Club News

February 8, 2017 - Cybersecurity
February 8, 2017 – Internet security Seth Rosenberg, president of Syncretic, a firm specializing in Internet security, is also a member of Rotary devoted to helping other members protect their computers. A new problem that has arisen is something called “ransomware,” whereby outsiders are able to penetrate the computers of individuals and hold their files locked until a ransom is paid. Using an anonymous payment system, thieves have collected over $1 billion in 2016 alone. Once files are captured, it is very difficult to retrieve them without paying a ransom, and even then people are not always successful. Seth pointed out that the best method of protection is not to let outsiders in. He recommended the following: 1) Buy anti-virus software – do not use free programs. 2) Update and install patches on programs that you use. These often contain information to forestall intruders. 3) Resist the temptation to open every attachment. Try to make sure that attachments are legitimate, even if they seem to come from people whom you know. If in doubt, contact the person who sent the email before opening the attachment. Please note that major organizations do not send emails with attachments, such as the Internal Revenue Service, Microsoft, Adobe, etc. Such organizations will contact you by letter. UPS and the US Post Office do not send emails with notices of mail for you. 4) Back up frequently. There are services that back up for you on a periodic basis, if necessary on a daily or even more frequent basis. 5) Passwords are the weakest link in cybersecurity today. Even though maintaining a record of passwords is a problem, it is necessary to change these regularly. Windows 10 is more secure than Windows 7. Even though Mac users think that they are safe from intruders, this is a myth. It is just that there are more PCs available as targets, but as intrusive software has become cheaper and easier, products from Apple are no longer safe from intrusion.