Protecting home computers - a site with bite
I admit it--I dread phone calls and email messages from friends and relatives with new broadband connections who want to know how to protect their computers from being attacked over the Internet. Yes, it's a good thing that these people are aware of the potential problems with broadband connections. But what's bad is that, in most cases, these users won't understand my answers to their questions. This means I'll need to provide step-by-step instructions or, heaven forbid, hold their hands over the phone and help them configure the existing security features in Windows or suggest third-party products to provide necessary computer security.
Although many are quick to accuse Microsoft of being at the heart of the computer security problem, I think the company has provided a decent solution for nontechnical users who want to secure their PCs. That solution is the "Microsoft Security Protect your PC" Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect . The Web site explains to the nontechnical (and non-networked) user how to use an Internet firewall, update the computer, and use antivirus software. Information on the site supports all current Windows desktop client OSs, in addition to the legacy 32-bit Windows OSs (Windows NT and Windows 9x). The scope of information the site provides gives you an idea about how important Microsoft thinks security is: Try finding new support tools for those legacy OSs anywhere else on Microsoft's site.
By David Chernicoff at Windows & .NET Magazine.
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