USA Today: Vista’s Security Authentication Checks Frowned Upon

In yesterday’s USA Today, Edward C. Baig commented in his Personal Technology column regarding the Microsoft Vista SP1 release:

“And the things that may drive you nuts about Vista – painfully slow boot times, overly intrusive security pop-ups – persist.”

It’s precisely this type of perception – “overly intrusive security pop-ups” – that we need to help change at the journalist level and the end user level.

Security professionals need journalists to help communicate that these pop-ups – common in an OS like Ubuntu – help prevent Trojans and other malware from damaging the computer. They are benefits and not drawbacks which should be looked upon in a positive way.

The public perception of Windows pre-Vista was that it was security Swiss cheese. The healthy change in approach by Microsoft – which should be universally applauded and recognized – is frowned upon. This needs to change.

While it’s the old security verse usability, Vista pop-up boxes do not significantly reduce usability. I didn’t receive a single one while I wrote this post from my Vista box.

One Comment

  1. Robert Mar 17, 2008 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    While you may have not gotten a single security pop-up in the 2 minutes you were writing the article, the fact still remains that probably more that 90% of the people don’t understand what is popping up at them or if it’s even OK to allow the activity to occur. This would be similar to your car popping up a message that said vtec timing modified permit or deny? Is this a good thing or a bad thing heck I don’t know it depends on the car, the driving situation, the fuel used, etc… Most people would have no basis for reference. If it’s not usable and easily understood then you’ll just end up with users click right through and continuing to allow malicious activity to continue. In short the security community needs to develop a solutions that is not only effective from a bit and byte/ports and protcols standpoint but from the standpoint of the joe average user who has no clue what they might or moght not be permiting to occur on their systems.

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