Monday, December 1, 2008

Don't Be Afraid To Click!

I recently purchased a Wi-Fi Internet radio. I decided on the Sangean WFR-20. If you're not familiar with Intenet radio, the concept is simple. The radio is tied, via the intenet, to a central database called This web site collects more than 15,000 radio stations from around the world and places their streaming links in one area where your radio, once registered, can access them all. There's no need to have your computer turned on. Just turn on your radio and dial in the destination ( you do need a broadband connection and wireless router). One moment you can be listening to your local AM broadcaster, the next you can hear a station as far away as the Falkland Islands! It really is amazing! All stations come in crystal clear with absolutely no interference, fade, or distortion. It's like having the ultimate shortwave radio! And the Sangean WFR-20, in my humble opinion, is the best Wi-Fi radio around. This is the one to get! It's featured packed, looks great in any decor, sets up in minutes, sounds great, and is a real pleasure to use. Since getting this radio, my television sits silently in the corner.

The reason I mention all this is because of what I heard just the other night on Virgin Radio (now called Absolute Radio) out of the United Kingdom . I was listening to the Iain Lee Show and he mentioned to a listener that he NEVER clicks on any links he receives via email. Now, I can't say that I blame him. I'm pretty cautious as well when it comes to links emailed to me. There can be a lot of nasty things out there which cold wreak havoc with your Windows system! (Ah, but I run Linux. More on this in a bit).

I've taken a couple of precautionary steps that I'd like to share with you.

First, if I don't recognize the sender, I don't click the link. It's that simple. Why invite trouble?

Second, I run the Firefox browser. Firefox is open source and thus built, maintained, and supported by a community of hundreds of thousands of users. If anything bad is out there lurking on the web, chances are much better that many of the thousands who've developed Firefox will find a fix much sooner than the dozen or so employees working on troubleshooting IE at the home offices of Microsoft. In short, Firefox is more secure.

"An independent study shows that, in 2006, IE users were vulnerable to online threats 78% of the time. Firefox users? Only 2%."

In addition, Firefox also has thousands of Add-Ons which can be plugged into the browser to help enhance and secure your web surfing experience. I use one called Interclue. Inteclue allows you to preview a web page in a pop up window before visting the site.

"Interclue is the ultimate hyperlink multitool. Small icons appear on mouseover to warn you about dead links, Malware or Phishing Sites, etc, and for any valid links Interclue provides compact link previews, relevant extra information and useful next action buttons."

And lastly, I run Linux. Linux is immune to Windows viruses, Trojans, and malware. So even if I do accidentally click on a link I probably shouldn't have, because I run Firefox and Linux, I'm a heckuva lot more secure than Windows.

so Iain Lee,if you're reading this, do yourself a favor and get Linux and Firefox! Then you won't be afraid to click! (BTW, Iain, if you want, contact me and I'll point you in the right direction to get Linux...and a Sangean WFR-20.)

Get Linux.

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