Computer Common Sence: Is it truly common?Tech ·
I was inspired to write a blog post about computer security due to a number of things. The World’s Technology Podcast had a security episode a couple of weeks ago (and I got a mention last week actually because I emailed them about it), and also the news that there has been a piece of malware distributed on gnome-look.
This malware for debian based linux systems, I believe, required admin priviledges because it was distributed as a .deb file. The funny thing was, this isn’t a security flaw in linux. Well, I think it might be partly. Why don’t we have a system to allow .debs to be installed locally? That would get around this partly. It would mean it wouldn’t be installed by root, only by the user. This malware then had a script that ran and I’m not sure exactly what it did.
The point is, however, that it doesn’t matter how secure an operating system is, people will still get around the security really easily. And what is the reason for this? People. Human beings.
Now, I don’t think a computer I have had has EVER had a virus. Even when I was running Windows. Is this because I didn’t have the internet? Nah, don’t be silly…I’m posting to my blog now amn’t I? Was it because I’m such an amazing computer savvy person? Nah, at one point I hardly knew anything about computers. But I do have computer common sence.
There is a very common thing that people say…common sence is not common. Which is even more so true with computers. And so, for this reason, I decided to write a list of things to make your computer safe.
- Run linux – this might sound like a stupid thing to say, but linux does have slightly better ways of dealing with these things, and as of just now there are hardly any viruses, etc on it.
- Run a virus checker – even on linux and mac. It will serve you well. Yes, there aren’t many viruses yet, but there still are some. It only takes one to muck your computer up.
- Only install from the repos of your linux distro – these have been checked by plenty of people and are safe and do not contain viruses, etc.
- If you must run something that isn’t in the repos (very rare for most distros) then check it out properly before you install it. Talk to people, look at reviews. Think about whether it is reputable (the creator and the distributer).
- Don’t download pirated software – not only because it is illegal and stupid, but because many viruses are contained within pirated software.
- Dont just type in your password to give admin priveledges to everything – think about it. If you haven’t opened up your installer, then why are you being asked for a password? If you just opened up a file you downloaded and it wants your admin password, ask yourself why it wants it. Most programs DO NOT need your admin password.
- Update as often as possible – there will often be important updates in these.
If you follow this advice, then your chances of getting viruses will be greatly decreased. Security is partly in the hands of the developers, but it is also hugely down to you. A normal user. If you get a virus, it is probably your fault.