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Disable Autorun Script
Disabling the Windows XP Autorun feature using our downloadable custom script can help protect you from worms and other malware. Many security experts recommend turning off the Autorun feature to stop a common malware tactic of infecting a removable drive, such as a USB drive, so that it will automatically attempt to spread malware when the infected USB drive is connected to a new PC.
This script will change the Windows registry. To use it, download the file and double-click it. If you want to reverse the change, download and run the re-enable script.
Note that with Autorun disabled, you’ll no longer get an automatic installation prompt when you insert a program’s installation CD or perform similar Autorun-dependent tasks. Instead, you’ll need to double-click the installation or other program on the CD or removable drive yourself. Also, there have been reports of potential problems with U3 thumb drives when Autorun is disabled. Should you wish to restore Autorun, use our Restore Autorun script.
If you use Windows Vista and want to disable Autorun, see Microsoft’s somewhat techie-oriented Vista instructions.
To use it, unzip the download and double-click the DisableAutorun.reg script.
Restore Autorun Script
Disabling the Windows XP Autorun feature using our downloadable custom script can help protect you from worms and other malware. But if you’ve run into any problems from doing so, you can reverse the changes by downloading and double-clicking this restoration script.
Both the disable and re-enable scripts automate steps suggested by Nick Brown and further recommended by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) to improve security on a Windows XP computer.
To use it, unzip the download and double-click the RestoreAutorun.reg script.
Communicating by using an instant messaging (IM) program has some of the same security and privacy risks as e-mail, but there are a few unique dangers that you should be aware of.
- Never open pictures, download files, or click links in messages from people you don’t know.
If they come from someone you do know, confirm with the sender that the message (and its attachments) is trustworthy. If it’s not, close the instant message.
- Be careful when creating a screen name.
Each IM program asks you to create a screen name, which is similar to an e-mail address. Your screen name should not provide or allude to personal information. For example, use a nickname such as SoccerFan instead of BaltimoreJenny.
- Create a barrier against unwanted instant messaging.
Do not list your screen name or e-mail address in public areas (such as large Internet directories or online community profiles) or give them to strangers.
Some IM services link your screen name to your e-mail address when you register. The easy availability of your e-mail address can result in your receiving an increased number of spam and phishing attacks.
- Never provide sensitive personal information,
Such as your credit card numbers or passwords, in an IM conversation.
- Only communicate with people who are on your contact or buddy lists.
- If you decide to meet a stranger
That you know only from IM communication, take appropriate safety precautions. For example, do not meet that person alone, (take a friend or parent with you), and always meet and stay in a public place, such as a cafe.
- Don’t send personal or private instant messages at work.
Your employer might have a right to view those messages.
- If you use a public computer,
Do not select the feature that allows you to log on automatically. People who use that computer after you may be able to see and use your screen name to log on.
- Monitor and limit your children’s use of IM.
- When you’re not available to receive messages,
Be careful how you display this information to other users. For example, you might not want everyone on your contact list to know that you’re “Out to Lunch.”