Simple Security Basics :: Spam, Trojans, Phishing...
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Once again, comes through with a great article, this one about how to avoid malware, spam, and trojans. The Register, year in and year out, quality writing, no BS... although that MS ad campaign they ran had us worried...

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You'd like to think that people would know better, but really, most folks have no idea what they're getting into. The Trojan Horse I'm talking about is that shiny new Windows PC that thousands and thousands of people unwrapped during the holidays this year. They think they're getting a modern convenience, something they can use to communicate with the grandchildren, or check stocks, or buy stuff on eBay, but in reality they're providing an opening for invaders of the worst sort.

"Want to get Mom's attention? Ask her how she'd like the Russian mob to have her credit card number. Or how happy she'd be to find out that Ukrainian gangsters have access to her bank account."

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Joined: 30 May 2004
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I can't emphasize this enough, STOP USING INTERNET EXPLORER!!!

When a software company with the resources of Microsoft, we're talking billions of dollars a year R&D, with up to 50 billion dollars in cash reserves, can't make a secure product, and can't fix it in a reasonable amount of time, even with a Windows XP SP2 that was supposed to bring security issues under control, STOP USING THE DAMNED PRODUCT!! It's not complicated.

Here are technically superior alternatives:
  • Mozilla Firefox Web Browser. Don't listen to the Microsoft BS, this is a secure browser. It's security 'holes' are like goosebumps compared to MSIE's security chasms. Technically superior in many ways, does not support Active X, which is the main security hole in MSIE.
  • Mozilla Thunderbird Email Client. See what real modern email is about. Secure, baynesian spam filters. Some bugs still to be worked out, but it's better than Outlook Express even in this Beta stage.
  • FileZilla Secure FTP client. Forget WS_FTP, Filezilla offers SFTP, like STelnet, your information is not broadcast in plain text for anyone to pick up. Plus Filezilla supports recursive folder/file deletion, which means you can delete an entire Unix directory with one click, very useful.
  • Apache web server, serves about 65% of today's web to you.
  • PHP web scripting language. The only language I use, sorry, no interest in running after the latest arbitrary programming decisions by Java or ASP. Community run, community focused.
  • MySQL database. Powerful enough to run some of the world's largest apps, but easy enough to use for you to make your very first login script.
  • PHPBB forums software. You're here, check it out. Or better yet, download a copy, see what free software is all about. Feel free to change whatever you want...
  • The Gimp image processor. At free, a massive value compared to Adobe's bloated Photoshop. And no comparison when it comes to price either. Funny how the reviews always forget to mention that little fact...

These are just the beginning. No wonder big software companies are desperately stockpiling patents, it's their only chance, they can't compete longterm and they know it. Software works best when it's a public offering. Soon the software industry will begin to act like desperate men... and show their true colors, by the way, just watch, you'll see.
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