Twelve Key Questions You Need to Ask About Your Computer Security for Your Home or Business

Security technology is only a part of an overall security plan. If you own a small business or a home-based business, or if you’ve been tasked with implementing security at your organization, developing a comprehensive security plan should be a very important part of your overall security strategy. Get the information you need to get started on the right track! In the computer/internet security game, the best move is one of Prevention! Prevention! Prevention!

With that in mind, here are the twelve questions you need to be asking, or, at least, be thinking about if you’re serious about preventing or stopping security risks, threats, and attacks:

1. Do I have a solid security policy or strategy?

If you don’t, begin immediately to get sample security plans, policies, and best practices for your business and/or home.

2. Where would I go for key information and news on keeping your information private?

Search the internet for managed security services. Ask if they provide a free computer test to assess your pc’s level of vulnerability. Ask if they provide the latest tips to keep your privacy and protect your personal information and that of your business. Or simply – ask me.

3. Does my disaster recovery plan include redundant back-up and data recovery systems?

Understand what a good data back up system is and how to best recover from a disaster.

4. Do I know how to create safe passwords?

Learn how to write virtually un-crackable passwords.

5. How do I train my employees or family members to be secure?

Get all leading research on what to teach about security.

6. What do I do if my employees are my biggest security risk?

Learn all about social engineering and insider hacking.

7. What or who is a hacker?

A person who uses and/or creates software technology to break into the computers of individuals, businesses, government, and organizations for personal gain is known as a hacker. Often after he, she, or they hack into a computer, they can control it secretly by remote, making it a “zombie computer”.

8. How does he (or she or they) break into home and business computers?

If they don’t have the break-in software, they can buy it off the black market, or create it, themselves. With this technology, they use their malicious software to look for holes in the computers of their targeted victims.

9. To what extent might my home or business computers be vulnerable to hackers, hacker’s tools, viruses, etc.?

You will never know unless you take the time to test your computer to see what holes are open, by what back doors (up to 65,000 portals) are malware entering your computer.

10. What is “drive-by hacking”?

Because wireless Internet access points have become popular for homes and businesses, home and business computers have now become a major target for hackers. In this new phenomenon, called “dive-by hacking”, hackers simply take their laptop computers in their cars and drive through business parks or residential neighborhoods remotely scanning for open wireless networks.

11. Would I know if someone tries to hack into my computer?

Depending on the security measures you have on your computer and the sophistication of the hacker’s software program, you might or might not be aware. Using keylogging programs, these cybercriminals can secretly see and record every keystroke you enter on your computer, thereby gaining access to all your private and personal information.

12. I have all the security measures, anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall I need. Can I still be hit by hackers and other pc-disabling attacks, risks, and threats?

Again, depending on the security measures you have on your computer and the sophistication of the hacker’s software program, your computer or computers might or might not be compromised. Remember: Cybercriminals are superintelligent criminals! They somehow always seem to stay one step ahead of authorities and anti-cybercriminal software.

Obviously if you have to ask these questions, then you need to take immediate steps to plug the holes and cover the gaps.

So, here are some steps you can take immediately to implement, increase, or improve your present security measures:

* Learn all you can about hackers and the tools and methods they use to invade your privacy and cause problems. Subscribe to a comprehensive source of Internet security research, news and information for small and mid-sized businesses and organizations, or other professionals, that want to increase their level of security and build on their current technologies and efforts.

* Take advantage of the research already done. Get access to information about the leading topics in the security field, including hackers and hacker tools, viruses, data back up, writing good passwords, government and legal issues, protecting from insider hacking – and more.

* Stay current with important security news developments. Work with a managed security firm that maintains an entire library of the most beneficial news articles, white papers and other links that you can use to maintain an excellent awareness of cyber-security issues on an ongoing basis.

* Need help creating a security plan for your organization or business? Take advantage of professional security consulting and training both by telephone consulting or on-site visits. Get vulnerability assessments, employees training, security implementation, and much more.

Because cyberpredators and other cybercriminals are becoming smarter and more sophisticated in their operations, they are real threats to your personal security and privacy. Your money, your computer, your family, and your business are all at risk.

These cybercriminals leave you with three choices :

1. Do nothing and hope their attacks, risks, and threats don’t occur on your computer.

2. Do research and get training to protect yourself, your family, and your business.

3. Get professional help to lockdown your system from all their attacks, risks, and threats.

Remember: When you say “No!” to hackers and spyware, everyone wins! When you don’t, we all lose!

© MMVII, Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW, The Internet Safety Advocate and Educator

Leaders: You Owe Constituents, The Leadership, They DESERVE!

How can anyone, hope to be considered, a leader, unless/ until, they provide the level of genuine, meaningful, relevant leadership, they need, and DESERVE? When was the last time, you observed, someone, who was, either, elected, selected, or ascended, to any specific position, who, actually, focused, and emphasized, truly, leading? Perhaps, one of the main reasons, so many organizations, today, are risking, a lack of sustainability, is, because, there are so few, meaningful, genuine, relevant, focused leaders! With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, why this matter, and what it might mean, and represent.

1. Delve deeply; discover; deliver: Only when someone, begins with effective listening, and pays keen attention, in order to consistently learn, from every conversation, and experience, will he discover, what his constituents, perceive, desire, and want, and what the group needs to do, to remain relevant, and sustainable! He must be willing to deliver on his promises, rather than, merely, proceeding, with empty rhetoric!

2. Empathy; emphasis: Never confuse genuine empathy, with sympathy! Empathy demands putting yourself, in someone else’s place, and aligning your emphasis, on these perceptions, needs, goals, and priorities. When this is done, a leader becomes more attractive, to those, he serves and represents.

3. Service; solutions; system; sustainable: One’s focus must be, on providing the utmost level of relevant service, and focus! He must implement the finest, possible system, to address needs, and priorities! Instead of blaming, complaining, and making excuses, great leaders emphasize providing viable solutions, in a relevant, sustainable manner!

4. Energy; energetic: A leader’s genuine energy, and energetic behavior and focus, is necessary, in order to energize, both, actual, as well as potential constituents, towards greater involvement and commitment!

5. Relevant; responsive; realistic; reasoning/ rationale: It’s not meaningful leading, unless/ until, one’s focus is on relevant needs, goals, and priorities! He must provide responsive, realistic leadership, which emphasizes, meaningful service and representation! While he must be somewhat, idealistic, this must be combined with realistic, pragmatic considerations. Consider, how one’s reasoning, is determined, and be willing, to explain, your rationale, in terms of potential, and benefits!

6. Vision; value; values; views: How can anyone effectively, lead, if he doesn’t possess a relevant, essential, vital vision, which inspires and motivates others, to follow? There must be an alignment, between providing necessary value, with maintaining a commitment to the values of the group, and stakeholders. If someone’s personal views, do not fit this mold, he probably should avoid, becoming a leader!

7. Excellence; endurance; expectations: Since there will always be, obstacles, one must have the endurance, to persist, regardless of any challenges, which might present themselves! He must handle expectations, and demand, his utmost, personal excellence!

Are you willing to provide the level of leadership, your group, and stakeholders, DESERVE? Are you, up to the tasks, and responsibilities?

What’s An RSS Feed And Why Do We Need It?

This is a question I am asked regularly so this short article is intended to help explain the concept and relevance of RSS.

If you own or manage a blog for any purpose, an RSS feed is critical if you intend to keep your readers up to date with your latest posts. There are a number of ways your readers can subscribe to your blog but the most common system used is via RSS feed.

So what is RSS?

Simply put it stands for ‘Rich Site Summary’ or it’s often dubbed ‘Really Simple Syndication’. It’s a technology being used by millions of web users around the globe to keep track of their favourite websites. Most consider it a form of news feed that you subscribe to.

In the days prior to RSS if you wanted to keep track of updated information on a website you had to ‘bookmark’ the site in your browser and return regularly to the site to check for changes. The problem was you had to do all the work yourself. If you were tracking numerous sites it could quickly become complicated. It was easy to miss something critical or get stuck in a never-ending loop of revisiting the same information over and over.

RSS Saves the Day!

What we needed was a technology that simply informed us every time a site updated. In practical terms, this is what RSS does. It provides a method of receiving relevant, up-to-date information in quick time after it is published.

In a way it’s like subscribing to a magazine that’s delivered periodically but instead of arriving in your mail it comes directly to your RSS Reader each time your favourite sites are updated. Even the most technically deficient web user can easily get the hang of RSS and make the most of the technology.

How Do I Use RSS?

First up – get an RSS Feed Reader!

There a plenty of free options available with a mix of useful (and useless) features. A simple starting point is Google Reader or Bloglines. Personally I still find Google Reader more than adequate but a simple search will provide a host of alternative options.

I find the readers work a little like email. Unread feeds will appear in bold in a kind of inbox style list. Click on a particular feed and it will provide you with the updated information and usually an option to visit the actual site. When you’re done simply move on to the next feed.

The best way to learn how to use your new feeder is to subscribe to a few feeds and give it a go. The help sections provided will guide you through the process if you get stuck.

There are two ways to locate an RSS feed. First will be on the site you are visiting and secondly from your browser. On site subscriptions typically involve a button or widget and come in many shapes and sizes so just keep an eye out and click to subscribe.

Most web browsers have RSS feeds built in these days. When you visit a site you will likely notice an RSS feed in the right hand side of the address bar where the sites URL is located.

To quickly subscribe all you have to do is click the orange button. Once you do this a few times you will start to see unread items appear in your Feed Reader and you can get underway. You can also unsubscribe at anytime so don’t be afraid to select a few starting options as you can always remove them at a later date.

There’s no security concerns, your email will be kept private and not used for any other purpose than to send your daily updates.

I hope this has helped and that you are now a little more familiar with the RSS technology. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.