Easy End User Cybersecurity

Has Target Done Enough?

02/01/2014   |   1 Comment

My favorite analogy in security is the one which describes each internet defense as a slice of swiss cheese: they all have their holes (weaknesses).  The idea – if we want the best security – is to stack them all up on top of one another and hope the holes don’t line up.  Because if they do – meaning, if any of the inevitable weaknesses in software or hardware align so that there is an opening for strangers to enter – that represents the tunnel through which cybercriminals crawl into our home computer or business network.   MC900441776MC900383606 (2)MC900383606 (2)

What the average citizen may not realize is that in some ways he or she is no different than Target.  Cybercriminals are coming after all of us.  And based on the infection rates of personal computers and mobile devices, a large number of Target’s potential victims have been personally compromised at home already.  So what are customers in such a huff about?  Read the rest of this entry »

Why We Should All Pay for Smartphone Apps

08/24/2013   |   1 Comment

Suppose Josephine and Rick have built the most incredible smartphone application ever.  They offer it up to the market for a few dollars, and next thing we know they are millionaires.  Their customers not only love the app, but they also appreciate not being deluged by incessant banner ads or pop-ups.   Jo and Rick didn’t have to bring in on-line advertisers because their profit model was simple: sell the app itself to make money.   

 

But not all developers are as lucky.  Steve and Sue can’t get anyone to pay attention to their app, and darn, they spent all their money creating it.  So they will have to figure out another way to earn their money back.  The most popular way to do this is to get paid when users view ads.  Steve and Sue decide to make their app available for free, and advertisers pay Steve and Sue to place ads alongside the application.  These ads change dynamically just as they would at a Read the rest of this entry »

Darn Security Questions and the Day I Wished for More Numbers

06/19/2012   |   No Comments »

How many of you have been locked out of an on-line account at least once?  Everyone, right?

It happens after trying too many passwords.  Maybe because SOMEONE was multi-tasking with the caps-lock on.

Of course we can always call and ask the security police to retrieve it.  Two weeks ago I had to do this, and along the way I glimpsed a whole new level of security interrogation.  My experience went something like this:

“Name of your first pet?”

Hmm, I wonder: do I count the Gerry the gerbil, even though he was actually my brother’s?  Or what about the stray tabby we fed every day when we lived in Chevy Chase?  I’m not sure so I settle on “Fritz”, the fluffy French poodle Grandma gave us, who unfortunately only lasted three weeks.  But my security wench with the Indian accent doesn’t like this answer and skips to a question about cars.

“What was your first car?” Read the rest of this entry »