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Don't use your computer with admin privelges
#1
I know it's easier to install stuff whenever you want.  Most computers are sold that way.  You choose a name and password, and when you log on to your system, you have administrator privileges.  That means you can screw up your computer.  That means you can screw up your computer without knowing.  That mean if you click the wrong button while you have administrator rights that you can screw up your computer and not even know it.   Windows7 and probably 8 has a feature that asks if you want to make administrative changes and that's great, It makes you think twice about messing up your system.  But you can add what is basically another level of inconvenience to risking your system by forcing yourself to run as a "regular" user.  Here, most of you are regular users.  Outside of you hackers with the mad skilz you can't damage another users account or the system itself.  In this case, the system is the BBS software.  You can do limited damage to your own account, but other users and the system are sort of safe.

Like there are hacks for a BBS, operating systems are hackable as well.  This usually requires, but not always, that the person running the program that initiates the hack needs to be - the administrator.  90% of computer problems can be avoided if you don't run as administrator.

I think most of you use windows or macs, Mostly I use windows.  macs are too hip and I have a better alternative anyway.  Sometimes I'll reboot my computer into Linux.  While linux isn't immune to attacks, it is a smaller target less hated by most of the world and to a large degree it places security above ease of use.  For instance, when I create my first account on Windows, it is an administrator.  With Linux you usually are forced to set up both an administrator account and a regular user account.  From the beginning you are led away from controlling and possibly damaging the system.  Of course, you can log in and do whatever as admin, but if you break something and ask for help - and they found out you were surfing the web as an admin, or "root", you will be told to go do something else and everyone will laugh at you.  After a while you become more comfortable inside your limited scope of abilities.  You adapt.  Linux has a way of running as a root called "superuser".  By using the command sudo in a "terminal" (which looks like the old DOS screen) you can run any program as "root".  If you have enough to do as root, you type in "su" and you gain root privileges.

The underlying principal is simple.  Avoid positions where you can have your own privileges used to damage your system and make it harder to screw it up by accident.  If you do that one simple thing to prevent installing malware or otherwise damaging your system, it is a simple recovery even if you go to whatever game website that is full of malicious software.  If you can't damage the system, you can usually have any account cleaned of infection in an hour, and that's an hour when you can go do something else.  It's about 2 minutes of actual work.

Make your life easier, just be a regular user that can be admin when you want.

 
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#2
Hi, Mr. Soapbox Person.  I'm sure you just offered some good information for me to digest, but I'll save it for later as I'm too anxious to ask you the following:  My significant other just bought for me a Sony Vaio combo laptop/tablet.  It's pretty cool or at least I think it is.  I'm still trying to familiarize myself with it.  He also bought for me some Kaspersky protection.  His PC is currently running on Windows 7.  My new machine runs on Windows 8.  His desktop (the Windows 7 machine) has Kaspersky.  The Vaio comes with a 30 day Kaspersky trial that requires me to install the permanent version before the end of the 30 days.  It's on a disc.  The Vaio doesn't have a disc drive., but the Kaspersky is supposed to protect up to three machines, but the disc info says it's for W8.

So, since loverboy's PC is on W7 and my new laptop is on W8 with no disc drive, how do I get the Kaspersky protection on my machine?  Does hunkyboy need to ugrade his OS to W8 and then insert the disc so we can tell the network to protect the Vaio?  We're a tad confused.  I hope this question isn't worded too horribly.  Thanks.
 

 
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#3
They want you to spend money.  You can buy a USB DVD writer pretty cheap, or just download Kapersky here http://usa.kaspersky.com/ plus that way you get the latest version.

Instead of Kapersky, I'd use Spybot Search & Destroy - http://www.safer-networking.org/private/ it's free and it's better for your needs.  Mostly actual viruses are a thing of the past.

If you want an actual antivrus program, consider ClamWinhttp://www.clamwin.com/ - which is not only free, but also open source.  Open source means you can have the code that the app is compiled from, so it has the advantage of transparency and is scrutinized by other programmers for flaws which are reported.  We'll get into the advantages of open source later.  There are lots! 

Kapersky is better than norton or macafee, and not a horrid choice.  I've used it and found it satisfactory.

 

 
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#4
Hey, JLaw.  I just bought one of those Vaio machines.  Haven't decided if I'm going to continue the Kaspersky after the free trial or not.  My desktop has it & it works swell, but my neffew-in-law sez I should look at Avast dot com for some really good free protection.  Any thoughts on that, Lib?
 
Load me into a cannon & shoot me into the sun! - Dow Joans
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#5
Avast isn't bad.  
 
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