Here phishy phishy

c: | f: /

Taking people out of the loop and using software to combat software is making computing less secure.

Here’s yet another reason why you should turn off the pointless phishing site warning in your browser. With the filter off you’ll never fall into the trap of automatically clicking OK on such a page because the nag screen nags you so often you don’t read it.

Same goes for the awful junk software ZoneAlarm which nags you to upgrade. I wish Google would switch off their malware warning too because it’s next to useless, as is Hotmail’s spam filter (even on the lowest setting) which simply seems to get rid of 50% of useful email and you never even know it’s been sent.

All this supposed ‘smart’ protection does is lull you into a false sense of security because you believe “the software will keep my computer safe”. That is complete and utter nonsense: it simply lowers your guard. The only thing that can reliably keep your computer free of viruses, trojans, phishing attacks, malicious email and spam is you.

Instead of throwing automated solutions at these problems, more effort should be spent educating people how to spot dodgy things, how to keep computers in good working order, how to maintain a couple of email accounts so your main one is never compromised, and how to clean up machines in the event something sneaks past your own defences.

I guarantee that after you’ve manually cleaned a system of one or two viruses that you’ll know 95% of the tricks and places they can hide and your computer will — as a result of your newfound vigilance — be more secure than any software can ever promise.

In short, never, ever put your faith in software or technology to do your dirty work. It will always end in tears.

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