Hi dev98, welcome to Startup Nation :-)
I think you`re perhaps over-reacting to the problems of Internet
browsing. It may be only because you`re not familiar with how the
First you turn on your browser, which might be Microsoft`s Interent
Explorer, or perhaps Mozilla FireFox, or the Macintosh Safari (I`m not
a Mac user, so I may be wrong there). That browser is simply a program
that reads text information.
Keeping things simple, whatever it is you "see" on your computer screen
is either text or pictures, but they have some formatting as part of
their description. So the word "bold" can be bold
, and you see it darker. But to the brower, it just is a line of text: "...<b>bold</b>...."
Each page that you look at on the screen has a unique address,
somewhere on the Internet. With zillions of pages, those addresses are
pretty strange looking. Each address can show in the "address bar" of
your browser. So this particular page you`re looking at right this
moment has an address:
When the text programming offers you a "link," what it`s giving you is
simply another page. That page also is composed almost entirely of
text. Each time a browser arrives at a Web address, it starts at the
top of the text and reads it to the bottom. It shows you a
representation of that text on your computer screen.
Where people get confused between a "virus" and a Web page is over something
text as if it were a series of commands.
The commands are fairly simple, but they can tell the browser to
download information from the Web site to your computer. It`s in this
downloading that the problems take place.
A virus is an actual program, created using special language (not
text), and turned into a type of file that "runs" on your computer. For
this to happen, you have to actually have the program on your computer
and it has to actually be made to run.
You can download such a file as an email attachment, or by thinking you`re getting some other type of program.
Spyware, malware, and certain other problems aren`t the same thing as a
virus. These are programs on your computer that send information to
somewhere else if your computer is attached to the Internet.
To prevent this type of back and forth, you can use a "firewall." There are a number, but you could look at Zone Alarm
as a good one (if you`re using Windows). Note that I`ve just provided
you with a "link." All it means is that if you click that "Zone Alarm,"
a new window in your browser will open, and you`ll go to the main page
of the Zone Alarm company.
people can write scripts and put them into the text of a Web page. The
script then can cause various other problems. Sometimes the script can
cause the browser to download a virus or spyware, even if you don`t
want that to happen.
Firewalls will sometimes prevent this from happening. There are other
ways to "secure" your computer. One way is to have some sort of message
appear that: "Something is about to be downloaded to your computer. Did
you intend for this or is it happening without your knowledge?"
WhenEVER you see a message on your screen that you did NOT expect to see, always say No!
There are more options, among which is to know how to change the security settings on your browser. Here`s a page on "Securing Your Web Browser
," that will offer you some help.
Not all Web pages or links are bad things. In fact, the majority of
pages and links are excellent sources of information, shopping,
knowledge, news, and everything else that`s great about the Internet.
Just understand that a link, all by itself, doesn`t have a virus
attached. It may take you to a Web page that has nasty things on that
page, but many times you can simply use common sense to avoid that sort
If you`re very worried, then read up on Firewalls, how to adjust
and off (enable or disable).
Adjust the settings of your email program so that it does NOT
"automatically open attachments." If you don`t recognize the sender,
then don`t open an attached file.
Adjust your browser so that if you "download" a file, it asks you where
you want it stored. Often you can avoid trouble by having this message
appear. If you didn`t expect it....say "Cancel."