Linked by Alcibiades on Wed 4th Jan 2006 18:04 UTC
Windows Like a lot of people who have worked in the business, I find myself in conversations about computer security with people who are having problems or know people who have problems. I wrote this to save me from explaining the same thing over and over again to different people, and to save them the trouble of having to make notes as we talked. It was meant to be something you could give to a 'naive user' and have them be able to read and follow it more or less unaided, and while not being a complete guide, at least be something that made them more secure than before they got it.
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A somewhat paranoid view of security
by Robert Escue on Wed 4th Jan 2006 19:51 UTC
Robert Escue
Member since:
2005-07-08

Most of the information is common sense stuff for those of us who work in the IT field or have an above average interest in computers.

Alcibiades' description of the effects of malware assumes the user goes to every warez/porn/malware/social engineering/phishing site on earth. Usually to get trojaned by a porn dialer means you went to a porn site that supports the malware! Normal surfing in the US you would get the typical amount of spyware, and not much more. My 15 year old daughter goes to a number of sites that her friends send links to that I sometimes think are questionable, but she has not been hit. And I check her system weekly using Symantec AntiVirus, AdAware, Spybot Search and Destory.

I don't necessarily agree with replacing Windows XP's SP2 firewall with ZoneAlarm, while ZoneAlarm will definitely protect a machine better than Microsoft's product, it is also harder to configure, which brings me to the second issue I have with this article. Much of this assumes a level of experience that the "typical" user doesn't have, and the reason why most users don't do this is because they either don't know how, they see it as too hard, or that it severely limits the functionality of the system.

For this guide to be really useful, it would have to be written in layman's terms and use lots of screen shots.

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