PrestwoodBoards Knowledgebase:

  From the February 2016 Issue of Prestwood eMag
Website Owners:
Web Browser, Email, and Server Security Self Tests
Posted 2/28/2003 on 2/28/2003 and updated 7/6/2008
Take Away: Common security tasks for web browsers and web servers.


Get secure today! With the tools listed here, you can secure your computer, email, browser, and even your email and web servers in minutes! Well, actually, it may take a couple hours depending on what you're securing. However, most of the tests below just take seconds and have clear instructions on how to get secure.

General Stuff

Examine Your Current Security Settings Start here!

Use your browser to test your workstation for security vulnerabilities or go to your web server and test your web server from it's browser.

Shields Up is a FREE service that is available to everybody which checks the security of your computer's connection to the Internet by using NanoProbe Technology from Gibson Research Corporation to bring you near instant results.
The BlackCode Security Scan is an Online tool which makes an exhaustive test on your computer or firewall searching for open ports.
Basic TCP/UDP Port Scan
This is a basic TCP/UDP port scan. The TCP (full connect) scan starts first, and results are shown as ports are found. The UDP scan goes next and must complete, before any results are shown.
The maximum test duration is 60 seconds for the TCP scan and 60 seconds for the UDP scan.. Firewall software or hardware may cause the scans to exceed the time limit and be terminated.

Browser Stuff


Make sure your browser is secure.

Even if you run a firewall, keep your virus definitions updated, and don't run attachments that are e-mailed to you, you may still be at risk. Browser vulnerabilities can allow intruders into your system or allow your private data to be read just by viewing a webpage. What follows are a series of browser security tests to see whether you are vulnerable. You can either start at the beginning and run through them all, or jump to a test by using the table of contents.


Don't let unknown web sites decide what gets stored on your computer.

Cookie Pal
With Cookie Pal you can decide which cookies you want to accept or reject and Cookie Pal handles the rest for you, both transparently and efficiently. Through a feature known as "modules", it can be customized to filter most all of your software which uses cookies (not just your web browser) and now contains new options to help get around a bug in Internet Explorer 6 that could cause web pages to hang when loading. Runs on Windows 95/98/ME/XP/NT/2000

Email Stuff


Make sure your email is secure.

GFI Email Security Testing Zone
Through this test, available for free, administrators can find out whether their network is protected against emails making use of the fragmented message vulnerability.


Most email is sent using an SMTP server. SMTP servers can be configured to allow ONLY validated users or OPEN RELAY. Spammers take advantage of open relays to spam all of us. Open relay is no longer considered a best practice and is highly frowned upon.

Test Your SMTP Server at
They offer an experimental mail relay testing service. It runs in two modes: 1) Anonymous mode sends commands to the server to be tested but doesn't actually send any mail. This can report false positives, hosts that appear to be open relays but actually aren't because they reject or discard a message after appearing to accept it. 2) Registered user mode attempts to relay a message through the server to be tested. You must be a registered user, and the relayed message will be addressed to you. If you're testing a server that accepts mail for your e-mail address, can generate a temporary alias in the domain that will be forwarded to you.
Is Your SMTP Server Already Listed?
There are several organizations that "black list" SMTP servers with an open relay. Has your SMTP server been black listed? If so, you'll need to close the open relay and have it retested by each black listed site that has black listed you.

Educational Stuff


Education is the BEST defense.

Stay Safe Online - Self Help
This site plays a crucial role in protecting our national infrastructure by providing information to safeguard your computer from online attack through a FREE self guided cyber security test, combined with valuable information from an alliance of trusted business and government organizations.

(Windows applications)


Free firewall protection.

ZoneAlarmâ„¢ is the leader in PC security with its award-winning personal firewall that automatically protects from the moment it's installed with immediate and complete port blocking. It barricades your PC against hackers and data thieves, running in stealth mode to make your PC invisible on the internet and requires no special programming skills.Protect your valuable data with this easy to use, powerful and "free for personal and non-profit use" security tool that's trused by over 17,000,000 users. There is also a shareware pro version for commercial use and those who desire additional features at an affordable price. This file is updated frequently and should be downloaded from the author site to ensure that the latest copy is obtained. Runs on Windows 95/98/ME/XP/NT/2000


Ad-aware from Lavasoft
Ad-aware is a free and frequently updated multi spyware removal utility that scans your memory, registry and hard drives for known spyware and scumware components, allowing you to safely remove them from your system. Runs on Windows 95/98/ME/XP/NT/2000


Share a thought or comment...
Comment 1 of 1

IIS Web Server Basics

Because Microsoft is such a big company, it attracts the most hackers. For IIS, it is 'critical' you keep up with the updates from Microsoft. If you observe Microsoft's security suggestions and keep up with the updates, you'll provide a reasonable amount of security. After all, hackers primarily go after 'known' and 'easy' targets. Of course, if you're a bank or have known sensitive information, then 'extra' caution MUST be taken. Depending on the 'content' public and private on your servers, you may wish to consult a security specialist.

Posted 2/28/2003
KB Post Contributed By Mike Prestwood:

Mike Prestwood is a drummer, an author, and creator of the PrestwoodBoards online community. He is the President & CEO of Prestwood IT Solutions. Prestwood IT provides Coding, Website, and Computer Tech services. Mike has authored 6 computer books and over 1,200 articles. As a drummer, he maintains and has authored 3 drum books. If you have a project you wish to discuss with Mike, you can send him a private message through his PrestwoodBoards home page or call him 9AM to 4PM PST at 916-726-5675 x205.

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