Follow the 3 Magic Steps to Internet Security – Stop – Think – Click

Let me begin this article by defining the word “responsibility”, a concept which appears to me, to be losing its place in modern culture.

Definition – a duty or obligation to satisfactorily perform or complete a task (assigned by someone, or created by one’s own promise or circumstances) that one must fulfill, and which has a consequent penalty for failure.

image Virtually every computer user, at both the home user level and at the corporate level, whom I come into contact with, fails to take personal responsibility for their security on the Internet.

After all, the reasoning seems to be, I’ve got ABC anti-virus and ABC anti-spyware. Or, my employer takes care of that. But, as the above definition makes crystal clear, there is a penalty for failure to personally assume the burden of responsibility.

Look, the indisputable facts are:

As an Internet user you are engaged in a battle, yes a battle, against highly sophisticated and highly organized cyber-criminals who are relentless in their pursuit of your money and make no mistake – it’s all about the money; your money.

In the worst case scenario, your identity and your financial security can be severely compromised by these cyber-criminals.

It’s no accident that cyber crime is now a 100+ BILLION dollar industry. Make no mistake, this IS an industry. An industry which incorporates all of the strategic planning, and best practices, required to maximize profit.

Today’s cyber-crooks are smart; very smart. They are not, as many people believe, teenage hackers sitting at their computers playing at hacking.

Looking at recent estimates provided by a large number of Internet security providers, the consensus seems to be that there are over 11,000,000 malware programs currently circulating on the Internet. This is not the work of teenage hackers.

Many Internet security companies report having to deal with up to 20,000 new versions of malware – every single day! Here’s the math; one new malware program every four seconds!

Until a year or so ago, I agreed with the consensus that typical/average Internet users were simply unaware of the potential dangers all of us are forced to deal with while attached to the Internet? I’ve now revised my views.

Being involved in computer security, I am amazed and frankly frustrated, at the lack of personal responsibly exhibited by most typical computer users, and most importantly, the lack of commitment to acquiring the knowledge necessary to ensure personal safety on the Internet. In a word, becoming “educated”.

Users need to stop depending on their security applications alone to ensure their safety. They need to become proactive, which means becoming educated and personally responsible, rather than continuing to be reactive to threats to their safety.

Depending on security applications to provide the ultimate in protection, is an absolute “non-starter”. Security applications do not, and never have had the ability to this, despite the commonly help belief to the contrary. If you’re struggling with the reality of this statement, take a look at “Anti-Malware Solutions Test Results” from Anti-malware Test Lab. You might be in for a very unpleasant surprise.

Enhance your security on the Internet by:

Choosing to become educated on the realities of cyber crime

Taking personal responsibility for your own security

A major step you can take to in prevent yourself from becoming a victim of cyber-criminals is to overcome the instinctive response to just “click” while surfing the Internet.

That instinctive response poses one of the biggest risks to your online safety and security.

Stop – consider where you’re action might lead

Think – consider the consequences to your security

Click – only after making an educated decision to proceed

Consider this from Robert Brault:

“The ultimate folly is to think that something crucial to your welfare is being taken care of for you”.

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

11 Comments

Filed under Application Vulnerabilities, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety, Online Safety, Personal Perspective, Spyware - Adware Protection, Windows Tips and Tools

11 responses to “Follow the 3 Magic Steps to Internet Security – Stop – Think – Click

  1. Another grand-slam home-run, Mr. Mullins; and (IMHO) another ‘required reading’ before you can get your surfers license item.

    I hope it gets lots and lots of reads.

    (Many clients I talk to believe their ISP is providing “clean” Internet, because they [the ISP’s] have antivirus/anti-Spyware. And .. because they’re paying for it, like water/electricity.)

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey TechPaul,

      Thanks for the compliment.

      I doubt if this article will get very many reads – it points the finger at the user/victim.

      Personal responsibility unfortunately, is an oxymoron in today’s social climate. If users took just a little more responsibility for their own security, we could cut cyber crime substantially. But…………

      Bill

  2. Pingback: Follow the 3 Magic Steps to Internet Security – Stop – Think … « Security

  3. Pingback: Follow the 3 Magic Steps to Internet Security – Stop – Think … « Security

  4. Pingback: Follow the 3 Magic Steps to Internet Security – Stop – Think … | PCTools4U.com

  5. Bill,

    Great article… When it comes to security on a PC, the biggest problem sits right behind the keyboard… What you are indicating is nothing but the absolute truth.

    Rick

    • Bill Mullins

      Rick, you and I see eye to eye on this. Considering what is at risk, it’s sad to think that many computer users’ won’t take the time necessary to become more familiar with Internet security.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Bill

  6. Pingback: Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#28) « What's On My PC

  7. Hi Bill,
    I totally agree with you that a simple thing like pause and think before you click, can save lots of people from malware infections.
    Nice read.

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Silki,

      If we could only teach users to be cautious and careful, our job would be a lot easier.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Bill

  8. Pingback: Shocking-Most Security Software Cannot Detect Zeus Virus Malware | PC Security