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PC Pest Control: Protect Your Computers from Malicious Internet Invaders Paperback – July 1, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0596009267 ISBN-10: 0596009267 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596009267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596009267
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,938,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Preston Gralla, the author of more than 30 books, including Internet Annoyances and Windows XP Hacks, is also a freelance journalist and columnist. He has written for major national newspapers and magazines, including PC Magazine, Computerworld, the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News (where he was the technology columnist), USA Today, and several others. A well-known technology expert, Preston has also appeared on many TV and radio programs and networks, including CNN, MSNBC, and NPR. In addition, he's won a number of awards for his writing, including Best Feature in a Computer Magazine from the Computer Press Association. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
Laid out in a very easy to follow and easy to read format, Gralla walks the reader through various topics.
Christopher Byrne
For instance, whenever the spyware software CoolWebSearch is mentioned, it's followed by "may well be the most reviled piece of spyware in existence".
Thomas Duff
With this book you will be able to look at your task list to see if and how your machine has been compromised.
Jack D. Herrington

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
Since I live and breathe computer stuff, I'm pretty much up to speed on how aware someone needs to be when it comes to PC security. But every once in awhile, I'm forced to look at a PC through the eyes of someone who really doesn't understand what's going on... like my father... But there's finally a book I could give a typical user to allow them to sort through the nasty world of personal PC security... PC Pest Control by Preston Gralla.


Overall Protection: Your PC Is Not Your Own; Where You're Vulnerable; Pest Prevention and Monitoring; Killing Pests

Fighting Specific Pests: Throw Internet Explorer Out the Window; Adware, Spyware, and Home Page Hijackers; Viruses, Trojans, and Bots; Email, Worms, and Instant Messaging; Spam, Spam, and Spam; Protecting Your Identity and Kids Online; Wireless and Home Networking Dangers

Appendix: A Field Guide To Pests

Gralla has written a book that approaches PC security at a level that can be understood by nearly anyone that uses a computer. Terms such as "spyware" and "bots" will no longer be something that causes your Uncle Joe to scratch his head in total confusion. There's a clear explanation of the different security risks, what they do, how to tell if you have that problem, how to fix the issue, and how to monitor and prevent the problem in the future. There are also references to a number of additional software packages that can be downloaded (free and for purchase) to fill the security gaps that are inherent on Windows systems. Spending $25 on this book will pay for itself immediately when you learn what anti-virus and anti-spyware software is and how you need to have it running on your system. To me, it's second nature. To Uncle Joe, it's a complete unknown.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jack D. Herrington on August 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
For me this book was as scary as it was informative. The book taught me just how many different types of threats there were out there, and provided mechanisms for dealing with them. But it's up to me to do the work to get them implemented. No book can fix that. And certainly this book gave me a sense of priorities, which I appreciate. Since many security books treat unlikely threats with the same intensity as the most common threats.

Down to business. The book mainly covers Windows, which is so full of holes that it needs this trim 250 page book to cover it all. The different types of threats are covered in detail. Specifics are provided on bots, viruses, trojans and the rest. With this book you will be able to look at your task list to see if and how your machine has been compromised.

Easily one of the best books I have seen on Windows user-level security that covers real modern threats.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
If there is one thing that is truly pandemic within the PC computer environment it is the various forms of pests. Whether it is SPAM, viruses, worms, pop-ups, page hijacking, adware, spyware, cookies, malicious scripts, phishing, or any number of other problems the one thing for certain is that it is all out there waiting to take advantage of you. This book examines these and other pests and provides both an excellent explanation of what they are and how they work as well as steps to be taken to try to avoid them. The author actually does an excellent job of explaining the various threats, common signs of infection, and how to remove them. He even includes a list of common file names used by pests. While this is all good information for the person who wants a basic understanding of what is going on and how it is accomplished it does not deal with some of the truly malicious pests that even pest removal software does not remove. For example, there are some now that cannot be removed even by entering the registry in safe mode and trying to remove the key. I've had some where I've had to boot to Linux, mount the drive, remove the key and then boot back into Windows. These particularly tenacious ones are not covered in this text and as such it cannot be recommended for the true computer geek who does this for a living or as a computer network administrator. On the other hand, it is perfectly suited for the home user who has some of the common problems and wants to both fix them and do all they can to prevent being reinfected. It contains one of the better discussions of pests for the average user that I have come across. The book is written for the average reader and contains no real technical terms. PC Pest Control is recommended for the average user who wants to become informed about PC Pests or who wants to resolve some of the more common problems.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dan McKinnon VINE VOICE on September 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
"PC Pest Control" is an outstanding look at the common problems that computer users will face on a daily basis. Preston Gralla writes in a concise, clear manner that will benefit anyone from the most novice of user to the most experienced (while the focus is on novice to amateur, this is a nice overview that will help reinforce the old pros).

The author looks at the most common problems users will face, broken up into the following topics:

IM Annoyances
Identity Theft
Wireless Signal/Data Theft

Mr. Gralla not only provides the history and background on how these threats came to be, but he goes into thorough detail about what everyday users can do to make their computer experience as "pest free" as possible through the use of:

Anti-virus programs
Anti-spyware programs
Stronger e-mail filters/applications
Recommendations for how to protect from Identity Theft
Locking down MAC/IP addresses to limit wireless theft

This is just a quick overview of what this fantastic book provides. For anyone that wants to learn more about what problems users will face on a daily basis by going online (or just sharing data), the author goes into exceptional detail and you will be hard-pressed to not find this manual instantly useful.

I highly recommend this book for anyone that wants to tighten down their own computers or their own computer behavior and I honestly think it's a steal at the price that this book goes for, considering how dense the material is inside.

You won't be disappointed!!!

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