How to be safe on the Internet

The Internet is here to stay and for most executives and professional people it is a part of their everyday life, both private and professional. Knowing how to be safe on the internet is as vital as knowing how to work your software suite. Just as there is a learning process for Excel, Power Point, Word and other business software, there is a lot to learn about internet security.

 

Without resorting to clichés about how we are all busy people with so little time these days the fact remains that this is just one skill set we need to absorb and it is only an auxiliary one at that. While important, it is not how we earn our income and so the time we invest must give a maximum ROI or else we both know we will simply put it aside and focus on other priorities.

 

This site will present the information we need in short bursts so we can assimilate as much as possible in as little time as is reasonable.

The Three Simple Solutions™ To Internet Safety Threats

As simplistic as it sounds, the first Simple Solution is to not go online. Wherever possible, stay offline and disconnected from the World Wide Web. If you have an email program such as Outlook, have it download your mail, then disconnect from the web while you read and reply. Then reconnect, upload the replies and send in one burst. This minimizes the amount of exposure you offer as your profile is above the radar horizon of the hacker for a short period of time only.

 

Most executives, in fact most email recipients, leave their system open and connected while they read their messages. In the early days this was never done because it cost so much to go online and the service was incredibly slow. Today broadband has made us sloppy and that helps the enemy find and infiltrate us. Stay offline and then only return online to transmit previously written emails. Don’t read and then compose while your system is connected, you can’t trust your firewall 100%, ever.

 

The second Simple Solutionis to get an education. You are already onto this simply by reading this web site’s content. Don’t be afraid to take it a step further and seek more information on how you are at risk as much as how to combat the threat. Knowing where you can be got at is often the first step to being able to self assess your vulnerabilities and take action to secure any leaks or rectify problem areas. You have to know what it is you are trying to stop happening and how it can happen before you can take any action to accomplish the objective. If you work for a corporation that has an IT department or a security manager, involve them and be proactive. Ask their advice and even suggest they present a training session, perhaps a working breakfast or similar event. At the very least, should anything untoward happen you can point to your efforts to get help from company professionals and maybe mitigate the fallout.

 

The third Simple Solution is to invest in effective protection. This can take the form of outsourcing your security to a reputable IT Security consultancy, buying and using top of the line anti-virus software and developing a company SOP that takes internet safety seriously. Internet threats take many forms and so internet safety is not just one thing or another. It is as much attitude and awareness as it is algorithms and software. It is also something that must be done BEFORE the attack happens. Shutting the stable door after the horse has been shot in its stall isn’t going to achieve a thing, is it?

I work as an internet security consultant for a large Financial Institution and I am always being asked by friends and family about online safety. I decided to create my own internet security site to answer some of the most common concerns and questions people have and because I can see a huge increase in online fraud targeting normal people. Another area of huge concern in privacy and this was brought home to me when a colleague became the victim of a vicious online stalking campaign. People provide information too freely which can by used by cyber criminals or by online sickos.

Carl Jacobson

Carl Jacobson