New Years Greetings and RANTTIME

Posted by on January 1, 2005

Happy New Year…blah blah blah…[insert list of resolutions I have no intention of keeping]…blah blah blah…Be safe and healthy…blah blah blah…[insert list of last years highlights]…blah blah blah…

There…that outta the way, it’s RANT TIME!

AOL’s latest commercial featuring a bunch of their supposed users wishing all manner of mean and nasty things on their computers is killing me. This past Christmas Season many people came to me asking about what kind of computer they should get. I would ask them, “Is this for you kid?” and “What do you intend to do with it?”.

Two seemingly simple questions but I have to confess I had ulterior motives. If the computer was for a kid I would follow it up with “Is this kid of legal age and if not, are you going to ACTIVELY monitor what they do online?” if that got a NO I would stop the conversation. Parents that don’t monitor their minor children’s Internet usage should be charged with Child Abandonment. They wouldn’t take their child into downtown Chicago and just turn them loose would they? Perhaps they would.

If they answered the second question with, “I just wanna get on the Internet.” I would stop the conversation right there and ask them what they knew about viruses, worms, email security, and the like. Of course that usually brought blank stares. Wouldn’t help them.

You see…My internet is YOUR internet. If you don’t have the slightest clue about how to protect yourself online and obviously don’t want to learn, then why should I help you pee in my pool? It doesn’t make sense. Now I’m all about teaching people what they need to know and my inbox is always open for people to ask questions(don’t get too excited…GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND) but I’m not going to assist you in your Internet Suicide endeavors! Forget it. If you want to put your 12 year old daughter on the internet and are not going to monitor what she does, I’m not gonna be a party to her molestation. Forget it.

AOL has these actors perpetuating this “ignorance is bliss” mentality. “I want my computer to make the sound of the Yeti!”…what kind of crap is that? Oh but it’s okay because AOL is gonna protect you. That has to be the most laughable thing I’ve heard in a long long time…probably since the time Microsoft said that Win95 would run on 4mb of ram. hehehe…I still chuckle about that.

Folks…Protect your kids and read. Before you hook up to the Internet you simply MUST have an understanding of what you are getting yourself into. A virus scanner and firewall isn’t sufficient. You MUST have some understanding of how to REALLY protect yourself…not just your computer although that’s important too.

Here’s some hints for ya, if you’ve read this far.

When setting up your account with your ISP, DO NOT USE YOUR NAME AS YOUR USERID! Use something that can’t be tied back to you.

When setting up your password make certain it is at least 10 characters long and includes upper and lowercase characters, numbers, and “special characters” like $,%,*, and the other “shifted” keys on the number row of your keyboard.

When browsing the web and registering for stuff you should first have a throw away email account. Go to YAHOO, HOTMAIL, or any other free email system. When registering for stuff, use THAT email account. When you post your REAL email address you WILL get spam…I promise. Spam the likes of which you have never dreamed about. You like goats and old men doing things to goats? Register for something on the web with your real email address and wait.

When Windows says it has updates to install…DO IT! Right then! DON’T WAIT!

When Windows says it has updates to install…DO IT! Right then! DON’T WAIT!

When Windows says it has updates to install…DO IT! Right then! DON’T WAIT! (get the hint?)

At least once a week update your virus scanner and if you can, schedule it to update daily.

At least once a week update your virus scanner and if you can, schedule it to update daily.

At least once a week update your virus scanner and if you can, schedule it to update daily.(another small hint)

DO NOT USE INTERNET EXPLORER!

DO NOT USE INTERNET EXPLORER!

DO NOT USE INTERNET EXPLORER!

Firefox is your friend.

I could go on but I think this will do it. If you don’t understand ANYTHING above…go to your local public library, sit down to one of THEIR computers, and do your research. All the answers are out there you just have to look for them.

Last modified on January 1, 2005

Categories: InfoSec
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