I'm So Over Microsoft: Here's to Going Mac


The Associated Press reported on Monday that Microsoft took the rare step of warning everyone about a serious computer security vulnerability… it hasn't fixed yet. Normally I see these kinds of announcements and make a mental note to keep my anti-virus program active and working, but this one struck me as important so I kept reading. Turns out, it is a vulnerability that affects Internet Explorer users whose computers run on Windows XP operating software. Hello?! Everyone I know who uses a PC still prefers and uses Windows XP including myself… so why are they telling me about a flaw that can allow hackers to remotely take control of my machine just because I visited an infected Web site that's been hacked, and then tell me they haven’t fixed this flaw yet? It made me furious.

Don’t get me wrong, just because I work in this industry and I have to be smarter than the average bear when it comes to understanding technology, doesn’t mean I can’t get as frustrated as the next guy. Not only am I incredibly pissed off at Microsoft for announcing this security breach and then not providing a patch, I’m also incredibly pissed off at Microsoft because in addition to disrupting my home computer, this flaw hacked thousands of websites using Windows Server 2003 server software, which means it could potentially disrupt my professional website and worse yet, make it serve as a catalyst to spread malicious software to others. It’s gone too far.

The most important tip to ensure you don’t get a virus on your computer is never, and I mean NEVER, click on a link in an email especially if it is from someone you don’t know. If it’s from someone you know, hover over it first and see what the tag says that appears in the small window when your cursor rests on top of it (don’t click on it). If it ends with a file name of .exe do not click on it and delete the email immediately (.exe means it is an executable file that will load a program onto your machine). If it looks like a normal URL, at least copy-and-paste it into a browser first to see what appears on the Web page (otherwise the link may lead you to a bogus Web page in an attempt to phish you). Basically clicking on a link in an email is the worst thing you can do. This so-called "zero day" vulnerability is spreading mainly due to people clicking on links in an email. Don’t do it.

Here’s the scoop: I used to work at Microsoft and I know they only issue security updates once a month; if they issue this kind of “security reminder” at any other time, it’s because it’s very serious… and it most likely affects you or someone you know! Unless of course you’re on a Mac. While it is possible for an Apple Macintosh to get a virus, the likelihood of a Mac user getting a virus when compared to a Microsoft Windows user is very little to none. In fact, many Apple Macintosh users don't even run an anti-virus protection program (unless you’re running a virtual PC on your Apple Macintosh, then you need anti-virus protection). I decided enough is enough, I’m making the switch. And you know what? Now that I'm looking through my new rose-colored Mac glasses at the online world, it's fun again! They say once you go Mac, you'll never go back, now I know why.
AP,
Erin



1 comments:
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Ron said...
7:04 AM  

Hi Erin,

I first heard about NetLingo on the radio a few days ago, so I'm a bit slow to respond to your post about switching camps. I've been using Microsoft OS based products since the Reagan administration and recently began using a MacBook Pro. My purpose was to be able to test our web applications on the Mac platform (primarily), but also serve my own curiosity about Apple products. I was always amazed at the loyalty to Apple my colleagues who used Macs had. After all, its just a tool.

Having used my MacBook Pro for the past few months, I get it now. I'm now a Mac fan. I still use MS based products (Server 2003, IIS, SharePoint, Windows XP, Vista), but for everyday use, I prefer using my Mac over the PC. Steve Krug's book Don't Make Me Think is one of my favorite user experience books and Apple gets user experience better than MS (unfortunately).

Thanks for NetLingo and congrats on your recognition as a Top Female Internet Entrepreneur. Well done.

Best,
Ron Hunsberger

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