Help! My Computer Is Attacking Me!
After all the Internet optimism from speakers earlier in the day, Dr Andrew Woodard took us a step backward and reminded media140 Perth about the risks of browsing the internet.
Be wary of using wi fi, especially for Internet banking or when other secure information is changed. Make sure a strong encryption such as WPAK2-PSK is used, otherwise you may be at risk of having information stolen.
Woodard made the interesting point that operating systems such as Windows and OS X are safer when they are less popular. Hackers are only interested in exploiting lucrative programs, and a decade ago that was only Windows. However, with the rise in popularity of Apple products, it’s a matter of time before we see more threats for Apple systems.
Many electronic devices hold some sort of information on them. We expect this with computers, phones and USBs but we may not with a device such as a GPS. Should you decide to get rid of or sell your device, simply formatting it will not be enough to permanently delete the information. There are several programs out there that will commit your information to the void, however if you really want to be safe, never underestimate brute force. Smash it, drill through it, hammer it, or drive over it and you can guarantee your information will be safe.
In the end, most problems occur on the human side of the equation. A message may invite us to click a link or trick us into disabling our antivirus, known as social engineering and this is where complications begin. The alien technology that overwhelms our system rarely simply does that, it must be invited into the system by the user. So with a little common sense, ie. if it looks too good to be true, it probably is, and a decent antivirus, we should be safe from most threats. The Internet is full of opportunity should you know how to navigate safely. As Woodward said, “Be alert, not alarmed”.