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Spurious error messages from Norton Personal Firewall

We have received problem reports from SETI@home users running Norton Personal Firewall (NPF). NPF checks outgoing HTTP requests for character strings, such as parts of your credit card numbers.

SETI@home uses HTTP to download work units and upload results. Each result consists of about 5,000 characters, mostly numbers. Any short sequence of digits occurs occasionally in result files.

If you have configured NPF to check for several 4-digit sequences, there is significant chance that at least one of these sequences will randomly occur in a result file. NPF will then tell you that SETI@home is uploading one of your credit card numbers. This is not the case.
We recommend that SETI@home users configure NPF to check for longer digit sequences (8-12 digits). This will greatly reduce the incidence of spurious error messages.