This site contains links to numerous pages on the Web where home users can find software and information relevant to Windows PC privacy and security. It also contains a rudimentary "checklist" of basic steps that home PC users can take to enhance their privacy and security while using the Internet. Finally, you'll find a set of resources developed by the author of this site to help you protect your privacy and security on the Internet, including information about Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) and the Gnu Privacy Guard (GPG).
This web site was originally designed to assist students who took my
B&TW classes in Programs in Professional Writing (Dept. of English) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It was first intended for the students in B&TW 263 F1 (Business and Technical Writing) during the Spring of 2001. It was also used by several B&TW 250 classes and a B&TW 261 class over the past few semesters. It was last used by the students who took B&TW 263 C during the Spring of 2002.
In all of those classes the students wrote a "how to" guide for home users of "Wintel" PC's who want to take basic steps to protect their privacy and security while using the Internet. The students in each class were divided into five groups to cover five topic areas:
Note that the five web pages above were written as topic introductions for my class during the Spring of 2002. Those pages have not been updated since, and the information found on them about applications and threats is, thus, not up-to-date. The final written product that each group turned in averaged between 40-60 pages.
The course description for that B&TW topic read:
- "In this class we will produce a 'how to' guide for users of home PC's who are interested in protecting their privacy and security while using the Internet. Students will learn to write technical documents for users with little technical experience. Students will also gain valuable knowledge about safely using desktop computers both at home and in the workplace. We will learn and write about such things as banner ads, cookies, web bugs, data encryption, 'spyware,' viruses and worms, trojan horses, and personal firewalls. While students with a high degree of PC knowledge and proficiency are encouraged to enroll, technical knowledge of PC hardware or software is not required or even assumed. This class is for those who wish to educate themselves about an increasingly important aspect of Internet usage, as well as those who are technically savvy and who seek to tailor their writing skills to audiences that do not share the same level of technical competence."
In January 2006, the web site was moved to SpywareWarrior.com after I left the University of Illinois and became Director of Malware Research at the Sunbelt Software.
Please note that this web site is not and was not connected in any way with the University of Illinois' several well-known computer programs and organizations, including the Dept. of Computer Science, CITES, and the NCSA, even when the site was located at the University of Illinois. You can find many other computer privacy and security resources at the University of Illinois -- see THIS page for a list of links.
Background & Bio
I am currently Director of Malware Research at Sunbelt Software.
Prior to joining Sunbelt I was a graduate student in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For twelve years I taught business and technical writing at the University of Illinois. During 2004-2005 I taught a course in GSLIS
in the Information Age." For three years I also taught composition courses at Parkland Community College in Champaign.
Over the past five years I have maintained a personal web site -- first at at the University of Illinois; now at Spyware Warrior.com -- to supply internet users with resources to protect their privacy and security on the internet. Among those resources are several utilities and "block lists" that allow users of Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser to protect themselves against the flood of unwanted software and content pushed on them by aggressive advertising and marketing entities.
In June 2004 I began collaborating with Suzi of
SpywareWarrior.com to create and
maintain a number of pages with information on anti-spyware applications,
including the "Rogue/Suspect
Anti-Spyware List." I attended the FTC's Spyware Workshop
(April 2004) and was a panelist at the CNET AntiSpyware Workshop (May 2005) as well as the AntiSpyware Coalition Workshop (Feb. 2006).
In recognition of my work to help internet users protect their privacy and security, Microsoft awarded me its MVP (Most Valued Professional) Award (http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/).
Full disclosure: from late November 2004 to December 2005 I performed part-time consulting work as an independent contractor for Sunbelt Software, makers of CounterSpy. In January 2006 I became a full time employee of Sunbelt Software. Because of that relationship and the conflict of interest that it represents, I must recuse myself from public comment on CounterSpy. That means that I cannot and will not publicly evaluate, test, or even recommend Sunbelt's anti-spyware product. The anti-spyware products that I do recommend, all of which are competitors to CounterSpy, are listed here.