Beware: Your Web browser could be a leaky bucket that, unbeknownst to you, reveals your e-mail address to every Web site that you choose to visit. What might seem like a nightmarish compromise of your privacy is apparently pretty common. To get an instant verdict about just how well your browser's privacy fares, head to something called "Privacy Analysis of Your Internet Connection". In less than a minute, this site will tell you all it is able to find out about you, just by getting inside your browser. The results can be rather frightening. The few seconds it takes to put your browser through the tests could well provide the prodding you need to download a more recent browser version (with stronger security safeguards) of either Internet Explorer (www.microsoft.com/downloads) or Netscape Communicator (http://www.netscape.com/computing/download).
For more tips on preserving your online privacy and security, read the Electronic Freedom Foundation's "Top 12 Ways To Protect Your Online Privacy", which provides a short but thorough primer with some great tips on guarding your personal details from prying eyes.
Robert McGarvey has covered the Web since 1995. Visit his Web site at www.mcgarvey.net.