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10/01/04 What's the biggest scourge of the Internet?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / September 28, 2004 3:42 AM PDT

What's the biggest scourge of the Internet?

Terrorist networks
Copyright violations
Music industry lawsuits

Here are few questions to start you off:

Give us some examples as to why you think the topic that got your vote is the biggest scourge of the Internet.

If you selected "others" what's is it?

What can we do as Internet end users to help counter or discourage these issues?

Have fun with it!

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Viruses, spam, spyware problem solved
by JLP / September 30, 2004 6:41 PM PDT

I had the most problems with viruses, spam and spyware in the past. That was still in the days when I was using Internet Explorer for browsing and Outlook Expres for e-mail. Then a coworker who knows more about computers suggested I try Firefox (browser) and Thunderbird (e-mail). And I was immidiately impressed. It solved all of my problems. No spyware is now automatically installing like it did with IE and Thunderbird has an excellent anti-spam filter. They also have more nice featires like tabbed browsing in Firefox and quick search in Thunderbird. So I would strongly suggest you check these two great apps out. Just go to and download them as they are completely free!

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Re: Viruses, spam, spyware problem solved
by CharleyO / October 1, 2004 8:05 AM PDT


No, the problem is not solved.

You have only curcumvented the problem until Mozilla/Firefox/Thunderbird become more popular. Once this happens, the virus writers & hackers will then attack those programs more often.

At this point in time, the low amount of users of those programs makes them not worth the effort in most cases.

But, it has already started ...


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Re: Viruses, spam, spyware problem solved
by JLP / October 7, 2004 8:26 PM PDT

Not quite true. The very foundation of Firefox/Mozilla is different and planed more securely then in Internet Explorer. And the open source nature makes it much easier to search and find security holes so it would be even easier to exploit them. There are a lot of studies about this on the internet so you can just use Google to search for them and learn about this.

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Re: 10/01/04 What's the biggest scourge of the Internet?
by criticeye / September 30, 2004 10:18 PM PDT

00-My reaction? Viruses/hackers. ..then I thought:
01-Viruses/hackers? Damage limited in my work.
02-Terrorist networks? dito.
03-Pornography? It's up to me.
04-Copyright violations? It's up to my Ethics.
05-Music industry lawsuits? They are after their money.
06-Spam/spyware? They are after my money.
07-Fraud? Damage Unlimited!
08-Other? Who knows about tomorrow!
09-My Conclusion? FRAUD.

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Re: 10/01/04 What's the biggest scourge of the Internet?
by Thomas L Clements / October 1, 2004 3:51 AM PDT

In looking at both fraud and spam I picked/guessed fraud. It seemed to follow the line of reasoning that spam comes from fraud. They both work closely with something like Identity theft or the intended use of a particular identity, turning good into bad. It can be looked at many ways. I just thought they were more related than the scores showed.

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Porn is... It causes some of the other problems as well...
by ShadowStriker / October 1, 2004 6:28 AM PDT

Pornography. That is currently the biggest scourge of the internet. After all, it causes most of the other scourges listed.

Not to mention, the people that make porn sites are too desperate to get visitors... Even if it means getting visitors that don't even want to go to their site. I regularly get porn sites as results when researching obscure topics such as how to recycle paper, as a result of googlebombing...


Viruses/hackers - If you have a decent firewall, and are not insanely famous, you should have no problems with hackers. If you either don't visit porn sites or don't use Internet Explorer (I reccomend both), you should have no problems with viruses.

Terrorist networks - I laugh at this. Terrorist networks are just as effective with or without the internet. And counter-terrorism probably benefits just as much, if not more, from the internet.

Copyright violations - These will be removed effectively, and aren't that big of an issue currently.

Music industry lawsuits - Not like we can do anything about it... Unless anyone wants to be like me and not illegally download music... *gasp*

Spam/spyware - Most of the spam you get is porn, with a small percentage of IE security patches (read: viruses) from "Microsoft" (read: people pretending to be Microsoft), strange people wishing to give you large amounts of money (read: to sue you for large amounts of money because you didn't read the fine print carefully enough), and people illegally distributing software.


By the way, a way to impede spam is to only allow e-mails to come from their domain's SMTP server. Or just request validation from every e-mail before putting a message into an inbox. It's win-win: If the spammers send e-mail from addresses that are not their own, the e-mails won't get through since they won't be able to validate the e-mails by logging into their e-mail address. If they send it from addresses that are their own, they get bombarded with validation requests, which crash their server. ^_^

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Your suggestion to impede spam
by coachj / January 26, 2005 1:10 AM PST

Can you say more about how to do this:
"By the way, a way to impede spam is to only allow e-mails to come from their domain's SMTP server. Or just request validation from every e-mail before putting a message into an inbox. It's win-win: "

I just began using 'Incredimail'. It seems to be an ok 'mail server'.


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