rmrichesjr wrote:Operating system: It is important that an operating system be designed from the ground up to have a clear and hard distinction between system and user functions. With a system that properly enforces the user vs. system line, and with proper setup of individual user accounts, you can't have one non-supervisor user installing something that adversely impacts other users or actual system functions. In the interest of trying to avoid starting an OS war, I'll leave it there and not mention names.
Good point any normal user should be a user with limited privileges (ie Not an Admin for Windows or someone with root privileges for Mac and Linux) One way I do this in my family is have a server box that stores everyone's accounts and their privileges in a central location. That way I don't have to set up each computer individually.
rmrichesjr wrote:Web browser: A web browser should incorporate popup blocking and selective image blocking as standard features. A couple of years ago, people in my ward were talking in fifth-Sunday meetings about popup storms taking over their machine, popping up bad images faster than they could close them. I responded that if they were having that problem, they were using the wrong web browser. The browser I use takes security very seriously, is available free of charge for many different operating systems, and is even open source. (I modify the source to fix a bug that is important to me but is too minor for most people for the fix to be put in the main code base.) There are many extensions available, including one that blocks Flash content until I click on the clearly marked block on screen.
Also the browser should have some type of phishing detection to prevent those accidental misspellings that lead to a phished website. It should also warn you of security certificate problems.
rmrichesjr wrote:Email client: An email client should never automatically download images or execute any form of program received in an email message. With a graphical email client, it is important to disable automatic loading of preview or thumbnail images. Any automatic image downloading makes it trivial for a spammer to verify your email address as 'live'. My personal preference is the decades-old /bin/mail text-only email program. While that program is probably too primitive for many to tolerate, it does make it trivial to find out exactly where the 'Click here' link would take a victim of a phishing message that claims to be from a bank, electronic payment site, or auction site.
Good point, most GUI mail programs do that now so make sure you have the latest versions.
rmrichesjr wrote:Another good practice is a personal page of links to favorite sites, and to have that page show up as your default 'home page'. Otherwise, it's easy to go to a bad site by having the fingers of one hand slightly off the home-row target. (Did that once.)
Or just have your list of favorites to the left of the browser for quick clicking.