Your guide to the wild wild web - a.k.a. "The Internet"

The internet is a great place to gather information, utilize services, and even meet with friends, but no one tells you about the dangers that lurk behind just connecting.  My name is Charles Broome and I'll be your marshall for our campus network and advise you of traps in the digital landscape outside of our network borders. 

A few days ago a friend of mine asked me if the new Norton 360 security suite would protect their computer and  shopping online during the holiday season.  I looked at him with a smile and said, "Norton is a good product but security actually starts with you."  With a puzzled look on his face he says,"I thought it was automatic with the software".  With a grin I asked him for his iphone and laptop that he had with him.  With his iPhone, which didn't have a pin code, I was able to access his contact list and sent a text to his wife saying he wasn't coming home and handed it back to him.  He quickly replied back to his wife saying it was me who sent the text but he got a few choice texts back from her.  "Why did you do that", he asked.  To prove a point that convenience introduces an exploit or surface area of attack.  Once an attacker gains control of your device your ultimately responsible for the damage that is done with the device.

He pulled his laptop away from me and asks what did I plan to do with it.  I told him that I want to check if his laptop was vulnerable to web exploits like active-x or java.  He says I've already installed Norton on the machine and it shouldn't be vulnerable.  I smile and go to one of my "Testing" sites and use an active-x installer which disables his security product with a single click of the mouse.  His jaw hits the ground and says how is that possible it is the latest and greatest thing.  "Using an administrative account for your everyday use account on the laptop is ALWAYS a BAD idea", I replied.  I asked him if you lock your door on your car when you go to the mall or store why shouldn't your devices be treated the same way. 

I hope this sheds some light on the "Security Software" ideas that some have.

Do you leave the car running with the doors unlocked when visiting the mall or store?