"Christians and the Internet" newsletter
CATI, Vol. 1, No. 6:  February 11, 2000.
Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2000 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  For
permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact
Barry Traver at cati@traver.org.  Permission is hereby granted,
however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1)
no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety.

To subscribe, write to cati@traver.org, including "Subscribe to
CATI" in the Subject line and including in the body your real
name and the email address to which you wish CATI sent.  (To be
removed from the emailing list, also write to cati@traver.org,
but include "Remove from CATI List" in the Subject line.)
_______________________________________________________________
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. WHY IS "CATI" PRONOUNCED "KATY"?
2. FAMILY-SAFE INTERNET:  PARENTAL CONTROL SOFTWARE
3. VIRUS PROTECTION:  CRISPEN'S SIX ANTIVIRUS RULES
4. NEW!:  CATI ARCHIVES AT HTTP://TRAVER.ORG/CATI
5. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION FOR THIS NEWSLETTER
________________________________________________________________
1. WHY IS "CATI" PRONOUNCED "KATY"?
As you know, this is the sixth issue of a free newsletter
devoted to "Christians And The Internet" ("CATI," pronounced
"Katy," but spelled with a "C" and an "I" for "Christians" and
the "Internet").  I've probably mentioned that enough times to
make the comment tedious and/or irritating.
At any rate, I received the following interesting email message
from a CATI non-subscriber:
"> "CATI" is pronounced "Katy"
Indeed!  By whom?  Who made you the authority on whether and
how we should pronounce acronyms?  Are the rest of us so dull
and ignorant that we cannot decide such things for ourselves?
Why must we regard acronyms as words at all?"
Well, I'm not sure that I have satisfactory answers to those
thought-provoking questions, but I did appreciate receiving the
note, and I thought that perhaps CATI readers might enjoy (as
an interesting bit of "Traver trivia") knowing a little bit
more about why "CATI" is pronounced "KATY."
Who decided that "CATI" should be pronounced Katy?  The obvious 
answer is that I did, and just as any person has the right to
determine the "correct" pronunciation of something belonging to
him or her (such as his or her name), so also I'm the one to
whom the "Christians And The Internet" newsletter "belongs"
(even though the newsletter is intended for the benefit of
others) and thus presumably I have some rights in stating the
"proper" pronunciation.
Acronyms are useful "shorthand" names that all of us use at
times to save time.  It's easier and more convenient to say
"CATI" than to say "Christians And The Internet" newsletter.  
My suggestion of an acronym (as well as an appropriate
pronunciation) is intended -- as the newsletter itself -- not
only for my benefit and ease of use, but also for the benefit
and ease of use of subscribers.
Why "KATY"?  Well, for one thing, somehow "KATY" seems to
sound better than "CATTY" (which is something that I hope the
newsletter is not!).
There is another reason for the choice of "Katy."  Even though 
I am a Presbyterian, I have a great appreciation for the
Protestant Reformer Martin Luther.  One way this shows itself
is the choice of name for my Web site:  "Traver Table Talk"
(the phrase "Table Talk" was used by Martin Luther before it
was used by the present-day Presbyterian R.C. Sproul for his
own publication).
"Katy" was the name of Luther's wife (Luther spoke of her
affectionately at times as "Kitty, my rib," referring to
Genesis 2:21).  My wife and I have one son, whom we named
after another Protestant Reformer, John Calvin.  If we had
had a daughter, she would have probably been named "Katy"
(actually Katherine Idelette), but since we didn't, I gave
the name "Katy" to the newsletter (since the newsletter is
a child of mine, so to speak).
People are free, of course, to ignore both the acronym and the
suggested pronunciation.  That's your personal choice and one
to which you have a perfect right.  But now you know the
personal reasons for my giving the newsletter a personal name,
just as I hope that this newsletter -- devoted to "Christians
And The Internet" -- will be a personal publication, since I
believe in a Personal God who created people (some of whom
are CATI readers) not as nameless entities but as individual
persons with a name and personal identity.
                                        -- Barry Traver, Editor  
________________________________________________________________
2. FAMILY-SAFE INTERNET:  PARENTAL CONTROL SOFTWARE
The Internet can be a valuable source of materials for the
family, but it can also be a source of pornography or other
objectionable material.  True, in that way the Internet may
not be that much different from your local newsstand or public
library, but this important question presents itself:  what
can parents do to make the Internet safe for the family?
There are at least two approaches that can be taken to help
avoid what is inappropriate while still gaining benefit from
what is good and wholesome:  (1) to use parental control
software (the subject of this article) and/or (2) to use an
Internet Service Provider ("ISP") that filters out unwanted
content (a subject planned for a future article).
The May 4, 1999 issue of the newsstand edition of PC Magazine
contains a helpful article by Michael E. Ryan and Jennifer
Triverio entitled "Net Guards" on parental control products.
Here's how it starts: 
"How do you monitor and control what your child sees while
surfing the Internet when you are not around?  Web filtering
software can help, protecting kids from sexually explicit Web
pages and other questionable material flooding the Internet."
Although it is not obvious from that paragraph, there is an
important and useful distinction that should be recognized
between "filtering" and "monitoring."  "Filtering" involves
preventing your children from visiting certain sites, where
"monitoring" may merely mean checking up to see where they've
been (without necessarily preventing them from going there). 
That distinction is important, because some parental control
software is primarily oriented toward "monitoring," whereas
other parental control software is primarily oriented toward
"filtering."  You need to decide what you want to do and then
choose the best software for that task.
Getting back to that article by Ryan and Triverio, we find
them continuing as follows: 
"For this roundup, we tested eight popular Web filtering
packages to see how well they filtered out sexually explicit
Internet content and other objectionable material such as
drug-related information, hate propaganda, and content
advocating violence. We tested these packages on a group of
bookmarked test sites and newsgroups and on a series of Web
searches on Excite, HotBot, and Yahoo!"
Then they make this important comment: 
"None of these packages are foolproof, and it still must be
noted that parental supervisors offer the best level of
protection against adult material circulating on the Net."
The products tested for this article were Cyber Patrol, Cyber
Sentinel, Cyber Snoop, CYBERsitter 99, Net Nanny, SOS KidProof,
SurfWatch, and WebChaperone.
Cyber Patrol is the authors' recommendation:  "... if you are
willing to invest the time, you will be rewarded with the most
comprehensive filtering of any of the products we tested." 
Although strong on filtering, Cyber Patrol is not strong on
monitoring:  "Cyber Patrol doesn't have a monitoring feature, so
you won't be able to see whether your child is trying to access
'bad' sites."   (For monitoring, the authors recommend Cyber
Snoop.)  So you have to decide what approach you want to take
and choose your software accordingly. 
Where do you go to obtain parental control software?  Many
products can be downloaded directly from the Internet, and the
choices are plentiful.
For example, at TUCOWS you can download and try out any of the
following:  Cyber Patrol, CYBERsitter 99, ENUFF pc, FamilyCAM,
Kid Control, Net Nanny, Prudence (demo only), PureSight,
Spector, WatchDog, We-Blocker, Webroot's WinGuardian, and 
WizGuard (now known as GuardOne).
Here's the main starting point for TUCOWS (for "The Ultimate
Collection Of Winsock Software," Winsock meaning essentially
Internet-related, although I won't attempt to explain why):
     http://www.tucows.com/
At that page, click on your operating system (e.g., Windows 3.x
or Windows 95/98), and on the next page choose a region (e.g.,
United States) and click on "Continue."  Finally, click on a
site that is geographically nearby (for easier downloading),
and when you get there click on "Parental Control" in the
"Security" section.  If all that is too much for you, you can
simply jump to the appropriate page on the Pennsylvania site I
normally use:
  http://epix.tucows.com/parent95.html (for Windows 95/98)    
  http://epix.tucows.com/parentnt.html (for Windows NT)
  http://epix.tucows.com/win2k/parent2k.html (for Windows 2000)
(Or, if you're running Windows 3.x, you'll have to go to this
page:  http://win3x.tucows.com/parent.html .)
On the TUCOWS page, you'll not only be able to download
shareware ("try before you buy" software) and demo versions,
but also be able to jump to the home pages for the companies
that make these products available, in order to obtain more
information.
Another convenient place where you can go to download parental
control software is this page at Dave Central:
  http://www.davecentral.com/kidsafe.html
(Choose "Next Page" at the bottom of the page to get to the
second page.)
At Dave Central you can download AOK, Cyber Patrol, Cyber
Snoop, CYBERsitter, File Nanny, Hexabit Junior, Kid Control,
Kidnet Explorer, KidSafe Explorer, MoM, Net Nanny, OnlineNanny,
Surfin' Annette!, WebChaperone, WinGuard, and ZeekSafe.
Or you can go directly to the related Web sites of the companies
involved:
CrossingGuard
 http://www.crosswalk.com/crossingguard/
Cyber Patrol
 http://www.cyberpatrol.com/dyn_hm.htm
Cyber Sentinel (not available at TUCOWS)
 http://www.securitysoft.com/
Cyber Snoop (not available at TUCOWS)
 http://www.pearlsw.com/
CYBERsitter 99
 http://www.cybersitter.com/
ENUFF pc
 http://www.akrontech.com/
FamilyCAM
 http://www.silverstone.net/
GuardOne (formerly WizGuard)
 http://www.guardone.com/
Kid Control
 http://www.kidcontrol.com/
Net Nanny
 http://www.netnanny.com/
Prudence
 http://www.bluewolfnet.com/
PureSight
 http://www.puresight.net/
SOS KidProof (not available at TUCOWS)
 http://www.soskidproof.com/
Spector
 http://www.spectorsoft.com/
SurfWatch (not available at TUCOWS)
 http://www1.surfwatch.com/
WatchDog
 http://www.sarna.net/watchdog/index.shtml
We-Blocker
 http://www.we-blocker.com/
Webroot's WebGuardian
 http://www.webroot.com/
X-Stop
 http://www.xstop.com/
(The preceding list of products is not exhaustive, but it might
be exhausting for anyone who might attempt to check out all of
the choices!)
Bottom line:  The people I've talked with seem to agree that
Cyber Patrol is the monitoring software they prefer.  (That's
not a scientific survey -- it's just a small sampling of the
people I know who have tried parental control software.)  It
does take a little effort to learn how to use it, but if you
are looking for filtering software, you may want to look at
Cyber Patrol first.  Here, again, is their home page:
     http://www.cyberpatrol.com/dyn_hm.htm
And if you're interested in reading still more about parental
control software, here are some other sources of information:
Internet Filter Software Chart
  http://www.safekids.com/filters.htm
    or
  http://www.microweb.com/pepsite/Software/filters.html
[information about 58 products in chart form!]
Parental Control, WorldVillage
  http://www.worldvillage.com/wv/school/html/control.htm
[one-paragraph descriptions of -- and links to -- over 50 of
the options available!]
Security -- Parental Control, PolderWare:
  http://www.polderware.com/apps/sec-ptct.shtml
[information about Arlington BrowserShield, Cyber Patrol,
Cyber Surveillance, CYBERsitter 99, Kidnet Explorer, KidSafe
Explorer, MoM, Net Lizard K-12 Homework Helper, Net Nanny, PC
Spy, PureSight, SurfWatch, WatchDog, We-Blocker, WinGuardian,
and ZeekSafe]
Site-Blocking Software, Smart Computing in Plain English
  http://www.smartcomputing.com/
[after you get there, search for articles on "parental control
software" and then choose the March 1999 article entitled
"Site-Blocking Software," which includes discussion of Cyber
Patrol, Cyber Sentinel, CYBERsitter 99, Cyber Snoop, Net
Nanny, SurfWatch, and X-Stop] 
Tools for Families, GetNetWise
  http://www.getnetwise.org/tools/
[a great place to search for the tools that have the specific
features you desire]
By the way, if you've had experience yourself with parental
control software, feel free to send me your own comments at
cati@traver.org.  You may have helpful advice that I may be
able to pass along to other CATI readers.
________________________________________________________________
3. VIRUS PROTECTION:  CRISPEN'S SIX ANTIVIRUS RULES
Most email virus warnings (such as the "'It Takes Guts to Say
"Jesus"' Virus" warning) are hoaxes.  On that subject, consult
CATI, 1/2/3 (which translates to Vol. 1, No. 2, Sec. 3), which
also, however, indicates that genuine viruses do exist.
Even though the average person is unlikely to come across a
real computer virus (unless, say, you have a son in college, as
I did, who brought one or two home with him when he came home
from college), you may want to consider putting into practice
some basic rules related to guarding yourself against computer
viruses.
One of the best common-sense set of guidelines I've seen was
published in a free email Internet newsletter, the Internet
TOURBUS, by Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen, who are "Net gurus"
who "explain Internet technology in plain English, with a dash
of humor."  Here's where you'll find their home page:
  http://www.tourbus.com/
If you're interested in possibly subscribing to this twice
weekly publication, you'll find information there on how to
do so.
The December 14, 1999 issue included a discussion of "Crispen's
*Six* Antivirus Rules" (an expansion of his five rules which
"in light of the recent Bubbleboy and WormExploreZip virus
outbreaks" he "decided to re-rewrite ... on how to protect
yourself from computer viruses, Trojan horses, or worms").       
For the full details, you'll have to consult the original
article, which you'll find in the TOURBUS archives:
  http://www.tourbus.com/archives.htm
 
(The issue you're after is "14 DEC 1999," which includes an
article on the Elf Bowling warning hoax as well as Crispen's
Six Antivirus Rules.)
Here, in his own words, are the rules, along with my own
comments:
"1. PURCHASE A GOOD, COMMERCIAL ANTIVIRUS PROGRAM LIKE NORTON
 ANTIVIRUS OR MCAFEE VIRUSSCAN."
Here are some places where you can find information on various
antivirus programs as well as download antivirus programs or
program demos:
Dave Central Windows Software Archive:
  http://www.davecentral.com/virus.html
Stroud's CWSApps:
  http://cws.internet.com/virus.html
TUCOWS (one possible site of many):
  http://epix.tucows.com/virus95.html
Norton and McAfee are "tried and true," so you should be happy
with either (although many other programs are also fine).
"2. UPDATE YOUR VIRUS DEFINITIONS FREQUENTLY (AT LEAST ONCE A
 WEEK)."
"Once a week" sounds rather frequent to me, but it's so easy to
update your virus definitions while online that it isn't really
as much of a task as it might at first appear.
"3. NEVER DOUBLE-CLICK (OR LAUNCH) *ANY* FILE, ESPECIALLY AN
 EMAIL ATTACHMENT, REGARDLESS OF WHO THE FILE IS FROM, UNTIL
 YOU FIRST SCAN THAT FILE WITH YOUR ANTIVIRUS PROGRAM."
It doesn't take long to scan a file for a possible virus (once
you learn how to do it).  A friend may unknowingly pass along
a file containing a computer virus (in fact, that is probably
the most likely way you would get a computer virus), so it is
"better to be safe than to be sorry."
"4. TURN ON MACRO VIRUS PROTECTION IN MICROSOFT WORD, AND
 BEWARE OF ALL WORD MACROS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT
 MACROS ARE.
As Crispen points out, the dreaded Melissa virus was actually
a Microsoft Word macro virus.  Here's how to avoid it:  "If
you use Word 97, go to Tools --> Options.  Click on the
'General' tab.  Make sure that 'Macro virus protection' (at
the bottom of the list) is checked."  If you use Word 2000,
here's the sequence:  "Tools," "Macro," "Security," and be
sure that you are set for high or medium security.
"5. RUN WINDOWS UPDATE AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH."
According to Crispen, "Windows is aptly named because it is
full of holes....  When the folks at Microsoft discover a
security hole, they immediately release a software patch to
close it."  If you're running Windows 95 or Windows 98, you
can check out the details in his article, but it basically
involves clicking on "Start" and "Settings" and going on
from there to "Windows Update" (or maybe "Active Desktop"
to "Update Now"?).
"6. IF SOMEONE UNEXPECTEDLY SENDS YOU AN EXECUTABLE FILE -- IN
 OTHER WORDS, A FILE THAT ENDS IN .EXE -- THROW IT OUT.
The key word here is "unexpectedly."  A virus may attach itself
to a friend's email software so that he may send you a file
that is virus-infected without his even knowing that he did
so.  When you get an executable file, don't immediately run it
to see what it does:  check it our first (and if it came out of
nowhere, you may want to delete it).
Is it worthwhile for you to follow these rules?  You'll have to
decide for yourself.  Consider carefully, however, these words
from Patrick Crispen:
"How well will these six rules protect your computer from
becoming infected with a virus, Trojan horse, or worm?  Take a
look at the following questions, and decide for yourself.  How
many people whose computers were infected with the Melissa
virus ignored at least one of these rules?  ALL OF THEM!  How
many people who followed these six rules had their computers
infected by Melissa?  NONE OF THEM!  How many people whose
computers were infected with the WormExplore.Zip virus ignored
at least one of these rules?  ALL OF THEM!  How many people who
followed these six rules had their computers infected by the
WormExplore.Zip virus?  NONE OF THEM!"
We live in a fallen world, where -- sad to say -- some people
use their God-given intelligence and creativity to invent ways
to infect and perhaps seriously damage your computer.  It's
part of the reality of what theologians sometimes call "total
depravity," the sinfulness of man.  Thus -- in order to
protect ourselves -- we need to be "wise as serpents" as well
as "innocent as doves" (Matthew 10:16).  Crispen's six rules
may help us to protect our computers and ourselves.
________________________________________________________________
4. NEW!:  CATI ARCHIVES AT HTTP://TRAVER.ORG/CATI
Depending on what program you are using to read your email, you
may find it easy to visit the Web pages mentioned in each issue.
Have you tried double-clicking on a Web address to see what
happens?  If you have not yet tried it, try it now.  Double
click on the following Web page address:
     http://traver.org/cati
If all goes well, that should load your Web browser and take you
to a brand-new place where you can access past issues of the
"Christians And The Internet" ("CATI") newsletter!
If it works, that should work for any other Web address in CATI
as well.  If it doesn't work, then you may find it easier to
read your issues of CATI online using your Web browser rather
than your email reader.  That way, when you want to visit a
site mentioned in CATI, all you have to do is click on the
related hyperlink, and you're on your way!  (To return to CATI,
simply click on the "Back" button on your Web browser.)
Note that the CATI archives are all hyperlinked, article by
article.  Just click on the title of an article you want to
read, and you'll be taken directly to that specific article.
Also, note that there is a page providing a "partial index"
to the contents of CATI, making it easier to find a previous
article on a specific topic.
Here are the topics included thus far (for the previous five
issues of CATI):
America Online (AOL)
Christian Web Sites
Computer Magazines
Editorial Comments
Email Etiquette
Email Hoaxes
Email Uses
Encarta Encyclopedia 2000
Family-Safe Internet
MP3 Files
Trinity Hymnal
Webrings, Christian and Otherwise
(As the name suggests, the "archives" include past issues of
CATI and not the present issue, because it takes some time
to convert it properly into HTML.)
Yes, "it's not a pretty site" (I'm talking about what you'll
find at http://traver.org/cati ), but I'm hoping that it is
one that will be useful to you.  Enjoy!
________________________________________________________________
5. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION FOR THIS NEWSLETTER 
This is the sixth issue of a free newsletter devoted to
"Christians And The Internet" ("CATI," pronounced "Katy,"
but spelled with a "C" and an "I" for "Christians" and the 
"Internet").  If you are not yet a subscriber and would like 
to become one, send an appropriate note to cati@traver.org.
Privacy policy:  The information in the "Christians And The 
Internet" mailing list will NOT be sold, rented, or given to
others.  (Let them make their own lists! <grin>)
________________________________________________________________
Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2000 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  For
permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact
Barry Traver at cati@traver.org.  Permission is hereby granted,
however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1)
no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety.

To subscribe, write to cati@traver.org, including "Subscribe to
CATI" in the Subject line and including in the body your real
name and the email address to which you wish CATI sent.  (To be
removed from the emailing list, also write to cati@traver.org,
but include "Remove from CATI List" in the Subject line.)