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How to make sure you won't lose all Internet access on Monday

Published: Thursday, July 5 2012 11:28 a.m. MDT

FILE - This undated handout image provided by The DNS Changer Working Group (DCWG) shows the webpage resulting from not having the DNS malware. It will only take a few clicks of the mouse. But for hundreds of thousands of computer users, those clicks could mean the difference between staying online and losing their connections. Tens of thousands of Americans may still lose their Internet service Monday July 9, 2012 unless they do a quick check of their computers for malware that could have taken over their machines more than a year ago.

DNC Changer Working Group, FILE , Associated Press

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Will Oremus posted this ditty on Slate today:

If you want to make sure you'll still be able to use the Internet when you wake up Monday morning, go to the DNS Changer Working Group website right now, click "Detect," and follow the instructions from there.

That's the website of the DCWG, set up by court order to fix a bunch of servers that had been taken over by an Estonian crime ring. The ring, which was busted last November, had been using the servers to redirect millions of Internet users to rogue websites when they tried to visit normal websites. The FBI took over the servers and cleaned them up, but it doesn't particularly want to be in the business of running DNS servers permanently — so it's shutting them down on July 9.

The date has been dubbed "Internet Doomsday" because everyone still using those servers will lose pretty much all access to the Web once the FBI takes them down. The name is a little hyperbolic, given that only a few hundred thousand people are still on the servers. Still, it's probably best to make sure you aren't one of them.

Read more about How to make sure you won't lose all Internet access on Monday on Slate.

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