Safe Consumer Computing
Many times, I get asked, "I have a new PC and a broadband connection, so why is it slower than before?"
Most people do not realize the power of the PC and Internet as tools for hackers:
Now, combine the above statements along with the idea that some people may actually be trying to get into your computer and grab anything they find valuable. Or they may just see your always-on broadband connection as a 'patsy' for their illegal activities.
The fact that your computer has gotten slower since you upgraded to broadband is only an indication that someone has been in there and waiting for you to open that door. Your computer performance is the least of your worries!
In the end, you are responsible for anything that occurs through your computer; just as you are responsible for anyone you serve liquor to in your house.
- The PC, unlike a calculator, can do many different things thanks to something called general purpose instruction sets. In fact, this is what made the computer so popular in the scientific community early on and later the consumer. But bear in mind, a computer does not only what you want, but whatever it is told to do by anyone, much like a chain saw does not differentiate between trees and furniture.
- The Internet is a two way street, and more people may come in than you expect. When your internet connection was only a dirt road, not many people bothered to go down it, and you could usually see them coming from far away. Now that it has become a super highway, too much is happening for you to notice everyone driving by. That doesn't worry most people as long as they get to where they want to go.
The following pages are designed to teach the normal computer consumer to be aware of their computer surroundings -- hopefully without the FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) factor.
Awareness is 80% of the solution, Action is the other 20%
John C. Checco, CISSP