In security circles we often discuss why some individuals and businesses find themselves in a perpetual state of high risk. While there can be complex factors, the bottom line is that many of us make poor risk management decisions in our business and personal lives. Sometimes a high risk position results because we don’t correctly […]

As H1N1 (swine flu) continues to spread, so does misinformation on the Internet. There are several emails in circulation that are simply wrong, and web sites with false information are popping up all over. And scams are starting to emerge. We share this planet with people who still believe the earth is flat, lunatic conspiracy […]

Tens of thousands of pounds of disgusting and dangerous sewage gets pumped into the basements of homeowners in Ottawa, not just once or twice, but three or four times – in what the City claims is a “hundred year occurrence.” The top public servant in Ottawa claims the sewers are working just fine, the way […]

I hope that regular readers of my security column will forgive me, but today I’d like to get a few things off my chest. With the holidays approaching, we’ll undoubtedly hear Canadian retailers whinging about how the Internet is costing them revenue and begging us to “shop local.”  They’ll tell us how Internet shopping hurts […]

We often hear banks complaining loudly about the losses they suffer from payment card fraud.  Campaigns like “Protect your PIN” and humorous commercials with a miniature armoured truck following a customer down the street must cost tens of millions of dollars. But then consumers still receive calls like I did on Saturday afternoon.  The bank […]

Ars Technica has a great article this morning entitled 30 years of failure: the username/password combination. One of the things that they didn’t discuss is why we continue to use passwords for authentication even though they’re known to be a serious weakness. The first reason is that, as long as we don’t include the cost […]

I recently installed Windows 7 Ultimate (32 bit) on my brand new HP Mini 110 (it ships with XP). The Windows 7 distribution included all the drivers needed to get the system up and running, including the WiFi drivers, making it a very painless process.  Once running, it automatically downloaded the vendor-specific video driver, resulting […]

A common complaint among computer owners is that, over time, their computer starts to run slower.  There are a number of causes including hard drive fragmentation, registry fragmentation, registry errors, malware, general clutter and unnecessary start-up programs. Taken individually, most of these problems aren’t that serious. Windows is getting better at avoiding fragmentation, and the […]

Last year I wrote about LoJack for Laptops, software that periodically checks in with a central server to help locate your laptop if it is stolen. One of the LoJack features that caught my attention is that, when installed on compatible computers, a bios agent is activated.  The bios agent is supposed to reinstall LoJack if the […]

By now most of us know that when we delete a file from our computer it isn’t really gone – the space is merely marked as being available for reuse. Unlike in the physical world, where we can easily shred or burn documents we wish to dispose of (and put the others out in the […]

McAfee recently released a comprehensive report on the array of threats facing banks and their customers.  It includes topics such as card skimming, money laundering, the Nigerian 419 fraud, auctions, and online banking.  The report also provides a good overview of current countermeasures. Highly recommended reading! The full report is available for download here.

As a security professional, I spend a lot of my time contemplating how to manage security risk in the corporate and government space.  But there is another challenge that greatly interests me:  Protecting the average user. Unless you have an IT guy or gal in the family, it can be hard to get the right […]