Friday, August 16, 2013

Online Security

I know that this is a subject that has no more to do with boats than it has to do with any other aspect of our lives. Nevertheless, I am writing about it. This is a natural extension of my recent posts about hackers and my steps to circumvent the problems.

Thee are many, many people and organisations in the modern world that are trying at all times to separate you from your money or to harm you in whatever way they can. These organisations are illegal but they are big business. So we have to all take whatever precautions we can to foil them in both personal and business dealings.

Today I read a white paper titled "Ten Current Security Threats for Individuals". Some of what it says is simple common sense, much of which is ignored by most people. "It will never happen to me" works for everyone until it does "happen to me", or someone close. Other parts of it contain important information that we can act on, particularly how we set up and use our smartphones and how we use open WiFi connections at restaurants, hotels,  airports etc. We tend to brush off or disregard the dangers of these services because they can be so useful.

Take the time to set up the proper security features on whatever devices you use, to protect your own information from those who are out to harm you. They are not specifically targeting you or me, or the kid next door. They are taking advantage of whatever avenue is open to them to steal whatever they can. The victim just happens to be the one who left the door or window open to give them access, or didn't lock it securely enough. Take the time to read the white paper, it will help you to understand the dangers that we all have to guard against.

To get back to my hacker problem, I remedied the situation very quickly, thanks to my vigilant supporters who alerted me. The problem was fixed before Google or Norton's knew about it. The site scanner that was set to scan my site hadn't even picked it up yet but found it when I queried it. Since then I have investigated further and found that the scanning service that I had signed for only scanned 500 files and my site has nearly 700 pages and more than 3,000 files. It gave me an "all clear" report that morning but had obviously looked at the wrong files. The service that I have on my new server scans all files every day.

I will continue to do all that I can to keep my website safe for visitors. It is, after all, my main connection to my supporters and builders, present and future, in faraway places. For your part, please do whatever you can to keep yourself, your electronic devices and your finances safe from the baddies of the digital world.

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