Many think that the next war or attack on the USA with be through the internet, so let’s get the flick on what we can do to protect us. Here are some quick and simplified explanations about internet and computer security. We break it down to 4 potential security holes.
Your PC: This is pretty commonly understood area, so we’re just going to briefly review this.
- Virus protection- you must have this AND keep it up to date.
- Use your common since! A common trick today is the Misleading applications: – Misleading applications misguide you about the security status of your computer and shows you that your computer is infected by some malware. They’ll ask you to download a “FREE” tool to remove the threat. As you download the tool, it’ll show some other threats in your computer and to remove those, you’ll have to buy the product for which it asks some personal information like credit card information etc. which is dangerous. This is a scam. Be careful, almost nothing is FREE. Free fonts, icons, screen savers, etc. almost always come with surprises that bog down your PC’s performance and put you a risk.
- I have to mention it again- almost nothing is free. If your downloading something for free, you’d better be sure you trust that site. Not sure? Don’t do it.
- Security Terms explained here
Your Internet connection: With the popularity of mobile devices and use of ‘hot spots,’ this has become a huge issue.
Remember party lines? Ok, I’m dating myself here. Let’s try “eavesdropping.” Bad guys/gals can hack in and listen and see your mobile device transmissions of data if the connection is not secure. The interception happens between your mobile device and the wireless router. If the wireless access device is not listed with “secured with (security type I.e. WEP, WPA, PSK, etc.)” under the Network SSID , you’re at a huge risk of someone seeing you’re transmissions of data. If it does require a password, the risk is reduced. If it’s secured with other than a WEP connection, you’re probably very safe. Remember, as long as you have file sharing turned off, only your data transmissions are at risk. I.e. this has nothing to do with hacking into your computer or mobile device.
What about SSL (Secure Sockets Layer )? If your connected to a website that has an SSL (secured (https – little padlock icon thingy)) aka- have a secured website connection, your connection is in fact secured, regardless of the kind of wireless connection you have. This is why more and more websites are using SSL’s to secure their websites, like Facebook and Twitter who have been in the news a lot this year. They have since added secure connections to their websites to combat this.
Your website: If you own a website, you have responsibility to try to protect your visitors. Remember what we said about ‘free’ above, same thing holds true here. When you install a free widget, java script or open source program, make sure you know the source for that code.
If you’re taking in sensitive data and or doing credit card transactions, you must have a quality SSL certificate that’s setup correctly. This is not the place to skimp. You can get a good SSL for about $60 bucks these days and have one setup for you for about $99. If you want green bars to come up or some other special use need, expect to pay from $150 to $500
Your server: Your SSL, if you have one, is like your drawbridge. No key to get in, the draw bridge stays up with no access. Your firewall, if you have one? Their expensive for web hosting servers, so not everyone has one. Anyway, your server firewall is your mote filled with alligators and your castle is the server. The harder the castle, the harder it is to knock it down. The less windows or holes it has, the less chance of someone sneaking in. Unless you own your own server, you’re at the mercy of the hosting company to maintain that security. That’s why you want a quality hosting company that offers upgrades and updates as part of its services, firewall protection and SSL’s availability and setup services. Like KOwebhosting.com does.
The news of the increasing number of cyber attacks is especially unsettling for Americans as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches. Dr. Farshid Delgosha, a professor at the New York Institute of Technology, told WP News that these attacks are on the rise because so many commercial websites are not secure. See this video to learn more about this issue.