Hello

Dennis Putnam dap1 at MINDSPRING.COM
Sat Jul 24 17:15:37 MDT 1999


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At 02:56 PM 7/24/99 -0400, you wrote:
>Guys, I am sorry to be such a pill, but how can I tell if I have
>this stuff running on my computer?  Can I delete these programs and
>still HAVE a computer?  Bottom line is, I don't "hacked" or
>"tracked" or nuthin else without me knowing about it, and approvong
>it.
>
>Pam the Denser

Generally you don't have to worry. If you are using IE or Netscape
the worse you will get is a lot of unwanted cookies that others can
read and see where you have been on the internet. Both can be set to
not allow cookies but when you do that some web sites won't work,
especially those that you have a userid and password for. If you are
concerned you can set either IE or Netscape to prompt you before
accepting cookies. I have mine set that way but it can be annoying at
times when you hit a site that wants to send you a bunch of cookies
and you have to click yes or no for each one. If you are using
something like AOL or other proprietary software provided by an ISP
you might be in trouble. They hide all kinds of stuff in their
software that effectively gives them complete control over your
machine if they want. Of course savvy hackers also know how to
exploit those back doors so it is not just the ISP that you have to
worry about.

I can't tell what mailer you are using but as long as you don't allow
it to automatically open attachments you won't have a problem there
either. What other internet applications do you run? For most of them
you won't have a problem but I can't say for sure without knowing
what they are. If you use shareware or freeware you are generally OK
as long as it is a reputable package.

Most of the hysteria about viruses and hacking are exagerated and
easily avoided with a little common sense. If you are not sure of the
file get rid of it, never run a program from the internet without
first scanning it for a virus and the same for installing a program.
Be extra careful with those as virus scanners cannot always find
viruses until installed and then it might be too late.

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Dennis Putnam                   Public Key can be obtained from:
Loganville, Ga.                 <http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Estates/8573>



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