Although I’ve been involved with computers since the 70s and have been “living online” (where I met my husband, Tom Shinder, in 1994) for well over a decade, until recently I resisted the blogging trend. Too much to do, too little time. I wasn’t convinced it was the best format for disseminating professional information, and the last thing I needed was another addictive time-waster, a la Internet chat and some mailing lists with which I’ve carried on love-hate relationships over the years.

Obviously (based on the fact that you’re reading this), I’ve changed – or at least opened – my mind. In part, that’s because of the many professional blogs on the site.

I intend to post here at least weekly. Although I’ll address all sorts of issues related to Microsoft networking, networking in general, and technology as a whole, I expect to focus on Windows security issues and especially the growing subcategory of “home LAN security.” More and more users are setting up sophisticated home networks that rival those of many businesses, going way beyond the typical two or three computer peer-to-peer network to implement Windows domains, edge (rather than host-based) firewalls, their own Web and FTP servers, and server products such as SQL, SPS and the like usually thought of only in connection with business networks. Many of those users are not sure what they need in terms of security.

The blog will consist of personal experiences, links to articles, reviews of security-related books, articles and events and random thoughts about the evolution of network security.

Who am I? Setting the philosophical implications of the question aside, it’s always good to know a little bit about the person who’s writing what you’re reading. I’m a former police officer and college criminal justice instructor/computer hobbyist turned professional IT consultant, author and speaker. I’m married to a former neurologist/computer hobbyist turned (you guessed it) professional IT consultant, author and speaker. We did the mid-life career change shuffle together in the mid-90s, earned our MCSEs, started our business, and created a new, technology-centric life. I’ve written two books on my own, Scene of the Cybercrime (published by Syngress Publishing) and Computer Networking Essentials (published by Cisco Press). I’ve co-authored, contributed to and/or edited over twenty more books, published hundreds of articles and whitepapers, done contract product documentation and marketing material for Microsoft and other software companies, spoken at conferences such as BlackHat U.S.A., and edited several technology newsletters. I currently edit WinXPNews at If you want to know even more about me, see my Web sites at and

I look forward to sharing a few insights and, I hope, helping a few readers make their networks more secure in these high-risk times. Thanks for reading!

9 thoughts on “Introduction”

  1. Hi,

    As a fellow internet user, congratulations on your MVP award. I am pleased that you provide insights into the technology wonders/obstacles facing all of us.

    As I too have followed the Microsoft install/upgrade reinstall scenarios of many. I can only say thank you for providing a forum for LAN security. Wishing you safe network connections. 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing your hard work and knowledge. I don’t have alot of time to be an expert so it’s good to know where to find one.

    P.S. I like the title block. I’ll be back it’s time to get the show on the road.

  3. Congrats on your MVP award. I can’t even remember how I got onto your WinXP newsletter listserve, but it is one of the few email newsletters that I read diligently. I think your tone, depth, structure, user feedback loop and even fun stuff at the end is all superb. In fact, I put out a quarterly newsletter on the Microsoft UK Server business to local press and analysts and when first putting it together I pointed our PR agency at your newsletter as a model of quality and approach that ours should aspire to (though no product plugs and less technical drill down in ours). Great to see that you are bringing that insight to the hyper-dynamic world of blogs.

  4. I’m so glad I found you again. I had read your winxp news and months ago, our mail marshall started blocking the newsletters altogether.

    Believe me, I will be back to diligently reading up every week! Thanks for all your help and congratulations.

  5. Thank you for being a source of knowledge for the rest of us still in the "hobbyist" stage. I build and configure systems, created my own media center from my pc before the was a "media center", and have set up my own home (wireless) network, which I am still experimenting with. I look foward to the information you present in your email, and now to the information I am sure will be here. Keep up the great work!

  6. Deb,

    I remember back when you were such a big help on the Saluki list, way back in the day… This is well deserved, and I hope that you were able to make it up to the MVP weekend in Redmond.


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