Facing Cyber Security Threats

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The future is quickly approaching, and a new era of internet innovation and disruption is here. The best way to stay safe is by developing policies and habits that protect you, your data, and your customers.
This article is the first of a series that explains our approach to internet security and computer security in general.

Online security, like charity, starts at home. As many of you know, we work from our home office, so that is where Pro Epic's security standards begin.

We wish that we could say that we have never been hacked and never had malware on our computers. We have, just like most folks. We do try to learn from our mistakes and be more proactive in eliminating security threats before they begin.

 

The future is quickly approaching, and a new era of internet innovation and disruption is here. The best way to stay safe is by developing policies and habits that protect you, your data, and your customers.

This article is the first of a series that explains our approach to internet security and computer security in general.

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Online security, like charity, starts at home. As many of you know, we work from our home office, so that is where Pro Epic's security standards begin.

We wish that we could say that we have never been hacked and never had malware on our computers. We have, just like most folks. We do try to learn from our mistakes and be more proactive in eliminating security threats before they begin.

One day in 2009, Cris and I both received a Facebook message from a friend from church. The message contained a video, and everybody likes videos. Cris and I were in different rooms, but I think we clicked on the video link at the same time.

Well, it turns out that the video was not a video at all, but a malicious program that contained a virus. The virus immediately began to install software on our computers.

I unplugged the network cable and turned off my computer immediately. I have a suspicious nature, so I booted it in safe mode and ran several virus scans. After a couple of hours, it was back to normal.

I went to tell Cris about what happened. She said the same thing happened to her. She had run a virus scan, rebooted her computer, and everything seemed fine. Well, it wasn't. We ran antivirus on her laptop in safe mode, and it found a lot of malware programs, including a rootkit and boot sector virus.

We decided to err on the side of caution and replace her hard drive. We shot a hole in her old hard drive and bought a new one. After installing Windows, Cris installed all of her software from scratch. Then she restored her old data files from a backup. The whole process took over two days, but Cris' reward was a virus-free and freshly configured laptop.

Since then, we have reviewed our security procedures, and we continually adjust them to deal with new threats. Don't bother sending any cute videos through Facebook Messenger, because we are not going to open them.

We keep all of the software and operating systems updated on all of our computers. New versions of software often contain security fixes, not to mention new features and enhancements.

We run an antivirus program that has worked well for us over the years. It provides real-time file system protection as well as scheduled scans of all our hard drives. We also run Malware Bytes, which protects our computers from malware and spyware as well as blocking dangerous or compromised websites.

Our next article will explain our policies about website security and how we implement them.

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Saturday, November 28 2020

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