Tech Talk - keeping your system safe

Donovan Hoggan
By Donovan Hoggan
March 31st, 2010

Protection is your responsibility.

But that’s a message that people still aren’t getting. A recent study by Ipsos Public Affairs (http://www.maawg.org/system/files/2010_MAAWG-Consumer_Survey.pdf), found that only 48 per cent of computer users consider themselves personally responsible for addressing the spread of viruses, fraudulent email, spyware and spam. Sixty-five percent believe Internet Service Providers should manage the threats and 54 per cent expect anti-virus companies to take care of them.

I can’t agree. 

Putting antivirus on a computer and considering yourself secure is much like putting a deadbolt on your front door and believing that you have a comprehensive plan.”

The key is to have a complete plan including a good-quality anti-virus & anti-spyware solution, ensuring that your updates and scans are being done, using a secure web-browser like Google Chrome with an ad-blocker and, above all, paying attention to what you click on.

“t’s amazing how often people will see a dialogue box come up and, without even reading it, click on ‘OK’ or “Accept’.

It’s no surprise that 68 per cent of Canadians surveyed have been affected by a virus. Major security vendors estimate that 30+ per cent of computers have some form of viruses or other malware. At the same time, when asked how likely they were to get a “bot” virus on their computer that would control it without their knowledge, 63 per cent of Canadian users rated themselves as not likey or not sure. Seventy-eight per cent of people, however, had never heard the terms “bot” or “botnet” or had heard of it but knew nothing about it.

The best advice is to get advice.

“Find someone you trust and sit down with him for a few minutes. A good consultant or technician will come up with a plan that protects you, without forcing you beyond your comfort-level.”

Internet Service Providers, software developers and other industry partners are doing their best, but the end-user is still a critical part of the equation.


Categories: Op/Ed


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