More and more cracks in security make it insecure.
It seems that just about every day, we hear abut some company or web site being hacked. It makes one wonder if there is any real security available to the masses when surfing the Web. There are many who talk about a browser or operating system which is more secure than another, but it looks to be a matter of time before hackers are able to break through what ever line of defense has been created. And it is that breaking down of the walls of defense which should concern everyone. Once hackers have been able to do that, it is a mad scramble to patch the hole which has been created in order to return to a secure environment.
The most recent report concerns the use of HTTPS as a means to adding another layer of security when you are using the internet. If you remember back to early last year, there was a Firefox plugin called FireSheep which allowed you to tap into what people were doing on a public WiFi and take over their session. You could then change their password for Facebook if they were currently connected to that. This worked as long as their were connecting via HTTP and not the more secure HTTPS. Gmail, FireFox and many others finally made HTTPS the default connection to stop this hijacking and protect users.
Well, it now seems that HTTPS may not be that safe as well. Researches have found a way to hijack an HTTPS session from a user. And with that ability, it is going to result in a scramble to make corrections to lock this down. This is a big concern as it is evidence of another breakage in the Web security which we have taken for granted. There is no perfect security on the Web, though some seem to believe that we are protected on the Web and do not have to worry. In reality, security experts pretty much all agree that there is no ultimate security. It is just that hackers have not figured out a way to get in. It does not matter whether it is the Web, a computer or a network, at some point they will be able to gain access.
Companies continually try and stay one step ahead of those trying to gain access, but the attempts to stay ahead are expensive and time consuming. And not all companies and organizations are able to do all this work. Even those that are still get hacked. So, the reality is that we are not completely safe on the Web. The key for every individual is to try and keep your software current. Part of that is to maintain your browser so that it is current and to minimize the use of plugins.
Be cautious when browsing the web as there are sites which do “drive by” infections to put viruses on your computer. On these sites, just going to the site will cause a virus to be placed on your computer. Do not install anything from the web that you are not sure about. It is part of the normal common sense which should be exercised. And this applies to the growing mobile devices which are replacing desktop browsing. Your smart phone and tablet can be infected as well.
You must be alert to all those who want to gain control of your technology. Just using common sense is probably your best tool for staying safe.