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Is it a 'Steal everything' era of the Internet

I love the Internet.
I love the many advantages it offers from social networking to finding crazy recipes I would never have dreamed of; from using online-banking at 2 o'clock in the morning to not having to use a bulky directory to find telephone numbers; from booking flights and holidays to reserving cinema places to avoid queuing.
However like so many things, there is a side I do not like.


Data Theft and Stealing of Personal Information

The 3 June 2011 the British games developer Codemasters was attacked and personal details including names, addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth of thousands of people were stolen. Codemasters announced that no payment details were obtained and that as soon as they were aware of the situation, they took their official website off-line. Visitors found themselves directed to their FaceBook page. At the time of the publication of this article, their web site is still down - 10 days after the attack.

This is just the latest example of data theft where a large firm's security defences are compromised and personal information is stolen. One example in what seems like increasingly frequent similar stories. Even technology giants such as Sony are not immune (an attack in April 2011 left their website off-line for over a week and prompted a statement from Sony confessing millions of users may have had their personal details stolen) and people are now questioning that if a company such as Sony can get attacked, who is safe?

A senior security researcher at Kaspersky Labs, one of the market leaders in the development of antivirus protection, was quoted as saying "We're moving into an era of 'steal everything'".


What can I do?

Although there is an increase in the number of attacks and a change in the targets of the electronic criminals to go after social and other networks where the sharing of personal information is encouraged, the basic defences stay the same:

Do not enter your personal details on any Internet site unless you are confident it is a legitimate website.

Enter the minimum information possible.

Do not use the same password and username for all the websites you use. If one is compromised and your details are stolen, the cyber-thieves will not be able to access your other accounts on other internet sites.

Only enter personal information when you see a lock symbol showing the Internet site is secure.

Install and update regularly both firewall and anti-virus systems.


Concluding thoughts on the safety of the Internet

There is only so much you can do, the rest is up to the companies who ask for your personal information. Follow the basic principles listed above, and you are already protecting yourself more than the average Internet user. The individual companies are then responsible for the storing, managing and protecting of your data.

The Internet is a great place and offers many marvels, but use common sense and enjoy your Internet experience. It is a bit like walking down a high-street - there are always risks of being attacked, but by being aware and protecting yourself, you can minimise the chance of being a victim.

Thank goodness there is a happier side to this article. Is the Internet entering a 'Share everything' era discusses just one example of where the Internet brings a unique and everlasting aspect.

We at AB Publish will do everything we can to offer only the best advice and service to all our customers who have already built their own Internet Website, or to those who are thinking of creating a Business Website - the Internet can be scary, but with us you are in good hands (and your Internet Site is too)

Mon 13 June 2011 19:44:32

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