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.
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 20,000,000 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!
Being involved in computer security, I am amazed, and 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 held belief to the contrary.
If you’re struggling with the reality of this statement, take a look at “Testing of antiviruses for the treatment of active infections” from Anti-malware Test Lab. I guarantee you, you’ll be unpleasantly surprised.
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”.
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