Sunday, December 21, 2008

Computer Security: Who is Responsible?

Hey everyone. Hope all is well with you this weekend before Christmas. Thinking of topics to write on, I decided to give my opinion on responsibility when someone does not secure their PC and are hacked. Let's say that you are on your home PC and someone in your house either clicks on some link or attachment that causes the PC to be hacked (compromised), and now you have your banking credentials stolen by some individual. This individual now is allowed to make transfers from your account. Who's fault is it?

My opinion is that individual responsibility includes securing your PC at home. So when I hear a story about someone having this happen, I believe the individual really should have taken steps to secure their PC. Hey, everyone knows there are risks but who takes more responsibility? You or your bank? Well I say it is you. Owning a PC and connecting to the Internet you should know how to secure your PC for your own safety.

Computer security is so much more than just installing anti-virus and firewall. You need to know there are not so nice websites that can lead to your PC being hacked. You also need to be aware that random clicking on unsolicited links or attachments in e-mails will also get you in trouble.

Then you have organizations like the Geek Squad who really do no teaching but they are VERY willing to take your money when you mess your machine up with a bunch of crapware. You know, all that malicious software that causes your PC to run slowly and possibly be used in a botnet which really spells bad news.

So what do you do? You learn of sites that will teach you. There are a plethora of blogs and websites that talk about securing your PC. Mine and tons of others that are written by some of the brightest security people around (and I'm not including myself in that group). Take some steps to start to learn of all the threats. When I help people with their PC problems, I take that opportunity to teach them of things they should be doing to be more protected.

That is enough ranting for now. Get all that shopping done and actual save yourself some stress this Holiday season.

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