Hoylen's Weblog

Tue, 05 Jan 2010

Security tips for the rest of us

Computer security is hard. Technical people have a hard time keeping up with all the issues, so what is the average computer going to do?

The Security Now, podcast #229 describes a few simple rules that anyone can follow:

  1. Don't click on links in emails.
  2. Don't accept files or email attachments from people you don't know.
  3. Do keep your computer up to date with Windows Update or Mac Software Update.
  4. Do use good strong passwords.

These are easy enough for anyone to remember and follow. It is much better to follow a few simple rules, instead of having more better rules that don't get followed.

For further details, see the So Long, And No Thanks for the Externalities: The Rational Rejection of Security Advice by Users paper. It describes how some traditional security advice is not worth following, because the benefits/risks are outweighed by the cost of following them.