A plea for user-friendly firewall messages

This content is 19 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

I consider myself to be reasonably technical, but even I struggle with firewall messages like this one:

Example firewall messageThis is a real screenshot from my company-supplied notebook PC. I don’t know what an integrity personal policy alert is, although I can hazard a guess. I certainly don’t know what triggag.exe is, but I can see it is trying a DNS lookup. Should I allow that? I don’t know, but I need to get on with whatever I did that launched that dialog so I click Yes (and probably tell it to remember the answer too).

According to file.net, triggag.exe is part of CA Unicenter Software Delivery but to an end user, this dialog might as well say “to carry on working you must make this dialog go away. Do you want to make this dialog go away?”

As long as the IT industry produces software which outputs messages as cryptic as this (and as long as administrators keep deploying that software), we will never get users to take security seriously.

Here endeth the lesson.

2 thoughts on “A plea for user-friendly firewall messages

  1. I agree with you fully. I’ve been searching for a more user friendly firewall but have not yet found one that speaks in plain english. If you know of a good one, please let me know.

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