Net Safety : 1. The Basics

In this age, Internet is part of life and provides livelihood for many. For some, it is a way of life. On the flip side, Internet is littered with traps, scams, phishing, adwares, malware, crypto miners, botnets and ever since Jon Von Neumann published the ‘Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata“, curious minds has been trying to bend and break the rules in a computer. Due to the fact that there are a large number of troubles lurking in the waters, here is my own set of basic rules and principles


It is your responsibility to stay safe

My driving instructor used to say that you should believe that you are sane and everyone else on the road is insane. That it true even on the Internet. While Wikipedia asks you to assume good faith, I wouldn’t recommend that for the most parts of Internet. for every good site, there are hundreds (if not thousands or more) of sites that are setup to make the best use out of you. your loss is their gain. They want to sell you stuff and steal your money. They would do anything and everything and if you are not careful, you will be used.

There is nothing free in life.

In the so called ‘Free world’ of internet, you and your information are the hot commodity that the interested parties slice, dice and sell for money. It is only free as in free beer – someone paid for it or you are paying for it by other means. Oh btw, did you tell the advertiser that you like that purple Jeep Wrangler?

Think and Look carefully before you click.

There is absolutely no substitute to being careful on what you do and what you click on in the Wild Wild West. If you get an email asking you to verify your banking credentials or asking you to immediately open the attached files for some random reasons, hit pause for a s second and always ask yourself if that is legit or a trap. Better to be Safe than Sorry!

If It is too good to be true, it probably is.

If you get an email from someone claiming to be the king or a lawyer or a damsel in distress and wants your help siphoning millions out through your account, don’t fall for it. So does a lot of jackpot and other offers that claims to be your lucky day. There are ample scammers out there who spam the netizens with millions of emails every day looking to exploit a fundamental weakness of human mind – Greed. There are people who are brave enough to bait the scammers, just to waste the scammers time and money. I would not recommend trying that unless you are really good at getting out of it unscathed.

Internet has a very long memory.

Most cases, what you put up on the world wide web lives practically for ever. remember that questionable photo form that you posted on your favorite social media site a decade ago? It is still making rounds somewhere. So, do yourself a favor and ask yourself how that can turn up for yourself in the future. Would you be ok if your future you to encounter that in your family chat group or your work place? Then there are the internet peeping toms who likes to see how your face would look on a hot shot. Many a lives were ruined due to the urge for oversharing of human nature.

To add to the trouble, you will be surprised to see how many network/internet connected computers still run outdated software, causing them to be the prime target for trouble. Internet still has the good old Nimda virus looking for potential victims. I was not-so-pleasantly surprised to encounter a DOS 6 console in a hospital and a bunch of pre-XP machines in multiple places as Point of Sales. There was a recent example of a botnet that targeted some Medical equipments.

You get the point, don’t you?

Next Chapter

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