“That’s not fair…”
Throughout history, there have been famous battles where the underdog has prevailed because he used “dirty” tricks. Perhaps, one of the earliest examples is from the bible. What hope did David have to defeat Goliath? What could a young boy without armor and weapons do to the giant, Goliath? All the odds were on Goliath. Did David “cheat” when he defeated Goliath? Was the slingshot a secret weapon or a dirty trick?
In sports, there are rules of conduct. Boxers are not allowed to punch “below the belt”. The referees police the event but mishaps and dirty tricks still occur. There are no referees in a life and death fight, rules go out the window. A combatant will do whatever is necessary to eliminate a foe.
Hackers and cyber criminals do not obey laws. A family member in law enforcement made it clear to me, “Criminals have no respect or fear of the law…”. It is a good start to legislate computer crime but you can’t rely on laws to protect computers. If there is a way to exploit a computer, you can be sure that someone will determine how to compromise flaws in a computer’s armor.
Not all hackers are criminals. Some hackers are referred to as “white hackers”. These are hackers that identify flaws in computers. Sometimes these hackers identify a flaw but they become victims of laws used to protect computers. It seems a little trite to prosecute someone who identifies a hole in computer armor but doesn’t take any action to harm or steal resources. What do you think a real criminal would do?
If you own a computer, it is not enough to depend on an antivirus program. You don’t have to be afraid to turn on your computer but you do have to be vigilant. If you think that your computer is compromised, don’t wait, turn it off. If it refuses to turn itself off, hold the power button for more than 10 seconds. If that fails, remove the power plug. If you must finish a project at least disconnect it from the Internet to prevent the virus from “phoning home”.
If your computer is not as fast as it was when new, it may be compromised by a virus. It could also be slowed down by advertisements. Advertisements are not technically viruses but they will interfere with your computer running smoothly.
Don’t be taken in by any Internet or media advertisement that claims to have the magic to completely fix your computer. You are the first line of defense for your computer. Note any changes in your computer’s performance and take the appropriate action to resolve any problems with your computer.