Happy Thanksgiving to all techies and their families

Graham Cluley

Pumpkin pieAmericans around the world are celebrating Thanksgiving today.

That means they will be getting together with family members, gorging themselves on turkey and pumpkin pie, and doubtless – at some point during the proceedings – finding themselves troubleshooting creaky old PCs running Windows XP.

If you have a technical bent, do you friends and family a favour and take the opportunity to make sure that your loved ones computers are running the latest anti-virus software and are properly patched and configured to reduce the chances of infection.

And yes, if at all possible, use the opportunity to switch them from Windows XP and to chuck out any copies of Internet Explorer 6 which are still lurking about.

You’ll be doing them a favour, and you’ll not only earn their thanks but the gratitude of the rest of the internet community who can be impacted by hijacked PCs.

And if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, that’s fine. Don’t wait too long before finding an excuse to visit the less nerdy members of your family, and doing them a similar favour.

Best wishes to all our readers.

How have you helped your family’s computer security at Thanksgiving? Were you horrified by the security of your loved one’s PC? Leave a comment below and share your experiences.

Graham Cluley Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

2 Replies to “Happy Thanksgiving to all techies and their families”

  1. Whilst you're chucking out IE6, chuck out IE7 and IE8 too.
    And IE9.
    And 10.

    That leaves you with IE11.

    Now go to the top right corner and click the X.

    Sorted.

  2. "And yes, if at all possible, use the opportunity to switch them from Windows XP and to chuck out any copies of Internet Explorer 6 which are still lurking about."

    The sad thing is (and it would be amusing if it wasn't so serious)… there are so many computers out there running XP, 2000 and the like. While it isn't perfect (what is ?) passive fingerprinting reveals a lot of interesting things and that is just one of them… It is scary, however, and it is also annoying (because higher risk = increase in bots = more…). Of course this happens from time to time but I've noticed a lot more spam attempts in the past some months. None succeed of course because they are hit by blocklists, mismatch in hostnames <-> IP, trying to relay (denied), send to non-existent accounts, or… filtered by spam filters. It is interesting however, because indeed XP is no longer receiving updates. Whether it is related or not is anyone's guess but I wouldn't be surprised if it is part of the problem.

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