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GlassyMcPete

join:2012-11-01

1 edit

Do you still use Windows?

My security friend said that Windows was the most targeted platform and I looking on these boards, I see tons of suggestions to "run MalwareBytes, Avast, ".

My querstion is, should we really be still using Windows? Google searching shows some good alternatives (Apple, Ubuntu, Linux, etc.). I'm thinking about switching just to be safe ... a lot of these look like they are free and my partner's new laptop obviously requires and OS but I really don't want to pay 100+ buck for something that can be hacked in a day or two.

A lot of people that have Windows problems get answers (based on google searches, not necessarily here on BBR), just say, follow these 10 steps -- "install X AV, install y anti-malware, don't click on this, delete Z registry keys, remove these files, uninstall A, reconfigure B, turn around ten times and say the words, "I'm safe", etc.

Is there and OS that is simpler than Windows in what it does and what it installs where and where the user the can easily be in control or what is happening on the machine she owns?

I'm not trying to diss WIndows and although it is very targeted (for obvious reasons -- everyone uses it), I really don't feel like I am in control of what goes on on my computer which worries me since I have tax data, customer info, etc.

Thanks.
Glasin McPeterson


RJW1678

join:2003-01-15
Wilmington, DE

2 recommendations

Since September 2003 I have ran Mandrake Linux, FreeBSD, Mandriva Linux, and Ubuntu Linux. I am currently running Ubuntu. Changing to another operating system has a learning curve and steps that need taken to make sure they are properly secured too. If a person is comfortable using Windows and has it properly secured and wants to stay on Windows - then they should, as Windows can be secure. Even though I am running a Linux distribution for almost everything that I do on my computer - I have a copy of Windows 7 in another partition for the things that do not work on Linux.

Bob W.


AsherN
Premium
join:2010-08-23
Thornhill, ON

5 recommendations

reply to GlassyMcPete

Every OS can be hacked. Every OS can be secured.

You have to weigh things like learning curve, availability of software, hardware support.

With Windows, do what everybody will tell you to do on Linux "Don't run as Root". Don't run Windows as Administrator. Create a limited account. Run an anti-virus. You'll be fine.



kingdome74
Let's Go Orange
Premium
join:2002-03-27
Syracuse, NY
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

3 recommendations

reply to GlassyMcPete

I have a Windows machine for gaming but my other desktop and laptop use Ubuntu. Even though someone uses Linux it doesn't mean you're still not susceptible to security risks. I think a lot of people get overconfident using something other than Windows because they can't get viruses and instead expose themselves to all kinds of other threats.
--
I could care less who you vote for but get up off your butt and vote.



wapu
Broadband Ranger
Premium
join:2001-09-05
Boca Raton, FL

4 recommendations

reply to GlassyMcPete

said by GlassyMcPete:

Is there and OS that is simpler than Windows in what it does and what it installs where and where the user the can easily be in control or what is happening on the machine she owns?

I'm not trying to diss WIndows and although it is very targeted (for obvious reasons -- everyone uses it), I really don't feel like I am in control of what goes on on my computer which worries me since I have tax data, customer info, etc.

Thanks.
Glasin McPeterson

The question is not which operating system you want to use, but which operating system you need to use.

You have tax data, and customer info, can the applications you use to manipulate this data run something other than windows? Do you, or whomever you are doing this for, have the technical skills or desire to learn a whole different set of features and terminology? I have taken people to OSX and a couple could not get past the minimize and close buttons being on the left. It seems like a simple thing, but to them it was like trying to watch TV upside down.

What you are describing is security though obscurity. This only works for a while. As more and more people try it, the solution becomes less obscure and a bigger target. Maybe learning to secure what you have will be less work in the long run.
--
--


goalieskates
Premium
join:2004-09-12
land of big

3 recommendations

reply to GlassyMcPete

said by GlassyMcPete:

My querstion is, should we really be still using Windows? Google searching shows some good alternatives (Apple, Ubuntu, Linux, etc.).

I run Windows because the applications I use run under Windows.

I'm sure there are lovely applications for other os, some may be better and some may be worse. A spreadsheet is a spreadsheet, and a word processor is a word processor. But I run more than those.

To me it's better to choose an os based on the tools you need, and then learn to secure it no matter what it is.
Expand your moderator at work


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
reply to GlassyMcPete

Re: Do you still use Windows?

-- "install <x> AV, install <Y> anti-malware, don't click on this, delete
 <Z> registry keys, remove these files, uninstall <A>, reconfigure <B>, 
turn around ten times and say the words, "I'm safe">, etc.
 

What is going on here?
--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.


dolphins
Clean Up Our Oceans
Premium
join:2001-08-22
Westville, NJ
kudos:7

4 recommendations

reply to GlassyMcPete

My 2 cents, if other OS's were as widely used as Windows, they too would be prone to malicious code.
--
Stop The Mindless Killings Stop Over Fishing

Expand your moderator at work


mazhurg
Premium
join:2004-05-02
Portage La Prairie, MB

3 recommendations

reply to GlassyMcPete

Re: Do you still use Windows?

No OS is immune to social hacking.


slajoh01

join:2005-04-23

3 recommendations

At work we run Windows servers and workstations with proper lock down security configurations. Never been hacked or exposed to malware so far. Windows can be indeed as secure as Linux or UNIX or FreeBSD and etc...

And its not always up to the OS, it also has to do with on how you configure the routers and firewall devices as well.

No OS is 100% secure.



workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Comcast

3 recommendations

reply to AsherN

said by AsherN:

Every OS can be hacked. Every OS can be secured.

You have to weigh things like learning curve, availability of software, hardware support.

With Windows, do what everybody will tell you to do on Linux "Don't run as Root". Don't run Windows as Administrator. Create a limited account. Run an anti-virus. You'll be fine.

Best Advice Ever.

I would add:

Dump IE and use FireFox or Palemoon with NoScript, WOT, AdBlock Plus.
Run Windows SteadyState if running XP or Vista.
Windows 7 or newer run a program like DeepFreeze so any changes made to the OS get thrown out after a reboot.

Dave
--
I may have been born yesterday. But it wasn't at night.

slajoh01

join:2005-04-23

2 edits

2 recommendations

I'd say dont overload with soooo soooo much security software.
Any IT securtiy gurus will tell u that even they do not run any AV software with minimum security software and dont get even hacked....

Just go with the basics...

Patch, AV, Firewall router, enable Windows FW, and avoid social engineering attacks and ur all set.

Users tend to bloat their machines up with security software.

Just patch, hardware FW with Windows FW enabled and dont click on any suspicious links or attachments. Thats all.

Windows is aint that bad, but it takes more effort to secure it and lock it down.
i


OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2

1 recommendation

said by slajoh01:

Any IT securtiy gurus will tell u that even they do not run any AV software with minimum security software and dont get even hacked....

Good point. Windows OS could be secure. The insecure link is the user. Learn "good manners" how to run it and you don't need any anti-malware protection tools
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
reply to Krisnatharok

annoying, isn't it?

(due to his use of <a> which gets mistaken for a link anchor)



LeeBee
It's Dark Out There

join:2003-06-18
Swissieland

1 recommendation

reply to GlassyMcPete

Windows is fine. It's the user that is the issue.....

(Dump Admin rights, IT and Adobe/Java, click only good links and be an educated user)



Mike
Premium,Mod
join:2000-09-17
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

2 recommendations

reply to GlassyMcPete

I primarily use Apple stuff. It's an efficient UI and pretty difficult to break the machine.

Windows needs a lot of care.

Don't use IE. Horrible track record.
Which ever browser you use be sure to use at minimum adblock plus.
Install MSMVP host file.
Add in no-script and flashblock if you're super paranoid.
Run a useful antivirus (not norton, mcafee, avg free etc).
Obviously you want to check for OS security updates.
Update Flash / Java constantly (if you even need it)
If you must use Adobe Acrobat Reader / Pro update it.
Javacool Software's Spyware Blaster is a good preventative program.

Windows is not a "set it up and forget it" OS. People who get burned generally think it is.

--
"If something about the human body disgusts you, complain to the manufacturer" - Lenny Bruce
What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.


slajoh01

join:2005-04-23

1 edit

2 recommendations

reply to LeeBee

I still use Admin rights on my PC. Its MY OWN PC at home. So I know what applications to install and what not.

Now, for the average "Joe" user, this may not be wise to run as Admin.

But for advanced security gurus who know what there doing, then I thinks its all right to be as Admin.

As for IE, I dont think its secure in its "default settings" BUT, however, it can be more secure with granular lockdown policies via the MMC console within Windows. Which is often overlooked here. And via the Local Security Policy settings.

Expand your moderator at work

slajoh01

join:2005-04-23

1 recommendation

Re: Do you still use Windows?

As for IE, I dont think its secure in its "default settings" BUT, however, it can be more secure with granular lockdown policies via the MMC console within Windows. Which is often overlooked here. And via the Local Security Policy settings.



planet

join:2001-11-05
Oz
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Cox HSI

1 recommendation

reply to dave

I have 3 PCs running windows. The one I trust the most is running, MSE & Faronics AntiExecutable with Windows FW w/Sphinx software control+router. Also, I'm running Fx with NoScript and Adblock Plus on all 3 PCs. All run in a LUA environment unless I have programs to install or WU.
That said:
I also have an IPad w/o any adjunct security options aside from the OS's inherent structure (not jailbroke). My wife loves the IPad since it is easy to use. She can't stand using the Windows PCs with the added security (especially NoScipt blocking Javascript here and there).
Also,
I use a Linux Live CD for my more sensitive needs and I've experimented with Kevin and Nancy's Operating System (KNOS) which boots from a DVD (in my case) and is also bootable from a flashdrive.

That all being said, I don't use the IPad for sensitive anything since I don't know when and if I might be hit with some form of malware. I have some security sense with my windows PCs. There isn't any security available for the IPad as of yet. If you are willing to learn then most OSs are able to be secured (nothing is 100%). Though, most people prefer to have PCs work out of the box.



workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

reply to slajoh01

said by slajoh01:

I'd say dont overload with soooo soooo much security software.
Any IT securtiy gurus will tell u that even they do not run any AV software with minimum security software and dont get even hacked....

Just go with the basics...

Patch, AV, Firewall router, enable Windows FW, and avoid social engineering attacks and ur all set.

Users tend to bloat their machines up with security software.

Just patch, hardware FW with Windows FW enabled and dont click on any suspicious links or attachments. Thats all.

Windows is aint that bad, but it takes more effort to secure it and lock it down.
i

Agreed 100%.

I just run as a limited user, UAC on and MS Security Essentials.

Dave
--
I may have been born yesterday. But it wasn't at night.


jaykaykay
4 Ever Young
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-13
USA
kudos:24
reply to workablob

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_SteadyState



Mike
Premium,Mod
join:2000-09-17
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1

Steady State was discontinued. I think it only works up to XP as well.

It was ineffective when I played with it. Faronics Deep Freeze was/is a ton better.



workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Comcast

Worked a treat for me in XP and then Vista. It can be downloaded still just not at MS.

»download.cnet.com/Windows-Steady···620af133

But, I use DeepFreeze now and it IS better.

Dave
--
I may have been born yesterday. But it wasn't at night.

Expand your moderator at work


redxii
Premium,Mod
join:2001-02-26
Sherwood, MI

1 recommendation

reply to GlassyMcPete

Re: Do you still use Windows?

Not sure how it gets any simpler than Windows, you can already run/install anything you want where you want with a couple of clicks. It's so simple to run anything that's why there is anti-virus. Viruses aren't magic, they use the same APIs as legitimate programs and anti-malware programs are one way to distinguish and block them (but only if they are known).

I use Windows because it is really simple (and gaming). In Linux I don't really get a choice where to install something (I put games for instance on a different disk/partition) & every time I try it I have to compile the kernel to get it to boot without kernel parameter hacks, not simple at all.

You should also consider encryption for that data if you haven't already.
--
Moe, I need your advice… See I've got this friend named Joey Joe-Joe... Junior... Shabadoo..



Blogger
Jedi Poster
Premium
join:2012-10-18
Reviews:
·Champion Broadba..

1 recommendation

reply to GlassyMcPete

said by GlassyMcPete:

Is there and OS that is simpler than Windows in what it does and what it installs where and where the user the can easily be in control or what is happening on the machine she owns?

I'm not trying to diss WIndows and although it is very targeted (for obvious reasons -- everyone uses it), I really don't feel like I am in control of what goes on on my computer which worries me since I have tax data, customer info, etc.

Thanks.
Glasin McPeterson

Strictly in the context of the above and also to have an OS and computer that runs all most all of the things the most users run, except for hard core gaming, IMO OS X on a Mac is unquestionably far and away the best option to go with.

Just my two-cents worth.