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Why You Need Defensive Computing
Introductory Defensive Computing Links
- Hard-drive checkup a good idea for PCs
by Lou Dolinar in Newsday. May 7, 2006. Discusses DiskCheck from Passmark Software
- Tips for avoiding 'smash and grab'
by Lou Dolinar in Newsday. October 16, 2005. If someone can get physical access to your
computer, they can learn all your passwords.
- Online Crime Rises Dramatically, Report Says
The Washington Post September 20, 2005
- Counter-Espionage For Your PC
July 27, 2005 by Larry Magid at CBS News
- A Digital Crime Wave
by Walter Mossberg in Smart Money. April 2005.
- My Computer Meltdown by Lisa DiCarlo in Forbes magazine. February 24, 2005. A computer reporter gets hit with malware.
- Going Online? Wear Your Galoshes
by Robert MacMillan Washingtonpost.com December 16, 2004
carriers: Most users unaware of PC infections October 25, 2004 CNET
News.com. About 80 percent of users were infected with Spyware. One in five users had an active virus on their machines. Nearly three in five users do not know the difference between a firewall and antivirus software.
The same survey was also
reported by USA Today.
- Blue Screen of Death Why your computer still crashes. By Paul Boutin in Slate September 30, 2004
- How to Protect Yourself From Vandals, Viruses If You Use Windows
by Walter Mossberg in the Wall Street Journal September 16, 2004
- Are hackers using your PC to spew spam and steal?
USA TODAY September 8, 2004
- Going price for network of zombie PCs: $2,000-$3,000
USA TODAY September 8, 2004
- What a Tangled Web I Wove
- Computer Naivete Cost Me a Bundle And a Bit of Sanity By Kathleen Day
in the Washington Post August 15, 2004. The author did not practice
Defensive Computing and suffered a loss of $800 and 48 man-hours over nearly three weeks
before her computer problems were resolved.
- In The Cybersecurity Wars, The Good Guys Are Losing June 7, 2004
by Bob Evans in Information Week. Quoting: "The ugly truth is that these bad guys are getting better at their malicious tricks faster than we are able to devise ways to block them."
- Lock attackers out of your
PC By Brian Livingston June 3, 2004. An excellent, long and very
- Internet attacks can hit your pocketbook
The Globe and Mail of Canada. June 9, 2004. Your ISP may charge you
thousands of dollars for bandwidth caused by a virus or worm on your
computer. They might also suspend your account or your ability to send
- 'Sasser' Worm Tip of the PC Bug Invasion By Brian Krebs
in the Washington Post May 12, 2004
- The Spyware
that loved me By John Borland of CNet April 8, 2004. What happens to a
computer infested with malware.
- PC Users Deserve A Free, Simple Service To Handle All Threats
by Walter Mossberg in the Wall Street Journal. March 11, 2004
- For Windows Users, 'Browser Hijacking' Is Only the Latest Threat
by Rob Pegoraro in the Washington Post. February 29, 2004.
- Broken Windows: Will Your PC Ever Be Secure?
What can you do to protect yourself? PC World February 26, 2004
- Geeks Put the Unsavvy on Alert: Learn or Log Off
The New York Times February 5, 2004. As the MyDoom virus continues to disrupt business, the computer-savvy are becoming openly hostile toward the not-so-savvy who
play into the hands of virus writers.
- Hackers Steal From Pirates, to No Good End
The New York Times December 8, 2003. About Trojan Horse programs that infect
- Top Five Myths About Safe Surfing
PC Magazine November 19, 2003. Reasons that people think their
computers are safe - but they are all false.
- Don't make Fred's mistake: Protect PC from
'meanies' by Mike Himowitz November 13, 2003 in the Baltimore Sun. A
good example of why you need Defensive Computing
- Keep cool over computer hassles
Nine out of 10 computer users are regularly annoyed by slow, crashing machines, while time wasted fixing problems makes it worse, say security experts Symantec.
BBC News. October 23, 2003.
- Do as I say, not as I do: Disaster strikes even the experts among us
October 15, 2003 By Al Fasoldt
- Regular Cleanup Is a Computer Must
Summarizes my class in a nutshell. Newsday. September 23, 2003. Lou Dolinar
- Security Begins at Home
by Stephen Manes in the September 15, 2003 issue of Forbes magazine. An
excellent article that mirrors this class.
- Heart of Darkness, on a Desktop
About programs running on people's computers that they did not know were
there. Spyware, Adware and viruses. The New York Times By Katie Hafner September 4, 2003
Do We Go from Here? by Dan Gillmor August 31, 2003. About the sorry
state of computing: viruses, spam, ISPs, Microsoft and more.
- Dumb software for dumb people
Windows is fertile ground for virus plagues, especially when users refuse to take proper care of their computers.
By Farhad Manjoo in Salon. August 27, 2003.
the Worm Turns: Lessons from Blaster Microsoft deserves some blame for
the rapidly spreading Web virus -- but so do network administrators, ISPs,
small businesses, and individual PC users. By Alex Salkever in Business Week
magazine. August 26, 2003
- Microsoft Windows: Insecure by Design The Washington Post August 24, 2003. Quoting: "In its default setup, Windows XP on the Internet amounts to a car parked in a bad part of town, with the doors unlocked, the key in the ignition and a Post-It note on the dashboard saying, Please don't steal this."
- Unholy Matrimony: Spam and Virus
Their common goal is subterfuge, and by combining their strategies, they could make today's junk e-mail look like a mere nuisance
Business Week Magazine August 12, 2003
- Nuclear plants warned of computer threat.
Even (especially?) nuclear power plants have to worry about Windows
computers linked to the Internet. USA Today. September 3, 2003.
- Microsoft Windows: Insecure by Design
By Rob Pegoraro in The Washington Post August 24, 2003
- My trip to Windows hell...and back
David Coursey, ZDnet. August 11, 2003. One persons story of a computer that
kept freezing without warning. And a
- The September 2003 issue of Consumer Reports magazine reports that one
third of the time when you contact a software maker for technical support
the problem remains unresolved. They blamed the situation on industry
culture that turns out flawed software. When
good software goes bad CNN August 8, 2003.
- Should License Be Required to Go Online?
The Associated Press September 12, 2003
- License Computer Users
By John C. Dvorak in PC Magazine. August 18, 2003. The rantings of someone
sick and tired of computer mistakes by people with no training in how to use
a computer. A virtual ad for this class.
- Should computer users have to get an operator's license?
by Al Fasoldt May 1, 2002. Mostly about the Klez worm/virus.
- Acquitted Man Says Virus Put Pornography on Computer
The New York Times August 11, 2003. by John Schwartz. A man's teenage son
goes to some "iffy" web sites and they end up with many Trojan
programs on their computer. The police arrest the man and his life is ruined
because a Trojan program put child pornography pictures on his
- Are you prone to a Web attack?
Most broadband users leave doors wide open for attack by Internet thieves and hackers, study finds.
June 4, 2003. Also Report: Most Broadband Users Lack Basic Security
and Broadband Internet Use Has Its Risks, Study Finds
and Report: Broadband Customers Not Playing It Safe
from PC World magazine.
- US man shoots laptop
Frustration after it kept crashing. BBC News March 6, 2003
- Owner takes out frustration with a sledgehammer
A man in Wisconsin purchased a $2,600 Gateway computer and had problems with it. He returned it to the store five times and had someone come to his house to fix it four times. Eventually he took it back to the store with a large sledgehammer and pounded it to death in the middle of the store. April 3, 2002
- PC Defense Takes an Antinet
Install all the utilities you want--security is still a leaky mess. by Stephen Manes
from the July 2003 issue of PC World magazine
- Take the digital defense test to see your current level of Defensive Computing. ZDNet.
September 25, 2002
- High tech's missionaries of sloppiness December 2000. Salon Magazine.
An excellent article that examines why computer hardware and software have so many bugs.
- Top Ten PC
Blunders. True and mortifying tales about computing disasters. June 2002
- The Fog of XP
PC Magazine By Lance Ulanoff August 6, 2003. Out of the blue Windows XP
crashes and won't restart. Read how even computer experts struggle.
- Web sites for looking up computer terminology: whatis.com
encyclopedia Computers: A to Z
(Consumer Reports) ComputerUser.com High-Tech Dictionary
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