December 20, 2000

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How To Download, Install, & Configure Netscape 6.0 -- Safely!

Article Index

Page 1
Introduction &Overview
Sections 1: Rationale
Page 2
Upgrade v. Clean Install
Security & Privacy
Page 3
Security & Privacy
Page 4
Section 2: Tutorial
A: Downloading NS 6
Page 5
Downloading NS 6
Page 6
B: Installing Netscape 6.0
Page 7
Installing Netscape
Page 8
Installing Netscape
Page 9
Installing Netscape
Page 10
Installing Netscape
Page 11
Installing Netscape
Page 12
C: Configuring Preferences
Page 13
Configuring Preferences
Page 14
Configuring Preferences
Page 15
Configuring Preferences
Page 16
Configuring Preferences
Page 17
Configuring Preferences
Page 18
Configuring Preferences
Page 19
Configuring Preferences
Page 20
Wrapping Up & Starting Netscap
Page 21
Resources & Links

- page 3 -

However, it is the default preference settings that leave NS6 users wide-open to individual privacy and system security violations. Once the user has a chance to change these settings Derrick Mains' statement that users have lots of control over privacy and security settings is on target. Nevertheless, the default security and privacy preferences should be set for high-security -- not low security as they are in NS6.

It also is correct that cookies are not inherently dangerous. It is how the cookies can be used, and the information that cookies can provide, that is the problem.

If you follow Netscape/AOL's preferred paths to downloading NS6, you will be herded into an on-line software installation. That on-line installation is very easy and convenient to use.

However, your system security and personal privacy can be compromised by any on-line software installation. We generally recommend that you take the extra time and effort to install software off-line in order to reduce privacy and security risks. Moreover, where the only way to obtain and install software is via on-line installation, we recommend that you just refuse to do that and forget about installing that software.

Chris Nalls also points out that Netscape 6 is available in more ways than on-line installation. Nalls adds: This is a standard install method, used by most of the major software companies (Microsoft, Apple, etc.) and has not, to my knowledge, been used as the basis of a security or privacy exploit.

Nevertheless, we specifically and strongly recommend that you download the entire NS6 installation file and install NS6 locally and off-line. There are just too many ways that your privacy and system security can be compromised via any on-line software installations.

To avoid the on-line installation, download the full, entire NS6 program file (30-MBs for Linux and 25-MBs for Windows) and then physically disconnect your computer from the Internet. Next run the NS6 installation while off-line and disconnected from the Internet. Please see Section 2 below and also the Resources Section at the end of this article for detailed downloading instructions and links.

Before you reconnect to the Internet and go back on-line, run NS6 while still off-line and still disconnected from the Internet. Here's why.

Netscape/AOL has set the default NS6 preferences to leave you wide open security-wise and privacy-wise. For example the default preference are set to Accept all cookies and to enable JavaScript for mail and news. Moreover, Netscape/AOL has set NS6 to take you immediately to its Web site while your shields still are down if you install NS6 online and start NS6 for the first time while on-line

For some interesting information about cookies, smart downloading, and Netscape, please see Privacy Suit Targets Netscape by Chris Oakes and 'Cookiegate' Alarms Watchdogs. You will find links to Privacy Suit Targets Netscape and 'Cookiegate' Alarms Watchdogs in the Resources Section at the end of this tutorial. There also are links there to the Electronic Privacy Information Center and The Privacy Foundation -- very informative Web sites about computer privacy issues.

continue to page 4


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