - Ugh! You ask the knight, "How did they get here and what can I do to get rid of them?" The knight explains that the dragons weren't satisfied with the results from viruses. They wanted something that was even easier to spread and far more destructive. The answer, of course, was worms. Worms not only carry a disease similar to a virus, but they can spread themselves in two ways instead of just one. Of course they can spread themselves in Zeek mail like a virus, but they can also sneak out one of the portals at night and into other castles in the nearby neighborhood. Viruses try to knock down a few castles, one at a time. Worms try to knock down all the castles.

You're close to throwing up. You've got worms and you don't know what to do about it. But you begin to relax as the knight reaches into his little bag of magic tricks and produces an instruction manual called " Worms, How To Avoid Them and How To Get Rid Of Them."

You're really starting to warm up to this knight. He really does seem to have the answers to all your questions, he gives them to you freely, and all he has ever asked is that you help others in return.

TROJAN WARRIORS

You're alone in your castle. The knight, exhausted from a day of training you, has gone home for a bit of rest and relaxation (Hey, even knights deserve a little time off). So you're sitting here all alone when there is a knock at the front drawbridge. You go to answer it and there's no one there. However, there is something both strange and beautiful. It's a giant wooden horse. There's a note pinned to the horse's mane. You get a ladder and climb up to read the note. It says, "From A Friend". That's it. No details. No name. No explanation. At first you worry, "What if this is a trick?". Maybe the horse has a virus? Or, worse yet, WORMS! So you wake up the guards responsible for checking for worms and viruses and they assure you that this horse does not contain worms or viruses. You're thinking, "Wow, this beautiful giant wooden horse really is a kind gift from some as yet unknown benefactor." You happily drag the wooden horse into your castle (it's on wheels) and exhausted you head off for a good nights sleep.

In the morning you are in a state of panic. It seems that all kinds of things are missing from within your castle. Your secret papers, the diagrams of your castle and it's defenses, a list of passwords for contacting other castle owners, all of your money and, worst of all, the treasure map you bought late at night in a back alley. You realize someone has been inside your castle. You send Zeek with a note for the knight saying that there is an emergency at your castle and you need help.

The knight arrives shortly and asks what has happened. You explain about all the missing items, footprints and fingerprints everywhere. The knight asks if you left the windows open (you say most of them were closed) and the knight asks if you had any visitors. You say, "No!" But, then you remember the horse.

The knight examines the horse. He opens a secret compartment in the bottom of the horse and shows you how a spy could have hidden inside the horse. The spy could have been watching everything you did and waiting for you to fall asleep. Once you had gone to bed, the spy (the knight refers to him as a Trojan Warrior) climbed out of the Trojan Horse and stole your personal property.

You can't figure out how to get rid of the Trojan Horse. It came in easily on wheels, but now the wheels seem to have disappeared. You are worrying about a second attack from within the horse. Fortunately for you, the knight reaches into his magic bag of tricks and hands you a manual on "How To Protect Yourself from Trojan Horses and Spies"

Finally you feel safe.

Until the knight says, "There's one more types of danger we need to discuss".

STALKERS

Stalkers! No one knows where they came from first. Was it evil magic? Was it an accident of birth? Did these ugly little trolls, pretending to be giants, climb out from under a rock? Wherever this dung filled creature first came from, it's here now, and you're gonna have to learn how to deal with it!

"There are basically two types of stalkers that we need to talk about" says the knight. "The first is someone who knew you before you built your castle. Someone who created an emotional attachment (love, anger, hate) to you, who may or may not be dangerous (only you can be the judge of that) and someone who met you in fantasyland (Castle-Net)". The knight explains that often the best way to deal with a dangerous stalker (one whom you know in the real world) is to either move away or work with the local authorities to have the stalker put in jail. Then he further continues, "Most stalkers on the Internet are actually pathetic little people pretending to be big and bad. These are the kind of people who would run and hide rather than have a personal confrontation. They take advantage of the scary unknowns of the Internet to make themselves appear bigger than they are, while in fact they are nothing".

The knight says, "Stalkers crave one thing above all other. They crave attention. They are like small children - they want the world to revolve around them. They lack control of their own lives, and so they try to control yours. If they can't control it with friendship or love, then they will try to control it with fear. It may not make sense to you, but the greatest sense of control a stalker can achieve is when they make you angry. Even by getting you to hang up the phone (what's a phone?) they have taken control and made you angry (Stalker doing the happy dance)".

The knight continues, "The best way to defeat one of these small mindless Internet stalkers is to ignore them. Take control of your castle. Set up guards against viruses, worms, trojan horses, etc. When the stalker tries to climb in thru a portal slam the door in the stalker's face. Build a moat! Most of all, when the stalker sends you Zeek mail, don't open it. Throw it in the trash and don't respond." "If that doesn't work, then you need to have the stalker put in jail".

Once again the knight reaches into his magic bag and pulls out an instruction manual, this one is entitled, "Stalkers - What To Do and How To Put Them In Jail".

A HAPPY ENDING?


You have defeated the dragons. Your castle is impregnable. Hackers and spammers fear you. You are the master of your own domain.

HOW DOES THIS TRANSLATE IN ENGLISH


Your computer is of course the castle. What we have been doing is teaching you how to defend your computer from viruses, worms, Trojans, hackers, spies, stalkers and more. Now you're wondering: "How does all this translate to my computer?"

YOUR COMPUTER


Your computer comes from the factory with only about half of the defenses that you need on the Internet. The dangers of the Internet are real but defending against them can be cheap and easy. The trial versions of anti-virus programs etc that came with your computer usually expire after a short time. Software vendors are standing in line to sell you all kinds of programs; but you probably don't know what programs you need, or where to get the best deal. This tutorial teaches you what software you need to defend your computer and how to get it for free.

VIRUSES


A virus is basically computer code that instructs your computer to do "three" things. Download itself onto your computer (while remaining hidden in some other kind of software), damage or play some kind of message on your computer, and making itself available for forwarding with that same file.
To learn more about viruses and how to get free anti-virus software click here.

WORMS


A worm is basically a computer code that instructs your computer to do "five" things. The first three are the same as a virus. Download itself onto your computer, damage it or play some kind of message and make itself available for forwarding. However, a worm does two things that a virus (generally) doesn't. When a virus sends itself out, you can tell who sent it to you. But when a worm forwards itself out by email, (it reads your address books) it disguises who the sender is by changing the "FROM:" portion of the email header to someone else's screen name. This is done to disguise which computers actually have worms. The final thing that a worm does that viruses generally don't, is that they can go through the portals on your computer and infect any other computers that you are networked to. To learn more about worms and how to get free software to protect your computer click here.

TROJANS, SPIES, BACK DOORS, MALICIOUS COOKIES

The single most important thing I want you to remember about Trojans, spyware, malicious cookies and back door programs is that most "anti-virus software will not protect you" from them. Trojans, Spyware and Back Doors are completely different than viruses. Viruses are designed to damage your computer. Trojans are designed to let someone look inside your computer (steal passwords, credit card information, read your personal emails, etc). With that in mind you need completely different software to remove them. To learn more about Trojans, spyware, back doors and malicious cookies and get free software to protect your computer click here.

SPAMMERS


Spam is the root of all evil (and we're not talking about the sandwich kind of Spam!). Spammers often steal people's passwords to send you links to sites that may steal your password, your credit card information and worse. Spam blocking software is of very limited value as some spammers change their email address on a daily basis. There is a far simpler way to reduce the amount of spam you receive. That is to become invisible to them and to stay off their mailing lists.
To learn more about how to stay of spammers mailing lists please click here.

HACKERS AND FIREWALLS

Your computer has an unbelievable number of portals. A portal is basically an entrance/exit for computer code. You have a port for your printer. A port for your scanner. Etc. You also have a huge number of electronic portals for transmitting information from one computer to another. Transmitting some information is necessary (such as email and visiting websites). Allowing access thru other ports may not be necessary. What hackers do is basically access your computer thru these unused ports. They can read everything on your hard drive, they can read your email, look at your pictures, and they can even watch the keys as you are typing. But you can stop them with a program called a firewall. A firewall basically stops all traffic thru the portals except what you choose to allow. A firewall is the best tool to stop hackers from reading your private information.

STALKERS


I'll say it again. Most stalkers on the Internet are weak little people who try to make themselves sound big by scaring those who are afraid of the unknown. Yes, there are a few dangerous ones, but the majority don't have the courage to meet you face to face and look you in the eye. You do however need to protect your computer from them (see above) and learn how to either put them in jail or make them go away.
To learn how to put stalkers in jail please click here.

WHICH OF THESE TYPES OF SOFTWARE DO I NEED?


People often ask me which of these types of software do I need? Firewalls? Anti-virus? Trojan removers? Etc. My answer is
ALL OF THEM.

There are many different types of problem on the Internet; and you need software to protect your computer from all of them. The bad news is that they may tend to slow down some of the older computers (you can restart to free up some of your computers RAM or turn some of them off when you are working offline to help speed things up a little). The good news is that everything we just showed you is free, including the software.

AUTHOR'S NOTE


Many people write to thank me for these tutorials; but the truth is that the greatest portion of the work is done by members of the Knights of Kindness. They (just like the character in the story above) suggest ideas, edit and re-edit, create graphics, design web pages and then go through the whole thing again checking for errors. They are the heroes who are trying to help you change your world (and your computer). Me? I'm just one silly old bear sitting around drinking coffee (lots of coffee) and telling bad jokes. If you would like to send a thank you to them please go to the top of the page and click the button that says,  "SEND A THANK YOU".

Great Bigg Teddy Bear Huggs. BaddTeddy

P.S. When we create tutorials like this we have two goals. The first is obviously to help you. The second is to ask you for your help in helping save the lives of innocent victims who are less fortunate. If this tutorial has helped you in any way, we would greatly appreciate it if you would click the link below and send an email to your Senator asking them to help the poor, the disabled, senior citizens and those suffering due to the high cost of medicine by supporting, "AMERICANS FOR FAIR DRUG PRICING".

RELATED SUBJECTS

HACKERS

VIRUS

WORMS

TROJANS

SPAM 

SPYBOTS

CLUTTER

STALKERS

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