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Advanced Security Options

The 11 steps outlined in the previous sections apply to every Windows user. The suggestions in this section include steps that aren’t essential but might be useful to advanced users or those with special configurations.

Configure Windows Explorer to Show All File Name Extensions

Some viruses and Trojan horse programs use a cheap trick to try to slide past a Windows user’s defenses, adding a second, innocent-looking file name extension to disguise the true executable extension. In a default Windows installation, extensions are hidden. As a result, a file with the name Letter.doc.vbs will appear to a casual user as Letter.doc. Sophisticated Windows users will have no trouble seeing through this trick, but a less experienced or distracted user might be fooled long enough to launch a dangerous file. To protect yourself, open Windows Explorer and choose Tools, Folder Options. On the View tab, clear the Hide Extensions For Known File Types check box, as shown in Figure 3-12. For a discussion of how hostile software uses multiple file name extensions to attack Windows, see “Identifying Malicious Software,” page 470.


  

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