Re: Avast or Zone Alarm using proxy server?

From: Gerald Vogt (vogt_at_spamcop.net)
Date: 02/17/05


Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 17:03:38 +0900

Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:
> In alt.comp.anti-virus, James Egan wrote:
> Yes, his ideas would be fine for him, you, and me, who know how this
> stuff works, but not a good idea for, as an example, a granny who just
> got her first computer so she can email the family. I can not picture

We never talked about a specific group in particular for which other
means may be necessary and required. We talked about the average which
is not completely computer-illiterate. And if you write that you "know"
that an application does not send data into the internet because your
out-going firewall did block something, that it is obviously about you
and not your granny.

And in respect to the group you focused on here, grannies and newbies, I
strongly do not recommend the simple use of a commercial PFW: PFWs ask
so many questions that no newbie can answer correctly. A newbie does not
know much about security. He cannot accurately answer questions
regarding security. I know of know PFW that does properly help newbies
in particular. A newbie should have a computer that is closed down as
far as possible. I should be set up in a way that he runs only as
limited user, cannot install anything and cannot reconfigure the system.
The security system basically should say nothing and just protect the
user. The only reasonable messages would probably a AV messages when you
downloads a virus or browses to an infected site. That would help the
learning process, but only if the warning would include something like:
"you were lucky this time. be more careful. the probability that the
anti-virus will recognize the threat the next time is 50% so don't play
russian roulette". Windows Update and similiar should just run fully
automatically. This list goes on and on and on...

A newbie computer has specific security requirements which by far are
not answered by a PFW/AV. But that is what is sold: just install our
software are you will be perfectly safe. And this does not promote what
is most important in respect of security: the person sitting in front of
the computer should be careful of what he does.

You where the one who wrote "You surely have strange ideas, which I
would not recommend to anyone." You were the one who wanted to give
general advice to everyone. We never talked about a specific newbie or
granny...

Gerald



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