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FIB - Scams 101 - Ye Olde Archives
Posted By: Tom Brownsword In Response To: Apple vs PC (Stan)
Sunday, 8 January 2006, at 4:17 p.m.
In Response To: Apple vs PC (Stan)
If I may, let me take a moment to define a couple of computer security terms:
Vulerability: that's a problem with software (whether it be the operating system or an application) that someone can exploit to do something bad to a computer.
Exploit (pardon the circular definition, please; it's late here...): Something you do to a vulnerability to do something on a computer that you shouldn't do.
So you find a vulnerability, develop an exploit that targets that vulnerability, and hack a computer. Operating system manufacturer releases patch for vulnerability, rinse, repeat.
So every operating system has vulnerabilities, including Apple / Mac / Linux / Windows. Most of your exploits, however (stuff like viruses, worms, etc.) are written for Windows (because it's so prevalent) and Unix / Linux (because these computers tend to be servers, with more power).
Since most of my focus is on Microsoft products, I have no problems with recommending Microsoft products for most consumers and businesses. Microsoft really has taken great strides over the past couple of years to improve their security.
As a business owner or self-employed entrepreneur, the last thing you want to have to do is become a "geek" to fix your computer problems, security included. And with Microsoft Update -- which you can set to automatically download and install security patches -- plus lots of other support for Microsoft products (such as templates for almost anything you might want to do in Office), I'd recommend Microsoft products for most consumers -- because they have a really great system for consumers.
Of course, Windows XP comes with its own firewall (which works fine) and they also have beta software for spyware.
As I mentioned in a post a while back, if you have a high speed Internet connection, I also recommend that you get some type of router that offers Network Address Translation, or NAT, for your home network. And by all means, install, update, and use anti-virus software (ClamWin is my favorite freebie because you can use it for business purposes, but it doesn't automatically scan stuff as it comes in).
And never open an attachment unless you were expecting it. I'd also avoid surfing unknown websites (mine, of course, is now "known" to you!), never reply to a spam e-mail, and remember that your bank / eBay / PayPal / etc. is never going to ask you to go to a website and input all of your personal information.
This is not a "slam" against Macs or Unix, incidentally. Unix / Linux is much more powerful, but is still beyond the capabilities of the average consumer to properly maintain (although use has gotten easier). And I'd love to get my hands on a Mac someday...
Thanks for listening,
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