Stop Hackers, Crackers, and Spyware

March 2006
by Mike Wysocki

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Do you think a router or
firewall makes you safe from hackers? Not necessarily. Do you think they won’t
attack you because your business is so small? Don’t count on it. Hackers might
pirate your broadband address and use it to hack others, store illegal
information, or test the latest trojan.

The checklist that follows will
help you protect yourself against determined hackers and the many problems they
can cause.

a written security policy.
If you
own your own business and have employees, tell them in writing what they can
and cannot do on the Internet. Employees should know ahead of time that
downloading music, movies, and the like will get them into trouble; in some
situations, that can even be illegal, and you could be responsible. And of
course they should be mindful of the fact that downloads can carry hidden

quarterly or monthly vulnerability assessments.
More than 300 new vulnerabilities (aka bugs in
software or hardware) arise every month, and any that you fail to fix will
provide an open door for hackers. With freeware and commercial tools readily
available via sites such as,, and,
it’s foolhardy to skip this step.

Patch. Make sure you regularly download the most recent
patches for your syste

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