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PC Pest Control

by Preston Gralla
??(7 customer reviews)
Paperback: Wednesday, July 27, 2005 (O'Reilly Media, Inc.)
List Price: $24.95
?? Price: $11.45
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description
The Internet is rife with all kinds of creepy PC bugs. In the first six months of 2004, almost 5,000 new Windows viruses and worms were discovered that were capable of compromising computer security. But the pests that users deal with aren't limited to viruses. They're plagued with everything from spam to phishing. But just because your computer is hooked up to the Internet doesn't mean your PC has to be at risk. In a constant battle of one-upmanship, the forces of good have devised a number of creative ways to fend off these Internet nasties in order to best protect your computer. And PC Pest Control from O'Reilly spells out how you can do just that. Written in a friendly, engaging manner, this handy guide covers detection, prevention and cure, where you're vulnerable, and how to surf the web more safely. It also details how you can protect yourself against adware, spyware, home page hijackers, viruses, Trojans, spam, phishing attacks, and more. For easy understanding, PC Pest Control describes each problem and its symptoms, rates the danger level, and then shows you how to solve the problem step by step. In addition, a supporting website keeps the book's content as up to date as possible, so you're always informed of the latest safeguards. And in a field that shifts as frequently as PC protection, that's a major advantage. So if you want to make sure that your personal computer doesn't fall victim to attack-or if your system has already been infected and you want to start anew-then PC Pest Control is most definitely for you.

Reader Reviews


Think you're safe online because you're running firewall and anti-spam software? Wrong! As author Preston Gralla, points out in this outstanding book: "As long as you're armed with the right knowledge and tools, you'll be able to stop pests and intruders cold!"

Gralla begins by scaring you to death with a discussion about all of the dangerous PC pests that exist. Next, the author shows you where your computer is vulnerable and how pests make their way into your system. Then, you'll learn about the software you need to keep your system secure. The author continues by showing you how to detect pests based on the symptoms you see on your PC, such as pop-up swarms, system slowdowns, and clogged Internet access. In addition, you'll also learn how to protect yourself from threats or disinfect yourself if you've already been hit. The author also focuses on how to kill all types of spyware and keep your PC free from infection. Next, you'll learn how to protect yourself against the oldest and newest PC pests, viruses, Trojans, and bots. Then, the author shows you why you don't need to stop e-mailing or sending instant messages if you want to protect yourself. He continues by showing you how to keep yourself off spam lists--and how to kill spam before it ever makes its way to your PC. In addition, the author also covers how to protect your self and your kids against online dangers, plus a whole lot more. Finally, he also covers the kinds of threats you encounter when using wireless computing at home or at a hotspot, and shows you what you can do about them.

At the end of the day, if Internet invaders are still attacking your home computers, you need to really read this most excellent book--again and again. Why you ask? Because, if you're still being attacked, you only skimmed through this book; and, did not comprehend why various pests invaded your PC and/or followed Gralla's general advice about prevention, monitoring, and recovery.

Recommended if you want to try to resolve problems yourself, Thursday, November 24, 2005

If there is one thing that is truly pandemic within the PC computer environment it is the various forms of pests. Whether it is SPAM, viruses, worms, pop-ups, page hijacking, adware, spyware, cookies, malicious scripts, phishing, or any number of other problems the one thing for certain is that it is all out there waiting to take advantage of you. This book examines these and other pests and provides both an excellent explanation of what they are and how they work as well as steps to be taken to try to avoid them. The author actually does an excellent job of explaining the various threats, common signs of infection, and how to remove them. He even includes a list of common file names used by pests. While this is all good information for the person who wants a basic understanding of what is going on and how it is accomplished it does not deal with some of the truly malicious pests that even pest removal software does not remove. For example, there are some now that cannot be removed even by entering the registry in safe mode and trying to remove the key. I've had some where I've had to boot to Linux, mount the drive, remove the key and then boot back into Windows. These particularly tenacious ones are not covered in this text and as such it cannot be recommended for the true computer geek who does this for a living or as a computer network administrator. On the other hand, it is perfectly suited for the home user who has some of the common problems and wants to both fix them and do all they can to prevent being reinfected. It contains one of the better discussions of pests for the average user that I have come across. The book is written for the average reader and contains no real technical terms. PC Pest Control is recommended for the average user who wants to become informed about PC Pests or who wants to resolve some of the more common problems.

Stop Those Internet Pests From Ruining Your Computer Life!!, Friday, September 30, 2005

"PC Pest Control" is an outstanding look at the common problems that computer users will face on a daily basis. Preston Gralla writes in a concise, clear manner that will benefit anyone from the most novice of user to the most experienced (while the focus is on novice to amateur, this is a nice overview that will help reinforce the old pros).

The author looks at the most common problems users will face, broken up into the following topics:

IM Annoyances
Identity Theft
Wireless Signal/Data Theft

Mr. Gralla not only provides the history and background on how these threats came to be, but he goes into thorough detail about what everyday users can do to make their computer experience as "pest free" as possible through the use of:

Anti-virus programs
Anti-spyware programs
Stronger e-mail filters/applications
Recommendations for how to protect from Identity Theft
Locking down MAC/IP addresses to limit wireless theft

This is just a quick overview of what this fantastic book provides. For anyone that wants to learn more about what problems users will face on a daily basis by going online (or just sharing data), the author goes into exceptional detail and you will be hard-pressed to not find this manual instantly useful.

I highly recommend this book for anyone that wants to tighten down their own computers or their own computer behavior and I honestly think it's a steal at the price that this book goes for, considering how dense the material is inside.

You won't be disappointed!!!


@ Hurricanes, Friday, September 23, 2005

I received this book just shortly before Hurricane Katrina hit. I took the book with me as I evacuated to Southern Mississippi but was so busy for the three weeks that I was away from my home, that I did not have a chance to read it. When I returned home after three weeks, I was confronted with a HUGH oak tree sitting on my home. That was removed yesterday for $3500.00. Now, I am in the middle of Hurricane Rita. So, perhaps you should ask someone who is not in a Hurricane path to review this book.

Good Information for Novice Computer Users, Thursday, September 15, 2005

In a graphic presented in today's USA Today, it was reported that 64% of people who responded to a survey said they were not concerned about having their financial identities stolen. The people must be incredibly naive, or they are so on top of all the possible threats that they really have no worry. I tend to think it is the former and recommend these people read PC Pest Control by Preston Gralla (O'Reilly, 284 pages, 2005, ISBN ). Digging a bit deeper into PC pests than the excellent Internet Privacy Annoyances (see related review), Gralla provides an excellent reference resource for people who are concerned about protecting their home networks and computers from intruders, malware, spyware and more.

Laid out in a very easy to follow and easy to read format, Gralla walks the reader through various topics. These include the problems with web browsers, instant messaging, and phishing. He also takes the potentially novice reader on a tour of their computer to understand what vulnerabilities they may face. Occasionally, he throws in tidbits for computer users in the business world, such as a quote from IM Logic referring to an individual fired for their instant messaging conversations.

Gralla will explain to you how viruses and trojans work. He will also teach you how to explore the Windows registry for hidden problems. But there is one glaring problem I have with the book. Throughout the book, Gralla throws around his personal opinions, such as "throw Internet Explorer out the window". While I, and others, may agree with his opinions, that have should not be written as flippantly as they are in a book from a technical publisher. He should have at least chosen his words more carefully so his views come across more objectively.

Who Should Read This Book

This book really is for the novice, or naive, computer user. More experienced technical professionals might glean a few bits of wisdom but that is about all. These professionals should, however, keep a copy handy to give to their problem users who constantly ask "why" something has to be.

The Scorecard

Birdie on a Par 4 (for novice users)

All content copyright 2004, Gooroo, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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