One Major Piece Of Computer Security You May Be Missing
There’s no shortage of analogies of the human body and computers. I’m throwing one in the mix from a different angle. It's likely one you have not heard before. It is a concept that most people are unaware of regarding either side of the analogy.
Here goes. A computer is meant to have two levels to its immune system just like the human body does. It's the one major piece of computer security you may be missing. But, what does this mean?
Well, first of all, let’s talk about the immune system of a human being. We have the inner layer and the outer layer. Most people think of the white blood cells as their primary defense shield. White blood cells have long been given top billing when it comes to immune system awareness. That is not true, however. The front lines of your immune system is your skin. It’s actually the whole “outside” of your body.
More specifically, think of your body, very generally as the shape of a donut. Your skin is the outside of your body. But your mouth is the outside of your body too. In fact, from the mouth all the way to the anus is a tube, like a river that varies in size and width at different points.. And it’s the outside of the body. It’s the “hole” in the center of the donut. Just because the hole is in the center of the donut, that doesn’t mean we call the inside walls of that inner circle the inside of the donut. It’s the outside. It’s the same thing with the human body, from the mouth to anus.
With this awareness comes the understanding of immunity. Your skin (and mouth all the way through that whole tube) is the body’s first line of defense. If something gets through the skin or that first layer of defense, THEN the white blood cells are called into action. At that point, it could be attacking the heart, the liver, the kidneys or the immune system itself, depending on the intruder. The immune system needs to be highly intelligent and continually educated as to all the potential threats it can be facing, to stay prepared.
It’s the SAME way with computers. Computers have/need an immune system. Computers themselves, and all the applications we have on them. So for instance, you can have an ANTI-VIRUS program installed on your computer. Wouldn’t you want one of those in your body? An ANTI-VIRUS program? See, some people get the idea for the computer, but not the human body, or vice-versa. You could have a VPN service employed for your internet access. Something as simple as having a piece of tape over the camera on your computer could protect you from a whole array of things, spy related.
It’s all about preparation and protection. That’s what immunity is about. In your body and on your computer. Your computer needs an immune system. It doesn’t even come with one. You need to build it. Here are a couple key points to understand computer immunity:
- Like your body, your computer needs immunity from multiple angles. Just like your skin has multiple forms of immunity in the form of bacteria and hormones to protect from different things, your computer needs similar type protections. So you may have a password or passphrase to log into your computer. Then you may have anti-virus software installed. There are a whole number of different things you can have just to protect the computer itself.
- Then you have all the applications. These relate to the organs in the body. For example, do you share files online with a company like Dropbox? Well, there are vulnerabilities there. Loopholes have been found in Dropbox’s system that can put you and your information at risk. On the other hand, SpiderOak is a service that has a much tighter, more secure system. Think of it like this: Dropbox was grown with pesticides. SpiderOak is organic. So think of all the Apps on your computer and make sure they’re safe and secure.
- Think of your computer’s immunity as the immunity for the human body. It needs to be intact, prepared and strong. It needs to be fed and tended to on a regular basis. There is no “cold season” in the computer-hacking-security world. It’s open season year-round. Be prepared.
Now, it's up to you. You have to be proactive. The government's not coming to your aid on this one.
It’s one of those things- it’s simple. But you have to do it.