As technology advances and increases in complexity so does it's vulnerability.

As an example Gary McGraw in his book Building Secure Software: How to avoid security problems the right way gives the following numbers of lines of code written for some of the older Windows Operating systems

 

Year Operating System Lines of Code
1990 Windows 3.1 3,000,000
1995 Windows NT 4,000,000
1997 Windows 95 15,000,000
1998 Windows NT 4.0 16,000,000
1999 Windows 98 18,000,000
2000 Windows NT 5.0 20,000,000
2001 Windows 2000 35,000,000
2002 Windows XP 40,000,000
2007 Windows Vista 50,000,000

Clearly, with so many millions of lines of code there is plenty of opportunity for things to go wrong - and this is what the hackers, virus and spy-ware writers leverage.

It is imperative that your machine has the following four areas properly covered:-

  1. Automatic Windows Updates - Windows needs to be configured  to automatically receive updates. As soon as a vulnerability has been discovered Microsoft will release a  patch and your machine must detect this and load the patch if it is to stay protected.
  2. Firewall - this protects you from the worst kind of intrusion - one where your system is so vulnerable that hackers can invade it at will. If you want to see how exposed you are, run Shields Up! from  the Gibson Research Corporation site. It will quickly tell you how and where your vulnerabilities are.
  3. Antivirus Software - It is absolutely vital to install and maintain up to date anti-virus software, without it your machine will be rendered useless in double quick time.
  4. Anti Spyware - Surfing the net is like walking through a wild field in woolly clothes - very soon you'll be covered in seeds as plants struggle to disperse themselves.  In the Internet world the most common form of seed is the "cookie" and it was originally designed to assist you when you re-visit a site but now many are being used to collect information about your surfing habits - information that is sold on to marketing companies. Anti-spyware works like anti-virus software and needs to be kept up to date.

If you find your machine behaving erratically, use CompuGuide's  Virus & Spyware eradication service to clean out the infection and ensure that your defences are back in place and fully functional.