Security Now

When I have time, I enjoy watching the podcast of Security Now on  You Tube. If you are concerned about technology security, this is a good investment of 2 hours a week.

As the world has changed, computers and technology are in every part of our lives. There is almost nothing that you touch or use that is not affected by technology.

I truly do not believe you can move to a foreign country without having a Smart Phone.

I am amazed how often I use Google Maps to find some office or place of interest in David or Chiriquí.

You have to be connected. Not only do you need a phone to call offices or people, but you need them to keep up with your friends and family back in your country of origin.

I have found that I use WhatsApp to call more now than traditional phone numbers. I use the Magic Jack App to make calls to US offices.

Lilliam has not bought a phone card in almost a year. All of her calls are via WhatsApp. If she needs to use a real Panama phone number, she calls from my phone.

Her monthly bill now is $11.xx. Mine runs about $17, which includes some phone minutes. However she and I are always connected to the Internet, where ever we are.

Now with this added flexibility comes new risks. This week many major systems around the world were attacked by ransomware malware. Hospitals in the UK were shut down. Most of these attacks were against systems that had not applied the latest security fixes.

Smartphones have increased the vulnerabilities that have to be watched. It is EXTREMELY important to keep all computer and mobile operating systems current with the latest fixes.

If you have an iPhone, Apple does a good job of making fixes available when vulnerabilities are found. Since Apple controls the hardware and software, their fixes are released to all device owners at the same time.

If you use Android, as you mobile operating system, things are much more complex. If you have a Google device, such as the new Pixel or previous Nexus, then you immediately get security releases as Google puts them out.

If you have a Samsung, LG or other manufacturer then you are dependent on the manufacturer and their release may be delayed a substantial amount of time.

My and Lilliam’s Pixel’s are using the May 5th security release. It came out on the 5th and was installed on the 5th.

If you are running an Android device, go into settings and check your current maintenance level.

For the Pixel, I paid more than most of the other Android phones, but it was important to me to always have the latest maintenance. Pixel is Android’s iPhone equivalent from a security maintenance standpoint.

Microsoft still has the most vulnerable OS installed on computers. Its market dominance makes it more of a choice of hackers.

Microsoft does a good job of keeping security releases available, but it has a large amount of old unmaintained versions that are extremely vulnerable. If you run a version that is older than Windows 7, then you should consider getting a new PC.

You would be surprised to see how many Windows XP devices are still being used in Panama.

I am not familiar with the Windows Phone situation to be have an opinion of its support or lack of support.

My current laptop is a Macbook Pro and is it the current maintenance level with the latest version of OS X . If you run an Apple laptop/desktop OS X, then you still need to watch the maintenance releases. In the old days, Apple made a lot of commercials about how virus free the system was.

Of course that was all spin and it wasn’t really a more secure system. It just had such a low percentage of the market that it was not a target. Times have changed. If you have an Apple device and the system is telling you that they’re are updates available, then you should install them.

While it is true that we need intelligent devices more and more each day, you cannot afford to be using unmaintained software.

6 thoughts on “Security Now

  1. Are you definitely moving? I so much enjoy your thoughtful and helpful articles about where you live. You would be greatly missed. Did anyone replace your position? You have helped many people.

  2. The UK problem was probably a result of too many computers still running XP. Stay happy and best of luck with your surgery!

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