The President's Message

February 2004

David Harris

Practice Safe Hex

This is a comprehensive computing term meaning be careful on the Internet, especially with e-mail and while browsing. This includes never responding in any way (including "remove me" requests) to mail from spammers, and instantly deleting any spam e-mail. This also includes never opening any e-mail of suspicious origin, or with suspicious attachments.

This especially means be very suspicious of e-mail attachments from acquaintances, as new viruses spread rapidly, often infecting computers faster than the antivirus publishers can post updates.

Other forms of "safe hex" include killing spyware (, free at Spybot Search and Destroy, and using a firewall to keep intruders out of your computer. Outpost, and ZoneAlarm are available free for personal use.

There is absolutely no reason not to have current antivirus software installed. Price can not be an issue, because there are still several freeware titles available. AVG, and AVAST. Recently Microsoft and Computer Associates (CA), announced that for a limited time the $50 CA antivirus and firewall suite can be downloaded for-free (for personal use) from and includes a year of daily updates.