Monday* Morning Mobile Miscellany

cal.gif*(I wrote this Monday. I’m publishing it Tuesday because we updated our blog software yesterday, and couldn’t publish new articles.)

A few related posts and articles I found interesting this morning:


Users’ Bad Habits Invite Malware, Forum Says. I have very mixed feelings about this. I’m a huge fan of being careful. I drown boxes of old business cards rather than just throwing them out, shred everything with anyone’s info on it, even things like holiday cards, and have told my favorite aunt she’s not allowed to send me email until she learns the difference between CC: and BCC:. But I’m not a fan at all of the “blame the users” approach to problems, which I think is much too prevalent among technical people. Yes, people are afraid of change, as the article says, but with good reason. Who hasn’t installed or upgraded some software, only to find their PC not working as well, or not working at all? And who believes that even the most conscientious use of security software and techniques is going to stop all the malware? Not me.

People should practice good security – absolutely. But that alone isn’t going to be enough. The internet infrastructure, particularly email, has to change. And I’d love to see installed software behaving a lot better as well.

But speaking of practicing good security, Marc sent me a fun page describing why Passwords are like Underwear. I particularly liked the illustrations. Maybe I’ll send it to my aunt.

And, finally, getting back to mobile, Tariq at Eten Blog dot Com is publishing a very in-depth interview he did with representatives of a few of the major mobile developers. The interview will be published in 4 parts (it’s long) – the first one is online here. Check it out if you’re interested!

2 thoughts on “Monday* Morning Mobile Miscellany

  1. Kevin White

    Humans are basically the weak link in any computer security problem. Actually, humans are just a weak link. That’s not really misanthropic, it’s just true. We’re human, we make mistakes. Computers make mistakes too, but only because we did or didn’t design them to not make the mistake.

    Then again, does that mean humans have bugs just like computers? That’s a can of worms. Who’s responsible for the bugs?

    Anyway, blaming users is not really a good thing, but sometimes it’s just reality. Who’s to blame for someone falling prey to a 419 scam? Is it the person who didn’t know it was a scam, the scammer, or both? I think it’s both. You can’t absolve people of their own actions because they didn’t know they were wrong. I seem to recall that breaking a law because you didn’t know it was illegal is not a way to get out of being punished for breaking it. (At least in the United States.) At the same time, developing software and social engineering tactics to be intentionally misleading and to prey on ignorance is just as bad as the ignorance it preys on.

    I remember those Passwords = Underwear posters from all the UMich computing sites (I used to babysit computer sites.) Also, at some point, ResComp (I think) handed out condoms as part of a security promotion. I think that went over badly, or was at least scandalous. I should remember, considering I worked for them… *embarrassed*

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