Aug 17, 2004 at 8:57AMIs the book plugging a hole in the market? Of course it is - though "filling a real need" might be a less cynical view. As for differentiating viruses and worms - I'm very well aware of the difference. In fact, I write about the difference in the book immediately before explaining that it doesn't matter. From the perspective of a home users, viruses, worms and trojans all fall into the class of "bad things that a good antivirus program should clean or remove." Spyware and Adware fall into the class of "bad things that you may need a spyware/adware tool to remove because many antivirus programs won't catch them." Dan
On the fairness of the quiz:
I suppose it's important to consider the purpose of the quiz. It's not my intent to make people feel stupid. However it is my intent to challenge certain misconceptions and to get people thinking about these issues (which, based on the reponses here, is meeting with some success).
As for the two biggest misconceptions relating to identity theft and online safety:
The FTC is a great source of statistical information for those who are interested. A 2003 report indicated about 4.6% of us suffered some form of identity theft the previous year. I don't know of any study of identity theft amont teens other than my own surveys. In any group of teens I've spoken with, the rate runs no less than 30%. Not scientific, but so far above the adult rate that I'm confident the question is not unreasonable.
As for online safety for kids and teens. Read the numbers on any study and it's clear that of attacks against young people, a small minority come from someone they met on the Internet.
Changing a culture is a challenge - I'm only taking the first steps here and hoping those of you watching these videos and reading this will join in the effort. The Mac and Linux users are just as vulnerable to scams, but the truth is that most viruses are targeting Windows systems. XP SP2 is a great step, but there's a long way from RTM to having it installed on every home user's system (or even most). Truth is, if people just updated their existing OS with the latest patches, installed a firewall and a self-updating antivirus program, that would go a long way even without XP SP2. Here's something that would help (hope you folks at MS are listening). I'd like to see Microsoft distribute a few million CD's free at every major electronic store nationwide. The CD should include SP2 and the latest service packs/security updates for Win2K, ME and 98. Lots of people are still on dial-up and can't download this software. If AOL can plaster the country with CD's, there's no reason MS can't do it, and this is much more important. Dan