Thursday, February 26, 2015

Why Net Neutrality is a Victory for Small Businesses

As a small business owner you are now free to set up an outrageously successful website without having to cough up extra money to your Internet Service Provider that would add no additional value to your service.   

Net Neutrality is the concept of keeping the Internet a level playing field with no "fast lane" or "slow lane" treatment to some kinds of traffic.  Large Internet Service Providers (ISPs) wanted to insert a "Middle-Man" service, that would stand in between the consumer and a Cloud provider such as NetFlix.  Currently, a user visits a website of their choice with no such Middle-Man obstruction.  Large ISPs wanted to implement another means to make money by charging a toll charge for website access.  There was no functional reason for this toll charge.  The Internet is working just fine.  Stopping short of censorship, the ISP could make access to a website so slow the result would be in users going elsewhere.  Eventually, the website host would have to pony up the extra money.  

It was no surprise there was widespread support for Net Neutrality as demonstrated by 99 percent of the 1.1 million comments on "Net Neutrality" submitted to the Federal Communications Commission were in favor of it, according to analysis by the Sunlight Foundation.

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc., explains why he favored Net Neutrality and why he thinks it is a victory for consumers. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Antivirus Is Dead, What Do I Do Now?

Brian Dye, senior vice-president for information security at Symantec, has declared antivirus as “dead”. With a detection rate of only 45%, you can’t rely on antivirus to protect your computer from malware infections. Now what?
Being careful with opening email attachments and what websites you visit is important but doesn’t mean you will never be fooled. If you have ever watched a magician perform a trick and couldn’t figure out immediately how that trick was performed, then you are capable of being fooled. Experienced cyber criminals are experts at scamming and the art of illusion. Besides, most people use Facebook and other social media sites which have become a popular attack approach. Cyber criminals have enjoyed a 70% success rate with malware spread through social media.
If you assume your computer will crash or will suddenly experience performance issues, and that is how you will know you’ve been hacked, think again. Cyber criminals will NOT crash your computer. That would defeat their purpose. Their aim is to infiltrate your computer to pilfer data. After their done they will use your computer to cover their tracks so their attacks on other computers will appear to originate from your computer. Besides, even if your computer performance takes a dump, how are you going to remove the infection if the antivirus or similar detection tool can’t find the source of the infection?
Obviously, a new approach to computer protection is required. First, would be an operating environment that is impervious to infections. One approach would be to change you operating system to Linux. Millions of malware infections are roaming around on the Internet designed for Windows. There are fewer malware infections designed for a Mac. Still the number of malware designed for a Mac is close to one million. Linux on the other hand has had less than 100 malware designed to attack it. Part of the reason is due to Linux lack of use along and the numerous different versions. Linux has had a reputation of being difficult to learn and use. However, there is a new version that has been designed for Windows users called Zorin. Even so, you may still find learning a new operating system to much of a challenge.
A new technology known as virtualization may provide an approach that has promise. The technology isolates an application from the rest of the operating system. It can also isolate and entire operating system environment. The benefit is that whatever happens in that isolated environment stays in that environment and won’t affect the rest of your computer. An example of software that uses application virtualization is Sandboxie. If you open your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc) within Sandboxie, and if you go to a website that has malware, the malware will be isolated in the Sandboxie environment and will not infect your computer. Sandboxie can be configured to erase all activity in a session so that you can start with a clean slate each time you open a program. That means any malware will not only be isolated, but at the end of the session will be erased. This technology is still relatively new and still needs some work in the area of usability for the average user. But, power users should have no problem installing it and using it.
I will have more suggestions in future blogs, so stay tuned.
Check out…