Archive for the 'Security' Category

Internet Explorer - Critical Security Update

I guess I’m only posting this due to the mass hysteria in the media at the moment.

I know lots of people are using IE in corporate environments, I would like to hope that the guys in charge of your work machine will roll this patch out for you ASAP.

For those of you like me, who use IE in a development environment and/or a Virtual Machine, you’ll be pleased to know that Microsoft have released a ‘quick’ fix for the issue.

You can get the patch from Microsoft: here

Read the mass hysteria (from the BBC): here

I think that it is obvious to the average user, that the Internet can never be 100% safe, even if you are running other browsers.

My advice (for what it’s worth) is:

  • If possible (and I can’t believe I’m about to say this!) run a *nix based Operating System (e.g. Linux, MacOS, Solaris). (Read this Whitepaper - registration required)
  • Keep anti virus software up-to-date - remember some of the best packages are free, such as Avast! and AVG
  • Ensure your browser security settings are set to ‘High’ in the ‘Internet Zone’ (Shown in Figure 1 below)

Figure 1: High setting for the Internet zone

  • Run the protected mode in IE provided if running Windows Vista
  • Browse the internet as a non-admin user (i.e. a user that is not classed as an administrator!)
  • Use Windows Defender (if running Windows)
  • Don’t store passwords and personal information on your hard drive in an unencrypted form - if you must store it, ENCRYPT it!
  • Delete all those emails you get from various companies that contains your username and the password you forgot but needed reminding about!
  • Sign out of your online banking as soon as you’ve finished using it
  • Use a spy ware detective, such as SpyBot - Search and Destroy

Even doing all above, and by being ultra paranoid, you can never be 100% safe. Just remember, ALL of the technologies that are out there to protect you are written by people, not super humans, they can make mistakes, and source code can be released into the community for devious individuals to take advantage of.

You are in control of which sites you visit, what emails you open and what software you install!

There’s lots of great advice out there, just look for information on how to remain safe online :-) DON’T PANIC!

Remember, that you might not be able to install and/or do many of the things I’ve suggested here at your place of work due to restrictions on what you are allowed to do. Don’t give your engineers a headache!


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