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General Tools
Improve computer security, reduce SPAM, prevent Viruses, limit Adult Content and put an end to annoying pop up ads. If you have a Windows based Operating system you should always have the latest Windows updates installed on your computer. 
Pacific Online is not responsible for configuring, troubleshooting, supporting and or for the content of these services. Pacific Online cannot provide technical support for these services.
Windows Life-Cycle FAQ (information about Windows Systems)
  Support Life-Cycle Index (Support length for Windows)
Security Information 
These are links having to do with protecting your computer from security breaches, hackers and security flaws. Links below are alphabetized by name and address viruses, spyware and other intrusion attempts.

Spyware is becoming more and more of a problem on the Internet. It is relatively new and may be the cause of problems such as your start page changing automatically, new toolbars added to Internet Explorer, you can connect to the net but cannot view websites (page cannot be displayed error) or causing your browser to crash. Spyware can also be programs that track your activities on the net and websites that you visit often, so as to market you with pop up ads or email advertising.

Spyware can be contracted by simply visiting websites or opening emails that contain spyware. Windows 95, 98, NT, ME, 2k & XP are vulnerable to getting Spyware.

Ad-Aware Cost: Free
www.lavasoft.de/software/adaware/ (Download size: 1654 kb) - AdAware is a program that will scan any memory drives in your computer (hard drives, disk drives, etc) for any known programs (Spy programs) that are using your computer to acquire data from you. This program will quarantine the offending programs/components and will allow you to purge them from your system. This program also has a built in update mechanism that allows you to download latest updates from the web. Note: If you are running Kazaa or another file sharing program, Ad-ware may disable its functionality. 

AVG Anti-virus Free Edition Cost: Free to paying  http://free.grisoft.com
AVG Free Edition is for private, non-commercial, single home computer use only.

GRC Cost: Free to paying www.grc.com 
This site contains many free security programs that are invaluable.  

Iconix Cost: Free www.iconix.com
This programs ads a "visual ID" to your email. This software helps identify trusted Email and protects against "Phishing".

Mcafee Cost: Varies www.mcafee.com 
This is another well known anti-virus company.

Norton Anti Virus Cost: Varies us.norton.com 
Norton is a well known and respected anti-virus and security program. This is the place to look first for information about new threats, worms, and viruses. 

Their Security Response USA website is invaluable as it lists the latest virus threats, security updates, removal tools, and virus definitions. The removal tools are free for downloading. The main program does cost money but is well worth it - it runs on your computer and checks for viruses, worms, and other security problems as well as provides a live update via the web when new known viruses are release. http://securityresponse.symantec.com

SpyBot Cost: Free www.spybot.info  
This program is available in 8 different languages and is our recommendation for safely removing Spyware. Once you install this software you must go online and get the updates before actually running it (the program doesn't really remind you to get the online updates although in the program itself, there is an "Updates" tab).

Cost: Free http://vil.nai.com/vil/stinger
This program is a stand-alone utility used to detect and remove specific viruses - its free and is brought to you by the well-known Anti Virus company, McAfee. This program should not be used as a substitute for full anti-virus protection. Click on the above link for the download and install file as well as step by step setup and installation instructions.

Zone Alarm Cost: Varies www.zonelabs.com 
This is a software based firewall program. It monitors all incoming network traffic for your computer - and it can be setup to only allow connections that you know and want to receive. Basically it works by closing off ports on your computer that you do not need open. For example port # 80 is the port that you use to browse web sites, so this port of course would remain open. 

This software also helps hide your computer on the net - which helps prevents hackers and other data mining programs from finding you. 
Phishing is when someone tries to gain access to sensitive data usually by sending out emails that pretend to be from legitimate companies in which they ask you to fill out information usually by going to a website that they link in their email (common phishing emails pretend to be from PayPay, Amazon, Ebay etc).  We have a "phishing" Example Here

Upgrades & Updates
Windows Updates
This is the official Microsoft Windows Update page. On occasion Microsoft will release "updates" and depending on which Operating System you have, will need to be installed on your computer. The Critical updates are the most important as they "patch" known security flaws. If you do not have the windows updates you will be extremely vulnerable to security flaws, and other worms. Please visit: http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com 

Internet Explorer for Windows based operating systems
This page contains information and also the latest version

Internet Explorer
 for Macintosh based operating systems
This page contains information and also the latest version

Spam   (Put it in the can)
Spam is unsolicited (unwanted) emails sent out via mass mail. Visit the SPAM section of our support page for other methods of fighting SPAM. Pacific Online runs a server side anti-SPAM program which catches literally hundreds of thousands of junk mails each month. Spam is held in the quarantine section of webmail, http://email.pon.net for 10 days before being auto deleted. For more information about spam filtering in webmail click here

Recommended SPAM Blocker Program:
If you are on a Windows
TM system we recommend using SpamPal

Additional SPAM Blocker Programs:
The following program (1.51mb) is freeware and is called MailWasher - it is a program that will filter incoming mail to your specifications. MailWasher analyses each email as it arrives and warns you if it is suspected junkmail or a virus. This program only analyses incoming mail - it does not send mail for you.

The following program (1.1mb) is freeware and is called Spam Weasel - the program arrives pre-configured, collects mail from multiple POP accounts, & uses powerful and flexible rules to identify Spam. This program also only analyses incoming mail - it does not send mail for you.

In addition McAfee
TM has an inexpensive program to fight Spam using blocking and filtering. This program is called SpamKiller

Parental Control  
We recommend Net Nanny - this is a rather inexpensive program that lets you control what your children see on the Internet. You are able to filter harmful websites, monitor online activity, and even restrict Internet access.
Click here for more information.

Online Virus Scanner  
With the variety and numbers of viruses on the Internet it is always a good idea to run a virus scan/cleanup on your PC. The following program is a web based online virus scanner which will scan and clean your PC system for viruses. Please visit Trend Micro
TM for their online virus scanner.
In addition, Norton AntiVirus
TM 2002 Free Trialware is available here

Pop Up Ad Remover  
Popup Killer is freeware and is 62kb in size. Note: it only works with Windows and Microsoft
TM Internet Explorer. Download, run the program and follow the step by step instructions. Once you have downloaded this program it will appear in your System Tray on the Start menu bar as a small icon. You can toggle this program on and off by clicking your mouse on the icon (it is ON when the red X appears through the icon, meaning it will block pop ups). You should turn Popup Killer off while using Webmail http://email.pon.net.  



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