Windows Client UPDATE--On the Net, Awareness = Safety--June 24, 2004

Windows Client UPDATE--On the Net, Awareness = Safety--June 24, 2004

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1. Commentary: On the Net, Awareness = Safety

2. News & Views
- Microsoft and Yahoo! Issue Responses to Gmail Challenge

3. Resources
- Tip: Remove Outlook Express Icons in Windows XP
- Featured Thread: Controlling XP Clients' Access to Win 2K Server

4. New and Improved
- New Boundary Technologies Opens Prism Deploy 6.0 Beta Testing
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

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==== 1. Commentary: On the Net, Awareness = Safety ====
by David Chernicoff, [email protected]

Between "phishing" expeditions (the spammer technique of sending ostensibly legitimate email that requests personal information to confirm account information, such as credit card and bank accounts), Web-site redirection, and outright browser hijack attempts, reading your email and browsing the Web is fraught with dangers that passive protections such as firewalls can't really stop.

The best protection you can provide your users is to educate them about such dangers and give them pointers for identifying potentially dangerous content. For example, one of the most common phishing techniques provides an official-looking email message with a clickable URL that appears to link to the vendor site. In reality, the apparent URL is merely the text that disguises a link to a site that gathers personal information entered by unsuspecting visitors.

It's best to develop the habit of checking the validity of a link before you click it. If your email client supports it, you can usually mouse-over the suspect link and display its actual URL in the status bar at the bottom of the screen (this also works in Internet Explorer--IE--if the status bar is enabled). Because messages with such embedded links are sent in HTML format, you can also typically right-click the message and select "View Source," which displays the message's HTML source code. With a little effort, you can usually sort out the suspect URL from the morass of HTML tag information.

Determining the actual URL is more difficult when your browser has been redirected; many sites use Web-site redirection for legitimate reasons. If you've ever attempted to send someone a URL only to discover that the URL you sent is actually different from the one you thought you'd sent, or if you've noticed that no matter what link you click on a Web site, the URL in the address bar doesn't change, you've encountered the redirection problem.

To determine the actual URL of the Web page you're currently visiting, type the following JavaScript code in the address bar and click Go:

javascript:alert("Actual URL address: " + location.protocol + "//" + location.hostname + "/");

Executing this code displays a pop-up dialog box that shows the actual root Web server, regardless of the URL that was displayed previously in the address bar. If this URL doesn't match up with where you think you should be, it's a good indicator that you should pay more attention to what's happening with the browser.

Unfortunately, you can't rely on your software alone to protect you from malicious Internet sites and users. Safe Internet usage means maintaining a level of situational awareness at all times. Running software such as Lavasoft's Ad-aware or Patrick M. Kolla's Spybot Search & Destroy will help keep your computer free of malicious content. However, the first line of protection is making sure your users stay alert about what's actually happening when they browse the Net.

==========

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==== 2. News & Views ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Microsoft and Yahoo! Issue Responses to Gmail Challenge

Responding to the impending public release of Google's Gmail service, which will offer users a full gigabyte of email storage space, MSN Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail are dramatically increasing their storage allotments. Yahoo!'s updated service debuted late last week, and Microsoft's planned update should be available soon.

Yahoo! Mail can't quite match Gmail's 1GB offering, but Yahoo! has made a dramatic jump from the earlier 4MB of storage to 100MB, which Yahoo! executives say should be enough for most users. "What we are trying to do is take storage off the table as an issue," Yahoo! Vice President Brad Garlinghouse said, noting that Yahoo! previously charged users $60 a year for 100MB of storage. Yahoo! also raised the email-attachment size limit from 3MB to 10MB, and the company now offers only one paid upgrade package: For $20 a year, users can get a whopping 2GB of storage space. Users who pay for the upgrade don't have to see graphical ads, the company says.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has been quiet about its plans for MSN Hotmail, but the company is slowly rolling out to existing users an upgrade that increases the free storage allotment from 2MB to 25MB, still far short of the Yahoo! and Google offerings. The upgrade won't be Microsoft's full response to Gmail, however. In July, the company will roll out a major upgrade that includes much more storage space, although a Microsoft representative was unable to corroborate the exact amount. "Part of that \[upgrade\] will ensure that storage won't be an issue \[for customers\]," she said.

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==== 3. Resources ====

Tip: Remove Outlook Express Icons in Windows XP
(contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])

Several readers have asked me how to remove Outlook Express icons from their Windows XP users' computers. They don't want their users to run Outlook Express, and they've found that having the Outlook Express icons displayed on screen confuses some users. The easiest way to remove the standard Outlook Express icons is to run the following command from the Start, Run dialog box:

"%SystemRoot%\System32\shmgrate.exe OCInstallHideOE

To redisplay the Outlook Express icons, run the command

"%SystemRoot%\System32\shmgrate.exe OCInstallShowOE

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