Computer Security Services: Not Just for Companies Anymore
Computer Security Services:  Not Just for Companies Anymore

Privacy and Security:  What's the big deal?

First, to get a flavor of just exactly what can occur, watch this short video uploaded by Fusion TV on YouTube.  The first portion of the video shows what someone can do with just a little bit of knowledge about you (e.g. a cell phone number and your partner's name).  The second part is a classic attack and all that can be done to you once they get in.  One caveat is that the final segment is somewhat misleading:  the interviewee tries to console by saying chances are a hacker won't specifically target you.  While true in most cases, the threat is worse than ever for getting "attacked" just by your every day surfing - no targeting required.  Read on...

Security:  What's the threat?

Do you ever visit sites like the New York Times, MSN, BBC or any other similar sites where ads are displayed somewhere on the page?  If you do and the "wrong" ad is displayed when you're there, you can be infected with a virus such as "Ransomware" - and you don't even have to click on, download, or open anything.  You just have to be on that site as the ad displays...  (Read more here)

 

"FBI Says Threat From 'Ransomware' Is Expected to Grow"

The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center will soon release statistics reporting that in 2015, it received complaints relating to 2,453 ransomware incidents, with victims paying a total of more than $24 million, The Wall Street Journal reports.  Of course, that only reveals a fraction of the true scale of ransomware infections - or ransom payments - because it's based solely on the those who report related losses to the FBI.

 

For a readable explanation of exactly what ransomware is and how it can affect an individual like yourself (as opposed to a hospital as has been recently reported in the news), read "How My Mom Got Hacked" in the New York Times.

Privacy:  Why should I care?

No matter which side of the fence you sit on in the privacy versus security debate (a.k.a. "{Insert Tech Company} vs. {Insert Government Agency}"), it's important for you to be informed on the technology in question.  Ask yourself the following:  Since the FBI has found a way into the iPhone without the assistance of Apple, is it over?  Understand that they have found a vulnerability with the phone, and if someone found it for the FBI, what's to say they wouldn't share it with someone else.  And since one person found the vulnerability with the phone, what's to say that someone else (not the FBI) couldn't find the same flaw and gain access to similar phones. Now, what could someone do and/or learn about you if you lost your phone and "they" got it?  You'd be surprised!

 

Separately, aside from the annoying ads following you from webpage to webpage because "they" are tracking you, understanding what data you leave out there for both legitimate uses and for attackers to gain access to is of the utmost importance given the power of the technology we use today.  Each individual has their own level of concern with their privacy.  What if people found out about...  What could people do if they knew this about me...  Will my choices be limited if "they" knew about this...  There are many, many valid concerns with losing privacy at some level.

So what can be done?

There are many things that can be put into place to provide a layered defense against the various threats posed by using the digital world.  While nothing can ever provide absolute security, very simple techniques can be put into play that dramatically decrease the damage that can be done; more complex and technical solutions increase the levels of protection.  You've taken the first step by visiting and exploring this site (and all the paths from the articles and videos provided).  Take the next step and schedule a class and/or a consult.  "Surf safe."

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