Thursday, January 3, 2013

Quote of the Day, Internet Security edition

Wolfwalker left a comment that deserves to be engraved in marble, with guilded letters:
Also, keep in mind that anyone who cares about security and observes Safe Computing rules is by definition not the malware-writers' preferred target. Remember the lion and the antelope. Lions don't bother chasing fast antelope, they target the slower ones. Malware-writers don't bother targeting you or me; they go after the poor schlemiel who thinks the one-year subscription to Norton Antivirus that came with their new PC two years ago is enough to protect them forevermore.

Stick a router between your computer and your cablemodem, run a software firewall on every PC, run regular sweeps with a good antivirus product like MalwareBytes, never run an unsecured webserver or any program with server capabilities, and be careful what you download and from where. I can't guarantee that you'll never be infected if you do these things, but I can tell you that these measures will cut your odds of infection by 95%. Or better.
Darn tootin'.  Remember you don't have to outrun the lion.  You just have to outrun that doofus who thinks than an expired Norton Internet Security Suite will save his sorry butt.

The only thing I'd add to his excellent advice is to back up your data early and often.  Remember that data backups are like concealed carry firearms, that something can go wrong and that will happen at the worst possible moment.  Two is one, and one is none.


Old NFO said...

Concur on the backups... sigh... BT F'ed it up...

SteveG said...

Many years ago when I was doing desktop support and desperately trying to get an infosec job (halfway there) I tried to help out a gentleman whose laptop had been infected with the magistr virus. Because he was working on his Doctoral Thesis he had ignored the icons running from his mouse until the virus formatted his hard drive.

Guess where all the material for his thesis that was due in a week was?

He also had no backups.

Backup your data people, it's no fun watching a grown man cry.

Anonymous said...

Heck, just plain common sense. We have two teenagers, who have had their own computers since they were pretty small. Everyone understands "safe computing", we run plain old MSE and Windows Firewall, and have a router. That's it.

In more than 10 years we have had exactly one virus on one of the kids computers. Nuke from orbit, repave, done, and he's been a lot more careful since...

Elizabeth Francis said...

We have to be resposible for the safer side of our work. we are using Comodo Internet Security and its good in providing security.

Matt Sorrell said...

There's one other key component to Safe(r) Computing that I'm honestly surprised you didn't mention.

Don't run under an admin-level account, especially if you're on a Windows-based computing platform.

99% of the stuff you need to do can be handled under a regular user account. The one time I got bit hard by a virus on a personal computer was a drive-by infection from a website visited with IE, where it installed in the background because my wife was using the admin-level account I had provisioned for her (because it made 1 or 2 things out of 100 easier).

Better to be inconvenienced once or twice than doing the nuke, pave, format, reinstall dance.