Our Data has a Home Sweet Home

By | 11/06/2014

Computer updates are provided regularly by software vendors to keep their software up to date and as a computer user you are recommended to install the latest updates so that your computer is running the latest version of its software at all times.

Consider your computer as a house that stores your photographs, emails and other personal and business information.  It is important to look after the structure of this house to ensure the safety of the contents, and their availability when needed.  As with other aspects of the global life style the world of computers contains hazards.  Some of these hazards are caused by mistakes in design, or the inability of a computer system to withstanding a changing environment.  Others are deliberate attacks by people, with motivation varying from simple amusement to wish for world dominance. These software diseases then spread from computer to computer.  These will spread more freely in an unsecure environment.  Installing a computer security system will protect your computer and reduce the risk of spreading viruses.

If we take an example a house in an area that has become prone to flooding.  The house was built first day to withstand a certain amount of rain, but over time as rain became more intense and flood waters rose, the house started to spring leaks and let water in.  This wasn’t because the house wasn’t built right the first day it is just that the circumstances in which the house is standing have changed, and the structure of the house will need to be adapted to cope.   Software updates will adapt your computer system and keep it secure in a changing environment.

It is also commonly known that an open skylight on a rainy day will let water in no matter how well built, maintained and secured the house is.  So it is with computers.  No one can protect your computer system, even when one that is regularly updated,  that is constantly exposed to websites of unknown or questionable integrity.

Wild cats and other animals are discouraged from entering houses and in most cases are completely barred.  Yet people will open email attachments and put memory sticks into their computer without considering the danger. If you do not know the source of a file how can you know what it contains ?.

We have doors on our houses and keys so that certain people whom we trust can come into the house.  Yet people will leave their network open for anyone to come and go as they please, take what they wish and deposit what they wish also.  Protect the security of your network with strong passwords, do not allow access to your network to anyone who does not need to have access.

If a person came to the door of your house and said, you have a problem with your house and I can fix it for you, in most cases people would refuse them access and contact the person who built or sold them the house the first day.  Yet people will give access to their computer system to a complete stranger on the phone. Treat callers who ask for access to your computer in the same way, even if they say they are from a reputable firm.

The random caller to your door who asks for your bank account or other account details, should be given short shrift and sent on their way.  Yet time and time again people give their bank details and other account details to complete strangers just because they asked for them in a convincing manner, by email.

In the month of June alone Microsoft released 66 changes to their operating system 55 of which are critical upgrades, in other words if your computer does not have them installed it is at risk.  The solution to computer security issues is in everyone’s hands.

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