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The Internet is No Longer Safe

Things we still do that endanger us online

Steve Smith talks about cyber criminals and things we do that are dangerous online.

Episode #7-25 released on February 18, 2017

Computer viruses, originally a mild issue has grown into a for business model for many organized cybercriminal groups. Where we had one virus detected in the wild every 12 minutes in 2005, we had 4 detected every second just last year. The old techniques of vaccinating computers against viruses no longer works with more sophisticated viruses, and the biggest issue is the attitude of people and reliance on antiviral and antimalware software. We are in a pivotal time where cold storage backups may be the only way to contest and thwart attacks from cybercriminals who wish to blackmail the general populace at large, with no guarantee of ever getting your data back.

First, we need to deal with something right now, the attitude towards backups. Cold storage backups are the only way to guarantee that you don't lose your data, but what is a cold storage backup? Cold storage backups are archival in nature. It simply means that the drive or media is not in continuous use by the system. Something like a USB stick, or external hard drive that is only plugged in when required. If you still have the option, burn optical media, also, counts, and because of the nature of optical media, it is unchanging, unaffected by damage of viruses in computers. While, hot storage techniques are important, hot storage meaning continuously accessible, our reliance on this technique is dangerous.

Second, pirated content. I understand there are a lot of people who can't access everything because of big business, and cyber criminals know this. As far back as 2011, twenty-five percent of all torrent downloaded movies were fake containing malware. And, this trend is on the rise, and all because you either do not want to pay for content, or don't have access to it legally. My issue is not the why you download the torrents, but the fact that because you do, you are putting your own personal data at risk every single time you do. And furthermore, sharing infected torrents only adds to the problem by allowing others to become victim to the same scam.

Third, emails. I will never get tired of reminding people that emails are the easiest way of tricking you into getting infected. It is ridiculous how easy it is to convince someone that the email is real, and that the attached file is for you. This is how most people get viruses like Cryptolocker in the first place. Unless, the person sending you the file explicitly told you that they were sending you a file, do not open any file attachments, and never provide personal information either over email.

Forth, antivirus and antimalware software. I know you might pay a lot of year for protection against viruses, but they only serve as a flare. Most antiviral and antimalware scanners do not have the ability to detect or remove all viruses, especially the newer sophisticated viruses. It is easier to format your computer and start from scratch, than clean the computer. And this, because you will never be sure the virus is completely gone.

Fifth, online behavior. Stop visiting obscure web-sites, downloading every file you can, because this is how you can get infected. And, worse, sometimes you don't have to download files, malware could be injected into your computer by the web-site itself. While, JavaScript is important to how the Internet works, especially with mobile ready web-sites, you may want to consider leaving it off when visiting strange web-sites. Going with the white list method is safer, than black listing web-sites once you are already infected. Pay attention to warnings of infected web-sites by your browser, and use browsers that implement this safeguard.

And, as a last note, update your software, and keep yourself up to date. There are plenty of reputable sources of Information out there. Keeping yourself up to date with reliable information is the best defense and offense against the dangers of the Internet. The more you know, the better equipped you become to avoid the dangers online, and the faster you can implement preventative measures against upcoming issues.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Dot Net

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