September 16, 2014 Jessica Sims
Broadband Too Fast to be Safe?

Broadband Too Fast to be Safe?

One of the most common broadband-related e-mails we get here at High Speed Experts has to deal with security, and in particular the question of whether faster broadband connections mean more vulnerability.  It does indeed stand to reason that a much more narrow window exists to secure a computer or other device from infection or data loss, but that does not mean that this is a primary concern or even a reasonable concern.  After all, what is the difference between a hundredth of a bat of an eyelash truly worth to a human operator?  The answer is simple: none whatsoever.  This means that faster broadband connections are not a culprit worth worrying about.

Most Hacks Occur Because

There is plenty of propaganda floating around about the security of one operating system versus another or which type of broadband connection is more secure than another, but not a single one of these factors has anything to do with why most of the security breaches happen in the first place.  Most hacks or digital break-ins occur due to user error or malfeasance.  That’s right, the problem is still nothing short of users who do not follow the rules required to stay safe in an increasingly insecure digital environment.

Here Are Some Basic Tips for Staying Safe Online:

Do not answer instant messages from unknown parties – When unknown people start sending e-mails, watch out!  These people are certainly up to no good, but are almost always going to say otherwise.  It does not matter if they want to have an adult encounter with you or assist you in securing some unclaimed funds, the advice remains the same: STAY AWAY.

Opening e-mails from people you do not know – This one should be fairly obvious by now, but unless you truly know some deposed leader of an African country then do not bother replying.  This particular scam ends up with you being asked to pay a few thousand dollars to secure a locked drop box allegedly filled with millions; you might think you come out on top, but when the courier is gone and the keys do not show up, you are left with a cheap metal box likely filled with nothing but scratch paper inside.  Other scams work differently, but almost nobody will ever receive an honest plea from a party that they do not know.

Avoid bouncing e-mails, just delete them – Bouncing, unless done within a few seconds of receiving an e-mail is a good way to send a signal to an e-mail tracking package that an address is indeed valid.  Think of it this way: if you called a phone number and immediately got a notice that the number was disconnected, then you would probably not call back.  If you called the first time and it rang endlessly and you decided to call back later in the day only to find a disconnected number or a transfer directly to an answering machine, you might take it personally.  Human perception of time is much slower paced than computer equivalent.

Never open attachments without scanning them – By now this should only be common sense, but nobody should ever open any attachment from anyone without inspecting it with an updated malware/anti-virus package.  This is true even if the e-mail came from a trusted source.  After all, their computer could be infected without them even knowing or intending to pass on the infection.

Signing up for websites – A good idea would be to keep a fake e-mail on hand for websites that are likely to send spam messages.  Try signing up for a free Yahoo! or Hotmail account to receive all of your junk mail; a clean inbox is only a few clicks away and all of that wonderful spam is simply gone.

Staying Proactive

It is entirely possible to take a proactive stance in this day and age.  This does include ensuring that an operating system is up to date and routine malware inspections are done.  There are no real security concerns that can be alleviated by going to slower ISPs or by choosing fiber over DSL or cable or any other technology.  A connection is a connection, and they are only as secure as the computers on the other end.  Only you can make your computer secure and keep it that way, and nobody should ever allow themselves to be convinced that one connection technology is inherently better than another from a security standpoint, least of all on an argument that a split second counts when it comes to preventing hacking.

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