Joe on Security

Many people do not seem to think they need concern themselves with security for their home computers and networks.

Why should they?

They are not a government agency that stores personal information, or a retail store that processes peoples credit cards.

While you might not be a high profile target, your personal information can still be compromised. YOUR credit card and personal information can be stolen and used. Most credit card companies guarantee zero liability for fraudulent charges on your account, but you still have to go through a lot of hassle to get those charges removed, and if it is a debit card, good luck getting your money back.

Identity theft is an even greater threat, Instead of charging to your existing credit card, by collecting enough personal information a criminal can open a new line of credit in your name, claim your tax refund, or sell your house right out from under you!

Most large companies use directory services, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems to secure their networks and avoid losing data, but what can you do at home?

This is why I’ve decided to write about computer security, to show people that with a few simple changes to their existing computers and networks they can protect themselves from most internet fraud. We all try to avoid risks on the road, we wear our seat belts and avoid dangerous situations, over time it becomes second nature to us. In the same way we need to develop safe computing habits when we are online. The internet is arguably the greatest invention in human history, a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips, but like any tool we need to learn how to use it correctly.

Large companies and government agencies spend millions each year to protect their systems from being compromised, but it still happens, so how can a person at home hope to keep their data secure?