So many people now use computers at work and at home that lack of good security is a major threat. By comparison, your security systems are looking good. And that’s coming from the most influential computer journalist around.

According to Walter Mossberg, “The personal computer industry is on the verge of a crisis.” Mossberg, who is personal technology writer for The Wall Street Journal, tells National Public Radio that when it comes to viruses, worms, span and spyware, the big Windows-based technology firms have no good fix. “You really have to spend a lot of your personal time, money, and energy caring for the computer instead of the computer actually doing stuff for you,” he says.

People are forced to buy separate programs with no interoperability requiring multiple updates.

“It’s as if you were putting a burglar alarm in your house,” says Mossberg, “and you had to have an entirely separate system for the windows, an entirely separate one for the door, an entirely separate one for the basement, and you went in your house and you had four like alarm panels.”

Take a Bow

In case you missed it, that’s a significant compliment. Newsweek magazine calls Mossberg “the most powerful arbiter of consumer tastes in the computer world today.” Time magazine calls him “the most influential computer journalist.” And The New York Times calls him a “protean critic of the new economy’s tools and toys.”

If your company installed Mossberg’s home security system, you must have done a fine job. If it’s your company’s job to monitor or to service his home security – by all means – keep up the good work. This is a compliment to cherish. And we all want you to take good care of your customer, the one The Washington Post calls “one of the most powerful men in the high-tech world.”

The Worm Has Turned

The incidence of burglaries has leveled off for businesses and homes – now at 2.15 million per year nationally. Meanwhile, the nation’s computers are being invaded via the Internet. And the big-time technology companies – geniuses at hardware, software and marketing – are failing at security. Minimal solutions available today are confusing, inconvenient, and too often ineffective.

Compared with security for personal computers, burglar alarms are looking good. Let’s not rest easy. The future of security systems depends not only on influential referrals, but also on confident customers.

“People… are much less willing to buy new software and try new websites,” says Mossberg. “The spirit of exploration that keeps the pc industry growing is at stake unless this gets solved.”

Let’s take a caution. Security systems need never be confusing, inconvenient or ineffective. Advances in security equipment mean easier-to-use systems for everyone. Take caution, and take a bow.