Hello NCKCN internet members
Summer is here — grab some lemonade, kick off your shoes, and enjoy reading this June issue. You'll learn about e-mail bouncebacks from spammers and why they're annoying but not necessarily harmful. You'll also find out about keystroke loggers and keylogging programs used to collect information from specific computer users. In the tutorial, get instructions on how to remove websites you no longer want in your bookmarked favorites. And don't miss the Great Sites section to pick up Web browsing ideas including a new movie about robots, a bird's eye view of the earth, and a preview of the Summer Olympics.
The goal of each of our monthly eNewsletters is to keep our subscribers informed regarding their Internet connection and to improve their Internet experience. We think you'll find this information interesting. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins on a monthly basis, click here.
To see what's inside this issue, simply scroll down the eNewsletter or click on the links within the index to the left. Thanks for reading!
- The NCKCN Team
Have you received an increasing number of e-mail bouncebacks (returned e-mails marked "Non Delivery Receipt") in your inbox? If so, you're not alone. Internet Service Providers worldwide are reporting more complaints from customers who suddenly get dozens or hundreds of e-mails informing them that "the message you have sent has failed." Most of the time, the culprits are spammers that insert gathered or random e-mail addresses into the "Sender" portion of their messages. Spammers like to spoof this information in order to sneak their messages past e-mail filters. When these e-mails are not deliverable, they may be returned to inboxes like yours even though they didn't truly originate there. Referred to as backscatter, such e-mail bouncebacks come from legitimate e-mail servers that have been fooled by the spammers.
While these messages may appear troubling, receiving such e-mails does not necessarily point to a virus or spyware infection on your machine. There is likely nothing for you to worry about as long as you're using virus protection software and updating it routinely. Simply delete the messages and ignore the irritation until this latest technique falls out of favor with spammers. Again, it is very important that you have antivirus protection installed and updated to reduce your computer's vulnerability to attacks.
Question: What is a keystroke logger and why would one be used? I often come across the term while reading about computer security.
Answer: A keystroke logger is a hardware device that collects each keystroke a user types on a specific computer's keyboard and saves it as text in its own miniature hard drive. Later, the person who installed the keystroke logger must return and physically remove the device in order to access the information gathered.
By contrast, a keylogger program does not require physical access to the user's computer. Someone who wants to monitor activity on a particular computer can download it on purpose. It can also be downloaded unwittingly as spyware and executed as part of a rootkit (a collection of tools that enable administrator-level access to a computer) or Trojan horse (a program in which malicious code is contained inside apparently harmless programming or data). The keylogger program records each keystroke and uploads the information over the Internet periodically to whoever installed the program.
Keylogging has legitimate purposes such as helping parents monitor their children's activities or allowing law enforcement agencies to obtain passwords or encryption keys used in crimes. However, spammers and identity thieves also use this technology to steal personal information.
Recipe for Success
http://Pillsbury.com/BakeOff - There really are cookies that taste like a million bucks, and Carolyn Gurtz of Gaithersburg, MD bakes them. She was this year's $1 million grand prize winner in the Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest for her Double-Delight Peanut Butter Cookies. Get the recipe for them here, as well as the recipes for many other award-winning Bake-Off dishes. You can also sign up for free e-mail newsletters and print moneysaving coupons.
Understanding Natural Disasters
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards - The world news has been filled recently with stories of natural disasters — the cyclone in Myanmar (Burma), the earthquake in China, a volcano eruption in Chili, and tornadoes, flooding, and wildfires in the U.S. To learn more about the causes and effects of these hazards, take a look at this site. It features NASA satellite imagery of the events along with explanations of the science involved. You'll also find links to related websites and articles about topics including fires, floods, severe storms, and volcanoes.
Summer Olympic Games
http://en.beijing2008.cn - Get ready for the splendor and excitement of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in August by visiting the official website now. You can familiarize yourself with all the sports and venues, tour the sites of the Beijing area including the Great Wall, and test your Olympic knowledge by taking the daily quiz. You can also take a close look at the unique medals made of gold and jade that the winning athletes will receive.
Sightsee from Home
http://earth.google.com - If you haven't tried Google Earth yet, you're missing a very cool online resource. Google Earth lets you "fly" anywhere on the globe and gain a bird's eye view of satellite imagery, maps, terrain, and 3D buildings. Type in an address, zip code, city, or state and Google Earth instantly takes you there. You can even swoop from outer space to street level and leap from one building top to another. The new Sky feature lets you view images of distant galaxies and nebulae from the Hubble Space Telescope. Just download the free Google Earth 4.3 software to use these features, and enjoy an around-the-world tour without spending a cent.
http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/wall-e - In theaters this month is the new computer-animated movie about a robot named Wall•E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class). The cosmic comedy is from writer-director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo) and the creative geniuses at Pixar Animation Studios (Cars, Ratatouille). Don't miss this fun journey across the universe as Wall•E chases a sleek robot named EVE. In the meantime, check out the site for Build-A-Bot Games as well as the movie's trailers, Super Bowl commercial, and photo gallery.
Over the years, you've undoubtedly accumulated a long list of favorite websites stored under the "Favorites" or "Bookmarks" feature of your browser. As your life changes, however, you may find that some of these sites are no longer of interest to you. It's easy to remove such sites from your list and streamline your Internet searches.
To delete bookmarked favorites you no longer need or want, follow the steps below for your browser.
Deleting Bookmarked Favorites When Using Internet Explorer 7 Browser and Windows XP SP2 Home Edition (if menu bar is visible)
We hope you found this newsletter to be informative. It's our way of keeping you posted on the happenings here. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins on a monthly basis, click here.
Thanks for your business!
The Staff at NCKCN
NCKCN - North Central Kansas Community Network
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Beloit, KS 67420
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