# Sunday, 17 September 2006

The following story goes to show that you shouldn’t trust your data to anyone but yourself. I recently helped my parents out with some computer related issues as I’ve done many times before. The difference this time was that I needed to contact one of my buddies using Messenger, all well and good but I accidentally saved my credentials. A couple of weeks later my contacts start disappearing leaving me baffled. My first clue was an e-mail from my mother who couldn’t understand why contacts she never even added had shown up in her list; naturally she decided to delete them. Bye bye to my contacts, personal, business, everything.

How to get them back? I know that Messenger caches the contacts list and updates at startup so naturally every machine I use Messenger on would have a backup of my list. Unfortunately there is no way to export the list without being online, being online retrieves the now much shortened list from the main server leaving me with nothing to export, you get the picture. Chicken, egg?

Firewalls to the rescue. Fortunately Symantec Client Security includes a handy dandy firewall which lets you control each an every connection a program initiates. Having installed the software on a machine which hadn’t run Messenger a while I was able to allow only those connections which logged me onto the service and deny the ones trying to do a contact list update. Voila! Online without getting my contact list updated. From there it was a simple matter of exporting the list and re-importing it on my main machine.

Am I glad I know just a wee bit of how to work a computer. My mother may even get a Christmas present this year after all

Saturday, 07 October 2006 20:27:04 (Romance Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)

Which port(s) did you close
Pls. send the complete firewall rule set changes you used

Thanks in advance
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