Security Awareness for Ma, Pa and the Corporate Clueless
Check this out: Security Awareness for Ma, Pa and the Corporate Clueless.
One thing I've often wondered, though. Is the Wintel platform really as bad as it's made out to be?
I mean, I'm a Solaris guy, and I know that Wintel is bad. It's obvious that the cost is way higher than our Sun/Solaris setup, and the reliability/availability is way lower.
But the idea that home users have to spend hours per week maintaining their PCs just sounds crazy to me.
I'll admit here that I have a PC at home. It's a reasonably modern, broadband connected PC, running Windows XP. Nothing special about the setup - it gets the latest service packs and patches applied regularly and promptly. But it has no third-party security software of any kind on it. No anti-virus, no firewall other than the basic one that XP now provides.
Is my machine infested with trojans, spyware, and virusses? I don't think so. I occasionally check, but we don't see any problems, and everything runs pretty solidly.
Am I just lucky?
Probably not. You see, there are a couple of things that I (and perforce the rest of the family) do to keep it that way.
Rule 1. No Internet Explorer. Period. Total. It's not the default browser, and everything except windows update is forced to run at the highest security setting I can think of. No icon on the desktop. Depending on personal preference, we run either netscape or firefox.
Rule 2. No email. Period. Total. You want email, you ssh into a real computer and read it from there. I'm still a ucb mail person, but the wife uses pine. Whatever, there's no chance of any garbage getting through onto the machine.
Rule 3. (OK so I can't count.) No network clients other than decent browsers and ssh. No music, chat, online services, none of that rubbish.
Given that, I've found Windows XP to be an adequate, and largely trouble-free and useable, environment.
Of course I would rather run Solaris on it, but (at least last I heard) you couldn't get Flight Simulator, Zoo Tycoon, Age of Empires, or Rise of Nations for Solaris.