Staying Safe at a WiFi Hot-Spot

It is often underestimated how unsafe using the Internet can be in a public place, by those who lack a basic concept of security. It is, however, no large feat to simply swipe the information that someone might be sending out of the air, and anyone using the same WiFi network as you can do so with relative ease.

The easiest way to protect your data as it travels is by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This takes your data and encrypts it, and then sends it on its way. The data is decrypted before being given to it’s destination. This helps to prevent anyone from simple sitting in the same setting as you and stealing your information. It makes bank transactions, online purchases, and social networking (just to name a few) a lot more safe and reliable.

The link can be found here.


Mobile Security

This has been brought up in class a few times, and is a very interesting subject to discuss. With phones being developed to simply be convenient and fast, many people don’t even consider securing their device, because, to them, this is an inconvenience. If the optimal software isn’t already preset onto the device, then many devices will simply be left insecure. Some simple tips for mobile security:

-Use an OS that supports encryption. This is the most important thing, because if your data is left unencrypted, it is extremely vulnerable.

-Set a good lock pin/password. Passwords are often better, because they are not simply 4-digit numbers that can be easily figured out. It prevents your device from simply being picked up and violated.

-Enable auto wiping of data, and have that data backed up just in case. Auto wiping clears your phone after a limited number of incorrect guesses at the password, and ensures that even if they eventually get in, there is nothing for them to take advantage of.

These are simply a few tips for phone security. More detailed tips can be found at this link.

Preventative Security

This is perhaps the most effective type of security, because it dissuades people from attempting things on your network, as opposed to stopping their efforts. The more people that you can discourage, the better. Say that you own a business, and you have to worry about subversive employees who might exist, and be very unashamed of doing what they will to undermine the business (i.e. taking customer lists). You want to discourage them from trying this.

First and foremost, it is imperative that they know that the information here is your property and yours alone, as owner of the business. As “entitled” as a disgruntled employee might feel to this information it is not his, and serious legal restrictions come along with that.

Whenever an incident occurs, involve law enforcement. The most embarrassing thing would be to be led out in handcuffs by police officers for attempting an attack on your employers. Make sure that they know the humiliation which will come with it.

These are simply a few of the steps that can be taken to preventative security, and should be kept in mind when considering how to keep one’s files and information secure.

The link can be found here.


Taking Paranoia Too Far?

As we’ve learned in class, nothing is safe, and you can never be too careful. However, you might wonder if this mindset poses some negative effects as well. Is it possible to be too paranoid?

Let’s say that you are an employer in a company. You care about the company’s success, and you also don’t want to be a threat to hackers. What is the line that should be drawn when keeping things safe? Should you let no one have access to anything but yourself? Should you begin monitoring what your employees do? Perhaps you don’t even set up a network, because it could never be truly safe, and you end up doing everything by paper, then. What about someone breaking into the file cabinets, then?

By saying that you can never bee too careful, one makes the realization that no network is fully safe. But is this mindset really healthy to have, considering all of the holes that you have to consider? I mean, after all, it’d just be best to run your business in a hole in the ground, so that no one could penetrate your defenses.

Should it be illegal to downoad books from the Internet?

We all know that the library is a veritable source of information from which one can get as much as they please in terms of books and knowledge acquired from those. A library lets you check out a book, completely free, and use it for a certain number of days. It has been an effective resource from which people can benefit.

With the advent of the internet, however, people can now have access to these books without even leaving their house, if they want to. If you download something from the internet, aren’t you essentially doing the same thing that you do in a library, anyways? You are taking a piece of literature, for free, so that you may use it. Granted, when you download it from the Internet, you don’t have to return it, but the core concept remains the same.

So my question is this: Should it really be illegal to download books from the internet?