"Christians And The Internet" newsletter
CATI, Vol. 5 No. 6:  July  5, 2004
_______________________________________________________________

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. YOU'RE UNDER ATTACK:  "SCAMS AND SPAMS AND SPYWARE, OH MY!"
2. GEORGE WHITEFIELD: THE FIELDS ARE WHITE UNTO HARVEST!
3. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: INFORMATION ON CATI NEWSLETTER
_______________________________________________________________

The latest revision of this issue of "CATI" can be accessed
on-line at http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati95.htm.  The
Web page edition makes it especially easy to visit the links.

Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2004 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  See
the end of this issue for more information on "CATI."
_______________________________________________________________

1. YOU'RE UNDER ATTACK:  "SCAMS AND SPAMS AND SPYWARE, OH MY!"

You know about the attacks of the scams and the spams, but you
(along with most people) may not know about spyware and its
attacks (although you may think you do).

So let's start out with some sober statistics, from a recent
issue of Oxygen3, a "[d]aily e-bulletin on IT security" that
is published by Panda Software:

"- Spyware, a widespread problem -...Madrid, June 30 2004 -
Day after day, spyware(*) causes major problems in users'
computers worldwide, according to data supplied by analysts
in the software industry....  According to information
provided by Microsoft at last month's US Federal Trade
Commission workshop, spyware is responsible for more than
half of the Windows operating system failures reported to
the company. However, users seldom realize that the problem
is related to spyware.  It is estimated that 90 percent of
computers contain 30 or more spyware programs...."
  http://www.pandasoftware.com/about/press/oxygen3/oxygen.asp

In that same issue they define what they mean by spyware:

"(*) Spyware: a program that is automatically installed with
another, (usually without the user's permission and even
without the user realizing), which collects personal data
(data on Internet access, actions carried out while browsing,
pages visited, programs installed on the computer, etc.)."
  http://www.pandasoftware.com/about/press/oxygen3/oxygen.asp

Incidentally, "Oxygen3" is one of two free newsletters I get
from Panda Software.  The other is "Virus Alerts," which
provides "[i]mmediate warnings about virus and intrusions,
with advice on how to detect and eliminate them and to ensure
your data is protected."  "Oxygen3" is published daily, and
"Virus Alerts" weekly.  Here's where you can subscribe:

  http://www.pandasoftware.com/about/subscriptions/

I recommend both newsletters to you.

Before you forget, let me remind you of what you just read
a few minutes ago:

"It is estimated that 90 percent of computers contain 30 or
more spyware programs...."  That's probably _you_, though you
may not be aware of it!  When I run a spyware removal program
on someone's computer, that person is usually surprised and
amazed when the program finds dozens of pieces of spyware
on his or her machine.  All that may have been noticed is
that the computer was running a bit more slowly than before.

You might be tempted to say, "Well, my life is an open book.
It doesn't matter much to me if some software is looking
over my shoulder, watching as I browse the Web and then
'phoning home' with its observations."  That same software
could be "phoning home" with information about your credit
card numbers or passwords or the email addresses of your
friends and family.  That software came uninvited and is
invading your privacy.  You don't have to become a victim
of "identity theft" to feel violated as a results of such
intrusions.

The integrity of the (good) software installed on your
computer is at risk.  Remember this:  "According to...
Microsoft..., spyware is responsible for more than half
of the Windows operating system failures reported to the
company."  The spyware may attempt to render your anti-
virus software or firewall program ineffective (and is
sometimes successful in that attempt).  I speak from
experience when I say this, because more than once I
have had to re-install software or run System Restore
on my Windows XP computer.

Often such spyware will "highjack" the home page of your
browser, so that you are taken not to your choice of
page, but to theirs.  You may become subject to pop-up
advertisements, some of which may be pornographic.  It is
unfortunately true that - although anti-virus programs
may be very effective against viruses - they are much
less so in offering protection against spyware, Trojans,
"highjack" programs, and the like.

I hope you've become convinced that spyware can be a
serious threat concerning which you should take some
action.  Scripture does not encourage Christians to be
naive or ignorant, but rather "wise as serpents, and
harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16, KJV).

Just as even though there is nothing you can do to
make it impossible for a burglar to enter your house
at night you can still take certain precautions that
allow you to go to sleep with some peace of mind, so
it is with spyware.  In this case, the "precautions"
take a variety of forms.

Here, in no particular order, are some suggestions:

(1) Spyware almost always comes in via the Internet.
Therefore the less you are connected to the Internet,
the more you restrict the opportunities for spyware
to attack your computer.

If you have a cable modem, you are most at risk here,
since your IP address does not change (or it changes
very infrequently) and you are really a "sitting
duck" in that respect.  Disconnect yourself from
the Internet when you're not actively using it (for
Web browsing, collecting or retrieving email, etc.).
(My cable modem has a toggle switch for this very
purpose.)

Install a firewall program (Zone Alarm is a good
example, and it's free!) in order to provide further
protection against intrusion by outsiders.

And in general, when you surf the Web, try to stay
close to "safe sites," sites you trust, and try to
avoid questionable sites (even if they did show
up as the result of a Google search).

(2) If you download software (especially free
software) from the Web, be sure that it isn't
such that spyware gets installed along with it.
(Often spyware will come as an unannounced
extra with some free software that may have a
useful purpose.)  There are two ways to go about
this precaution, and there's no reason you can't
use both.

One way is to download your software only from
reputable sites that have a definite policy of
trying NOT to carry anything containing spyware.

Here's an example:

SimplyTheBest
  http://simplythebest.net/
(See http://simplythebest.net/info/spyware.html in
particular.)

(I'll probably provide additional examples in a
future issue of "CATI.")

Another way is to check lists of spyware-infected
software to make sure the program in which you are
interested does not appear on such lists.  Here
are some examples of places where you can find
lists of software that you should stay away from
(all of these sites include other helpful resources
as well):

Spyware-Guide.com
  http://www.spywareguide.com/
(See http://www.spywareguide.com/product_list_full.php
in particular.)

Counterexploitation
  http://cexx.org/
(See http://cexx.org/adware.htm in particular.)

SurferBeware
  http://spyware.surferbeware.com/
(See http://spyware.surferbeware.com/spyware-list.htm
in particular.)

OptOut (Steve Gibson)
  http://grc.com/oo/spyware.htm

Although the following sites may not contain lists of
software that contains spyware, they are also good
general resources on spyware:

SpyChecker
(Looks like a commercial site selling anti-spyware
software, but still a useful site.)
  http://www.spychecker.com/

SpywareInfo
(Also looks somewhat commercial, but recommended by
PC Magazine.)
  http://www.spywareinfo.com/

CAUTION:  There are (supposedly) anti-spyware sites
and (supposedly) anti-spyware products to be aware of
and to beware of.  The widely advertised SpywareNuker
is one such program; avoid it!  Check this helpful
site out:

SpywareWarrior
  http://www.spywarewarrior.com/
(See http://www.spywarewarrior.com/rogue_anti-spyware.htm
in particular.)

So watch out:  some "anti-spyware" is actually promoted by
spyware companies!

(3) There are, however, some anti-spyware programs that
can be recommended, and two of the best are free:

Ad-Aware
  http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/

SpyBot Search & Destroy
  http://www.safer-networking.org/

At present, Ad-Aware seems to be updated more
frequently than SpyBot, but both are good and
frequently-recommended programs.  I suggest that
you run each program at least weekly.

(I hope to say more about anti-spyware programs in
a future issue of "CATI.")

(3) If you have Windows installed on your computer,
be sure that you keep up with the Windows critical
updates.  Otherwise your operating system will have
security holes that spyware programs will try to
(and will) exploit.

Also, try to keep your browser settings set for more
protection.  (For example, you may want to have
ActiveX turned off except for sites you trust.)

Here is one site which contains an amazing amount of
helpful information about Coolwebsearch, one of the
worst examples of spyware (and one against which
I've been battling for some time):

WebHelper4u.com
  http://www.webhelper4u.com/
(See http://www.webhelper4u.com/CWS/index.html in
particular.)

Finally (at least for this issue of "CATI") the Home
PC Firewall Guide site contains a very helpful page
on Spyware:

Home PC Firewall Guide: Spyware
  http://www.firewallguide.com/spyware.htm

Check it out!
_______________________________________________________________

2. GEORGE WHITEFIELD: THE "FIELDS" WERE "WHITE" TO HARVEST!

Appropriately named, George Whitefield (1717-1770) was a
famous American evangelist (see John 4:35, "Lift up your
eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already
to harvest"), although his name is pronounced wit-field
rather than white-field.  Not only did he himself preach
outdoors, but also he persuaded another important church
figure of the time to do so as well:

"George Whitefield was a renowned preacher, considered to be
much more eloquent that John Wesley. He persuaded John Wesley
to preach in the fields."
  http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/wesley/quiz/2a.stm

Unlike John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, however,
George Whitefield was a Calvinistic Methodist.  What many
people are unaware of today is Whitefield's importance in
early Methodism:

"In contemporary accounts, he, not John Wesley, is spoken of
as the supreme figure and even as the founder of Methodism."
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Whitefield

"Whitefield was a Calvinist. He once wrote, 'God, himself,
I find, teaches my friends the doctrine of election. If I
mistake not, my dear and honored Mr. Wesley will hereafter
be convinced of it also.'  The two men were never to agree
on divine election....  They parted ways but managed, in
the end, to maintain a respect for each other....  After
Whitefield's death, John Wesley preached a memorial sermon."
  http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/wesley/quiz/2a.stm

"John Wesley preached at the memorial service which was held
for Whitefield in England. 'He had nothing gloomy in his
nature,' said John, 'being singularly cheerful, as well as
charitable and tender hearted.' It was true....  When their
disagreement had been sharpest concerning predestination
Wesley was asked if he expected to behold Whitefield on the
final Day. 'I fear not,' John had replied, 'for George will
be so much nearer the throne of grace.' It was in the
memorial sermon that John spoke most succinctly of his
friend: 'Can anything but love beget love?'"
   http://www.victorshepherd.on.ca/Heritage/whitefield.htm

Here's where you can find the entire sermon by John Wesley
"On the Death of the Rev. George Whitefield":

  http://gbgm-umc.org/umhistory/wesley/sermons/serm-053.stm

That was John Wesley.  And here is "An Elegy on the Late
Rev. George Whitefield" from Charles Wesley the same
year:

"Though long by following multitudes admired,
No party for himself he e'er desired;
His one desire to make the Saviour known,
To magnify the name of Christ alone:
If others strove who should the greatest be,
No lover of preeminence was he,
Nor envied those his Lord vouchsafed to bless,
But joyed in theirs as in his own success."
  http://snipurl.com/7jje

It is not just his role in early Methodism that gave him
an important place in Church history:

"From 22 years of age he was the foremost figure in a
religious movement that held the attention of the entire
English-speaking world, called the Great Awakening.
Perhaps only the Reformation or even the apostolic age
itself could surpass the spiritual fervor God poured out
at that time. George Whitefield preached in England,
Scotland, Wales, Gibraltar, Bermuda, and the American
colonies."
  http://snipurl.com/7jip

"Benjamin Franklin and George Whitefield were contemporaries,
and....Franklin heard Whitefield preach both in the colonies
(not the states, at that time) and in England."
  http://www.pioneernet.net/rbrannan/whitefield/bfongw.htm

Here are some interesting thoughts on George Whitefield from
Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography:
 ________________________________________
/
In 1739 arrived among us from Ireland the Reverend Mr.
Whitefield, who had made himself remarkable there as an
itinerant preacher. He was at first permitted to preach in
some of our churches; but the clergy, taking a dislike to
him, soon refused him their pulpits, and he was obliged
to preach in the fields.

The multitudes of all sects and denominations that attended
his sermons were enormous, and it was a matter of speculation
to me, who was one of the number, to observe the extraordinary
influence of his oratory on his hearers, and how much they
admired and respected him, notwithstanding his common abuse
of them, by assuring them that they were naturally half
beasts and half devils.  [That is, Whitefield proclaimed
to his hearers that they were sinners.]

It was wonderful [that is, a cause of wonder] to see the
change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. (That
is, not just "manners" in the modern sense, but more in
manner of life.]  From being thoughtless or indifferent
about religion, it seem'd as if all the world were growing
religious, so that one could not walk thro' the town in an
evening without hearing psalms sung in different families
of every street.

And it being found inconvenient to assemble in the open air,
subject to its inclemencies, the building of a house to meet
in was no sooner proposed, and persons appointed to receive
contributions, but sufficient sums were soon received to
procure the ground and erect the building.... [Franklin was
instrumental in this accomplishment, and that building
became the first building of the University of Pennsylvania,
and today there is outside the building a statue of George
Whitefield.]

Mr. Whitefield, in leaving us, went preaching all the way
through the colonies to Georgia. The settlement of that
province had lately been begun, but, instead of being made
with hardy, industrious husbandmen, accustomed to labor,
the only people fit for such an enterprise, it was with
families of broken shop-keepers and other insolvent
debtors, many of indolent and idle habits, taken out of
the jails, who, being set down in the woods, unqualified
for clearing land, and unable to endure the hardships of a
new settlement, perished in numbers, leaving many helpless
children unprovided for.

The sight of their miserable situation inspired the
benevolent heart of Mr. Whitefield with the idea of
building an Orphan House there, in which they might be
supported and educated. Returning northward, he preached
up this charity, and made large collections, for his
eloquence had a wonderful power over the hearts and
purses of his hearers, of which I myself was an
instance....

[A]s Georgia was then destitute of materials and workmen,
and it was proposed to send them from Philadelphia at a
great expense, I thought it would have been better to have
built the house here, and brought the children to it. This
I advised; but he was resolute in his first project,
rejected my counsel, and I therefore refused to contribute.

I happened soon after to attend one of his sermons, in the
course of which I perceived he intended to finish with a
collection, and I silently resolved he should get nothing
from me, I had in my pocket a handful of copper money,
three or four silver dollars, and five pistoles [Spanish
gold coins used in the American colonies] in gold.  As he
proceeded I began to soften, and concluded to give the
coppers. Another stroke of his oratory made me ashamed
of that, and determined me to give the silver; and he
finished so admirably, that I emptied my pocket wholly
into the collector's dish, gold and all.

...I who was intimately acquainted with him (being employed
in printing his Sermons and Journals, etc.), never had the
least suspicion of his integrity, but am to this day
decidedly of opinion that he was in all his conduct a
perfectly honest man, and methinks my testimony in his
favour ought to have the more weight, as we had no religious
connection. He used, indeed, sometimes to pray for my
conversion, but never had the satisfaction of believing
that his prayers were heard. Ours was a mere civil
friendship, sincere on both sides, and lasted to his death.

... Upon one of his arrivals from England at Boston, he wrote
to me that he should come soon to Philadelphia, but knew not
where he could lodge when there....  My answer was, “You
know my house; if you can make shift with its scanty
accommodations, you will be most heartily welcome.” He
replied, that if I made that kind offer for Christ's sake,
I should not miss of a reward. And I returned, “Don't let me
be mistaken; it was not for Christ's sake, but for your
sake.”...

He had a loud and clear voice, and articulated his words
and sentences so perfectly, that he might be heard and
understood at a great distance, especially as his
auditories [i.e., hearers], however numerous, observed
the most exact silence....

By hearing him often, I came to distinguish easily between
sermons newly composed, and those which he had often
preached in the course of his travels. His delivery of
the latter was so improved by frequent repetitions that
every accent, every emphasis, every modulation of voice,
was so perfectly well turned and well placed, that,
without being interested in the subject, one could not
help being pleased with the discourse; a pleasure of much
the same kind with that received from an excellent piece
of music....

  http://www.pioneernet.net/rbrannan/whitefield/bfongw.htm
\________________________________________

"Whitefield was an astounding preacher from the beginning,
and within a year it was said that 'his voice startled
England like a trumpet blast.' At a time when London had
a population of less than 700,000, he could hold spellbound
20,000 people at a time....  For thirty-four years his
preaching resounded throughout England and America.

"He was a firm Calvinist in his theology, yet unrivalled
as an aggressive evangelist. Though he was slender in
build, he stormed in the pulpit as if he were a giant.

"Though a clergyman of the Church of England, he...had a
profound impact on people and churches of many traditions
—-Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists....  [A]long
with the Wesleys, [he] inspired the movement that became
known as the Methodists. In his preaching ministry he
crossed the Atlantic thirteen times....

"A century later, the great Baptist preacher, C.H. Spurgeon
wrote of Whitefield, 'Often as I have read his life, I am
conscious of distinct quickening whenever I turn to it. He
lived. Other men seemed to be only half-alive; but
Whitefield was all life, fire, wing, force. My own model,
if I may have such a thing in due subordination to my Lord,
is George Whitefield; but with unequal footsteps must I
follow in his glorious track.'

"Whitefield preached more than 18,000 sermons in his
lifetime, an average of 500 a year, or ten a week....
Fewer than 90 of them have survived in any form."

  http://www.anglicanlibrary.org/whitefield/

Fortunately, of the 70 that survive, 59 of them can be
found on-line:

Selected Sermons of George Whitefield (59 sermons)
  http://www.ccel.org/ccel/whitefield/sermons.html
    or
  http://www.ccel.org/w/whitefield/sermons/htm/TOC.htm
    or
  http://snipurl.com/7jip
    or
  http://www.pioneernet.net/rbrannan/whitefield/contents.htm
    or
  http://www.reformed.org/documents/Whitefield.html

You may also want to read George Whitefield's open letter
to John Wesley concerning their differences in theology:

  http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/wesley.htm
    or
  http://reformednet.org/refnet/lib/docs/reply.htm

If you would like to read more about George Whitefield, the
best biography is that by Arnold Dallimore:

  http://store.yahoo.com/discerning/georwhitunvo.html

You'll also find many helpful resources on the Web:

Brown, Dave.  The Essential George Whitefield.
*You'll find lots of good links here!*
  http://snipurl.com/7jjz

George Whitefield Homepage
*You'll find lots of good links here!*
  http://snipurl.com/7jje

Murray, Iain.  Whitefield and Wesley
  http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/wesley/murray.htm

Ravenhill, Leonard.  George Whitefield: Portrait of
    a Revival Preacher
  http://www.ravenhill.org/whitefield.htm

Ryle, J.C.  Estimation of Whitefield's Ministry.
  http://www.iserv.net/~mrbill/ecl/ecl-gw02.html

Ryle, J.C.  George Whitefield & His Ministry.
  http://www.iserv.net/~mrbill/ecl/ecl-gw01.html

Shepherd, Victor.  George Whitefield.
  http://snipurl.com/7jk3

Threshold: George Whitefield 1714-1770.
*You'll find lots of good links here!*
  http://snipurl.com/7jk0

Wheatley, Phillis.  On the Death of George Whitefield.
Here is one of the best-known poems of an early but
great African-American poet (c. 1753-1784).
  http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/wesley/quiz/2a.stm

The fields are still white to harvest.  We could use
today another George Whitefield!
_______________________________________________________________

3. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: INFORMATION ON CATI NEWSLETTER

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Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2004 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.
_______________________________________________________________