A Conversation for How to Avoid Computer Viruses

Just stop using Microsoft Operating Systems

Post 1


Most virus spreads on Microsoft Operating Systems. This is because the software is not so smartly engineered and because everything is so intertwined (the applications are not completely independent and different programs can share features that go beyond data sharing---like the visual basic macros in MSWord).

A clear-cut solution to these problems is to stop using Microsoft's Operating Systems and switch to better designed ones like Linux on PC, or Darwin if you're lucky enough to have a Mac.

People should start thinking of Operating Systems as cars; if a brand gives you problems and headaches everyday then you can just switch brand.

Of course, in the Computer Business, unlike the car industry, the market suffers from an almost-monopoly like situation, with Microsoft's products being the most accessible to personal users. However, governments and big companies have their share of responsibilities (to say the least) for the fact that Microsoft dominates the market so strongly (helping thus the spread of viruses).

The situation seems to be changing, as some governments and many companies have realized that keeping Unix systems, and working locally on rendering them user-friendly, can pay-off in the long run.

Let us hope for the best while avoiding to use bad quality products which make our life miserable, instead of improving it.

Just stop using Microsoft Operating Systems

Post 2

Bright Blue Shorts

I've just downloaded Modzilla to replace Internet Explorer. From what I read on various forums it is much better protected and less likely to allow trojan horses etc.

Any views?

BBS smiley - smiley

Just stop using Microsoft Operating Systems

Post 3


Well, yes it is. smiley - smiley

Just stop using Microsoft Operating Systems

Post 4


and the same also applies to a lot of other microsoft standards, for example replacing microsoft office with open office/star office.

also, replacing your microsoft server with a unix server running samba will also produce a massive improvement.

Just stop using Microsoft Operating Systems

Post 5


This is reasonable advice, with one caveat. I have been a Linux user since 1997 and have been very happy, although my computer has been slightly less multi-media than either windows or Mac. However, I should point out that a measure of an operating systems' popularity is the activity of hackers creating viruses. Linux has just started shipping a (free, of course) antivirus tool, clamav. Its mere existence implies that, for better or worse, Linux has passed an important threshold (That was the caveat.) Interestingly, clamav is updated automatically 24 times a day (See what you can do with a free software model?)

I should point out that with the release of NT and XP, Microsoft has finally caught up with other operating systems with something called page protection. Through W-98, there was no such thing as admin privileges. A virus active in one segment of code had access to all the code on the machine. That was never the case with Linux and I don't think it is the case with XP. A normal user has no write, or execute privileges outside of their own directory, and I believe that a virus inherits the privileges of the account it starts in. Now, if root (think admin) gets a virus, well, it's time to reformat your hard drive. Most flavors of Linux are free, as are the office tools, web browsers, etc. that are part of the system. I have not yet had a verified virus or internet attack (I know I'm asking for trouble just by saying that). I guess I feel better not paying for problems.

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