Net privacy not guaranteed for those who break the law

April 18, 1999


FBI agents arrested a North Carolina man recently in connection with a fraudulent Internet news report that caused his employer's stock price to skyrocket.

Gary Dale Hoke, 25 was arrested at his home in Raleigh after government cybersleuths traced the fake news report to his Internet provider's account.

Hoke probably thought, as many of us do, that using false names and information to sign up for free e-mail and Web space accounts would give him the anonymity he needed to avoid detection.

He was wrong.

Hoke tried to cover his tracks before creating the fake Web page that falsely stated his company was the target of a corporate takeover. It's believed to be the first stock manipulation scheme employing a fraudulent Web site.

He used the free Web-based e-mail service to establish an e-mail identity, and then used that e-mail address to sign up for a free Web page service.

Hoke posted a message on a Yahoo message board, announcing the alleged buyout, with a link to his fake Web page. The false page was created to look like one from the Bloomberg financial news Web site.

But investigators were able to trace his steps on the Web, and eventually traced his accounts back to him, allowing for his arrest.

You may not know it, but the rest of us law-abiding Web surfers often reveal information to Web sites without even knowing it.

If you want to know what your Web browser may be revealing to Web sites, you might want to visit a Web site called Browser Spy.

Browser Spy does just that -- it lets you see what info others can see by accessing your Web browser. For example, Browser Spy detected I was using Windows 98, Netscape Communicator 4.51 and most importantly for someone tracking my whereabouts -- the IP (Internet Protocol) address and hostname, both of which are like a digital footprint.

You would be surprised to learn what information can turn up through your Web browser, but for most folks there's no reason for concern. Check out Browser Spy at to learn more about it.

HAVING IT ALL. If your family includes an infant son or daughter, then you have been faced with this question: Should Mom work after the baby is born?

Two-income families have become the norm since the mid 1980s. With new car prices soaring beyond the cost of my first home, sometimes two incomes doesnt' seem like nearly enough.

However, there is a renaissance of source among moms, a return to the mom-stays-at-home way of thinking that has more and more women re-thinking their need to stay in the workforce.

The New Homemaker is a Web site devoted to mothers who decide that working full-time at a job and trying to manage a family isn't "having it all."

These women are putting their families first, and adjusting their lifestyles to make it happen.

The New Homemaker (TNH) Web site is a wonderful companion for those who want to "have it all" -- and stay at home with the children.

The site's creators know that new stay-at-home moms may need advice and new skills, and the site offers more than moral support.

The main article in this month's "Cleaning" section of the Web site is subtitled "How to get your family to help out without resorting to gunfire."

Other parts of the site cover crafts and decorating, family health news, caring for elderly family members, kitchen tips and recipes, parenting info, tips for being thrifty, and the importance of volunteerism.

You'll even find online forum and message boards, and you can sign up to be on The New Homemaker mailing list.

It's all great information, written by women for women.

Visit The New Homemaker online at

Comments and questions about this column may be sent to, or visit on the World Wide Web.

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