|Open clips from pixabay|
Unfortunately, there was a serious bug found right after Windows XP’s end of support which provides a good example to show how dangerous it is if people are using an out of date operating system: Heartbleed. “Heartbleed is a security vulnerability in OpenSSL software that lets a hacker access the memory of data servers. According to Netcraft, an Internet research firm, 500,000 Web sites could be affected. That means a user's sensitive personal data -- including usernames, passwords, and credit card information -- is potentially at risk of being intercepted.” This bug is severe enough to steal all your user information, including your password of your email, and even your debit card. It involved all HTTPS websites. HTTP is not encrypted, but HTTPS is encrypted with OpenSSL. Considering the profit of the users that were still using Windows XP, Microsoft decided to fix that bug on Windows XP but it was also the last bug that was fixed by Microsoft after the end support of Windows XP. If any other severe bugs are found in the future, Microsoft will not be responsible to fix it. Therefore, it is in people’s best interest to update their system software to the newest versions available. Tech support for those is key in keeping yourself secure. And, while bugs on an operating system do affect users’ security, but what’s more harmful is a virus.
Installing an antivirus software is very important because antivirus programs fully protect the computer by scanning the entire hard drive on your personal device. It can identify almost any virus that has been seen because developers update their virus definitions regularly. “hese updates are important because new viruses are released every day, and they can go undetected if the virus scanner is not up to date.” It blocks any suspicious activity and virus before they can impact your personal device. “Antivirus programs block malicious tracking software from being downloaded to your computer. Tracking software is used to steal credit card, banking and personal information”. Antivirus software not only can provide a safe environment for your operating system, but also can scan for viruses in your cloud drive “Cloud antivirus is a technology that uses lightweight agent software on the protected computer, while offloading the majority of data analysis to the provider's infrastructure.” It exists everywhere, but sometime you don’t notice it. For example, before you download a ZIP file from Google Drive, it will automatically scan virus for you:. You really need anti virus softwares if they really "use" their computer. You can get a virus any time, when you're browsing the internet or downloading files from a thumb drive.
What you can also do to secure your information is have good habits when using your personal device. Researchers found that most Android phones have been infected with malware that send spam to the users. "The trend is only moving in one direction," In BBC. "The criminals are sharing information between themselves and they are learning about how to improve the efficiency of their attacks." Don’t forget to logout after you use the website. There’s lots of funny example of what happens if you forget to log out.
In conclusion, in order to secure our personal information, we have to upgrade our OS, install an antivirus software and have a good habit using your device.
Updated on Mar 5 2015
Thank you for your thoughtful and inspiring comments!
After going through your commons, a few of you mentioned about the internet being controlled or verified by someone to make us safe on the internet. Those are great points, but just like I said, If the internet is controlled by the government, our freedom on the internet will decrease. Just like North Korea. The government will post whatever their opinions are and you won't be able to see a variety of websites. We should have the ability to protect our selves. Though internet shouldn't be controlled by the government, young kids still shouldn't be exposed to too many websites, especially those which requires to register and might sell your information or install spam on your computer. I did some research and read a few articles, I recommend parents to get involved in what websites does their kid browse and what app do they use. When dealing with inappropriate websites, I recommend parents to create a special account for their kids and use "Parent Control", it's an account setting (type) that's available in OS X or Windows.
After doing this blog, I feel the major difference between people discussing online between China and the US. You give your valuable ideas and positive things on these blogs, but if a Chinese guy see it, he'll probably ignore this or leave some kind of span in the comments.