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PC security poll - Grin with cat attached
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PC security poll Sep. 22nd, 2003 03:21 pm
I'd be grateful if people, geeks or otherwise, could fill this out. I'm not going to berate people for their answers here, and would ask than anyone viewing the results also refrain from doing so.


Poll #182923 Home Computer Security

What is the operating system of your primary home computer?

Windows 3.1/3.11 etc
1(1.9%)
Windows 95/98/ME
6(11.5%)
Windows NT/2000/XP
25(48.1%)
Linux, BSD, other *NIX
15(28.8%)
Mac OS (before OS X)
0(0.0%)
Mac OS X
4(7.7%)
Other (specify)
1(1.9%)

Other OS:

(How) is that machine connected to the internet?

Not connected
0(0.0%)
Traditional modem
9(18.0%)
(A)DSL
23(46.0%)
Cable Modem
17(34.0%)
ISDN
0(0.0%)
Other narrowband
0(0.0%)
Other broadband
1(2.0%)

Other Connection: please define

What network software do you use on/via that machine?

Microsoft email client
1(1.9%)
Other local email client
0(0.0%)
Remote mail client (ssh/telnet to pine, etc)
0(0.0%)
Internet explorer web browser
3(5.8%)
Non-microsoft web browser
1(1.9%)
Instant messaging software
0(0.0%)
File-sharing software
0(0.0%)

Which security measures do you have in place on that machine?

Anti-virus protection
4(8.2%)
Firewall (software, on the machine in question)
4(8.2%)
Firewall (on a second machine, protecting the machine in question)
9(18.4%)
Intrusion detection system
0(0.0%)
Spyware detection software (eg AdAware)
1(2.0%)

Who is/are the supplier(s) of the above measures?

How often do you update anti-virus protection, if you have it?

More than once a week
15(41.7%)
Weekly
14(38.9%)
Monthly
1(2.8%)
4-6 monthly
1(2.8%)
Annually or less often
5(13.9%)

How do you learn of security threats and vulnerabilities to your system?

Windows update or Apple Update
6(12.0%)
Email notifications
4(8.0%)
Checks of specialised websites
7(14.0%)
Mainstream news
0(0.0%)
From friends
5(10.0%)

Do you download and apply patches to your system?

Obsessively
11(21.6%)
Regularly
24(47.1%)
Occasionally
13(25.5%)
Never
3(5.9%)

From: purplerabbits
Date: September 22nd, 2003 - 07:26 am (Link)
Am certainly not going to fill this in if results are public!
From: wechsler
Date: September 22nd, 2003 - 07:31 am (Link)
They're friends-only. I'm happy that anyone on my friends list is capable of handling this information responsibly, and many of them may be interested in it.

Anyone mishandling it will find themselves falling off that list quite rapidly.
From: azekeil
Date: September 22nd, 2003 - 07:30 am (Link)
..and I never have a problem. Although we do hold LANs at our house which can introduce a bit of a problem re: viruses. Still, we seem to have escaped thus far, merely by keeping up-to-date with patches.
From: wildeabandon
Date: September 22nd, 2003 - 07:32 am (Link)
I actually had to guess at most of the answers to this, because I just let giolla set stuff up, and figured that he knew what he was doing.
From: giolla
Date: September 23rd, 2003 - 06:18 am (Link)
bwahaha hahahahaha
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
From: wechsler
Date: September 22nd, 2003 - 07:41 am (Link)
the information is redundant as my computer is in pieces in my aunt's house

Now that's security ;)
From: swiftangel
Date: September 22nd, 2003 - 08:08 am (Link)
I have file-sharing software on my computer, but don't really use it anymore. I get all my email through Yahoo mail, which has Norton built in for checking attachments. I also have enough computer geek friends that I know what to look for in email headers/subject lines to spot virus messages and delete them without even reading them. This has come in very handy... Of all the recent virus attacks, all I've received was 1 "Microsoft Security Update" email, which I promptly deleted.

As for IM programs, I use AIM but have only 5 people on the buddy list. I use IRC, but on a private server that was set up because of all the DOS attacks on DALNet.
From: conflux
Date: September 22nd, 2003 - 09:47 am (Link)
I generally find out about security updates through work as we are a bit obsessive about them here. The Linux ssh one was through LJ.
From: valkyriekaren
Date: September 22nd, 2003 - 10:23 am (Link)
you'll have to fill some of this in, you set up the house network. All I know is I done get my inner-net fix!
From: ciphergoth
Date: September 22nd, 2003 - 11:13 am (Link)
...taking "apt" to be the equivalent of "Windows Update"...
From: wechsler
Date: September 22nd, 2003 - 11:30 am (Link)
Not unless APT provides notification of newly available updates...
From: ciphergoth
Date: September 22nd, 2003 - 12:36 pm (Link)
cron-apt provides the notification; I then run "aptitude" to install them.
From: wechsler
Date: September 23rd, 2003 - 01:55 am (Link)
More research for me to do, then...
From: deliberateblank
Date: September 22nd, 2003 - 12:43 pm (Link)
No, but you can (and should) subscribe to the debian-security list, then apt can be used to pull the fixes in when an appropriate announcement comes in.
From: wechsler
Date: September 22nd, 2003 - 02:06 pm (Link)
Indeed, but that I'd have classed under 'email lists' in the poll.
From: babysimon
Date: September 23rd, 2003 - 12:23 am (Link)
Ditto.
From: thehalibutkid
Date: September 22nd, 2003 - 12:11 pm (Link)
I am not on your friends list but you are on mine and I just saw the results of the poll
From: wechsler
Date: September 22nd, 2003 - 12:42 pm (Link)
Unless LJ's more b0rked than usual, you can see the numbers, but not who ticked what.
From: thehalibutkid
Date: September 23rd, 2003 - 03:41 am (Link)
thats right just thought you should know just in case cya
From: barakta
Date: September 22nd, 2003 - 02:14 pm (Link)
Interesting poll but didn't truly reflect my computer usage so figured I'd comment here too. I do find the distribution of results that I can see interesting and not in a bad way so much as reflecting a range of use and protection.

I use OSX as my main machine, but I probably use an oldish laptop with win2k on it just as heavily depending on which keyboard I prefer at the time.

My girlf does most^H^H^H^Hall of the config of the router and server boxen, mainly because they are her machines and she's not stupid enough to let anyone mess with them. She runs debian updates regularly and reads a large volume of news on a daily basis. We heard about MBlaster because a friend of ours was one of the first to be infected and kim (girlf) worked out how to manually nuke it from his box by hacking windows RPC entries or something. I was visiting my (stab stab stab) mum and sister so patched their machines pronto and redelivered the 'back your flipping data up, and use winupdate' rant..

We will be debianising the router when we can be arsed as we like apt and how it works. The only worry is that the hardware doesn't like being shut down, it might need thumping to get back again.........

My issue with winupdate is that its annoying and quite difficult to force to download. For someone like my mum (who is extremely anti-computers but is trying to learn how the 'net' works) she only dials up about 3 or 4 times a month and never for more than 20 mins. Not long enough to obtain the majority of windows updates thats for sure. I do my best to secure it and if there is something nasty tell her to dial up (which she ignores) and whatnot.

I am appalled at the size of windows and Apple updates. Several meg a time and it makes me wonder what the irregular dialup users are supposed to do. Not everyone is on DSL speed or always on connections grr.

At least with my father (an ex-geek) I can hit him with sticks and insist he downloads updates and patches his system. Nothing happens on his machine without him knowing he watches Zone Alarm moan at him for fun and he's connected for several hours a week.

I have been lucky with the latest virus, no copies received so far, suspect thats because my friends demographic are geek types with protection, or the significantly less protected but who use hotmail/yahoo and have non-localised guest books. I guess thats the only good thing I have to say for hotmail.

On that note running winupdate on the 2k machine incase anyone brings nasties into our LAN.... and check none of the family are propagating the lastest virus.

Natalya