June 11, 2005

Free Anti-Phishing Browser Bar, Online Tech Help & GoogleX

PC World's "30 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do on the Internet" contains a wide range of sites, resources, and programs that you may not have come across yet. My take on three I liked:

SpoofStick: Beat the Phishers by Revealing Spoofed Web Sites
Spoofed web sites look just like the real McCoy, right down to displaying a seemingly authentic web site domain in your browser (e.g., ebay.com). Phishers trick you (usually by e-mail) to go to a spoofed site to provide confidential information for the phisher's nefarious purposes. Help has arrived: CoreStreet offers a free download, the SpoofStick applet. It adds a toolbar for both IE 6.x and Firefox 1.x, which displays the actual domain of the site, not the spoofed address -- a nice visual indicator to fight phishing. Per the CoreStreet site, "SpoofStick contains no adware, spyware, nagware or other unhealthy additives." [Note: I haven't tried or examined this software, so as always, downloader beware.]

Free Online Tech Help
If you're having a bad tech day, perhaps the Tech Support Guy can help. It's basically a group of forums categorized by type of application or OS, and manned by volunteers. You can search them to see if someone has already solved the problem, or ask a new question. If you can't get a straight answer from the vendor's tech support, here's another resource to try. (Did I mention it's free? ;^)

Google + OS X = GoogleX
If you haven't tried Google's other online services, you're really missing out on some cool and useful stuff. Apparently, a Google researcher designed GoogleX, a version of the Google web site with a cool toolbar for Mac OS X fans. The twelve icons get you into Froogle, Google Maps, Gmail, Labs, Local, etc. Per PC World, "Originally designed by a Google researcher, the toolbar disappeared shortly after being posted on the Google Labs site (most likely due to objections by Apple), but not before some plucky Netizens saved a copy for your use." [No advice or recommendation whatsoever being given here on its use or legal status, so the decision is completely yours.]

Topic(s):   Trick or Treat  |  Web Wizardry
Posted by Jeff Beard