Kevin Drum, a well-known columnist/blogger at The Washington Monthly, writes that his mom's computer is now a paperweight because of spyware. His commenters are not helpful. Most suggest buying a Mac. Some suggest installing Linux.
Look, that's like suggesting that the solution to burning the green beans is to eat breakfast cereal instead. Yes, that's one solution. But it is possible to cook green beans without burning them, if you exercise just a little care. And suggesting that Linux is an appropriate solution for a non-computer geek's mom is just stupid. One guy linked to Debian, for cryin' out loud.
I've had a PC since the mid-80's, and have run Windows since 3.0. I've never had a virus, worm, Trojan, or spyware on my home machine. It's not hard.
- Keep your OS patches up to date.
- Run behind a firewall or router.
- Run FireFox, Mozilla, or Opera, not Internet Explorer.
- Run Eudora, Thunderbird, The Bat!, or some other e-mail program, not Outlook Express, which sucks as a mail reader anyway, besides being a worm magnet.
- Don't install anything unless it was your idea, not just some box that pops up while you're browsing. If you're installing freeware, Google it first to see if comes with malware attached.
- Don't click on e-mail attachments unless 1) you know whom they're coming from, AND 2) you were expecting them.
- Run Norton Anti-virus to check and disinfect all in-coming email.
- Maybe run Adaware or Spybot S&D or some other spybot checker once in a while, although they've never caught anything but tracking cookies on my machine.
That's all there is to it. It's not hard.
== junsui == (adjectival noun, takes な) pure, true, genuine, unmixed
|Left radical is 'road/move', right/bottom is 'foot/move' (止). Top/right radical is 'follow', originally a pictograph of 'person' doubled (人人). Henshall suggests taking the right radical as a 'correct' (正), and 'eight' (八) and as a mnemonic: 'Follow eight roads correctly.'|