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AOL software on Network PC's?

By ballyb ·
Can someone give me some advice, in this situation? I have a user who is used to and wants to use the AOL 7.0 sofware on one of our network PC's. I understand you can get to aol's email service, through IE (we use 6.x), with the user name and password. However, I have been having some mixed reactions and arguments over how secure (having the actual s/w on a PC) is?
Our user is behind a Firewall, although I believe our network is relatively "open". Our Firewall guru, says not to worry aboutit (although, like myself, he would prefer not to have it); others have said there is so much crap on IE anyway (eg. popups, viruses) that nowadays, it's "no big deal". Indeed some have indicated MSN Instant messanger, etc, are more of a security risk.
We are currently moving to Active Directory, but as it stands we are mainly NT4 and Win2K Domains.
I think it is a "low" security risk, myself, given that the PC is not using a dial-up/modem, the s/w is only used for 30 mins a day, we have up to date anti virus s/w and an average Firewall. Any advice to make it extra secure, would be appreciated? Can allowences be made on the Firewall to make it beter...and any details here I would need? Can Hackers get through from AOL's interface...more so than through the regular IE and Netscape interfaces? Thanks.

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AOL software on Network PC's?

by BenWagg In reply to AOL software on Network P ...

On our network I do not allow AOL software to be installed on desktops. It is installed on certain laptops that are taken offsite by salesmen & managers. My policy is based on the following:
1. The AOL web interface works just fine, so users don't need AOL software to read their email.
2. It is yet another program that brings more DLL's to the environment that could potentially cause conflicts w/ productivity programs and/or hardware drivers.
3. Eats resources (if run as TSR or left in taskbar running in the background)
4. Eats bandwidth. I'm currently looking for ways to preserve it, not consume more...
5. We pay for bandwidth for business purposes, and AOL software is not used/needed for any business purpose at our company.
6. Chatsoftware can be configured for file-sharing, and opens a port(s) for peer-sharing to the user's system. An unmonitored open port is an invitation for intrusion.
7. The end user can't guarantee to me that AOL software is secure, and since it's not for a business purpose I don't have time to waste tracking the security of every new version of every chat or personal email program that a crowd of users wants to install. This version may be perfectly fine, but who knows what bugs will be introducedwhen the Update Available notice pops up and the user automatically clicks OK?
8. We don't allow MSN, Yahoo, ICQ or other chat software, either.
9. Just because IE isn't perfect doesn't mean we have to be willing to install additional software that will bring its own security holes with it...
10. Using a T1 or cable modem does not mean you are any more secure than using a dial-up. In fact, a dial-up may be a tad _more_ secure due to never being assigned the same IP address.
11. We don't permit modems here either. Some IU would configure his to auto-answer, and grant the world open access to the network...

Thats my 0.02.

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AOL software on Network PC's?

by ballyb In reply to AOL software on Network P ...

This is the best answer I have got so far. However, I have one user who wants to use AOL s/w. Not an entire company. Also for less than 1 hour per day. It is a pain, but I don't think it will be a huge risk. Thx.

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AOL software on Network PC's?

by ballyb In reply to AOL software on Network P ...

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