The use of Open Source Software (OSS) provides for highly reliable, low-cost, easy and flexible maintenance, security and transparency. Open source means that the source code (the human readable programs which are later made machine readable) is available to the world at large. Open source also means that the software may be reproduced, modified, etc. by the user.
OSS is typically written and maintained by large numbers of programmers worldwide, some paid (by schools, government, industry group, or business) some volunteer. The large population of computer users and programmers using OSS is reflected in the rapid and ready availability of patches or fixes in event a security or other flaw or bug is uncovered. Also, since the source code to the software is available for perusal, it is much easier for potential flaws to be uncovered and fixed before they are actually exploited by hackers.