So it seams it is the new norm to hear about big corporations, credit bureaus and even security gurus are getting hacked, have a security flaw or even get infected by a malicious virus… The latest processor flaws called “Meltdown” and “Spectre” that could let an attacker start to snoop on the most secure contents of your device’s memory are spookier than the average glitch, your odds of getting hit by them are much lower than your chances of being targeted by less exciting but more common hacking tactics.
So what should you do to protect against these risks, which affect nearly all PCs, Macs and many smartphones – Let’s start with letting your computer and phone install security updates automatically – This simple but yet extremely effective task, already automated and included with most devices, will help protect against those more ordinary dangers. The problems comes when people are afraid to update, because it will change a setting, their UI or they are just unaware of the increase importance in security updates.
In many ways, this situation is better than other software bugs, since discovery of the problem, companies involved began to release patches for them weeks before the public disclosure Wednesday and others arrived within two days of that news.
Mac, iPhone and iPad user: Apple included code mitigating Meltdown – the bug confined to Intel chips, which is both easier to exploit and easier to patch – in updates to iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra that shipped in December. It says it will deliver a patch for the mobile and desktop versions of its Safari Web browser “in the coming days” for Spectre, a more complicated vulnerability that affects AMD and ARM chips as well as Intel’s, to complicate a hostile site’s attempts to attack that flaw.
Microsoft users: Microsoft shipped its patch for Windows 10 as well as its Internet Explorer and Edge browsers Jan. 3 via its automatic Windows Update system, with patches for older versions coming next week.
Android, Chrome users: Google patched Android against Meltdown and Spectre in January’s security updates, which should be on their way to your phone if they haven’t already landed. The catch: Too many Android device vendors remain terrible at keeping up with Google’s updates. Google will also ship an update to its Chrome browser in January to obstruct attempts to exploit these flaws.
Firefox browser users: Mozilla Firefox shipped an update Thursday that includes fixes to jam Meltdown or Spectre exploits. You should also take advantage of this opportunity to dump outdated and unsafe browser plug-ins such as Adobe Flash.
If these steps sound like a strange language or even make no sense to you, maybe it is time to add to your list of static monthly expenses an IT service. Our world is changing and even though this type of service was only offered in majority to corporations or small businesses, we are reaching a point in our society which we are surrounded by computers, smart devices and our own personal smart phones. So to maintain your personal information protected, maybe is time to start thinking different about these services… As most of my readers know, I am the co-founder and consultant of MC-Networks, Inc. an IT corporation specializing in Network Security. So have your computer protected, since an unprotected computer could infect other computers, just like a flue does with humans. To make sure you get started and get protected, I am offering a 25% discount on all new IT security updates services, by MC-Networks for new and current customer on their personal computer or devices.
To take advantage, have your devices protected by MC-Networks, Inc by calling (561) 584-9144 – and providing your discount code MCNet.SmartRes.