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My experience with no shouting

By bbbaldie ·
I have several non-nerdy friends and acquaintences who have called me with serious system problems (spyware, viruses, worms, etc. all via unsecured broadband). After I undo the damage (sometimes rebuilding from scratch in serious cases), I leave them with five things: ZoneAlarm, or preferably, a broadband router/firewall; Spybot, set to automatically update and scan nightly; AVG from Grisoft, also set to update and scan nightly; Windows Updates set to do its thing automatically, and Firefox. User is advised to stop using IE. I have yet to have anyone call me with further issues after months. Case closed, as far as I'm concerned.

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One More

by jdmercha In reply to My experience with no sho ...

You might want to leave them with one more thing - Education on how the system got messed up n the first place.

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Two more..

by joshy In reply to One More

I would add OpenOffice.org and Mozilla ThunderBird to the list. Email is a key concern for me. Had to give free training on these initially. But I do that for my own good, you see!

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Not so sure about that

by moira In reply to Two more..

I wouldn't waste time trying to get people to use OpenOffice instead of MSOffice. Outlook 2003 should be set to read all mail in plain text (far nicer anyway).

I do everything originally suggested and more and implement all that for everyone who uses my home network. I don't place any "restrictions" on use the way my workplace does, and there are never any real problems, which proves how much pleasanter and more effective this approach is to the draconian (and counter productive) "no internet use" policy so widely adopted now.

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at work

by TonytheTiger In reply to Not so sure about that

I wouldn't call it draconian. You're at work to, well, work. At work, you'll probably never get spyware or viruses on your computer unless you're doing something you're not supposed to (unless you're a web site tester).

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I agree

by moira In reply to at work

I understand where you're coming from, but sometimes I wonder why our firm bothered get internet access, because no-one's allowed to use it.

I realise you're at work to work, but there are times when using the internet to look up information would greatly help customers and we can't, because the fear of spyware and vulnerabilities with IE has led to a blanket "No Internet Use" policy.

I quite agree that a lot of problems could be solved with the use of OpenOffice and Thunderbird, however in a working environment which measures a person's computer literacy by their expertise in M$ products, it's never going to be a reality.

And frankly, MSOffice is not the source of most of the problems - macros can be disabled, so can html mail. It's Internet Explorer, which gives management a good "reason" to ban internet use so that employees don't waste time surfing the net.

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Suggestion

by dmont In reply to I agree

Here is a suggestion for your management, set up one old computer for internet research. Who cares if an old WIN 98 Pentium 2 takes a dive. Make an image of the hard drive and reinstall it when necessary.

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Has to be done from your own desk

by moira In reply to Suggestion

I've worked in places that have a crashbox for use by employees. However, on a business footing, a lot of what I would like to do on the internet needs to be done from my own workstation, while I've got a customer on the phone.

Putting them on hold for 5 minutes while I went across to an old PC so that I could access the net, simply wouldn't work.

It just seems somewhat ironic that we forge ahead with faster broadband connections and cutting edge technology - and then businesses become more and more frightened to take advantage of it.

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IE, MS Office, OE, Outlook

by apotheon In reply to I agree

Unfortunately, MS Office, OE, and Outlook all make use of the IE rendering engine, which means that avoiding IE without avoiding those applications means you're not really avoiding IE at all. There's malware out there that takes advantage of this MS software design "feature", and it can be avoided by using applications other than those peddled by Microsoft.

It's true that MS Office is the least vulnerable of the bunch. This isn't because MS Office is any better designed, though. It's only true because it takes a lot more work to get something to successfully target MS Office, since MS Office isn't typically used to surf the web or otherwise interact directly with the Internet. It can be, however, and documents with malicious payloads designed for viewing in MS Office can find their way to their targets, even if it's not as common as malicious email and web documents doing the same with OE, Outlook, and IE.

Viewing emails as text only is a step in the right direction, as is disabling macros. There are still elements of danger, however, that must be dealt with from time to time. If a client will let him- or herself be "converted" to non-MS products, I make that effort, including choice of office suite.

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remote linux web browsing from windows

by cgbullock In reply to I agree

What we have implemented is remote web browsing. Set up cygwin(cygwin.com) on each workstation. Have a linux workstation set up somewhere on the network. Put the IE icon on the users desktop, in which the icon starts cygwin which ssh's (ssh -X -f $linuxserver firefox) into the linux box and launches firefox or your preferred browser.

And if IE is your problem and you do not want to try the solution mentioned above, you may want to investigate openbsd firewalls, I think OpenBSD has a rule you can implement to block IE from hitting the Internet allowing all other web browsers to access the web.

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Not true

by jdclyde In reply to at work

My boss is a real straight arrow and only goes to legit sites but still gets the highjacks and all.

I have to go in every few weeks and clean it up. NEVER have found anything to even HINT he was somewhere non-business related.

With web sites getting hacked and the warez loaded on them, no where is safe if your using IE.

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