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Security & Safety

Security & Safety
Security and Viruses
Spam and Safety
How do I block access to certain Web pages?

Security and Viruses

Simply defined, a virus is just a self-replicating piece of software. Many viruses, however, are additionally configured to harm your computer by altering the way it works. Depending on the virus, these alterations may be as benign as displaying a message on a certain date, or as destructive as erasing your hard drive.

Viruses spread differently depending on what kind they are.

Boot sector viruses append themselves to floppy disks. If you leave an infected disk in your floppy drive when you turn your system on or reboot it, the virus copies itself onto the boot sector of your hard drive. You cannot get this virus from sharing files or by executing a program - only from an infected disk.

Program sector viruses fasten themselves to other programs. Most will piggyback on EXE or COM files, but they can infect any file that your computer runs when it launches a program.

Macro viruses affect the template used to create documents or spreadsheets, thereby infecting every document or spreadsheet opened with the program.

Email viruses can infect your computer before you even open an email. For example, a virus named "Bubble Boy," which targets Outlook and Outlook Express, can be launched even if it only opens up in the preview window. Just highlighting the subject line in the preview window activates the code. It starts sending messages to everyone in your address book in an attempt to overload and crash the email server.

In these days of continuous computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and any other malicious programs that can raid your computer system, there are several things to keep in mind.

1. Use common sense

Be careful where you give out your personal information. If you are asked to fill out a form on a Web site, be aware that you may be signing up for an email list that will then be sold to various marketing companies, thus opening up your email box to all kinds of offers.

In most cases, you should be able to trust your Internet service provider, a banking or investment institution, or other companies that you know will have your best interest in mind. Just be sure to use common sense.

2. Avoid downloading any unnecessary applications.

Some questionable Web sites will automatically offer to install various programs or plug ins, hoping you will click "Yes" just to close the screen. Be aware of this practice and only install applications you consciously decide to.

3. Avoid opening unknown email attachments.

Many recent viruses and worms come as email attachments in your mailbox. Be sure to know who is sending you an attachment, and even then, be wary if the attachment is unexpected and has no accompanying text that makes sense. Never open an attachment from an unknown source unless you are absolutely sure of its contents!

For more informative resources on Security / Fraud, click here.

Spam and Safety

What you should know about spam

Spam is the Internet's equivalent of junk mail. The Internet abuse generally referred to as spamming ranges from annoyances like electronic mass mailings, mass advertisements, junk email, chain letters, and off-topic newsgroup postings on one hand to more serious abuses such as perpetration of scams or confidence games, transmission of fraudulent product or service promotions and harassing or threatening emails on the other. All types of spam waste the valuable time, energy and resources of the recipients, the service providers involved, and the whole Internet community


Spammers often alter the 'To,' 'From' and 'Reply-to' lines of the messages they send in order to disguise their identities, deflect complaints about their messages, and to generally confuse recipients. The vast majority of unsolicited mail that appears to involve NetZero accounts does not actually originate from the NetZero domain. Rather, the NetZero accounts listed in most spam are either nonexistent, forged into the message headers, and / or being used solely as 'dropboxes' to receive responses. It is NetZero's policy to terminate valid NetZero accounts implicated in unsolicited messages. We have also pursued legal action against spammers who forged NetZero addresses into the headers of messages sent through other Internet Service Providers.

For more information regarding our policies about spam and your account security, click here.

How do I block access to certain Web pages?

There are several ways in which you can control access to Web pages on the Internet. You can set restrictions through the Internet Explorer Content Advisor or you can purchase Parental Control Software which allows you to monitor and restrict access to Web sites through a third party software.

To learn how to set restrictions through Internet Explorer's Content Advisor click here. Or, to view a list of the different Parental Control Software available, please visit

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