You’re sitting at your computer and all of a sudden a message pops up. You really should download this or that piece of software. Verify this or that information. Click to pick up your prize. While any of these could be completely harmless, chances are high that somewhere out there, hackers and malfeasant operators are out to get you. Well, between spamming and scamming and phishing they’re out to get your computer. The Symantec people believe there were 240 million malware attacks last year. About 300,000 web sites have infected pages. It is a “known fact,” that a canine in your yard reduces the possibility of an attack on your house. But could the same thing work for your computer? The people at Bluecoat Systems want you to know that they have a K9 for your computer – it’s just not a dog. At a glance K9 seems to be more about protecting kids from objectionable content whereas grownups may not find such content so objectionable. But it also has web filtering features that detect malware. They note that in August 2009 there were 56,000 (possibly unlicensed) phishing attacks. K9 at Blue Coat Systems is the watchdog, so to speak, always checking out the sites you’re visiting. Not good for those with secret surfing lives. When a clicked website doesn’t appear in K9’s database, the information goes in real time to the Blue Coat Labs where it is analyzed and categorized – presumably by people wearing blue lab coats. Not. If it’s a phishing site, it’s blocked. And lest you believe this takes time and will slow down your computer, the Blue Coat folks say it all happens in 250-750 milliseconds. It barks when a threat is detected – but it probably doesn’t fetch a better option.