The three things that make a difference

So I was talking with my boss’ boss’ boss one day last week about parenting. He was talking about sending his kids to Montessori school and what an advantage it was, but how much it cost, and, well, I agree. Two years of Montessori school had me reading at a third grade level before I started first grade, and my math skills were pretty advanced too, even though I already didn’t like math. Then he paused and said, somewhat whimsically, that it doesn’t make much of a difference.

There are only three things a parent can or can’t do that make a big difference in how their kids turn out, he said. Read more

EMET protects against what your antivirus cannot–and it’s free

A few years ago, Microsoft quietly released a security tool called EMET–the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit. EMET is now in version 4.0, and it’s probably the best security tool you’ve never heard of. And that’s a real shame.

Modern versions of Windows and modern CPUs include several security-enhancing technologies that aren’t necessarily switched on by default. EMET is a wrapper that forces software to use these technologies, even if they weren’t designed from the get-go to use them. The idea, then, is that if a badly behaving data file tries to exploit a traditional vulnerability in one of these programs, EMET steps in and shuts it down. A real-world example would be if you visit a web page that’s playing a malicious Flash video, or that contains a malicious Acrobat PDF. The malicious data loads, starts to execute, and the minute it misbehaves, EMET slams the browser tab shut. You won’t know right away what happened, but your computer didn’t get infected, either. Read more

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