Toronto Free-Net
  Front  •  Account  •  TFNews  •  Help  •  Contact  
Windows Security Help

Windows as a Malware Target: Other OS's are normally more secure

MS operating systems are generally the target of malware developers because:

  1. the majority of machines today are running Windows,
  2. Microsoft has generally left their operating systems more open to exploits as a tradeoff to being able to add features which MS felt it could market to advantage.
  3. Windows was not historically designed to be connected to the Internet
  4. it is maintained by a relatively small group of software engineers as a proprietary software product when compared to open source operating systems such as Linux.

Do keep in mind that with any operating system keeping up to date with security patches is important. All responsible software creators provide security patches to deal with problems discovered after their software is first released. A meticulously maintained Windows box can be more secure than a badly maintained Linux machine.

For more adventurous TFN members, or those not willing or able to upgrade their older hardware (Pentium 2, 3 or above), we recommend you try a no-risk technology called a Live CD, freely available for download from several sources such as:

All of these are really only variations of each other, although Kubuntu and Knoppix look more like Windows than does Ubuntu. A Live CD is quite common to the Linux world for many distributions other than Ubuntu, Ubuntu will even ship you a CD free of charge if you can't download it. Once you have it on a CD, simply place it in your CD-ROM drive, reboot your computer, and watch while it:

Voila! An entire operating system and dozens of working applications are loaded into your PC's RAM memory. Nothing is installed permanently! Once it's loaded, you'll most likely be able to surf the web*, listen to your CD's, write documents, and a whole lot more. Actually installing the software onto your hard disk's permanent memory, and configuring some hardware and applications, often take a bit more work, but a typical installation of Kubuntu can take a lot less time than installing Windows XP. And there's tons of official documentation included and live online support available from a very friendly community. When you're ready to exit the Live CD and return to your very-safe, unharmed, and currently-installed operating system, there is a quit button, Ubuntu or Kubuntu (or Xubuntu for that matter, depending on what you downloaded) will 'unmount', the CD drive will open, you'll be prompted to remove the CD, and the computer will reboot back to Windows or MacOSx.

*This is especially true if you have High-Speed cable or DSL Internet access. If you have an internal dial-up modem, it could be what's known as a "winmodem" and only controlled by Windows software. If you do have a winmodem and can't browse the web with a Live CD, TFN can sell you a dial-up "linmodem" that will certainly work with Linux for a base price of $10 or so.

Back Front Contact

Copyright © 2007 Toronto Free-Net Inc.