This is the story of a recent college graduate who had a most unfortunate experience when she tried to take cyber security in her own hands, causing her to nearly miss out on an opportunity of a lifetime.
Lizzie is a 22-year-old female who recently graduated from Hamburger University (HU), where she studied the art of bread making. Our story begins with Lizzie being interviewed in the office of Clara, the head of the Cyber Security at HU. Lizzie is happy and explaining to Clara how she was offered a job where she was going to be able to sell all types of gourmet buns to restaurants, supermarkets, and diners by a major manufacture of breads and packaged sweets from the convenience of her home. Lizzie explains to Clara how exited she was to have the opportunity even though there was one catch, she had to purchase her own computer. She explained to Clara that she didn’t know much about computers and Lizzie told Clara “I thought I could handle it and I knew that our local retailer in the community had great deals on computers all the time and they had prices that were well within reach of what I could afford”. She went on to explain how she visited the local retailer and stated to the salesman that she only needed a computer that provided access to the Internet. “Clara, I declined to get any additional security packages offered because during the purchase I was told that there was security built into the PC already. Clara said to Lizzie “with your limited budget you thought your decision not to purchase extra stuff including having someone set up your new PC when she got home was the best decision?”
An excited Lizzie explains to Clara how she set up her computer by using the vendor provided diagram, which she felt, was very simple. “All I did was plug cable A into the connection A on the back of the computer. Then there was a statement that directed me to this thing called an Ethernet cable labeled cable B followed by directions for me to connect the other end of cable B to the Internet connection in my house. “ The diagram was easy for me and I really thought that I could do it on my own. Finally, she told Clara, “I connected the electric cable labeled C into the wall outlet, turned my computer on and received the welcome scene message. She said that she failed to read instructions displayed and selected the default answers, which I really didn’t think was important. Lizzie, did you also opted out of the 3 months trail of the additional security package by a security vendor because you did not have a credit card required to set up an account? Lizzie told Clara that there was built in security already on the computer. “Besides in a flash, I just remember I was on the World Wide Web!” Lizzie already had an email account, which she had created some time ago at the library at school. And so she logged into it, viewed and addressed some emails to friends. Lizzie was apparently ready to begin her new job. After a long day of computer fun, she went to sleep. The computer stays on…
The next morning Lizzie got up and was ready to start her work from home job.
As the story goes the built in security features are not enough to protect you from hackers. You see, when you purchase a PC the security is only as good as the day it was prepared by the vendor. Ironically, every day new malicious items are created unbeknown to the consumer. Vendors can’t keep up fast enough. It is important for the consumer to know this however vendors don’t clearly provide the details. Would you buy a car that would not start? Probably, not. So why purchase a PC that has security flaws in it from the moment of receipt. Vendors should automatically provide lifelong security updates just like the vendors who provide life long map updates to a GPS, which just happens to be available on some models, at a cost, of course. Wouldn’t this be a great feature for a purchaser of a computer and likely accepted as no one wants to buy a lemon.
Lizzie’s new job didn’t get off to a great start as she lost 2 days pay in order to get her computer malicious software free. Oh what she could have avoided had she done some research or just asked Clara, the Director of Cyber Security at HU didn’t happen because, “I GOT THIS!”.
For more tips on protecting your computer, visit US Cert.