You can help keep yourself safe from hackers by learning the possible risks of Internet use and taking action. Here are some helpful tips on protection and clean up.
First, find out whether your problem is real.
You might have received a virus hoax—a false warning about a computer virus. Typically, the warning arrives in an email or is distributed through a company's internal network. If you get such a message, you can check it out on sites that track hoaxes. Visit Snopes.com or Vmyths.com.
Note: Frontier will never send you an email message asking you confirm your email address or password. If you receive a message like that, it is not from Frontier. Delete it.
Spammers often send unwanted messages to lists of email addresses. These addresses are often collected without your knowledge. Here are some of the ways spammers gather email addresses:
- Mailing Lists — Many people sign up for mailing lists for newsletters, news alerts, coupons, special offers, and other interests. However, spammers can also sign up for these mailing lists and obtain the email addresses.
- Usenet Posting —Spammers use bots to cruise newsgroups on Usenet and collect email addresses.
- Coincidence — Your email address may be unique to your internet provider, but it may also be used by several other people. Spammers use the front part of email addresses and change the ending to create a list of possible email addresses to target.
- Dictionary Attacks — Spammers make educated guesses on email addresses by stringing together common names and words.
Spyware, adware and malware can lead to anything from computer crashes to identity theft. These threats are growing fast. They are a major security and privacy risk. Bad programs can enter a system through web browsing, unauthorized software downloads, peer-to-peer file swapping, email attachments, instant messaging, chat sessions, bundles with legitimate software, hacker website downloads, and "drive-by" installs from websites.
Here are warning signs that you may have spyware on your computer:
- New toolbars, links or favorites appear in your web browser
- Your home page or browser has changed
- You enter a web address but land on a completely different website
- You see pop-up ads even when you're not online
- Your computer is running much slower
Prevent Spam and Phishing
There are actions that you can take against spam or junk mail:
- If the unwanted email message says "click here to be removed from this list," you can decide to click it. That may work, but it also tells the sender they've reached a real email address. They may send you a lot more junk mail.
- If you are a Frontier High-Speed Internet subscriber, consider installing Frontier Multi-Device Security. Our security suite contains anti-spam, anti-virus and anti-spyware components. For information on Frontier Secure security software, please visit https://frontier.com/shop/frontier-secure.
- You can mark an email message in your inbox as Junk or Spam, and even prevent future spam from arriving. See the Handle Spam in My Email section at the bottom of this article.
Prevent Malware and Spyware
Some anti-spyware programs can be risky. Find out which ones to avoid at www.spywarewarrior.com.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your computer and data is to keep your system software up to date. For example, Windows Update can make sure your Microsoft operating system is protected from the latest security threats.
Run Windows Update and download all available critical updates at least once a week. Better yet, configure Windows Update to run automatically.
Important Note: Frontier is not responsible for installing Windows Update on your computer, or any issues your computer may encounter after running a Windows Update.
Anti-virus protection detects and removes viral threats. Anti-spyware software stops other threats that can hide on your computer and cause damage. Frontier Secure® Computer Security combines anti-virus and anti-spyware tools, detecting and removing a wide range of viruses and spyware threats.
Download Clean-up Tools
Viruses can access your computer through an "Open Proxy". A proxy server is a go-between computer that connects your computer and a main computer. It can store information and filter downloads from the internet or the network you're linked to.
An Open Proxy lets your computer connect with virtually any computer. This leaves you open to a virus or worm that can damage or destroy your computer. It also leave you vulnerable to spyware that can access your personal information. If you don't know whether proxy software is installed on your computer, be sure to perform updates to your anti-virus and anti-spyware software regularly.
Frontier Secure® Computer Security has both anti-virus and anti-spyware products.
Computer Security helps you:
- detect viruses, worms or Trojans on your computer
- protect your computer from viruses and spyware
- run live updates and update virus definition files
- remove viruses, worms or Trojans
We will help you with your infected computer that has Computer Security, anti-virus, and anti-spyware installed. Please note: If you are not using or are unable to use Computer Security, anti-virus, and anti-spyware, Frontier is not responsible for the foregoing assistance unless you have purchased a service through Frontier Secure. We strongly recommend that you install and maintain virus protection software and run and install all critical operating system updates.
If you are not a Frontier High-Speed Internet customer or, if for any reason you are not using or are unable to use Computer Security, anti-virus, and anti-spyware, your best defense against viruses is to make sure you have a current version of anti-virus and anti-spyware software installed and enabled. If your computer becomes infected and must be cleaned, there are several anti-virus and anti-spyware companies and their websites (listed below) offer instructions on how to remove viruses from your system.
- Symantec Security Response
- McAfee Virus Information
- Trend Micro Security Information
Handle Spam in My Email
If you downloaded spam through a desktop email program (such as Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Mac Mail, etc.):
- Go to webmail.frontier.com and log in with your email address and password.
- If you find a message you believe is spam, select the message.
- Then select Spam from the upper left side.
- Select the action that works best for you for messages like this.
Email Virus Scanning
Frontier automatically scans your email for viruses using the latest software. There is no charge for this service.
If you receive an email with a virus, the email will be returned to the sender along with a "bounce" message containing the following information:
- The fact that a virus has been found.
- The name of the virus.
- Advice on what to do about the virus.
- That the message in question will not be delivered to the intended recipient.
If the message contains a virus that is known to fake or forge the return email address, the message will not be returned to the sender; it will be deleted from our servers.
Frontier restricts and blocks known ports that in the past have allowed for the transfer of spam, viruses, and other malware. The ports are:
25, 135, 137, 138, 139, 445, and 1025
Port 25 restriction will take place on all dynamically assigned blocks, which would include Business Class High-Speed Internet customers when they are using dial-up access.
Blocking on TCP/UDP ports 135, 137, 138, 139, 445, and 1025 has been implemented for Residential and Business Dial-up customers, and Residential High-Speed Internet customers. Business Class High-Speed Internet customers will not be affected by TCP/UDP blocking unless they are using dial-up access.
No blocks will be placed on Business Class High-Speed Internet, Symmetric High-Speed Internet and FrontierNet Direct (T1 or larger) customers.
See below for an explanation of TCP and UDP ports.
TCP and UDP ports allow specific communications between computers, applications and programs.
A port is how a program, computer, application communicates with each other using TCP or UDP.
The ports are broken down into three categories:
- Well Known Ports: Range from 0 through 1023 and are assigned by the IANA (Internet Assigned Number Authority). These are the most commonly used ports.
- Registered Ports: Range from 1024 through 49151 and are listed by the IANA. These ports can be used through normal user processes or executable programs on most computers.
- Dynamic and/or Private Ports: Range from 49152 through 65535.
For a complete list of all the TCP/UDP ports please visit Iana Port numbers.
Why do we do this?
- To protect our customers: We can protect against certain common worms and from dangerous services on our customers' computers that could allow intruders to gain access.
- To protect our upstream bandwidth: If customers overuse their upstream bandwidth by running high-traffic servers or becoming infected with a worm or virus, it can degrade the service of other customers on that node.
- To protect the rest of the Internet: Some blocks prevent our customers from attacking other computers on the Internet. In addition to being in our best interest for protecting our bandwidth, it is our responsibility to prevent abuse of our network.
Below is a table showing common applications that use the ports that will be restricted or blocked.
|Port, Name, Protocol||Description|
|25 (only restricted, not blocked)
smtp (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)
|SMTP sends email from one mail server to another.|
dcom-scm (DCOM Service Control Manager)
|Microsoft's DCOM (Distributed, i.e. networked, COM) Service Control Manager (also known as the RPC Endpoint Mapper) runs on your computer, opens port 135 and listens for incoming requests from clients wishing to locate the ports where DCOM services can be found on your machine.|
netbios-ns (NetBIOS Name Service)
|UDP NetBIOS name query packets are sent to this port, usually on Windows machines but also on any other system running Samba (SMB), to ask the receiving machine to disclose and return its current set of NetBIOS names.|
netbios-dgm (NETBIOS Datagram Service
|UDP NetBIOS datagrams packets are exchanged over this port, usually on Windows machines but also on any other system running Samba (SMB). These UDP NetBIOS datagrams support non-connection oriented file sharing activities.|
netbios-ssn (NETBIOS Session Service)
|TCP NetBIOS connections are made over this port, usually on Windows machines but also on any other system running Samba (SMB). These TCP connections form "NetBIOS sessions" to support connection oriented file sharing activities.|
microsoft-ds (Microsoft Directory Services)
|This port replaces the Windows NetBIOS trio (ports 137–139), for all versions of Windows after NT, as the preferred port for carrying Windows file sharing and many other services.|
blackjack (network blackjack)
|Microsoft operating systems tend to allocate one or more unsuspected, publicly exposed services among the first handful of ports immediately above the end of the service port range (1024+).|
The "Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing" (CAN-SPAM) Act took effect in the United States in January 2004. It does not make spam illegal, but places restrictions on what bulk mail senders can do. If spammers comply, they can send their unsolicited emails. The CAN-SPAM Act does not apply to email sent from outside of the U.S., even though other countries around the world have some measures in place.