Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Older Means Wiser To Computer Security

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the get-off-my-lawn dept.

Privacy 181

An anonymous reader writes "Growing up in the digital age, 18 – 25s may appear to be a more tech-savvy generation, but that does not translate into safer computing and online practices. A new study reveals that they are the most at-risk group, and prone to cyber-attacks. That makes this group even more vulnerable to online security threats. Younger users tend to prioritize entertainment and community over security, perhaps due to overconfidence in their security knowledge. For example, they're more concerned about gaming or other social activities than their online security. They also have less sophisticated security software, and hence, have reported more security problems than other groups."

cancel ×

181 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Shocking... (5, Funny)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 2 years ago | (#40416165)

18-25 year olds don't think bad things could happen to them.

On the bright side an 18-25 year old probably doesn't have much worth stealing.

Re:Shocking... (5, Funny)

seepho (1959226) | about 2 years ago | (#40416187)

perhaps due to overconfidence in their security knowledge

Also arrogant, don't forget arrogant. Consequently, they should get off my lawn.

Re:Shocking... (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40416595)

perhaps due to overconfidence in their security knowledge

Also arrogant, don't forget arrogant. Consequently, they should get off my lawn.

It may look like an iPod they're plugged into at their desk, but it's an industrial grade SEP Field Generator, going full tilt.

and pull your pants up

Re:Shocking... (5, Funny)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about 2 years ago | (#40416201)

Yeah who needs those youngsters' data? It's all just music/video/games stolen from someone else anyway -- and all they have is that noise the kids are listening to these days -- none of that Clapton or Floyd we veterans need.

We in the older crowd, on the other hand, know that LawnSentry is important to keep your lawn free of those virus infected younglings.

Re:Shocking... (4, Interesting)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 2 years ago | (#40416351)

I was actually referring to bank accounts.

If you got access to my Huntington account today, at 31, you'd be able to transfer $1,000 to your shady Russian money-laundering operation, and I'd be screwed. If you got access to my account when I was in college you'd be lucky to get $300, and it would have been no skin off my ass because Daddy would have made it better.

Re:Shocking... (1)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about 2 years ago | (#40416521)

I figured you might be referring to money. If anyone got access to my 21-yr old bank account, they'd probably find a negative balance. My assumption was that the only thing valuable on such a machine today would be all the pirated music and video.

Re:Shocking... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40416611)

I figured you might be referring to money. If anyone got access to my 21-yr old bank account, they'd probably find a negative balance. My assumption was that the only thing valuable on such a machine today would be all the pirated music and video.

You probably should change your voicemail password from 123.

BTW, you sure have a lot of people trying to reach you about your collection of something or other.

Re:Shocking... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416857)

And not a single fuck was given.

Re:Shocking... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416895)

And not a single fuck was given.

Well duh! Why give fucks away when you can make a good living selling them?

Re:Shocking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416847)

If you got access to my account when I was in college you'd be lucky to get $300, and it would have been no skin off my ass because Daddy would have made it better.

My dad, who is well over 80 now, would have laughed his ass off and told me I'd better get a night job. Seriously. He refused to bail me out of jail, too.

If you got access to my Huntington account today, at 31, you'd be able to transfer $1,000 to your shady Russian money-laundering operation, and I'd be screwed.

I'm a lot older than you. If you got access to my bank account today, I wouldn't lose a thing, because my ass is insured against that shit.

Re:Shocking... (5, Funny)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#40416585)

A few weeks ago, I foolishly setup a "Stay Off The Lawn" sign that a home security company sent me by mail. As someone who doesn't know much about home security, at the time, I thought nothing of it. "Why would a home security company want to hurt me?" Following this line of thought, I put up the sign without question.

How naive I was. Despite having what was supposedly the best "Stay Off The Lawn" sign out right then, a young whippersnapper stepped on my lawn and held my attention hostage. He was pretending to be a messenger from the National Security Agency telling me to buy some strange lawn sign I'd never heard of from a company I'd never heard of to remove this same young whippersnapper.

This immediately set alarm bells off in my head. "How could this happen? My 'Stay Off The Lawn' sign is supposed to be second to none!" Faced with this harsh reality, I decided to take my "Stay Off The Lawn" sign in for repair. They gladly accepted the job, told me it'd be fixed in a few days, and sent me off with a smile.

A few days later, they called me and told me to come pick up my sign. At the time, I noticed that they sounded like whimpering animals, but I concluded that it must just be stress from work. When I arrived, they, with tears in their eyes, told me that the young whippersnapper was so awful and merciless that they were unable to remove him. "Ah," I thought. "That must be why they sounded so frustrated and pathetic over the phone. Their failure must have truly ruined their pride as professionals." I later found out that two of them had committed suicide.

After returning home, I tried to fix it myself (despite the fact that even the professionals couldn't do it). After about a day or so, I was losing my very mind. I stopped going to work, stopped eating, was depressed, and I would very frequently throw my precious belongings across the room and break them; that is how bad this young whippersnapper was.

That's when it happened: I found GetOffMyFuckingLawn.com [getoffmyfuckinglawn.com]! I installed the "Trespassers Will Be Shot" sign from GetOffMyFuckingLawn.com [getoffmyfuckinglawn.com], faced it toward the street, and let it remove all the young whippersnappers! They were removed in precisely 2.892 seconds. Wow! Such a thing! I can't even believe this as such never before! GetOffMyFuckingLawn [getoffmyfuckinglawn.com] is outstanding! Those young whippersnappers are running faster than ever! GetOffMyFuckingLawn [getoffmyfuckinglawn.com] came through with flying colors where no one else could!

GetOffMyFuckingLawn [getoffmyfuckinglawn.com] totally cleaned up my yard, and increased my property value! If you're having young whippersnapper problems, or even if you aren't having any obvious problems, I recommend that you use GetOffMyFuckingLawn [getoffmyfuckinglawn.com]. As a cranky old vet, it did more for me that any so-called "professional." It'll even boost your firearm accuracy & aim-down-sight speed!

Now with LawnSentry! [http://www.wimp.com/lawngenius/]

Re:Shocking... (2)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about 2 years ago | (#40416665)

Truly inspiring testimony! Lord knows how important a tidy, youngster-free lawn is.

Re:Shocking... (1)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | about 2 years ago | (#40417099)

That's so funny I'm not even going to use my meta points. I'm just going to tell you directly that it was awesome.

Re:Shocking... (1)

mlush (620447) | about 2 years ago | (#40416401)

18-25 year olds don't think bad things could happen to them.

On the bright side an 18-25 year old probably doesn't have much worth stealing.

Their credit rating is probably worth a bob or two

Re:Shocking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416497)

My credit rating was garbage when I was that age, since I had no lines of credit. Shoot, I'm 26 and have been paying all of my bills on time since they started rolling in at 22, and it's still only OK. Thankfully money's cheap -- it didn't take much to get sub-4% on a home loan.

Re:Shocking... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40416641)

My credit rating was garbage when I was that age, since I had no lines of credit. Shoot, I'm 26 and have been paying all of my bills on time since they started rolling in at 22, and it's still only OK. Thankfully money's cheap -- it didn't take much to get sub-4% on a home loan.

I frequently get CC offers in the mail. The day I receive one, pre-approved with a limit of $100,000 I was shocked. It wasn't a schlock bank and it wasn't a high interest rate, but I tore that up and split the bits among different bins.

Seriously, why keep it? Nobody take credit card payments for a house

Re:Shocking... (2)

Mister Whirly (964219) | about 2 years ago | (#40416729)

"Pre approved with a *$100,00 limit."

*up to

Read the fine print. Sure, anyone can be pre-approved for up to $X no matter what X is. Just becasue they print a big number X on your letter doesn't mean that is what your actual limit would have been.

Re:Shocking... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40417237)

"Pre approved with a *$100,00 limit."

*up to

Read the fine print. Sure, anyone can be pre-approved for up to $X no matter what X is. Just becasue they print a big number X on your letter doesn't mean that is what your actual limit would have been.

This wasn't UP-TO, but pre-approved $100K. That was a few years before banks started failing, but I think underscored how insane such an offer was. I believe it was Chase or BofA extending the offer.

Re:Shocking... (3, Insightful)

SonofSmog (1961084) | about 2 years ago | (#40416483)

Young people engage in risky behavior? Indeed shocking...

Re:Shocking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416547)

They grew up in the environment Microsoft Windows created. Exploits and intrusions are a fact of life, not even particularly noteworthy unless they affect many people. Most reports and articles don't even mention Windows or Microsoft; its just assumed (though lately mobile product exploits _are_ getting some named coverage). The mindset of the old technical computer managers, or more current banking/financial/medical just isn't part of their makeup. Back then a break-in wasn't just bad, it was no excuse a disaster of major proportions, jeopardizing companies' existence, peoples lives and reputations. Now? Modern 'users' in their millions? Meh, another breakin, another exploit, one of thousands, no big deal unless they personally lose money. Have to reinstall the OS? NO biggie, happens all the time.

Mediocrity. If its all you expect and you settle for it, or worse if you don't even know any better, then thats what you get.

Re:Shocking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40417073)

It is also due to the fact that in the past, companies would tend to keep the barn door closed, and restrict what faced the Internet. Need access to payroll data? Come to a branch office and use the 3270 terminal.

Then came the wave of "security has zero ROI"/"Geek Squad can handle it if we get hacked" BS that PHBs started spouting in the past 7-10 years, so real serious security was ignored.

Older people have seen businesses actually care about security, while younger admins have seen mainly lip service and "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" approaches when it comes to keeping the barn door closed.

Hopefully this is changing, but I doubt it. It won't change until the government steps in with regulation that not just fines, but actually stops a company from operating and doing business for x amount of time in that country as a penalty.

Re:Shocking... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40416555)

18-25 year olds don't think bad things could happen to them.

On the bright side an 18-25 year old probably doesn't have much worth stealing.

Sometimes it's the age and wisdome of the project management...

You can have it done on schedule - OR - you can have it done right.

To make stockholders, executives, etc, happy it's usually the former, with the belief anything which is a problem can be dealt with later.

Re:Shocking... (4, Funny)

jd (1658) | about 2 years ago | (#40416615)

Back when I was 18, I found a library computer had been infected by a virus. I copied the infected program and found a clean version off the local public domain archives. Wrote a binary diff and extracted the inserted hook plus the attached virus. Looked at the code through a disassembler. It was ok, but that wasn't the important bit. The important bit is that I'd done software gene splicing.

Re:Shocking... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 2 years ago | (#40416965)

I did that once, back when the old "Naples High Sneakernet" turned into our own little Typhoid Mary with the old "November 17" virus (thankfully, this is in april).

Back in those days, you knew you had something nasty because EMM386 would get infected and not work, and none of your games would run.

Hm? When the hell did I get a lawn?!

Re:Shocking... (4, Funny)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#40416867)

18-25 year olds don't think bad things could happen to them.

On the bright side an 18-25 year old probably doesn't have much worth stealing.

If they're in I.T. then they probably still have their virginity. You could steal that.

Re:Shocking... (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 2 years ago | (#40417161)

Who would want to?

Re:Shocking... (1)

Zakabog (603757) | about 2 years ago | (#40417177)

18-25 year olds don't think bad things could happen to them.

On the bright side an 18-25 year old probably doesn't have much worth stealing.

If they're in I.T. then they probably still have their virginity. You could steal that.

Like the previous post said, not much worth stealing...

best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (2)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about 2 years ago | (#40416169)

This seems like a good place to ask: What is the best firewall and antivirus software available for Windows? For Linux? I've been a Mcafee customer by default but suspect there's something better for Windows. I also use linux a lot more now and, beyond a custom hosts file, don't have any active antivirus software beyond what comes with Ubuntu. Advice?

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416225)

The best firewall for Windows IS Linux!

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 years ago | (#40416459)

And here I was thinking the post was going to be marked as flame bait and vanish.. :D

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (4, Informative)

heypete (60671) | about 2 years ago | (#40416263)

Windows: Microsoft Security Essentials. It's free, non-obnoxious, and works well. The Windows Firewall is fine. No need for extra stuff.
Linux: There aren't really any noteworthy Linux-specific viruses that affect desktop systems. Keep things up to date. For server systems, things like tripwire are handy to see if things are getting modified. The built-in firewall is again excellent.
Hosts File: DO NOT SUMMON APK.

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416435)

Hosts File: DO NOT SUMMON APK.

It is too LATE for that because he has already been SUMMONED. It is too late for you to stop the POWER of the ETC/HOSTS file which I have used for the past fifteen years to protect my COMPUTER by linking to

0.0.0.0 instead of 127.0.0.1 which is faster for resolution times

      A
          P
            K

+------ P.S.
|
|
+------> /etc/hosts FILES ARE SECURE AND CHECK OUT MY links [slashdot.org]

Furthermore, studies have shown that one sentence per line is more effective than listing 127.0.0.1 because last time I brought this up you ran from me like a coward [slashdot.org] .

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416271)

Microsoft Security Essentials + Windows Firewall is a good choice for windows.

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416335)

Those are what I use. Then I toss in the occasional Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and Spybot - Search & Destroy scan. I also use the Immunize function of Spybot S&D to help block known bad sites

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (5, Informative)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#40416289)

This seems like a good place to ask: What is the best firewall and antivirus software available for Windows?

For home users, there's little reason not to go with Microsoft Security Essentials as your antivirus: it does a good job of detecting most malware, it's free, and it's faster and less intrusive than most third-party solutions.

Regarding firewalls, I've heard good things about the Comodo firewall, but personally I've never had a problem just using the standard Windows firewall in conjunction with a NAT device.

Make sure to keep Windows Update set to automatic, and install the security updates when they become available. More importantly, be sure to update Flash and Adobe Reader, since these are actually a bigger vector for infection now than Windows and IE. Don't install Java unless you really need it, and even if you do need it for a desktop app, make sure the browser plugin is disabled, and that you keep the VM up to date at all times. It's a big attack surface.

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (2, Interesting)

jd (1658) | about 2 years ago | (#40416701)

Security Essentials detects a lot of malware that you really don't care about and misses the really nasty stuff. It's considerably slower than either of the anti-virus toolkits I've mentioned elsewhere (Dr Web, Kaspersky). The most recent Flash is broken for Firefox, no date set for the fix, so keeping it up to date depends on what you use. Java isn't a big deal, provided it is only enabled for trusted sites. Java applications only have the same power as regular applications if signed, unsigned Java code is heavily restricted. If you restrict inbound and outbound connections to only authorized app/port combinations, there's nothing of significance Java can do.

Since most applications of any worth (Libre Office, for example, but well over 70% of what I run overall) has at least one Java component, you need Java. Using Jrockit is better than using the regular Java engines.

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40417227)

I just installed Kaspersky Labs Internet Security Suit, and to be honest as good as it is at detecting, protecting, and cleaning, It takes 3 to 4 times longs than Security Essentials to do a full System inspection (3 to 4 days as opposed to 1 day) but that being said, for a pay system this is one of the best out there, and can be found on Amazon on average for ~ $25 USD. Learning curve can be a bit for some non technical users, but this being Slashdot I don't think that is as much a problem.

Security Essentials on the other hand is free and does a great job. Couple that with the build in Firewall for windows and if you are paranoid Spybot S&D, Malware-bytes and you are covered for most anything. This then leads to the question, do you trust Microsoft to protect their own code, or some third party that is dedicated to anti-virus/spy/mal/add ware detection prevention and removal.

One last thing to add is, make sure that you have all of your info backed up, and all your software patched and you should have no problems.

Remember: Knowing is half the battle.

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (1)

avandesande (143899) | about 2 years ago | (#40416891)

I have used the AVG free suite for years with the more obtrusive stuff turned off and have had no problems...

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416907)

+1. This response is accurate and concise; furthermore (somewhat amazingly on Slashdot) is also correctly spelled, capitalized, and punctuated. A tip of the hat to you, sir or madam!

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (1)

benzaholic (1862134) | about 2 years ago | (#40416315)

First, prepare to be flamed as a likely ideal representation of users discussed in the article.

Second, at least you're asking, so that's progress.

Third, ditch that bloatware McAfee, but don't think that Norton/Symantec will be any slimmer.

Fourth, there is no "best" choice. Each is a compromise between speed, size, price, frequency of updates, effectiveness at detecting a variety of categories of bad things, minimizing false positives (where it mistakenly tells you that a safe file is unsafe), supported operating systems, and on and on and on. There are likely a few that will suit your needs well.

When researching, which we know you intend to do thoroughly, be sure to note the date of any reviews or comparisons. There's lots of old info still online, and this industry can change very rapidly.

That said, I currently like and use Avast on Windows.

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (2)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#40416333)

Use a hardware firewall, and MSE on Windows boxen.

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 2 years ago | (#40416363)

Just throwing in my vote for Microsoft Security Essentials and built in firewall, as well. As long as you couple it with a decent adblock/script blocking program on your browser of choice, and use a modicum of common sense, you should be fine...

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (5, Informative)

MrSenile (759314) | about 2 years ago | (#40416389)

For windows.

McAfee I'd not select. It's an absolute pig on resources.
Norton is ok, but also rather piggish.
AVG is actually not bad, or Avast I hear is pretty good.
Windows 7 antivirus that they include also isn't too bad.
kaspersky isn't bad either.

You'd also want an anti-spyware/adware. My suggestions:
spybot search & destroy
malware bytes
ad-aware

For manual checking/removal:
hijack this!
wireshark

For firewalls:
I'd honestly set up a linux box as a firewall proxy for your windows system. But if you must have a windows firewall:
zonealarm - free, and it 'works', but not the best
Comodo is actually pretty nice and I believe their firewall is free

For Linux:
Generally, you don't need to worry much about viruses, but I won't be so arrogant to say Linux can't get them. A PEBCAK error makes Linux vulnerable like any other OS, so with that in mind, my suggestion:

samhain -- this is very nice protection against rootkits as it does md5 checksums of all your binaries/libraries and alerts you of any system changes.
clamav -- antivirus for linux/unix
iptables -- this is your built in linux firewall. Very very powerful.
fail2ban -- this (or other software like denyhosts, blockhosts, etc) good for brute force attacks on your services (like ssh, httpd, etc)
ACL -- check into setting up acl restriction on binaries as well as mounting partitions nosuid or noexec.

You can find various graphical/web frontends for iptable configuration. It's pretty complex so if you're a newbie to Linux or unix in general you may want to search around for a good front end. Otherwise, I suggest just doing it by hand and set up your own iptable rule sets as it gives you more flexability.

Make sure to also apply all the recent patches, disable any services/daemons you don't need running, and for any remote access you enable to your system, lock it down to the specific set of users you want to connect to your system.

Hope that helps.

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416465)

+1 for AVG. I haven't had any problems with it, but I've also never had it detect anything in the few years I've been using it. For all I know it's worthless.

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416993)

AVG doesn't run so well on my XP machine. It eats a lot of resources and it updates far too frequently. Honestly, it feels more like its upgrading versus updating.

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (1)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about 2 years ago | (#40416489)

Awesome post. I've used all those linux tools except ACL. Will look into that. Given that I'm using Ubuntu and browsing the web a lot, I'm mostly concerned about infection via web browser -- clicking on a funny link or something.

I'm not sure how to set up a linux box as a firewall proxy for windows, but I suspect my router (running DD-WRT) may accomplish more or less the same thing. My LAN connects to my router which connect to my cable modem.

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (2)

Nemesisghost (1720424) | about 2 years ago | (#40416679)

A very simple way of doing this is with Putty/SSH. Basically, you open a SSH connection with a tunnel. Then you use something like FoxyProxy, point it at the SSH tunnel you opened. I'm sure there are better solutions for opening the SSH tunnel or Proxy. This works as a quick & dirty solution. And it's a great way to get around certain firewalls, if your proxy lies outside the firewall(ie home server while @ work).

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (1)

heypete (60671) | about 2 years ago | (#40416879)

OpenVPN is another option, and that works quite well. It can also be configured to route all traffic, not just things which support proxies.

Setting it up the first time is not the most trivial thing in the world, but it's not hard. Just be sure to change the RSA and DH-parameter scripts to generate 2048-bit keys (or higher, if you feel the need) rather than the default 1024.

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (4, Funny)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#40416447)

OK, here's my 54-year old doddering answer.

For important things you can sign up for an instance of Linux on Amazon, connect, do whatever you need to do, and throw the instance away. For stuff that requires only minimal security, cough up some bucks, put on your big boy pants, slap 16 Gig of EE3 RAM into a new HP laptop and run a Linux VM web appliance on VMWare's free player or Virtual Box. Throw a keystroke encryptor on your windows host too. Sure, it's not perfect, but a dang good cheap firewall. Make sure you add Ghostery, first thing, or you'll be tracked by hundreds of different sites. The government/corporations may not come to track you down today, but your comments, even the innocent ones that mention your name, address, friends or family members may come back to haunt you in a few years.

Or maybe next year. Because maybe you're just not paranoid enough yet.

Now, (and it feels good to say this), "GET OFF MY LAWN!"

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416467)

The best anti-virus is your brain + linux. Configure your machine to not run random code from random places, even if it's purportedly sandboxed in some browser scripting environment. Running any old javascript or flash served to your box is idiotic. Install well known software from your distro's repositories.

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (1)

jd (1658) | about 2 years ago | (#40416503)

Dr Web and Kaspersky seem to be the two best choices. Both'll run under Linux and Windows, which is good. I am unsure of the value of personal firewalls on Windows, as it is unclear as to what they're supposed to stop. There ARE Windows versions of AIDE (which will tell you if any file has been modified) and Snort (which will tell you if there is any suspect network traffic, especially any that fits known malware patterns), but it's unclear whether they'd do what you'd want.

Re:best antivirus / firewall for Windows? Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416681)

I am unsure of the value of personal firewalls on Windows, as it is unclear as to what they're supposed to stop.

Malicious is in the mind of the user.

I use a personal firewall product on Windows because I want to know which of my applications are phoning home, when, and why. (Case in point - a reinstall of an old game, Alpha Centauri, which needs no internet connectivity on Win7, the game wouldn't reload until I allowed some Windows-related "game rating" (even though parental controls are disabled on the box) thing to phone home and download the game's logo.

Similarly, the first time I installed Fallout 3 - I didn't mind it phoning home once for activation, but I did mind that it took forever to start up because the PFW was blocking its attempts to phone home to Games For Windows Live. Disabling GWFL (I was interested in playing a single-player PC game for the sake of the game, not for the sake of racking up GWFL achievements) resolved the problem.

While it's true that skillfully-written malware can circumvent a personal firewall, I'm more interested in what my "legitimate" applications are doing. A personal firewall, running on the same host as the software in question, is a fantastic tool for that. Are the little flashes on my DSL modem the result of some random worm knocking on ports that shouldn't be exposed (for services that aren't even running), or are they just noise from random P2P clients attempting to connect to the last user who happened to have the IP address that my ISP just assigned me?

Not news to Slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416183)

Anyone here surprised that the youth are not really tech savvy? No? Didn't think so.

Re:Not news to Slashdot (5, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | about 2 years ago | (#40416267)

Being "tech savvy" has lost it's meaning these days. People are considered "tech savvy" by just being able to use a smartphone. And that is effectively increasing the pool of people called "tech savvy". But the number of people that genuinely understand security is not growing. If anything it is shrinking.

Re:Not news to Slashdot (2)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#40416355)

Indeed. Technological education is, IMHO, somewhat 'sick' these days.

Re:Not news to Slashdot (5, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 years ago | (#40416637)

Much of the reason for that is difficult to blame on the technical people. Companies no longer have budgets for training, let alone following best practices. Compound that with expectation that a technical person can handle any gawd awful technology you tell them they have to support.

5 years ago, I was much better with security than I am now. 5 years ago, I handled Solaris (2 versions), Redhat (2 versions), Sun and HP hardware, 2 vendors HBA cards, and 2 SAN vendors.

Today, 47 operating systems, 3 different PC hardware vendors (unfortunately much is from a home grown slap it together cheap shop), Sun (equipment dating back 12 years to present). OSes must include Windows, ESX, Citrix Xen*, Solaris 8-11, disparate versions of Ubuntu, CentOS, RHEL, Fedora, Gentoo, NetBSD, FreeBSD, plus many tasks that 5 years ago were the job of a staffed Network person. That's in addition to Netapp and some other cheap NAS vendored gear.

I generally laugh when I get recruiter postings for jobs demanding candidates be senior level SAN admin, Unix Admin, Windows Admin, VMWare admin, Cisco Admin, and what ever else they can stick on to a single person's job the sounds technical. I also cry because nobody can be an expert with anything in a market making those demands.

Security has to take a back seat. I just make it a point of telling people when they are demanding insecure solutions to cover my ass.

Re:Not news to Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40417105)

Compound that with expectation that a technical person can handle any gawd awful technology you tell them they have to support

Which is completely opposite from the expectations of nearly every hiring manager or HR person you'll talk to before you can get a job.

Re:Not news to Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416407)

"People are considered "tech savvy" by just being able to use a smartphone."

Agreed. What counts as "tech savvy" seems to be just a user-level view of a device: memorizing which thing to click or press or swipe to make it do action X. But it's rarely about having any idea what's happening from that level down to the hardware. Start talking about details of the VM system or things at that level, and their eyes glaze over. With the very limit knowledge they have, they can't really understand machine security.

Re:Not news to Slashdot (5, Insightful)

geek (5680) | about 2 years ago | (#40416453)

I disagree. I'm old enough to remember when "tech savy" was someone that could set the clock on a VCR. It's always been this way.

This website is older than a lot of the people who visit it now. I've been here since the very beginning. This site, like many others, began catering to larger populations by dumbing down the content. This of course ups page views and ad clicks. Then the "tech savy" folks move on to other "tech savy" sites and the cycle continues.

I'm just the old guy that kept coming back every few months to check on things and feeling nostalgic.

But I digress. People in the 18-25 age group feel immortal. I know because I was one of them not too long ago. This feeling of youth and being impervious seeps into everything they do, including computer usage. Who needs an AV program? Software updates? Nah I don't need them. It's just how it goes.

They get a little older, a little wiser, life takes a few chunks out of their asses and the cycle continues. It's all just a big joke as the Comedian would say.

Re:Not news to Slashdot (2)

slew (2918) | about 2 years ago | (#40417199)

I'm old enough to remember when "tech savy" was someone that could set the clock on a VCR. It's always been this way.

What's a VCR? (just kidding)... Every generation has their "tech savy" litmus test, it's always been this way, but today it's not setting a VCR clock. Maybe today it's setting a non-default password for your wireless router or something like that...

Re:Not news to Slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416509)

Yes, exactly. "Tech Savy" in 2012 is what I call being an interface jockey. They may be good at operating a pretty GUI that does very basic tasks, but there's little understanding of how the technology works, what to do when it's broken, or doing anything beyond what the basic UI allows. Kids growing up over the past 10 years think they're "tech savy" because they're more comfortable with computers than their parents were.

Re:Not news to Slashdot (2)

sco08y (615665) | about 2 years ago | (#40416605)

People are considered "tech savvy" by just being able to use a smartphone.

Reminds me of the News Co scandal where they "hacked" some phones by dialing the standard numbers for voicemail, which worked because the victims hadn't bothered to set a password...

Being "tech savvy" has lost it's meaning these days.

I suspect any type of savvy has been fairly meaningless when used by mass media for a while now.

Re:Not news to Slashdot (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40416693)

Being "tech savvy" has lost it's meaning these days. People are considered "tech savvy" by just being able to use a smartphone. And that is effectively increasing the pool of people called "tech savvy". But the number of people that genuinely understand security is not growing. If anything it is shrinking.

Youth? I've known a few 40 year old women who have left their purses in their cars in parking lots. Shocked when they come back, find a big hole in their window and no purse. Sometimes it's simply a matter of haste.

Back in the day, when I was learning programming I had some hard-nosed profs pound into my head the concept of ELSE. If this then do something ELSE do something .. No drop-through logic allowed, period! Amazing how much code I see with drop through logic.

Re:Not news to Slashdot (4, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | about 2 years ago | (#40416567)

This cannot be a surprise to anyone familiar with either the Dunning-Kruger effect, or the tendency of adolescents/young adults to act in denial of their own mortality.

Young people (as a group) do not understand technology better than older people (as a group) do; they just aren't afraid of it. That makes them better at figuring out how to use it, but worse at figuring out how to use it wisely.

Re:Not news to Slashdot (2)

Belial6 (794905) | about 2 years ago | (#40416951)

The idea that older people are more afraid of technology than young people is a stereo type that once was true, and really isn't anymore. It makes sense though. back in the 70/80/90's the old people had grown up in a time when pushing the wrong button could take your arm off. When they were kids, you either approached new technology with caution, or you didn't survive to be old. Today, the old people grew up in an environment where pushing the wrong button meant you had to reinstall.

Quickest way to give a pc malware? (1)

oh-dark-thirty (1648133) | about 2 years ago | (#40416203)

Give it to anyone under 25.

Just so long... (0)

jd (1658) | about 2 years ago | (#40416205)

...as they get off my lawn!

Re:Just so long... (1)

OhSoLaMeow (2536022) | about 2 years ago | (#40416689)

I don't care so much if they want to walk on my lawn. I just wished they'd get off my wife.

Re:Just so long... (2)

jd (1658) | about 2 years ago | (#40416723)

So long as you charge them for rent and price the videos sensibly, you should be able to afford a new wife fairly quickly.

Still true, as it always has been (4, Insightful)

Freddybear (1805256) | about 2 years ago | (#40416217)

When I was 18 I knew everything. Now that I'm older I know better. :)

Re:Still true, as it always has been (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 2 years ago | (#40416269)

I prefer the formulation, "When I was 18, I knew everything." (pause) "What the hell happened?"

Re:Still true, as it always has been (1, Offtopic)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#40416443)

You found out that despite reason and logic's many virtues, some people will purposefully blind themselves to them, if only to win an argument; that even though you may be correct, and the other person wrong, the other person will deny the correctness of your position if only to deny you hearing them say you are correct? That some people think that yelling, screaming, and violence are valid substitutes for leadership? That corruption is institutionalized, and couldn't be wiped out even if humanity were reduced to a handful of individuals? That you have more to fear from family that your enemies? That although a single word may be held to have the same meaning by all people, the emotional connotations associated with it alter its understanding in intangible ways? That you may spend more of your time defending your rights and asking others to keep their promises than you will planning a better world / understanding this one? That at the end of the day, your problems stem not from within, but from without? That you will spend more time combating caricatures of the points you are trying to make, in other's heads, than you are comfortable admitting?

And at age 180, you will only begin to understand what any of this means.

Re:Still true, as it always has been (4, Informative)

oddaddresstrap (702574) | about 2 years ago | (#40416379)

"When I was fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have him around. When I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."
-Mark Twain

Re:Still true, as it always has been (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 2 years ago | (#40416601)

You need to adjust those figures up by 30-50% to accommodate the delay of social maturity in modern times, but yes, it's still true.

Hence reported more (2)

foniksonik (573572) | about 2 years ago | (#40416237)

The last statement is a false positive. Reporting more issues is not the same as having more.

Maybe just maybe the older generation fails to report their issues and continue to have them.

This would fall in line with the older, "wiser" generation being less savvy, so much less that they don't even recognize a security issue that needs reporting.

Re:Hence reported more (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40416385)

These days odds are the older folks that now anything about computers were at least one point interested in them. These days kids no nothing about them but use them all the time.

Re:Hence reported more (1)

jd (1658) | about 2 years ago | (#40416545)

Or perhaps the older generation is just tired of complaining and getting nowhere, so have given up. (It is ALWAYS bad news when the customers are apathetic because of poor service.) However, older generally also means not updating as often and one thing I have definitely seen is that there has been a sharp deterioration in the quality of products.

lack of theory (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416285)

Us old folk had:

* No home computers to start with, because they didn't exist until we were about 35
* 8 bit computers when those arrived
* etc up through the present day

Younger folks were dumped right into a world were "using" a computer means being far, far away from the actual machine, above a huge number of software abstraction layers and interacting with it like it was a glorified television. The younger folks who "get" security are the ones who have taken the initiative to learn how their machines work, but those folks are rare-ish. Most of them are quite happy to treat the machine like a "magic" device, or at best, learn some simple scripting language and figure they have "leaned computers!". Us old folk, on the other hand, did not have that choice. We had to know how the machine worked, because that KIM-1 didn't program itself. We had to learn from the CPU on up. Lots of young folks don't even understand how protection rings work, or the difference between an executable and a text file: to them, it's all just "icons you click on and stuff happens". There's also very little understanding of things like the concept of a virtual machine, and what it's limitations to encapsulation might be. It's no surprise to me that they get jacked on a routine basis, with the way I see most of them operating their devices. They'll click on anything they're told to without any apparent thought.

Lawn.

Re:lack of theory (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 2 years ago | (#40417037)

Your second sentence made the point stand out to me that the definitions of "old" and "young" being used are not the same for everybody. You say that "Us old folk had no home computers to start with, because they didn't exist until we were about 35".

I was counting myself as one of the old folk, and I got my KIM-1 at 9. Ahhh.... The youthful days of my siblings calling out pages of hex from the manual while I typed on the little hexadecimal keypad.

It's is an interesting point though because it sounds like you are a generation ahead of me, but I certainly see myself more in your camp than in the one made up of those a generation behind me.

Computer illiteracy (3, Interesting)

Elbereth (58257) | about 2 years ago | (#40416293)

Do these sorts of "adults are computer illiterate" stories bother anyone else? It can't just be me. I've been hearing them since the 1970s, when I was kid. Back then, I was apparently a computer genius. In the 1980s, when I was a teenager, I suddenly became a dangerous computer hacker. In the 1990s, my computer skills were apparently starting to falter, as I had hit my 20s, and I was no longer hot shit. Still, I was a dot com millionaire, and that's got to count for something. In the 2000s and 2010s, I've become a doddering old fool who can't even click his mouse on an icon. Wait, "icon" might be a bit too complex. Let's just call it "the little picture on the TV part of the computer".

I can only imagine what doddering old fools my parents must be. I mean, they're almost retirement age. I bet they can't even figure out how to turn on their computer. Nevermind that they've been using Linux exclusively for over ten years now, without any tech support from me.

Re:Computer illiteracy (4, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#40416327)

LOL. Yes, at 54, the 20-somethings are always surprised when I can figure out how to do something much faster than they can. Of course, I've been doing it since the 1980s as have many of my cohorts. Experience does count for something.

Re:Computer illiteracy (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#40417189)

"Do these sorts of "adults are computer illiterate" stories bother anyone else?"

No, because I grew up before the PC era and plenty of adults then as now were "illiterate". I don't expect folks not motivated enough to learn to read to care about computers.

Re:Computer illiteracy (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 2 years ago | (#40417193)

It stems form the fact that accurate stereo types frequently out live their time. When we were kids in the 70's, a lot of the older people at that time grew up in an world where you didn't just go randomly fiddling with new technology. Do so could lose you an arm if not outright kill you. They grew up in a time when being afraid to press the wrong button was a rational life saving fear. When the shift came and a majority of the new tech did not kill you for making a mistake, these people had 40, 50, 60 years of a very different reality.

At that time, the stereo type was pretty accurate. Not 100%, as stereo types generally aren't, but it was true enough to be the default. The problem is that while it was true at the time, old people today grew up with computers. They not only are not afraid of new tech, they grew up with it developing right along side of them, like an ever present sibling.

I wonder... (5, Insightful)

mordejai (702496) | about 2 years ago | (#40416337)

Wouldn't it be terrible if 18-25 year olds behaved the same way in other aspects of their life? Like sex, studies, personal security...

Oh, wait...

Really? (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 2 years ago | (#40416383)

I'm a gamer and even when I was in that age group I was very security conscious even more-se than today. If my computer took a hit from a virus or malware it meant no gaming.

Re:Really? (2)

0racle (667029) | about 2 years ago | (#40416551)

Yes really, I'm not surprised at all. Taken as a group, gamers are not knowledgeable about the machine they run. They don't really understand it any more then someone who just checks their e-mail from time to time. They are squarely in the users group. This is the group who will tell you that you have to reinstall Windows every 3-6 moths or you're going to have lower frame rates. They really don't care about some downtime not playing because they've convinced themselves that it is the best way to get maximum performance. These are not people that know how to maintain a system.

Let me be the first to say... (2)

menkhaura (103150) | about 2 years ago | (#40416391)

Let me be the first to say that old age and treachery overcomes youth and skill.

That's not to say a thing about dumbing down of the newer generations, bla bla bla get off my lawn!

bullshit. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416463)

listen to government propaganda much?
bullshit...

Re:bullshit. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416633)

Thank you for that timely demonstration of young people's willful ignorance.

Sophisticated security software? (1)

sco08y (615665) | about 2 years ago | (#40416485)

"They also have less sophisticated security software, and hence, have reported more security problems than other groups."

Strangely, my copy of Foocom Antifail Pro flagged that sentence as 99% full of fail.

machines secured against the user (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416541)

Young people are also more likely to use computers secured against their users, like (most) smart phones or tablets, where the only way to gain root level privileges is to defeat the security put in place by the device manufacturer. Unless I control the machine top to bottom, there is no way I can ever vouch for its security.
 

Who Cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416583)

I, being a reasonably security conscious 22 year old, have asked my friends about this in the past. The main reason is "I don't have much to steal"

Its true, most of their logins are meaningless and the ones that are not, are almost meaningless. Banking is almost certainly the most important login they have (excluding email, which can give access to other accounts) and even then they most likely have a few hundred bucks. The chances of being attacked are low and the costs of a successful attack are low, thus the issue is VERY low priority.

Biased study (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416619)

"18 – 25s are overconfident in their security knowledge: 18 – 25s (63%) claim to be more knowledgeable about security when compared to 56 – 65s (59%). However, half of younger respondents have had security issues in the past two years in comparison to just 42% of 56 – 65s."

"Have had security issues" -> need to be normalized by how much you actually use your digital devices. If I don't use my smart phones at all, I won't have any security issue. I don't see how the "overconfidence" conclusion can be drawn from this data.

Kids are stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416685)

Why is this news?

People forget ... (2)

MacTO (1161105) | about 2 years ago | (#40416753)

People seem to forget that learning continues after a person has reached adulthood. Among other things, this means that they will learn to appreciate and implement security measures as they get older. It isn't an odd generational thing.

Maybe you should change the title.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416759)

The truth is, non-ignorant people are wiser to computer security.
I'm a twenty two year old enthusiast, and I'm still running my original Windows 7 installation, with no viruses, trojans, malware or rootkits.
I set up people so that they can't be easily hacked, and give them lessons on web security.

If you old people just gave us a chance, we'd surprise you.
This is just that old adage that with age comes wisdom regurgitated over and over again.
The truth is, the majority of us could put the people who write these articles to shame.

Wow, there's a surprise. (4)

multimediavt (965608) | about 2 years ago | (#40416785)

Replace computing with driving and you have an old problem that just carried over from one area to another. I'm sorry, but with age comes experience and those of us that got our hard knocks in the 1990s when the Internet was new (and honestly a lot less scary) know better because we *KNOW* what can happen. Why does it surprise anyone that inexperience and hubris would lead to problems like lax security? Wow!

Re:Wow, there's a surprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416827)

The internet wasn't new in the 1990's. It was new in the 1970's.

Flawed Findings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40416913)

It seems pretty obvious to me that the findings here aren't particularly meaningful. A few others seem to have caught on to some extent, but let's go through everything:

"Only 31% of 18 – 25s rank security as the most important consideration when making decision about their computers in comparison to 58% of 56 – 65s. 18 – 25s prioritize entertainment and community above security."

This looks like a meter of paranoia more than anything else. The only decisions one typically needs to make is whether or not to have an antivirus program and whether or not to download/open stuff/give out personal info. If anything, this only suggests that younger people take more calculated risks. My mother, for example, refuses to buy things online because her credit card number might get stolen. I recognize there's a small risk of that happening, but that doesn't stop me from realizing that the odds are slim if you buy from reputable sites. Being more paranoid != wiser.

"18 – 25s (63%) claim to be more knowledgeable about security when compared to 56 – 65s (59%). However, half of younger respondents have had security issues in the past two years in comparison to just 42% of 56 – 65s."

It would not surprise me if it were the case 18-25s are more knowledgeable about security when compared to 56-65s. Honestly, both groups are probably about equally inept, as there is only so much the "average" person is liable to know. The statistic about security issues, though, is misleading because the authors attempt to use it to imply that there is a lack of knowledge amongst younger people. This isn't necessarily true because the study doesn't account for online activities. Older people probably don't download things like young people do, many probably don't know how, much less that it could be dangerous. Thus, regardless of security knowledge, I imagine younger people are more at risk because of their typical activities, not because they're necessarily irreverent of good security practices. Hell, it's not even like the 50% vs 42% is a hefty divide.

"18 – 25s have less sophisticated security due to cost and technical barriers"

Practically meaningless? There is a non-trivial amount of free antivirus stuff available out there, and it's mostly decent, in my experience. If anything, not doing stupid things is more important than having a good (expensive) security suite.

"Sensitive data is stored on PCs, yet most do not follow security best practices"

Irrelevant, since there's no differentiation regarding age here. Everyone sucks at security. Surprise.

Awful story (5, Insightful)

FrootLoops (1817694) | about 2 years ago | (#40417221)

There are so many problems with this story. It should never have been posted.

1. It's sponsored in part by ZoneAlarm, and it repeatedly says people should use more security software without discussing the efficacy of that software.
2. The opening sentence is stupid on two fronts:

[A new] report found that 18 – 25s are more confident in their security knowledge than 56 – 65s, but have experienced more security issues in the past two years compared to older users.

People's subjective measure of their confidence in security knowledge is a worthless statistic, and younger people use technology far, far more than older people so of course you'd expect them to experience more security issues.

3. "In comparison, 56 – 65s are more concerned about security and privacy and are twice as likely to protect their computers with additional security software."
The implication being more security software = good. Like if you have MSE already you should really get Norton or maybe buy ZoneAlarm.

4. "Computer security increases in priority with age"
This is completely irrelevant without further discussion (that's not provided). Older people might overprioritize just as younger people might underprioritize, but they jump to the second conclusion since it suits their advertisement.

5. "respondents aged 18 – 25 are less likely to use paid antivirus, 3rd-party firewalls, or integrated security suites than 56 – 65s. 45% of 18 – 25s view security software as too expensive in comparison to 37% of 56 – 65s."
Yet again, conflict of interest, and even then the percentages they do list are not terribly dissimilar and with smallish sample sizes could be statistically indistinguishable. Of course no error bars were reported.

All in all, this is basically an advertisement for ZoneAlarm with irrelevant and questionable statistics (that to be fair are probably not technically wrong) that should never have been posted to /. Again! Bad editors.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>