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Security and Privacy Resources

Antivirus, Firewall, and Other Security Resources

AV-Test is a top-ranked virus testing organization. It conducts independent, objective tests of antivirus programs, and did a test of antivirus programs on Microsoft Windows operating systems for The top five products all scored 100% on the general antivirus tests and 97% or greater on detecting and disinfecting the more uncommon security problems. The winners were:

  1. Command Antivirus
    Command AntiVirus rated 5 stars and scored 100% on the general virus and 99.31% on the uncommon virus testing. It is a great product for home or corporate use and provides a comprehensive set of features bundled in an easy-to-use, single interface. About calls it "out-of-the-box protection at its best." The review states "Command AntiVirus uses the F-Prot scan engine, wrapping it in an intuitive, useful interface that virtually guarantees user-friendliness. In turn, this translates into a product that is easy to use properly with little or no configuration required." The price for this product starts at $24.95 per year.
  2. F-Prot Antivirus
    Frisk Software International manufactures the F-Prot scan engine and produces the F-Prot products. F-Prot Antivirus for Windows has "stellar detection rates" but only got four stars because it has a high learning curve. says that for "experienced users, its detection and removal capabilities are unsurpassed." F-Prot is one of the few antivirus programs that can be run from floppy disks, and, since it requires only 4Mb of drive space, can be used by just about any system This product also received Virus Bulletin's 100% award which recognizes those products best able to detect viruses known to be in the wild. F-Prot is available for all of the Windows operating systems, the Linux operating system, and legacy DOS systems. The personal version of F-Prot for Windows costs $25 per year. The Linux version is free, and private use of the DOS version is free.
  3. Panda Antivirus Platinum
    )Also ranked by with four stars, and third by AV-test, Panda has "the industry's most intuitive interface." Although it's detection is a bit below that of the top ranked products, Panda is a good choice for both the noviceand experienced user. Also a winner of Virus Bulletin's 100% award. The CD-ROM version costs $59.
  4. Norton AntiVirus 2002
    While Norton also rated four stars by, it ranked fourth on the AV-test because of its size. states "Norton is far too big for many systems to handle." Where RAM, ROM, and speed aren't issues Norton "provides supreme protection with a host of desirable features." Another winner of Virus Bulletin's 100% award. This product costs $39.95 a year.
  5. Norman Virus Control
    Because Norman's modular interface lacks some features it only gets three stars from but still ranks in the top five out of 20 in the test. A Virus Bulletin 100% award winner. Single use is $59.50 per year.

Although they didn't make the top five, McAfee, PC-cillin, and F-Secure all ranked highly on the test, the full results of which are available on AV-Test's website at

  • McAfee
    This popular antivirus program by Network Associates costs $39.95.
  • PC-cillin
    Trend Micro offers this antivirus program that costs @29.95. Trend Micro also offers a free Weekly Virus Report.
  • F-Secure Antivirus
    F-Secure (formerly DataFellows) uses F-Prot Professional as its scan engine. The personal edition costs $55.

Firewalls are a must have layer of protection for those with high speed always-on connections to the Internet. The following are some of the top rated firewalls:

ZoneLabs' ZoneAlarm is one of the highest rated firewalls on the market (PC Magazine Editor's choice, 2000, 2001 -- 5 of 5 stars; PC World award, 2000, 2001). It monitors both inbound and outbound connection attempts, and provides superb protection against remote access Trojans and hackers. There is a free version for personal/home use, while ZoneAlarm Pro costs $39.95 for a single user license.

BlackIce Defender
This firewall, by Internet Security Systems (formerly Network Ice) received four out of five stars from PC Magazine. The shareware product costs $39.95.

McAfee Firewall Products
The McAfee Firewall got 3 of 5 stars from PC Magazine. It costs $29.95 for one year, $49.95 for two years. McAfee's Internet Security got 5 stars and integrates a number of McAfee's security products together for $79.95.

Norton Personal Firewall
The Norton Personal Firewall received 3 of 5 stars from PC Magazine and costs $49.95.

Tiny Personal Firewall
Tiny Software's Tiny Personal Firewall was the winner of the FOSE 2001 Award for Best New Technology. It is free for home use and costs $29.95 for business use.

There are other products that help keep your system safe.

GoBack 3 Deluxe
GoBackŪ is a highly rated program that monitors and saves key information on your computer, allowing you to revert back to an earlier state when problems arise. Different than a traditional backup, which usually involves just data, GoBack can take a drive back to its "pre-ops" state, even if your system is unbootable. The one drawback to this program is that it requires about ten percent of the hard drive be allocated for GoBack's use. $39.95 downloaded. $49.95 packaged.

MailDefense acts as an additional layer of defense against email-borne threats. It keeps viruses from getting into your inbox and from leaving your system. MailDefense uses advanced filtering technology to quarantine potentially harmful attachments, removing scripts, ActiveX controls, and macros out of Microsoft Office files, leaving email safe. $29.95.

Security News and Alerts

CERTŪ Advisory Mailing List
The CERTŪ Coordination Center (CERT/CC) is a major center of Internet security expertise at the Software Engineering Institute, a federally funded research & development center operated by Carnegie Mellon University. CERTŪ studies Internet security vulnerabilities, handles computer security incidents, publishes security alerts, researches long-term changes in networked systems, and develops information and training to help improve site security. Subscribe to the mailing List to receive copies of the CERTŪ advisories and summaries.

Crypto-Gram, which has over 60,000 subscribers, is security expert Bruce Schneier's free monthly e-mail newsletter on computer security and cryptography. Crypto-Gram contains provactive commentaries on security policy issues and has fully referenced security news summaries and analyses.

DOE-Computer Incident Advisory Capability (CIAC)
CIAC issues the computer security advisories for the U.S. Department of Energy. CIAC HoaxBusters is the top website for finding what is a real security threat and what is not.

Extreme Tech Security
This is a Ziff-Davis newsletter with timely alerts, commentary, and solutions about computer systems and privacy issues.

Information Security Magazine
This hard copy magazine, published by TruSecure Corporation, has a corporate focus. It covers issues such as scripting security, network forensics analysis tools, encryption issues, vulnerability management, and security-related software and hardware comparisons. You can also subscribe to the twice weekly Security Wire Digest e-newsletter, free.

Microsoft Security Information
Microsoft has a quite a bit of information about security issues on its website. The Microsoft Security Advisor page describes what Microsoft's security packs are, explains how to subscribe to the Microsoft Security Bulletins that alert users to security problems with Microsoft software, links to articles on how to understand enterprise security issues, how to develop secure operations, and other related security issues. The Microsoft Technet Security Site is another way to see how Microsoft deals with security issues. It includes hot topics, best practices, Microsoft policies, government issues, Microsoft security essays, the bulletins, a number of product-specific newsgroups, and much more.

Virus Bulletin
The Virus Bulletin is an international hard copy publication on computer virus prevention, recognition and removal. Although the Bulletin doesn't have a free e-zine, the website offers a list of virus hoaxes, monthly virus prevalence tables that list the number of incidents by virus type, the monthly wildlist that lists viruses reported around the world, a list of antivirus product developers, and the Virus Bulletin 100% awards that recognize those products best able to detect viruses known to be in the wild.

SANS Institute
The SANS (System Administration, Networking, and Security) Institute is a top research and education organization "through which more than 156,000 security professionals, auditors, system administrators, and network administrators share the lessons they are learning and find solutions to the challenges they face." The SANS site contains descriptions of security training programs, web-based forums on a number of security issues, experts' consensus on the twenty most critical Internet vulnerabilities, information on global information assurance certification (GIAC), a link to which has statistics on security-related incidents, a link to the SANS Reading Room which has more than 1300 articles in 63 different categories, and more.
SANS offers two newsletters. SANS NewsBites is a weekly security news overview with summaries of the major security-related news and links to the full articles. For a free subscription, e-mail with the subject: Subscribe NewsBites. The Security Alert Consensus newsletter, published in conjunction with Network Computing, sends you security information specific to the platform categories in which you are most interested: Windows (95, 98, NT, 2000), Linux, BSD, SUN, AIX, NetWare, HP/UX, SGI, SCO, Cross-platform, Other OSes (MAC, BeOS, etc.), and Network Appliances. Subscribe to this newsletter at

Privacy Issues

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
The EFF was founded in July of 1990 in response to a basic threat to speech, and continues to be at the forefront in identifying threats to our basic rights online and advocating on behalf of free expression in the digital age. Their Privacy, Security, Crypto, & Surveillance Archive is a history of the threats to privacy and intellectual freedom online.

Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
EPIC is a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values. The website includes guides to practical privacy tools and online privacy resource, tracking pending legislation related to privacy and civil liberties in the U.S. Congress, and archives on computer security, cyrptography policy, free speech, freedom of information, and privacy. is a joint project of EPIC and Privacy International. It contains news, calls to action, and privacy-related resources.

Chilling Effects Clearinghouse
Chilling Effects is a joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, and University of San Francisco law school clinics. This website was setup to teach web users about their online rights. These site will help you understand the protections intellectual property laws and the First Amendment give to your online activities. It describes how the excuse of anti-terroism and "national security" are being used to silence free expression and other Internet activity.

Privacy Journal: Resources to Help Protect Your Privacy
The Privacy Journal is a monthly hardcopy newsletter founded in 1974 to report on new technology and its impact on personal privacy. The website contains subscription information, privacy tips, and information on model privacy policies.

Privacy Forum
The Privacy Forum, created in 1992 by Lauren Weinstein, is a moderated e-mail discussion list (with archives) for the discussion and analysis of issues relating to privacy in the information age. To subscribe, send a message to: with subscribe privacy in the body of the message.

Privacy Exchange
This site is a resource on consumers, commerce and data protection worldwide. It contains news alerts, a legal library, privacy policies of individual companies and industry associations, trans-border data flow issues, studies, surveys, and other resources.

Online Privacy Alliance
The Online Privacy Alliance is made up of a diverse group of corporations and associations who are working together to promote "business-wide actions that create an environement of trust and foster the protection of individuals' privacy online." The site has guidelines for company online privacy policies, resources about enforcement, principles for children's online activities, and member news and efforts.

OECD Privacy Policy Generator
This is a tool to help organizations develop privacy policies. It offer guidance on conducting an internal review of existing personal data practices and on developing a privacy policy statement. The Generator uses a questionnaire to learn about your personal data practices; has a Help Section that provides explanatory notes and practical guidance; warning flags appear where appropriate. Your answers are then fed into a pre-formatted draft policy statement which you must assess to make sure that it is it an accurate reflection of your personal data practices and policy. The site also has links to private, non-profit, and public sector privacy policies and resources.

Web Bug FAQ
This Frequently Asked Questions piece describes what web bugs are, how they can be identified, whether they are legal or ethical, and related issues.

Cyberspace Law
This site includes a wide range of online legal issues including intellectual property, privacy, freedom of speech, and related issues. It also has an extensive list of law and technology reviews, online articles, resource pages and courses.

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