PC security has nothing to do with skill

Discussion in 'polls' started by Mrkvonic, Feb 19, 2007.

?

Do you think one must be pc geek to be secure?

  1. Absolutely not; on the contrary (provide example)

    15 vote(s)
    14.4%
  2. Some knowledge is needed (provide example)

    52 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. You must be fairly knowledgeable (provide example)

    23 vote(s)
    22.1%
  4. Paranoia and total control are the only way to go

    12 vote(s)
    11.5%
  5. Other (explain)

    2 vote(s)
    1.9%
  1. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    Escalader and me have another bet.

    The claim is: "PC security has nothing to do with skill."

    Many times, people who have less computer knowledge or are afraid of computers find it hard to accept that following some basic rules can do a lot of magic and no special skill in hexadecimal is needed to achieve highly reasonable levels of productivity and security combined.

    Often, security is confused with software. Programs are a means to strengthen one's skills; not make them. Faced with lack thereof, one is usually better with as few security software as possible. Choice is a devil.

    Please tell me what you think.

    If you agree, disagree, or one of the other poll options. A strong, experience-based supportive claim should also be included.

    Mrk
     
  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    My claim: no knowledge is needed.

    How is this achieved?

    Discipline! Willingness to heed advice of those who do know stuff.

    Example: my own dad. Not someone who has lots of computer knowledge. However, he is a person who is willing to listen to advice. He will heed advice even if he does not fully understand what hides behind the advice - because he trusts the judgment of the person behind the advice.

    Simple rules for safe computing:
    Stay away from cracks and such, do not open strange email attachments, keep your OS up to date, Firefox, and a firewall. AV for spoils.

    Anyone can do this. You don't need to know what registry, bootloader, services, TCPIP or anything alike are to stay OK.

    The willingness to learn is key to everything. Fear is another - no need for it.

    Mrk
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I totally agree with you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2007
  4. GES/POR

    GES/POR Registered Member

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    I voted some knowledge is needed cus in first pc day not so long ago i was under the impression a av such as norton would be sufficient against all internet threats and they slapped me in my face often enough! Dialers,trojans,downoaders,spyware,etc.

    Yes in those days i searched for cracks,porn whatever, my point is i did what everybody else whas doin even ict guys telling me to go to cracksites for the newest games. So this was my first pc right.

    Ive changed completely since then. In that day i was very dependend off other to come fix my os and i even got robbed for it.

    It all started with a new pc, determined to know everytingh about os, security u name it. From that day i told ict mf's to beat it. Nobody touched my pc. Well since then i have learned to stay almost completely clean and cracking aint for me.

    Now most people i see with pc for as the same period as i still get largely effected and they do not mind till the day comes there pc is completely hijacked and then they come to me for help but since they r lazy and stubborn they can help themselfs from now on.

    Conclusion: all it takes is a little interrest,motivation and knowledge to stay clean.

    Just for the record: my knowlegde is minimum!
     
  5. malformed

    malformed Former Poster

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    I'm with you Mrkvonic; a little common sense is all that's needed. Unfortunately common sense is largely out of the grasp of todays society.
     
  6. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    I definitely agree that some knowledge is needed, most of my friends with little to no computer knowledge are always getting into trouble.
     
  7. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    My claim: "some" knowledge is needed.

    Why is this the case?
    The operative word is "some", we either need enough knowledge to find and deploy solid firewalls, AV and ASW ourselves to be "safe" or enough to heed advice of those who do know stuff as Mrk says. Mrk is kind of up against it here since he is trying to prove a negative!

    Examples: study the newbies posts on public forums (not so much here) and the trouble they get into with PC's and malware it is mind boggling! Some are so undisciplined they don't seem to have the sense to turn their PC's off since they don't having driving licenses for their PC's and they crash!

    I agree with Mrks "Simple rules for safe computing" and like all voters here on Wilder's we have the skill to follow such rules. QED

    "Anyone can do this". unfortunately public posts show that great numbers of people can't, I wish Mrk was correct! Look at the rise of PC fraud, if these users had some of the skills they could minimize risk

    "You don't need to know what registry, boot loader, services, TCPIP or anything alike are to stay OK." I agree with Mrk that the average user doesn't need those techi skills but that is not really the point (IMHO)

    "The willingness to learn is key to everything. Fear is another - no need for it", some want to learn but lack the skill/discipline/patience to absorb and apply knowledge, these users will keep the M$, Symantec's McAfee's Checkpoints in business forever.

    Got to go and vote now! :D
     
  8. sukarof

    sukarof Registered Member

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    Some knowledge is needed. No one is born with the knowledge that java scripts in a browser is the root of all evil concerning drive-by infections, for example. :)
     
  9. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    Frauds were mentioned.
    No difference is being swindled online from doing that in a pawn shop. Takes quite an effort to do that. If you fall for Nigerian 70 million being sent to your account, you would probably also buy Albanian holy water in a jar.

    sukarof, javascript is legit language, like any other code. You could say C was evil, too. No problem with javascript. It's the browser vendors who need to make sure their machines do not mishandle code.

    Mrk
     
  10. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    This may sound like a silly question, but does, not being stupid fall into the realm of needing a little knowledge. I ask because many people of heard the warning, don't open attachments, and yet the stupidly go ahead anyway.
     
  11. steve161

    steve161 Registered Member

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    I would submit that someone who is fortunate enough to have the advice of posters such as Mrkvonic are operating with "imported knowledge". The only other thing that they need is common sense to recognize the value of that knowledge. Take a newbie with no access to such advice, hook them up to the internet, and cross your fingers. Have you ever had someone say to you "Firewall? What's that?"
     
  12. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    Most people don't know what carburetor is. And yet, most of the cars used to have at least one until they invented electronic injection. Not many people can tell you how carburetor works - and it's more complicated than msconfig, trust me. But everyone knew that pouring sugar into the fuel tank would not do much good to this thing called carburetor.

    The same applies here. You don't need to know what firewall is. But if someone tells you to use one, and they know their business, then you should listen.

    Mrk
     
  13. steve161

    steve161 Registered Member

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    I believe we are in agreement. My only point is that if someone heeds the advice of a computer literate person, then that person has gained some computer security knowledge. He or she may not have the knowledge of how a firewall works, but they have the knowledge that a good firewall is necessary. Case in point: I am a self-proclaimed novice, but I believe I have an excellent security set-up from listening to the advice in this forum. Do I have knowledge of computer security, or just common sense to listen to those who have. I know, it's semantics.
     
  14. nadirah

    nadirah Registered Member

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    Basic question I use to assess people: What is spyware?
    THEY reply, 'What's that? or they simply reply back with the same question.

    I don't ask: What is a virus? That's so widely known.

    I live in a environment with all sorts of people, people with different levels of computer knowledge. Occasionally, I find it frustrating because I've got so many areas to learn constantly and update myself about. But, that's all worth it.
    In school, having plenty of knowledge AND skill is indeed required, when handling their computers or helping teachers with even the most basic computer tasks. Majority of the time, the pupils and staff just require assistance with basic tasks like playing videos and some other things ( MS office applications). Someone even asked me a question, 'Can a thumb drive be used with this computer'? Sure, yes. Anyway not many machines use old OSes like 98 or below. Thumb drives or USB flash drives, are just connected simply via USB. Fuss-free. The only troublesome one I've encountered so far is a U3 usb flash drive.
    You see, knowing as much as possible, helps you in a lot of ways. You can handle your own computer with minimal help, + you get to help newbies with their daily computer work.

    It's like, you learn until you know what you don't know. Just like babies, take the instance when a baby first learns how to walk, sooner or later they gotta have to stand on their own feet, I tell you.
    Today, you are a newbie.
    Tomorrow, you are an expert user. Not in 24 hrs. Over time.
    For how long does a newbie expect to be spoonfed by an expert user/more knowledgable user? Forever? That's impossible.
     
  15. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    Some knowledge is needed. (see note below)

    Nothing ever works perfectly out of the box all of the time. Sooner or later you will have to figure something out to make it work correctly. It might be something as simple to many of us as a firewall setting. But to someone else it is a frustrating never could get it right hurdle. One checked box or misunderstood signal from the software and you could be unprotected. You got to wonder how many users think they are fully protected when the AVG tray icon is fully gray and not colored or with ZA a X in the wrong place on App. Control and guess what no updates. Join a forum (like Wilders). Consult with a "geek". Get advice from a geek ask questions. Get help. Learn enough to ask the right questions. You got to have some knowledge or have some one willing to help you.

    NOTE: By the way I am uncertain as to the difference between "some knowledge" and "fairly knowledgeable" I think "fairly" is greater or more knowledgable then "some" I voted the way I think probably not the way the poller wanted it voted based on the order of selection in the poll. Sorry. I think the results between the two or minor anyway. :doubt:
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2007
  16. ASpace

    ASpace Guest

    How secure a computer is depends only on its user , not on the applications they might have . Paranoia and total control are the only way to go - fully agree with this statement :thumb:
     
  17. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    Some knowledge is needed. You need to know what the computer does, what it does when connected, etc. Not specifics, but an understanding. No classes needed, just someone with enough patience to explain.
    Some of the general advice, like not opening atachments won't work imo. Ignoring unknown emails will.

    I'm having trouble saying anything else. I cannot say more about a subject as vast as this. People download things, visit chat rooms,... Depends on what they want to do online, their interests, even how many people they know.
    So many things to talk about. Sorry, i got stuck.

    Some knowledge is needed.
     
  18. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    Agreed ;)
    Common sense = Unlikely to get infected.
    Some knowledge = No fear.
     
  19. Dazed_and_Confused

    Dazed_and_Confused Registered Member

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    When you heed advice from someone else, isn't that the same thing as obtaining knowledge? Isn't that how one learns, from advice from those more learned?

    Therefore, I claim that at least limited knowledge is needed, whether you get it from a book, or advice from a friend (or someone here at Wilders). ;)
     
  20. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    OPtion 1
    Example: me. :eek:

    Started knowing nothing. STill have nothing more than superficial expertise.
    Can read and follow advice, can point and click and type with the best of the low end of the www. I dont think that counts as foreknowledge.

    STill as per Daisey's last post, have probably moved up a bit in the general rankings thanks to all here and elsewhere.
     
  21. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    Common, you at least have SOME knowledge..:p That's an incorrect answer:rolleyes:
     
  22. herbalist

    herbalist Guest

    I'd pick the 3rd option, fairly knowlegable.
    Lets be fair about how we're using that word. I see several examples posted claiming that the user can be unknowlegable, follow anothers advice, and be reasonably secure. There's still a reliance on anothers knowlege in those examples. Whether the knowlege is the users or a helpers, it's still necessary. It takes at least some knowlege to realize that Internet Explorer, as installed, is an exploit waiting to happen and tighten the settings enough to make it reasonably secure.

    It takes at least some knowlege for a user to know just what it is that they're allowing to access the net thru the firewall. With no knowlege to draw on, theirs or someone elses, they can allow malware as easily as they allow normal system traffic.

    A little knowlege and common sense used to be sufficient, but not anymore. Activities that used to be safe aren't anymore. 5 years ago, who would have thought looking at an image file would infect you, or that you could turn over control of your system by reading a wordpad document? I'd say that not only is significant knowlege needed, common sense is an absolute requirement, and a general distrust of software and internet content is almost a necessity as well. For myself, I'll stay with total control.
    Rick
     
  23. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

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    Your question says "skills". The choice I picked says "knowledge". IMO two different things. I am slightly knowledgeable and even less skilled. I try to polish my "skills" by increasing my "knowledge". I try to share my limited "knowledge" with others so at some point they may acquire the "skills" to protect themselves. Hope I said that well enough......:rolleyes:
     
  24. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    The response to the "poll" is gratifying! The idea Mrk and I had (quite apart from the bet) was to stir thoughtful debate on a very important issue.

    "Is ignorance bliss?" just throw a router out front and surf away!
    ""Is a little knowledge/skill a dangerous thing" - thinking you know but don't!

    Herb's argument for total control is compelling, of course in this world governed by the concept of chaos as the natural state, TOTAL control is impossible!

    Well isn't it?
     
  25. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    I tend to think so. Our control is limited. Mine in particular. Or in other words, i only know that i know nothing.
     
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