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2,862 Tutorials

How to beat 22 latest web threats

Defeat the latest scams, tricks and swindles

Forewarned is forearmed. PC Advisor investigates the latest and most deadly tech dangers, and explains how to fight back.

12. Document secrecy II: hidden data

The draft of a collaborative report written in Microsoft Word is likely to be riddled with notes and questions - and perhaps a few gripes inserted by various participants. You clean up the document before submitting it to the boss, but the comment "Do they really expect people to buy this junk?" hasn't vanished - it's simply hiding.

Besides its embarrassment value, embedded information makes life easier for corporate spies. Ignore it at your peril.

The fix

For Office XP and Office 2003 files, download Microsoft's Remove Hidden Data tool. For Microsoft Office 2007 documents, you can use the Document Inspector command to view and (optionally) delete unwanted metadata remnants from your Word, Excel and PowerPoint files.

13. Zero-day attacks

In late 2008, Microsoft released two patches for IE (MS08-067 and MS08-078) without waiting until ‘patch Tuesday'. The release date was rushed forward when experts detected zero-day attacks - early attacks that attempt to exploited vulnerabilities that are not yet patched.

Microsoft delivered the patches with commendable speed. But these two high-profile cases within two months show the seriousness of the zero-day threat.

The fix

Windows' Automatic Updates will eventually install the patches you need. But its Automatic Updates tend to roll out slowly, leaving your PC vulnerable during the critical time between the public release of the patch and the moment you install it.

There's no technical fix for this danger. You need to keep up with the latest security news and visit update.microsoft.com as soon as you hear about an out-of-band patch.

NEXT PAGE: Mac malware

Quick links:

  1. Defeat the latest and most deadly web threats
  2. Internet privacy I: cache
  3. Internet privacy II: history
  4. Malware-ridden public PCs
  5. Social-networking dangers
  6. Your privacy in Google's hands
  7. Mobile-phone data loss
  8. Hidden data
  9. Mac malware
  10. Phishing without email
  11. Five common Facebook scams

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