Dmitry Sokolov and Chris Wagers
Do you want to know why Windows is a less protected operating system than Linux?
It's not that Linux contains a smaller number of security holes, and not because Linux is an open source project.
Have any ideas?
Look who works with Windows - clerks, children, moms and grandmas. People work with Windows and they work on the Internet.
Picture this: all computer users live in the street, out in the open, connected to each other by wires. Anyone can see everyone and anyone can see your screen, steal something from you or put something on your PC. This picture is similar to the Internet today - computer specialists say. At the same time, most users are naive and think that they are safe when they purchase something using their credit card on the internet. Some of them build walls: glass walls. They think that they are the power users and they know everything about security. Many of them have security assistants. These assistants have the same name: "Antivirus". The users need to feed Antivirus "updates" everyday.
What do you think? Everyone must have a computer and a computer is not any more complex than a vacuum cleaner:right? How many people are familiar with a computer? I think 99% of them do not understand how they work. They can turn them on and off, and find the Solitaire icon. They think the Solitaire icon has to be close to the desktop. They must have it!
Answer these simple questions. Just answer "Yes" or "No".
You will get 10 points for "No" and zero points for "Yes".
- Can everyone protect their computer from a virus infection?
- Can they detect a virus on their computer?
- Can they clean the virus without assistance?
Compute your results.
If you get 30 points than you deceive me.
Now we will give a man a computer with Linux. If we tell him that we will pay him for his work, he will purchase a Linux book and read the book. All of the people I know do this. As a result the man will either be very good with Linux or he will not use it at all. Windows users do everything they hear, but they do not want to learn. They think it's not necessary! Early they heard that they need only an antivirus. They purchased antiviral software but they had a virus every week. Next they heard that they need to have a firewall as well. OK. They got a firewall. Then another new threat: Spyware. The Washington Post suggests that you check your computer for spyware.
Update! Update every day via the Internet!
This is an addictive behavior. What do you think? When it will end? I think never! When running multiple security programs it slows down your computer and you'll see it even while playing computer solitaire. Often security programs conflict between each other. Often security programs ask a user to answer "Yes" or "No". "Yes" or "No" - They say "I don't know! I'll call support or call my friend or format my C drive".
What we need to do? The power users look at the newest software from the security firms. They have the news groups and swap knowledge.
This is interesting and it is a good modern hobby!
You look smarter and more adventurous.
What Microsoft can do for us?
Not hide the security tools.
Windows security programs are hidden deep into the system and a user has no chance to find them. How many users know what "msconfig" or "gpedit.msc" is? It is not a good idea to bury the Administrative tools so deep in the menus. Create a new folder called "Security" on your desktop. This folder can contain all of the security programs to control your computer. It is possible that a user can damage something. Not a problem! Have an "Undo" button for all user actions.
It is not a secret that if a computer is turned off a virus is dead.
The safest computer is a turned off computer!
A virus needs to be executed at Windows boot. The Startup folder is an archaic method for virus startup. But there are a lot of startup holes existing in Windows. They are accessible only by using a registry editor. But this tool is considered a very dangerous program. It has not changed for a long time. The last modification was the simple bookmark feature.
Where is the registry undo feature?
Where is the fast registry backup feature?
There is System Restore but it only works sometime. Sometimes it rolls back the changes but often when we see the blue screen of death so it can't help us.
Why doesn't Microsoft document each startup hole?
I think, if Microsoft creates a new startup hole it should update its security programs to control this hole.
When we have these tools at our fingertips we will learn much faster!