OUR SAY: Why we shouldn’t take security for granted

THEY may make life easier, but a warning from computer experts in Orange is a timely reminder of why digital devices should still be used with caution.

It’s sometimes tricky to do considering there are continuous breakthroughs on minimising the number of clicks, or finger presses, we have to make, particularly when we’re shopping online.

Not so long ago, many of us felt a bit of trepidation putting our card details into the fields to make a purchase.

Now, we do it without a second thought and some sites even offer to remember those details so we don’t have to re-enter them the next time we make a purchase.

How great is that?

Yet every now and again, security flaws like Meltdown and Spectre, bring us back to earth and make us realise that perhaps we should be more guarded with sensitive information, particularly considering the flaws cannot be detected by the user. 

Cloud services are being pushed more and more as users seek more portable devices, which therefore have a whole lot less storage. 

As a tablet’s growing app count makes keeping hundreds of photos on the device unrealistic, the thought of unlimited storage capacity somewhere in cyberspace starts to sound very attractive. 

Yet we’re advised that these flaws can enable a hacker to access the cloud. 

The answer is to do our homework.

Is the cloud service secure against intrusion? Have we done everything we can to secure our devices?

But it is also about being prudent with personal information. 

Sites like PayPal provide a secure way of paying for items online and where sites allow us to choose whether we want them to always or never remember our password, perhaps never is a safer option.

The price for making the wrong decision on a website can be, at the least, the inconvenience of having to change passwords and cancelling cards.

At the other end of the scale, it can mean losing money out of the bank account and more serious forms of fraud and identity theft. 

The good news is that most large companies like Apple and Microsoft have seen little to no performance impact after responding to the flaws. 

Still, it can’t hurt to know what’s out there and take a few steps to avoid being stung. 

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