Posted: 16 January 2005 at 11:10am | IP Logged
Strengthen your security baseline
fwd from a friend
It's always darkest before the dawn.
I believe we have a hope of correcting the terrible mess that Windows users are
facing from constant patching to combat viruses, spam, and identity
I wrote in the
issue of the Windows Secrets Newsletter that an astonishly high 30% of American
consumers had experienced online identity theft, according to Gartner Inc. This
is just one of the many unacceptable, lawless assaults that we face, including
ever-expanding waves of viruses, worms, spam, and phishing attacks.
described in the
issue five essential components of what I called the "security baseline." I now
feel that a sixth component, upgrade-management software, must be added to my
definition of the security baseline.
These are the minimum hardware
devices and software applications, therefore, that are currently needed by any
individual or company that connects a PC to the Internet:
Despite the undeniable value of all of the above, a majority of PC users
don't yet know what a firewall is, much less have one installed and properly
firewall to make your systems invisible to "port scans" by
firewall to prevent worms from sneaking in or communicating out via your
program to detect and eliminate infected files and e-mail
filter to prevent obviously bogus e-mail messages from reaching your Inbox
and tempting you to click links to crooked Web sites; and
- Anti-adware scanner to delete adware, spyware, and browser
hijackers in your system and prevent them from getting control in the future.
- Update-management software to handle today's constant stream of
patches and upgrades, whether the choice is Windows Update for individuals or a
small-business or corporate package to handle 5 to 50,000
WindowsSecrets.com, therefore, plans to redesign its content and
dedicate itself to two goals this year:
1. Explain the security
baseline to consumers and executives alike; and
retailers and ISPs to fix the PCs they sold or linked to theNet.
These are ambitious goals. But the current takeover
of the Internet by thieves is extremely frightening and borders on making our
cherished public resource too much of a hassle to use. We have to make computing
safe again, and you can help.
Building a sea
change in safe computing
As described at the top of this issue of the
newsletter, we're planning a series of free seminars in 2005 or 2006 in various
countries and cities where we have a large number of readers. We'll keep you
informed in the coming months about our plans and the locales of these
Until then, we're reorganizing the newsletter to make it pithier,
tighter, and (at the same time) more useful to you.
It's ironic that
today's wave of attacks is not just overwhelming Windows users with security
assaults. It's also overwhelming them with "security bulletins" they're supposed
to read and understand.