Security Corner

Nov 24 2009   3:30AM GMT

Golden Rule #1: Don’t Invite Attackers into Your PCs or Networks

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

Having worked in IT in various capacities since the early 1980’s, I’ve seen the need for security evolve from simple protection against viruses to the need for complex security policies designed to combat multiple attack vectors. These days, it takes constant vigilance to stay ahead of criminal hackers, to say nothing of terrorists; moreover, clueless users are often unwitting accomplices in security breaches. (See my article “Will You Be Used As a Weapon Against Your Own Country?“)

Today’s Internet is reminiscent of the Wild, Wild, West, only now it’s the Wild, Wild Web. Make a mistake, and you could be virtually dead before sundown, your identity stolen, your financial resources drained, your reputation ruined. Protecting yourself online seems like a daunting task, especially for the average home computer user; however, it’s not as hard as it seems, given some common sense and an understanding of basic security principles.

My goal for this eBook is to provide simple, sound advice and tips that will help you be more secure in your computing both at home and at the office. The first piece of advice I’ll give you is one I consider the most basic principle of computer security, the first Golden Rule of Computer Security: The best security measures are completely useless if you invite attackers into your PCs or networks.

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