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By Preston Gralla

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Extra info for Complete Idiot's Guide to Protecting Yourself Online

Sample text

Routing things this way makes sure that the packets get to their destination, even if routers along the route crash (or in the case of World War III, in case they're blown to smithereens). Routers constantly check which routers are live and which are dead. So if one router goes down, it simply sends the packet to another router. Now the packets all start arriving at their destination. TCP takes over again. The receiving computer uses TCP to look inside each packet. Because each packet can take a different route to get to its final destination, they can arrive out of order.

And they can do more than look at them. They can reassemble them, which means they can look at what information people send to each other. They can get information about your IP address and the receiving IP address. And hackers aren't the only problem. Even Web sites on the up-and-up can get information about you. This means that you have to assume that unless you or a Web site has taken measures to protect yourselves, whatever information you send over the Internet can be read and used by someone else.

In Part 5, ''Protecting Yourself in Chat Areas and Usenet Newsgroups,'' you see the dangers posed by chatting and joining public discussions—and what you can do to make sure that you're never a victim. Personal profiles can be built about you based on what you say online, and in this section, you learn how to make sure you're never profiled. Part 6, "Protecting Your Children and Family Online," covers the very serious issue of how to keep your children safe when they surf the Web, chat, send or receive email, or do anything else on the Internet or online services.

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