ABC Tower   702 Weekend, 30 December 2000

Tips & Hints

We had a full board this weekend and our apologies to all the callers who couldn't get through.

Sending attachments on the Internet

Large Internet attachments are no problem for those lucky enough to be connected to corporate networks or high speed connections, but for those of us who have dial up connections huge attachments are a pain to download. Remember those less fortunate and hold back from sending huge attachments, in fact with all the virus infected attachments it is probably a good idea not to send unnecessary attachments at all.

The "Snow White" virus

John from Killarney Heights received an e-mail with the heading talking about Snow White. He did the right thing and deleted it immediately. The virus is actually the Hybris worm and John wanted to know about the difference between a worm and a virus.

Generally the difference is that a virus is hidden inside another file while a worm is a stand alone program. The Word Macro viruses are classic viruses while Navidad and Hybris are classic worms. We discuss the different types of viruses on our virus watch page.

Advertising starts up with the web

Whenever Jim from Burwood starts his web browser a page full of advertising appears. What has happened is some page has set itself up as the browser default page. This is a very mild lesson as to why you should read things carefully before clicking "download" or "I Agree" when you're surfing the net.

To fix the problem set the default page back to a page you want. In Netscape Navigator click on Edit, then Preferences and type in the address you would like as the start page in the "Home Page" box. Internet Explorer users should select Tools, Internet Options and type in the address you want there.

Proxy server upsets web browser

After Chris from Avalon installed a proxy server to share his Internet connection over a network he wasn't able to surf the web. What has happened is the proxy program has changed either his browser setting or network settings.

His browser settings should be set to use dial up networking. Open the Internet Options in the control panel and select Connection. The connection should be "Always dial my default connection". This will allow Windows to dial the ISP when it detects a program is try to connect to the Internet. Netscape users need to make sure they are not looking for a proxy. In the Advanced, Proxy section of Preferences "Direct connection to the Internet" should be chosen.

Installing a proxy server is not difficult but there are some traps. We discuss it in the January 2000 Small Business Helpdesk.

In Conclusion

Many of our questions were Internet download related this week. The important things to ask when you are downloading files are "do I trust the author or site?", "do I really need this file?" and "do I understand what the web page is offering or asking me?"

You really do have to be careful on the Internet. People do give their personal details away to crooks and the stories of programs that change your dialler to an international 1900 number are true. If a dialogue box pops up asking you if you agree to something or want to download something when you don't expect it. Check exactly what it is before agreeing or downloading the item.

And please go easy on the huge attachments, even if they are the funniest or scariest thing you've ever seen.
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ŠTechnology Publishing Australia, 2007