Man, whatta rotten week of technology. My computer at the office got hacked. The following is a memorandum (redacted as appropriate) that I circulated to all attorneys and staff. You might want to read it carefully:
My work computer has been compromised. The virus is particularly insidious. The slimy $&*@&*! that compromised my computer was, literally, two seconds from obtaining my online investment account information and password. It was a very clever program, and we’re having troubles cleaning my computer. After two tries, it’s still compromised. I expressed extreme dissatisfaction to our computer consultant (a highly capable individual) and my concern that the Internet is not safe. He basically said, “Yup, it’s not safe, but you can undertake precautions to make it safer.” Here are his suggestions:
1. Don’t surf with Yahoo. Only use Google.
2. Only frequent sites that have no advertising.
3. Because you never know which sites have advertising and which don’t, you should limit your surfing to a handful of trusted sites. In other words, you shouldn’t undertake random surfing.
4. If you must undertake a search that could result in you accessing sites that are an “unknown commodity,” search with Google and only access sites passed along by Google. Its software is supposedly the best at filtering out harmful cyber substances. Once you access a site that a Google search reveals, don’t access other sites from that site (i.e., don’t surf). Go back into Google and try to access that site through a Google search.
5. If you know the site you want, don’t use a search engine at all. Just type the URL in the address bar (e.g., ericscheske.com). You don’t need to use “www.”
6. Avoid the “traffic whore” sites. These are sites that pretty much do anything to attract traffic, such as celebrity gossip sites, “skin” sites, and free giveaway sites.
If you’re surprised at the first suggestion, so was I. Yahoo isn’t a safe site? Nope, according to my computer guy. I would’ve thought Yahoo was a mainstream provider, as safe as any established business with a multi-billion dollar market cap. I guess not. And to that, my response is, “If Yahoo ain’t safe, the Internet ain’t safe.” Surf at your own risk.