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Security begins at home, but Microsoft is an obstacle

Sat Aug 2 09:56:50 GMT 2003 Security begins at home, but Microsoft is an obstacle

Homeland Security is worried about your home computer: http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/internet/07/31/internet.atttack/index.html.

There's good reason to be concerned, and from what I see in the field, it's not just home users who neglect Microsoft patches; businesses are lax about it too.

But let's put some of the blame where it belongs. Microsoft doesn't make this easy. Windows Update can ruin your day, because every now and then you get a very broken computer as a result of applying the updates. In fairness, it was probably broken already and you just didn't know it, but most of us would rather have left well enough alone.

Another thing that makes folks not want to do the updates is slow internet connections. Not everyone, home or business, has high speed connections. Some of these patches are very large, and can tie up a dial up connection for hours. Microsoft does offer some updates on CD, but it's very hard to find on their web site and takes so long to ship that you'll probably have forgotten about it by the time you get it (call 800 360-7561 to order Service Packs on CD). More importantly, I don't know if there is anyway to get a CD that has everything you need up to date. There probably is such a thing somewhere: I'm sure it's included in MSDN subscriptions (http://msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions/pricing/default.asp) but that's too expensive for a home user and contains much more than just updates and patches anyway. If you can get these any other way, I sure don't know where, and yes, I've looked all over Microsoft's site. There are little bits scattered here and there, but apparently no central place where you can get these, and there should be.

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