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--Securing Yourself--

The internet is a very sleezy place -- it's a haven for crooks, cons, perverts, mental patients, idiots, and pseudo-intellectuals...but since we're talking computers here, we'll just focus on the idiots who seek to harm your computer, monitor it remotely, or wish to retrieve sensitive information without your approval.

These people are often referred to as 'blackhat' hackers -- as opposed to the white hat hackers -- and their prime motivation for hacking into computers ranges from an ego boost to the unlawful acquisition of monies. Most computer thugs these days are skript kiddies who use a pre-assembled hacking program to commit their acts of douchebaggery, but there are some who possess the knowledge to seriously screw your life up with a few minutes on the keyboard.

How do you protect yourself from these e-gangstaz? Well, although ALL security systems can be circumvented in some fashion or another, there are practicle measures one can take to secure his/her computer from the general e-gangsta (novice hackers) populace:

-Always run a software or hardware firewall

-Use a shell account or connect to a proxy to remain aynonymous

-Encrypt your information

-Never download suspicious images, programs, etc. (e.g.- sohoimage.jpg.exe)

-Beware of suspicious websites that may upload viruses onto your computer automatically

-Always make sure websites are certified for credit card transactions

-Never open emails that prey on your desires, unless they come from some one familiar to you

-Periodically scan for viruses, trojans, or spyware

-Check for program updates that patch vulnerabilities regularly

I hope these tips help you to enjoy the internet without having to worry about pesky black hat dorkwads...and remember, if it looks too good it be true it probably is!