“Bzzz bzzz bzzz…”
“Gotta smack it to stop it”, the not-yet-awake thought floods Tim’s mind.
“Presentation at 10:00 today” Now this new, more urgent thought hits him like a runaway train
and he jumps out of bed.
Hastily, he throws on his clothes and grabs his coffee. He has to run through his notes and slides one last time before the big meeting in just a few hours.
Skirting to his laptop, he turns it on, and after a moment, he is greeted by the following message with the force of a ton of bricks:
“Hi! Your files have just been taken ransom with a really strong form of encryption. If you ever want to see your data again, please create a Bitcoin wallet and pay your unlock fee
of 1 BTC within 48 hrs. After you have paid, we will unlock the files with the correlating
key. Don’t attempt to unlock the files yourself, It’s impossible.” Read more…
Knowledge. Innovation. Connection.
These might seem like typical 21st century buzzwords – after all, they pretty much sum up where we are on the “You are Here” marker on that giant mall map of time. But far from just empty words that people say to sound trendy, these three traits capture the essence of what powers one of the most important and complex tools mankind has ever dreamed up – the Internet. In the same way that it’s super difficult to envision how it could possibly be that we have, on average over 24 feet of intestines wound up inside our bodies, and that if you fold a regular piece of paper 40 times, it would reach to the moon, it’s can be pretty hard for us to envision the scope of the interconnected cables, routers and frequencies used to bind all the world’s networks into one cohesive unit. But for better or for worse (mostly better), it’s massive and complicated, and it’s here to stay.
As we mentioned above, the Internet is a tool. And just like tools can be used to build something amazing that benefits mankind, the way a hammer can help build a home, any tool can be used to destroy as well. As much as the Internet connects, educates and builds, it can be used in ways that are less than positive. At the end of the day there is no denying the tremendous advantages of the Internet and the knowledge, innovation and connection it fosters. But it’s certainly a good idea, as a parent, educator and responsible person to know about some of the most common disadvantages that are out there and what you can do to keep you and your family safe. Read more…
- April 13th, 2016
- No Comments
Online Safety, PC security
Just imagine the scene.
You’re diligently fulfilling your duties at work, not paying attention to much else when the following email lands in your inbox:
To:(insert your own name here)
Subject: Mid-2016 salary increases
The body of the email reads:
“Look what I got ahold of! By the way, for your eyes, ONLY.”
You rub your eyes and stare for a second. Did someone really just send you a list of employees who will be getting mid-year increases??
You’re thinking “I gotta read this!” and your fingers are getting ready to click that link but as you move your mouse closer to the attachment, a tiny voice inside you screams “Wait!” (bah, humbug.)
Is this attachment what is seems or is it possibly something really, really dangerous?
- March 16th, 2016
- 1 Comment
Online Privacy, PC security
Is there anything more annoying than internet ads?
True, being attacked very slowly by hundreds of fuzzy kittens might take first place – Touché. But internet ads come in at a close second.
Chances are that you have heard at least a little bit about the debate between internet advertisers and publishers versus the makers and proponents of ad blocking software. It’s a debate that neither side wants to lose, nor do they want to make any concessions. And the ramifications might very well be huge.
- March 8th, 2016
- No Comments
Online Safety, PC security
Do you use social media to keep up with family and friends? How about to read and share mind blowing articles (like the ones here on the ZoneAlarm blog)? Either way, if you hang around social media at all, chances are you have encountered and clicked on shortened URLs even if you weren’t aware of it. But as useful as shortened URLs are, they can easily be corrupted by hackers and scammers.