Overheard today at work:
“Hackers don’t usually work during the day, or on weekends…”

I guess by that same logic, I could say that I ran file servers with all ports exposed on the public Internet for years and never got hacked (just don’t mention that those years started in 1996 and ended in 1998).

It’s sad that there are people who still don’t take security seriously. The attitude I heard 10 years ago–“What? Do they want to look at the GIFs and JPEGs on my hard drive? If they can get in, they can have ’em!”–pervades today. Nobody’s interested in your GIFs and JPEGs because you don’t have anything that hasn’t been posted on Usenet’s alt.binaries groups a dozen times, but they want your high-speed connection. It doesn’t matter anymore how insignificant you are. If your computer is online, they want it.

I’m quickly reaching the point where I believe it’s socially irresponsible to have anything faster than a 56K dialup connection and not have a hardware-based firewall sitting between you and the Internet. I bought a couple of the low-end Network Everywhere-brand (made by Linksys) 4-port cable/DSL routers a year ago. I paid $50 apiece for them. That’s what you’ll pay for a shrink-wrapped “Internet Security” software package, but it’s more effective and it doesn’t slow your computer down. Even a one-computer household should have one.

As far as antivirus software goes, Grisoft offers antivirus software free for home use. Yes, it slows your computer down. If you don’t like that, run Linux. Grisoft’s AVG is free, effective, and easy to use. And it stamps outgoing e-mail, assuring your friends that your mail has been scanned. That’s comforting in these days.

Hopefully the typical computer user will soon outgrow the teenage it-can’t-happen-to-me mindset.

But I won’t hold my breath. Since hackers only work on weekdays, problems can only happen when I’m at work and my home PC is off, right?