Security: Referrer

Written by Richard Lowe

If you are a webmaster, you will find that one ofrepparttar most valuable things you can use isrepparttar 132102 referrer. Onrepparttar 132103 other hand, if you are a surfer, you may want to disable this feature as it can be a security risk and a violation of your privacy.

What is this referrer thingie? Well, all web servers haverepparttar 132104 capability to create log files and virtually all web masters (at least those who know what they are doing) use these logs to determine how their web site is doing. The log files contain one line for each hit torepparttar 132105 web site. The format and contents ofrepparttar 132106 line vary from server to server (and webmasters can specify they want more or less information), but in general it has an incredible amount of information about that one hit.

Some ofrepparttar 132107 information gathered for each hit to a web site includes (among other things):

- The requested file (for example, index.html) - A status code indicating success or error (404 errors, for example) - The browser type being used byrepparttar 132108 surfer (this isrepparttar 132109 agent name, and it can also berepparttar 132110 name of a search engine spider or a spam harvester). - The screen resolution ofrepparttar 132111 surfer's monitor - The date and time (locally torepparttar 132112 server) ofrepparttar 132113 hit - The TCP/IP address ofrepparttar 132114 surfer (yes, every web page that you have ever looked at has your TCP/IP recorded in a web server log file somewhere). - The URL whererepparttar 132115 surfer came from

It's this last statistic that causes some concern. Oh, there is a minor issue in that your TCP/IP address is stored inrepparttar 132116 server logs when you access a page, but this is not very important. You see, these logs do not tend to last very long as they get very large extremely quickly. Many (if not most) web sites purge these as soon as statistics are gathered. Conceivably, of course, this could be of concern if an investigation were performed ... and these logs are looked at by webmasters for hacking attempts.

No,repparttar 132117 important information isrepparttar 132118 referrer field. Why? Well, first there isrepparttar 132119 privacy question. If a webmaster knew your TCP/IP address (and he would have to know your address specifically, since this isrepparttar 132120 only thing relating you torepparttar 132121 line inrepparttar 132122 log file - there is no name or email address stored there) he could get an idea of what you looked at before you came to his site. Thus, there is a remote chance that your privacy could be compromised ... a very remote chance since this is virtually never done by any webmaster.

The second, and very critical problem is a real security risk. You see, many websites allow you to log into their sites to personalize your experience. These sites allow you to enter personal data such as credit card information, social security numbers and other items into their database. Generally cookies are used to identify you as you move from page to page throughrepparttar 132123 web site. Cookies are by farrepparttar 132124 best and preferred way to do this - it's called maintaining context. However, cookies are frowned upon my many surfers for various reasons (mostly blown out of proportion fears created by a press that feels it needs dangers and bad news to stay competitive).

Backing Up Your Stuff Part 7: Where Is It #3?

Written by Richard Lowe

These items are all stored byrepparttar operating system in your system folder. On Windows 95, 98 and ME, this is generally called "WINDOWS", while on Windows 2000 and NT it is usually called either "WINNT" or "WINNT40" or something to that effect.

When you install your operating system you can actually changerepparttar 132100 name of your system folder (that'srepparttar 132101 WINNT or Windows folder) as well asrepparttar 132102 boot drive. If you did either of these things, just substituterepparttar 132103 appropriate information.


Depending upon which version of Windows you are running and where you installedrepparttar 132104 operating system, your fonts could be in a number of different places. Assuming you tookrepparttar 132105 defaults when your system was created (or it was created for you), you will find fonts inrepparttar 132106 following places:

Windows 2000, NT - C:WINNTFonts

Windows 95, 98 and ME - C:WindowsFonts

If you still cannot find your fonts, all is not lost. Userepparttar 132107 "search" function form your "Start" menu and look for a folder called "fonts".


Believe it or not, wallpapers are stored directly in your systems folder. They always have a file type of ".BMP", which means they are large. If you want to save your wallpapers, just back up everything with a ".BMP" file type.


These things are a little more complicated, since they usually require more than one file. These are stored inrepparttar 132108 system folder, and they can also be found in different subfolders, including "system32" and "system".

There is almost always a file with a file type of ".SCR", and often there are ".DLL" files as well. There may be additional files (and they may be in additional subfolders) depending uponrepparttar 132109 screen saver.

How do you know what to back up? It's not easy, and my recommendation is to saverepparttar 132110 original files (usually ".EXE" and ".ZIP" files) in a different directory. There is simply no telling whatrepparttar 132111 screen saver installation has created (it could even create registry keys!)

Internet Explorer Cookies

You don't really need to know where Internet Explorer saves it's cookies, since you can make a backup of them fromrepparttar 132112 browser whenever you want. To do so, selectrepparttar 132113 "Import and export" option fromrepparttar 132114 "File" menu.

Internet Explorer Favorites

To save your favorites, just choose "Import and export" option fromrepparttar 132115 "File" menu. The wizard will guide you throughrepparttar 132116 process.

Putting It All Together

All right, you've purchased some hardware, say an writeable CD drive, and you've got some software, let's say you purchase Second Copy. You also know whererepparttar 132117 computer puts things. Now what?

Okay, what you need to do is organizerepparttar 132118 heck out of your system. What I've done is allocate a whole physical drive to my stuff. This way I know exactly where my files are ... and keeping them separate fromrepparttar 132119 applications and operating system files means my stuff does not get mixed up with anyone else's stuff.

If you cannot afford another hard disk drive, or if you just don't want to bother, you can create a separate partition on your system disk. Note that you can only do this on a new drive (a new system perhaps) or you will have to completely back up and restore your drive. Unless you are starting from scratch with a new system or a new disk, this option is usually not worthrepparttar 132120 trouble.

The other thing you can do (and what most people do) is simply to create a folder for your stuff. You could call it "My Stuff" or you could give it a name (like your own name, for example) or whatever else you want.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use