The Twenty Most Critical Internet Security Vulnerabilities
October 2, 2001 7:50 AM   Subscribe

The Twenty Most Critical Internet Security Vulnerabilities
This is a list of Internet security tips that SAMS and the FBI updated yesterday. The list is really aimed at IT professionals and does not offer much advice to the home user. My advise for any home user who is worried about viruses and security: 1. Don't use Windows OS, any Windows OS (try Linux or Mac) 2. Remove Outlook from your computer. 3. Don't open e-mail attachments you did not ask for.
posted by DragonBoy (10 comments total)
My advice would be: 1) set security settings to "high" in IE./Outlook 2) Don't open any executibles you haven't requested. 3) no, random people don't love you. Trash those emails.

If people used some common sense, we wouldn't have all these security problems.
posted by Witold at 8:27 AM on October 2, 2001


That's great advice that is - "Don't use Windows OS, any Windows OS"? Shite, I better format my HD now! In fact, might as well throw out the PC and get a Mac.

Couldn't I just get some decent anti-virus software and a firewall? ZoneAlarm is free for home use and does a pretty good job.

Bollocks again. I can't be bothered... do what you like. Stupid post.
posted by jiroczech at 8:52 AM on October 2, 2001

I'd use Linux if it had enogh usable desktop apps and drivers. Linux is a server OS, can't we just face that already?

Better advice would be what's already mentioned, Zone Alarm, Norton and the easiest setting of all, making sure that you have windows set to show extensions. It's the normal email users who open nakedmom.jpg.vbs who send around viruses.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:14 AM on October 2, 2001

But nakedmom.jpg is ok, right?
posted by faceonmars at 10:23 AM on October 2, 2001

Okay, let me get this straight: this article is too technical for home users but wiping everything down and installing linux and learning a whole new OS isn't?

Is focusing on patchesm updating your virus definitions, and being aware that your OS is target number one for virus writers too Microsoft friendly?
posted by skallas at 10:30 AM on October 2, 2001

nakedmom.jpg is fine.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:05 PM on October 2, 2001

hehe. I'm sure those home users would religiously keep up with the Linux security patches. Tell me another one, dragonboy. ;-)

Witold is right. MS software is vulnerable, but the risk would be greatly reduced with some basic computer competency and a little common sense.
posted by gd779 at 2:45 PM on October 2, 2001

One of the reasons that MS software is so prone to viruses is that it is the standard. What's the use of writing a virus that affects Linux (or other Unix variants) or for the Mac? Who is that going to trouble? If you write a virus for Windows, however, you've got most of the world as a target.

If Linux or Mac had the market share the Windows does, there'd be just as many viruses for those OSes. It's not a question of OSes as much as it is the responsibility of the user to take measures to prevent infection.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:01 PM on October 2, 2001

If Linux or Mac had the market share the Windows does, there'd be just as many viruses for those OSes.

This might apply for Macs if you consider you're always running as 'root' and you can buy all sorts of MS products for Macs. Linux is a bit different. Considering you don't have to run as root and that linux developers are seemingly more security conscious than your typical MS offerings you're probably better off.

Of course if you're running network services like bind, sendmail, etc you'll need to keep up with patches just like any system. If your Linux box is being used as a desktop pc instead of a server its a bit more secure for even the most ignorant of users.

MS is the market leader thus the biggest target, but the fact that they've constantly dropped the ball on security doesn't necessarily mean everyone else has.
posted by skallas at 3:17 PM on October 2, 2001

hmm..what does setting your security to high on outlook do?
posted by lotsofno at 3:48 PM on October 2, 2001

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