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Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Viruses and Worms and Firewalls, Oh My!

In case you're one of those lazy types who hasn't taken measures to protect against the disastrous Blaster worm, here are some tips for how I've coped. As someone who normally receives large volumes of e-mail, I've had to devise ways to adapt to the onslaught of the Blaster worm e-mail messages, of which I'm receiving several thousand per day. Here's what I've learned:

1. Set up an Outlook message rule to send any message with "wicked screensaver," "that movie," "thank you!", etc. straight to the Deleted Items.

2. Never, ever open an attachment from someone you don't know.

3. If you run Microsoft XP, turn on the built-in firewall, or download a free firewall program like ZoneAlarm.

4. If you run Windows 2000 or earlier, install the Windows Update program, which can automatically download and install updates so you don't get caught with un-patched OS when a worm comes knockin'. If you run XP, it's already installed, but be sure to enable downloading and installing of automatic updates if you have a broadband connection.

5. Buy Norton AntiVirus, McAfee VirusScan, or any other credible anti-virus software now! And be sure to enable automatic updates of virus definitions.

Now, get out there and impersonate a virus by "infecting" all your friends and colleagues with this vital information.

So, in conclusion:

1. Microsoft is a dangerously careless company that we entrust with our national security, and that has an operating system monopoly and almost zero motivation to make its products secure.

2. The anti-virus software industry is making a killing off this mayhem.

Which leads me to believe that:

1. Microsoft is in cahoots with Symantec and McAfee.

2. Consumers are getting screwed big time.

That's my "fair and balanced" take. Now it's up to you to decide who's right.

Posted by Cory Kleinschmidt




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