Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tech check

Yes, it's time for another tech check and I'm going to give you a website to use that will open your eyes. It was started by a man named Steve Gibson. It's now the Gibson Research Center and the testing is free. Go to Read the home page and the pertinent information it contains. Then go to "Probe My Ports." I know. It sounds pretty funny but while you're smiling, allow his company to look for your computer.

I first did this several years ago and not only did he see me, he looked right into my net BIOS for my name and pertinent computer information. Technically, he could access and manipulate anything on my computer. "OK," I thought, "I'm a believer, Steve. What do I do now?"

He gave me more information about how to hide my location by putting the ports into "stealth" mode. Once I did that, my computer was invisible. I didn't exist.

Recently, just to be sure I was not vulnerable since I usually use wi-fi, I tested my computer again. He could see my IP address (location of the server I was using), but all my ports were hidden. In other words, there's something here but we're not sure where you are or what it is.

Please go to his site. He is trustworthy and this portion is free. While you're doing this tech check, be sure your virus program is up to date. As the forum administrator, I am bombarded with spam every day (most days I receive 400-500 spam emails to the RV Bookstore and personal email addresses). The programs I use are so effective that I never even see an email or post that could contain a virus. In fact, the last virus I received was in 1999, I believe. My antivirus program popped it up on the screen, named it, apologized because it hadn't uploaded the cure in the last 24 hours, and told me where to go on the internet to download the antidote. In two minutes, no more virus.

A friend came to me with her laptop and begged for help because her icons kept jumping around on her desktop. I did my best but because of two different viruses (she had no virus program at all since MacAfee had expired), some programs were lost or damaged. Thank goodness she had CD backup for her photos and documents.

I urge you to check your computer now and be sure everything is up to date. Then test it and rest secure in the knowledge that both of you are safe.

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