Excellent post Rob and oh so true. I retired from GE Appliances and you would not believe the lengths (and money spent) trying to avoid illegal intrusions. There are passwords upon passwords required and even then, issues. I write training modules for PDHonline.org and even with those I have had attempted "hacks". I think these hackers just work to see if success can be had. And the advertisements!! One thing that really bugs me, and these are not hackers, is purchases online in which completion requires noting your e-mail address. After that, they never go away. Your article points out great and ongoing concerns relative to security. Security is one reason I do not use the "cloud". Great post.
Bryan--I can certainly echo your comments. I recently took my system (business computer) to have the entire disk scrubbed due to "malware" and successful attempts to hack my data. I also had virus protection and really try to keep my software up to date. Updates are programmed and accomplished every week and still I seem to have frequent problems. I use a local company for all of my IT work. They charge $145.00 a pop. Worth it--yes, but it's time consuming and I'm offline about two to three days every time I have to have the process completed.
Be careful! My computer was protected by MICROSOFT DEFENDER & SECURITY ESSENTIALS when it got the virus, and yes it was up to date. And no it could not clean it. Nor could any of the spybot or malware programs I already had on the system. It was not an unprotected computer yet it was still became infected.
All our PCs at the company are "protected" by MICROSOFT DEFENDER & SECURITY ESSENTIALS. We also use SPYBOT, MALWAREBYTES & AVG Suite. Although I'll tell you that the AVG suite worked OK in previous releases, but the latest release really seems to have affected WINDOWS XP PRO. The machines have been professionally scanned & have come back "clean", yet the filtering that AVG does really inhibits quick responses from legit corporate websites, etc. A couple of the PCs have had the AVG suite removed, and they now operate much quicker. It certainly COULD be NOT a fault of the AVG per se, but that it interferes w/ the MICROSOFT products.
P.S. Our service company charges a flat fee of $50. to do a scan & clean a PC, so we consider that a very small price to pay to continue getting the benefits of modern computing.
My infected computer is not running so bad that I have wanted to spend the $ on getting it fix, and even if I did, I would not want it connected to the internet agian anyway. Everyday I get at least 3 to 4 emails that I suspect are hackers and 1 or 2 that I know are hackers. All it takes is one wrong move and there we go again. I am almost thinking of getting a third computer for email only, so that the hackers will not be able to mess up my UPS account which also needs the internet.
On a side note have you all noted the home security systems that you can access with your smart phones. I am just waiting on how bad that is going to be attacked by hackers. They will not only be able to watch us in our homes, but know when we have gone on vacations, be able to unlock the doors and turn off the system by themselves. I plan on NOT getting one of those security systems.
Glad I still have several working MS-DOS PCs at home, including a DELL 486/33 w/ a MADE in USA sticker on the front panel!!!
Bryan: You have an option which has worked for us. Bring your infected PC to a reliable & professional PC repair facility. They can extract all your data, then format the drive & replace WINDOWS with all the latest security updates. We've done this with several PCs that have become infected, but we're still using XP PRO PCs throughout the company.
Of course, you have to be responsible for all the applications software installed. Hopefully you have the CDs or licenses, so you can download the latest versions.
These repair facilities seem to have a whole catalog of "sniffing" software that can sniff out the most "secure" malware that is on the PC. It's worth a try.
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