By Avie Uniglicht
You’re a busy person, wearing several hats and running your own business. You don’t always make time to think about actions that may have a serious impact on potential outcomes. Today, I introduce “The 2 minute pause™” – a practice that if put to good daily use can work wonders not only for you, but your employees who play an important role while working on your computers.
It is with all too much frequency that I help new clients who have experienced computer infections as a result of encounters with Malicious Software (i.e. Malware). The type of software created and circulated by criminal types that attempts to either modify your Internet browsing by misdirecting your searches or worse yet – robotically control your computer and/or steal information. Much of these disruptive situations can be avoided, if the thoughtful “2-Minute Pause™” is put into practice. I also combine “2-Minute Pause™” with the “the Push-Away Technique™.” I am referring to practices that help us focus on our “mouse click” activities that invite much of this Malware into our digital environment.
Today, human-engineering techniques are used to trick us into doing things we normally wouldn’t do.
In the heat of our work-flow, we often don’t “think” before we act. We impulsively click on links or file attachments in e-mail or on the web that look “somewhat real” and gain our attention making us wonder “what’s behind the curtain.” The Malware distributors are always staying a step ahead of us in terms of ways to garner our attention and to make us want to grab their bait. If we only took the time to “pause” and think about what we are actually doing, or even if we stopped and asked someone if it actually made sense to do some of the things we do, we would be much better off. Taking 2-minutes to stop and push away from the keyboard and mouse provides us with time to evaluate and gain our perspective, preventing the interaction that causes the damage from many of these “pests”. By removing our “human element” from the process, we can reduce much of the spread of Malware.
I recommend a multi-layer approach to protecting our computers and the software and data on them. (Be certain to see my article on “Backup” http://www.askavie.com/2014/01/15/never-make-this-common-mistake ) Remember, there is no one Internet Security product available that blocks 100% of all potential Virus and Malware threats. The first layer of protection is keeping all installed software up-to-date, from Operating Systems to device drivers, plug-ins, utilities and programs. When an Operating System or Program becomes unsupported (think Windows XP SP3 on April 8, 2014), it is time to upgrade!
The first layer of protection is keeping all installed software up-to-date.
The next is protecting the “perimeter” using a secure router that prevents direct access to the connected devices. In addition, a 2-way software firewall installed on each computer designed to monitor the “traffic” going in and out over the Network is another important layer of defense. Combined with a tested and proven Anti-Virus / Anti-Malware product that is constantly updated to identify zero-day attacks is a must. Old techniques of protection included Anti-Virus programs that locally downloaded and stored “signatures” that were designed to be used to identify unwanted software and to block or remove it from a computer. With the proliferation of tens of thousands of variants released daily, keeping up with signatures and distributing them to all protected computers has not only become ineffective but quite burdensome on the individual computer’s storage capacity and overall performance. I have opted for “Cloud-Based Internet Security protection.” This type (think Webroot™) places a small foot-print client on the protected PC. This client interacts with super-computers which host the “intelligence” that is efficiently and constantly updated. The super computers “talk” to the protected “PC’s” to monitor and keep them protected with a much stronger algorithm and defensive base of protection. Additionally, we use 2nd opinion scanning and digital cleaning products that provide additional “eye-balls” on our systems to test and compare results.
Even these steps are still not enough to provide 100% protection.
Again, no one product, no matter how good, can detect and remove all variants of infection. I utilize a “10-Ingredient Malware Protection Cocktail” when setting up a new PC or when hired to cleanup and protect an existing system. You can learn more about this approach and more at my website referenced in the credits below.
This is second in a series of weekly aSKaVIE articles devoted to your productivity, digital privacy and protection. In future articles, you can look forward to tips and tricks that you can use to make sense out of your digital investments as well as reviews of new and exciting things that will likely provide value to your home and business. I invite you to write me with your questions and feedback. We’ll also be helping and inspiring others by answering your questions and that’s what makes my job so much fun! So stay tuned. Please send your questions to Contact Us.
About Avie Uniglicht: For over 30-years, Avie Uniglicht – “Your Tech Concierge™” has provided technology support and solutions to entrepreneurs who don’t have time to worry about the details. Specializing in “White-Glove Remote Room-Service,” Avie’s concept of giving you, his client, virtual “house calls” is cited regularly as invaluable and many of Avie’s clients say they couldn’t live without him on speed dial. Avie graduated Summa Cum Laude from Temple University with a BS in Business Administration. A former auditor for Price Waterhouse and past President of Ace Computer Center Inc., he is also the author of the e-Book, “Your Personal Computer Driver’s License.” Avie’s extensive business background and strong experience in accounting enhances his natural talent for helping his clients see the bigger picture regarding their business. “Your Tech Concierge” helps clients evaluate strategy so that together, they create an action plan with the end in mind. For more information or to “Ask Avie,” please call him at (888)-374-3712, and visit www.askavie.com.