Endpoint protection can cause your computer to be hacked

Products often open computers to hacks they otherwise wouldn’t be vulnerable to.

Source: Security wares like Kaspersky AV can make you more vulnerable to attacks | Ars Technica

Most people call it anti-virus but really it is more and called endpoint protection. Some big names on this list. Disappointing this exists. If these exist, there are probably other vulnerabilities just waiting to be used.

It makes you wonder if going bare naked on a computer is the safest way to use a computer. It seems crazy, but the less software you use, the better off you are. I have said before my idea of modular software in which you only pay for the things you use. The problem is that the computer as great as a tool it is, overwhelms most people with choice. I see everyday people who look at the toolbar/ribbon in Word and can’t find the tool they need because there are too many icons on the screen. You really have to look at something for a long time before it doesn’t seem overwhelming with choice.

It also seems crazy that we throw functionality at people but we overwhelm with choice. So for example this endpoint protection has all kinds of great features, but every feature also opens up the ability of malware to exploit it. Instead of assuming everyone is either an idiot like the iPad or a power user like most Linux users, there should be a guided tour of what is possible. Or better yet, context-sensitive functionality. That is, when you need to write then you have the choices presented to you as icons. When you need more detail you click on the icon and then go to an icon nested in that icon. It sounds more complicated than it is. I love how that system works. You just need to remember some icons which people remember and you can find anything.

Anyway, still continue to update your endpoint protection software and stay safe out there!

Windows XP is comfortable but it is time to move on

I help people sometimes who still have Windows XP and this is written to explain why although they are comfortable using XP, it really is time to move to Windows 7 or Windows 10. Or even a Mac!

I get it. Times are tight and why upgrade a computer if it still works? In fact, it’s not just the cost of a new computer but the time it would take to move your files and settings, and make sure it works properly. That does cost time and money and what is so great about a newer version of Windows? The reasons below are why it is time to move.

  1. Security. Windows stopped supporting XP months ago and that means that it is vulnerable to hackers and people who want to take advantage of you. “But I have anti-virus software and don’t go to any bad places on the Internet!”, I hear you say. It doesn’t matter anymore if you do that. Malware is more than just viruses and you can get that from going to big name sites like Yahoo or anyplace. You don’t even need to install software anymore, you can just get malware from using the Internet. This would place all your personal information on your computer at risk, and they could watch everything you do on your computer like they were standing over your shoulder.
  2. Privacy. Ok. You don’t have personal information on your computer like Credit card numbers or financial information. You have it saved somewhere safe like Box. That is fantastic. However malware can also build a history of where you visit and what you do on your computer and then use that information against you. At the very least, the people who do this sell that personal information on you and make money on you without your permission.
  3. Reducing the threat to others/legal implications. When your computer is taken over it becomes part of a bot-net which is used to attack other computers or hold companies hostage. This can and will be traced to your computer, and then there you have to deal with the legal implications of this. Did you know about this happening? Did you take steps to reduce this from happening? Why get involved in all this drama if you don’t have to?

There are more positive reasons why you might want to upgrade such as faster usage, additional features, or being able to use and install new software that might help you. I love voice control software myself. It is awesome to be able to speak to the computer and it types out what you tell it.

I know its hard to upgrade but just like we put locks on our doors and watch our surroundings at the ATM, it is necessary to keep us safe.