Monday, October 17, 2005

October: National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Last night, an MSN friend told me two of her friends' hard disks were progressively being erased due to some virus while we were chatting. Don't let this happen to you. Always use protection! Microsoft has declared this month National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Apart from the tips given, here are mine.
Best Practices To Prevent Bad Things From Happening 1) Use Firefox, and Internet Explorer only when necessary (free of charge). 2) Install Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. Turn on Window's Automatic Updates (free). 3) Use a firewall such as ZoneAlarm (free). 4) Use an antivirus software and engage the automatic updates (free). 5) Use a spyware and adware detection program like Ad-Aware (free).
These are the essentials. Of course there are other things that can also be weak links, like ezy-to-guess passwords, non-VPNed WiFi, opening attachments when they are not expected... I hope I haven't made you paranoid hahaa Update (!): In other news, gssq struggles with spyware...

7 comments:

A.Ball.of.Yarn said...

this is something I've always been wondering: u think windows's automatic update sends identifying info back to MS?

Laughingcow said...

I've been trying to install SP2 for eons, but I get an error message every time. Then how? =\

jeffyen said...

BoY, I haven't heard of such things, but even that were true, Windows Update is much more important anyway. I don't think they will go so far as to send back personal details... hehe

laughingcow: What error message did you get? What are your specs? (computer, processor, video card, ram...)

jeffyen said...

The two of you whose messages I've deleted, it's only for security reasons. I'll try to look this up and get back to you folks...

jeffyen said...

So this is what I've found. MS' Privacy Policy.

According to the document, "Version information for the operating system, browser, and any other Microsoft software for which updates might be available."

So if you're using Windows Update, it'll include things like the serial number of your Windows installation.

Some of you might be worried if you're not using (or if you're unsure whether) legit copy of Windows, and whether Microsoft can find out. Yes, they can find out; it's quite trivial. But generally, nothing bad will happen lah. It'll just say things like 'your licence number is incorrect' that sort of thing...

My advice is: get a legal copy of Windows, there's no point risking the security and operation of the computer to run a illegit copy of Windows. :)

Optional reading...

Agagooga said...

I see the mac whores haven't gotten here yet. Congrats!

jeffyen said...

Oh yeah, I forgot point no. 6 in my list...

6) Use a Macintosh! wahahaa