Microsoft Security - Users play a vital role in protecting themselves
Since the TWC initiative in the early 2000s, Microsoft has improved security significantly in their latest versions of Windows, Office, IE, and other products. As this article reflects, the user plays a vital role in staying safe as well, as their security is only as good as what they put into practice.
Microsoft Security - Ten Reasons why they should not be blamed for issues
QUOTE: Microsoft sometimes gets a raw deal when it comes to security. The software company is often targeted as the reason why security outbreaks occur. But it's not always Microsoft's fault. Here, eWEEK looks at why Microsoft gets a bad rap when it comes to Windows security.
But that doesn't mean that Microsoft is always to blame. Quite the contrary, there are times when the software giant is totally innocent. In those moments, users might want to point their fingers at third-party software developers. They might also want to look in the mirror. Yes, when it comes to security, users and third-party developers are as much to blame as Microsoft.
Microsoft is certainly not innocent in any of the security woes affecting Windows or its other software. But it's not always to blame. And it's important to remember that.
SUMMARY OF TEN REASONS
1. Third-party holes - Third-party programs don't always have adequate security protocols in place to ensure that data is kept safe. Worst of all, the apps aren't always updated as often as they should be.
2. Out-of-date software - If we don't update our third-party programs, there isn't much Microsoft can do to protect us.
3. Out-of-date antivirus and anti-spyware programs - Running antivirus and anti-spyware programs that aren't fully up-to-date is almost as useless as running nothing at all. As new issues crop up, security vendors are constantly updating their programs to keep user data secure.
4. Users open attachments that they shouldn't - Unless a person is expecting an attached file from a known source, opening documents from within an e-mail program is never recommended. For years, malicious hackers have been using e-mail to take advantage of users who seemingly never learned that opening an e-mail attachment from an unknown sender is a bad idea.
5. Users surf to sites that they shouldn't - But that still doesn't stop folks from going to sites that contain malicious files. It also hasn't stopped them from falling victim to phishing attacks on sites that look like a bank Website or credit card page. A tremendous number of people are still browsing sites that wreak havoc on their machines or their lives.
6. Where are all the passwords? - Without a password controlling access to a machine, anyone can sit at someone's desk, boot up the PC and start stealing sensitive information. Why haven't more people applied that lesson to protecting their home PCs?
7. The passwords are there, but why are they all the same? - Having a password is a great first step, but making passwords to different sites identical, or even making them easy to break, is about as useless as having no password at all.
8. Running in administrator mode - It might make using the PC more convenient, but it also gives malicious hackers access to anything they want on the computer. Some security experts say if PC owners run their computers in limited-user mode, they can eliminate many of the security woes that currently plague the average Windows user.
9. Windows updates - Windows updates could mean the difference between safety and an outbreak on a user's computer. As annoying as they might be, Windows updates are integral to the safety of a computer. Whenever Microsoft patches its operating system, users
should be ready and willing to update Windows as soon as that update is available.
10. Education - Users need to realize that education could easily help them avoid many of the problems that plague them on a daily basis. With better security education, the Web would be safer, thanks to fewer people clicking over to malicious sites.