(This post is a re-print from November 30th 2015 – National Security Day post.)
“Distrust and caution are the parents of security.” …… Benjamin Franklin
Secure your computers, electronic devices and online passwords.
Over the weekend a 22 year old British cyber-security expert thwarted a ransomware computer virus known as “WannaCry.” Ransomware viruses are a form of malware that shuts down a computer’s access until a “ransom” is paid electronically to the computer kidnapper. Reports have surfaced identifying the “Hacker Hero” as Marcus Hutchins, a British cyber security researcher who lives with his parents in a seaside town on the north Devon Coast. That is where he reportedly stumbled across the malware and managed to stop it – for now. It has also been reported that Hutchins is a self-taught coder. Unfortunately the incident and the ransomware may have still have some legs as reported here:
Computers, electronic devices and smart phones have made our lives easier by making communication faster, more convenient and more efficient. At the same time they have created many privacy and security issues. The events of the weekend are just one example.
National Computer Security Day
First observed in 1988, Computer Security Day (CSD), is now celebrated worldwide by businesses, schools and government organizations. If the holiday falls on a weekend, many companies celebrate it on the first business day after November 30. In lieu of this weekend’s events you may want to take proactive action and celebrate early this year.
How to Celebrate?
- Using the same old password or the same password for all your online accounts? You may be vulnerable to hackers. Spend the day changing and updating your passwords.
- Sign up for a password manager that not only generates random passwords for you but can also save them for you so you don’t have to remember them.
- Update all your spyware and malware protection software.
- Back up your files and photographs.
- If you own a business or are responsible for organizing events at your workplace, why not hold a computer security seminar for your employees and co-workers? Draw up a security strategy and best practices for all of them to follow and present it at the meeting.
Did You Know…
…that the first known computer virus was called the Creeper Virus? The virus affected the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network or ARPANET, the precursor to today’s Internet.