Get Rid of Spyware and Spam

Help keep yourself safe from hackers. Learn the risks of Internet use and how to take action. Here are some helpful tips on protection and clean-up.

First, find out whether someone's trying to take advantage of you.

The email you received may be a virus hoax—a false warning about a computer virus. If you get a message like this, check it out on sites that track hoaxes. Visit or

Note: Frontier will never send you an email message asking you confirm your email address or password. If you receive a message that says it's from Frontier, and it asks for your private information, it's not from us. Delete it.

Spammers send unwanted emails to lists of addresses. They can collect your email address without you knowing it. Here are some of the ways spammers get your email address:

  • Mailing Lists — Lots of people sign up for online newsletters, alerts, coupons, special offers, and more. Spammers sign up for these mailing lists and steal the email addresses.
  • Usenet Posting —Spammers use bots to gather email addresses from newsgroups on Usenet.
  • Coincidence — Your email address may be very similar to that of several other people. Spammers use the part of your email address before the @ and change the ending to create a list of possible email addresses.
  • Dictionary Attacks — Spammers can guess your email address by stringing together common names and words.

Viruses come in many forms. Spyware, adware and malware can crash your computer or steal your identity. These threats are growing fast. They are a major security and privacy risk.

These bad programs can enter your computer through your web browser. Or they may download without your permission. Other risks include:

  • Peer-to-peer file swapping
  • Email attachments
  • Instant messaging
  • Chat sessions
  • Bundles that come 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

Here's how you can fight spam or junk mail:

  1. If the email says "click here to be removed from this list," and you think it's from an unreliable source, don't click it. Mark the message as Junk or Spam in your email software.
  2. If you're 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

Prevent Malware and Spyware

Some anti-spyware programs can be risky. Make sure to research any security software before installing.

Always keep your system software up to date. Set your computer to receive these updates automatically. Each update help protect you from the latest security threats.

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.

Prevent Viruses

Anti-virus software finds and removes threats. Anti-spyware software stops other threats that can hide on your computer and cause damage. Frontier Secure® Computer Security combines these two. Anti-virus and anti-spyware tools find and remove a wide range of viruses and spyware threats.

Download Clean-up Tools

Viruses can sneak into your computer through an "Open Proxy." A proxy server is a go-between that connects your computer and a main computer. A proxy server stores information and filters downloads from the internet or the network you're linked to.

But an Open Proxy doesn't give you that protection. It leaves you open to a virus or worm that can damage or destroy your computer. It also leaves you vulnerable to spyware that can access your personal information.

Don't know if you have proxy software? Be sure to update your anti-virus and anti-spyware software often.

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

If you have Computer Security, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software installed and get infected, we'll help you. Please note: If you're not using these Frontier products, we can't help you unless you buy a Frontier Secure service.

It's very important that you install virus protection software and keep it updated. Also download and install all critical operating system updates.

Stay safe online with Frontier Secure® Services:

Handle Spam in My Email

If you downloaded spam through a desktop email program (such as Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Mac Mail, etc.):

  1. Go to and log in with your email address and password.
  2. Select (but don't open) any message you think is spam.
  3. Click Spam on the upper left side.
  4. Choose the action that works best for you.

Email Virus Scanning

Frontier automatically scans your email for viruses using the latest software. There is no charge for this service.

If someone tries to send you an email with a virus, we return the email to the sender with a "bounce" message that includes:

  1. The fact that we found a virus.
  2. The name of the virus.
  3. Advice on what to do about the virus.
  4. That we will not deliver the message to the intended recipient.

If we know the virus is faking or forging the return address, we do not give the sender the information above. We delete the message from our servers.

Port Blocking

Frontier restricts and blocks ports that are known to allow the transfer of spam, viruses, and other malware. The ports are:

25, 135, 137, 138, 139, 445, and 1025

Port 25 restriction takes place on all dynamically assigned blocks. That includes Business Class High-Speed Internet customers when they are using dial-up access.

We block TCP/UDP ports 135, 137, 138, 139, 445, and 1025 for:

  • Residential Dial-up customers
  • Business Dial-up customers
  • Residential High-Speed Internet customers

TCP/UDP blocking affects Business Class High-Speed Internet customers only when they use dial-up access.

We do not place blocks 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 lets programs, computers, and applications communicate with each other using TCP or UDP.

There are three categories of ports:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 you against worms and dangerous services that can access your computer.
  • To protect our upstream bandwidth from worms or viruses that can slow down other customers.
  • To protect the rest of the internet. Some blocks prevent our customers from attacking other computers. This is in our best interest, and it's our responsibility to prevent abuse of our network.

The table below shows common applications that use the ports we restrict or block.

Port, Name, Protocol Description
25 (only restricted, not blocked)
smtp (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)
SMTP sends email from one mail server to another.
135 (blocked)
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. It opens port 135 and listens for incoming requests from clients that want to find the ports where DCOM services run on your computer.
137 (blocked)
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). These packets ask the receiving computer for its current set of NetBIOS names.
138 (blocked)
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.
139 (blocked)
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.
445 (blocked)
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.
1025 (blocked)
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+).

A law called 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 it 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.

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