Tag Archives: internet

Mac Users: Think You Can’t Get A Virus? Think Again.

7 Oct

norton_virusdetected

IT’S A COMMON MYTH THAT I HEAR OFTEN: MACS DON’T GET VIRUSES. It’s simply not true. What is true? If you don’t have up-to-date anti-virus software, you’re playing with fire.

norton_warning

Norton automatically detected this phishing site, which, coincidentally, is designed to look like a legitimate Norton page.

I use Norton Internet Security, which is available for Mac and PC. A one-year subscription is about $60, and makes sure I have the latest virus definitions through its LiveUpdate feature. This is CRITICAL. If you don’t have the latest definitions installed, your software will only search for old viruses. Updating the definitions ensures that you have protection against the latest ones.

Norton also has other protections. For example, it warns me if I visit a suspicious website, as it did when I was searching for the url to add to this post. To be clear, this warning can be triggered by suspicious content from any source, not just a Norton impersonator.

Even with my vigilant efforts to prevent my Mac from getting a virus, Norton AntiVirus, the software I use, found not one, but two. The infected files were sent in SPAM emails that made it into my Time Machine backup volume. They proved tricky to delete at first, but with the help of Norton support, I was able to get rid of them before they did any damage.

Don’t put yourself and your data at risk. Whether you have a Mac or PC, to make sure your computer is virus free, you MUST have anti-virus software, and update the definitions regularly! 

 

No Soap, SOPA: Solidarity Sends Washington a Powerful Message

1 Feb

Wikepedia goes dark in protest of SOPA

The battle to stop SOPA proved that people working together using a free and open internet is a powerful weapon for creating change.

Legislation in the House of RepresentativesH.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), is, “a bill to promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and in- novation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.” The Senate version, S. 968, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), is, “to prevent online threats to economic creativity and theft of intellectual property, and for other purposes.”

While protecting intellectual property is a major concern of creative pros, many of us felt that SOPA would do more harm than good, by limiting free speech and giving big business even more power, which would harm our ability to make a living in this tough economy. In fact,  The Graphic Artists Guild, of which I’m a member, withdrew its support of the bill in December, and issued this statement.

With SOPA up for a vote on January 18, internet users turned the very platform SOPA would limit to launch a massive and powerful protest. Thousands of sites—including my own—went dark, replacing their home pages with a protest one. Tweets with #Blackout SOPA were trending. Google blacked out its logo, Wikipedia went dark,  and Jeff Bezos blogged about Facebook’s opposition to the legislation.

Tweet during SOPA Blackout, January 18, 2012.

Washington had no choice but to pay attention, and by the afternoon, two Senators withdrew their support for the bill. Others followed, and by the end of the week, it was announced that SOPA, at least in its current form, was dead.

This type of legislation is sure to come back, and when it does, it will hopefully be much smarter and balanced. My representative, Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-NY), agrees in her response, dated February 1, 2012, to my message asking her to vote against PIPA:

Thank you for writing to me regarding S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act of 2011. I understand the concerns that have been raised over the original approach towards solving the problem online piracy poses to our overall economy and New York jobs. All New Yorkers should be able to agree on the shared goals of cracking down on the illegal piracy of copyrighted material without any unintended consequences of stifling the internet or online innovation.

After working hard with my colleagues to make important changes and improve the Protect IP legislation, it became clear that a consensus on a balanced approach to achieve these shared goals could not be reached. I believe it is time for Congress to take a step back and start over with both sides bringing their solutions to the table to find common ground towards solving this problem.”

For more thoughts on the future of SOPA, here’s a piece from the Huffington Post, by entertainment attorney Ivan J. Parron.

The important lesson to be learned from this is that there is power in each of us, and when we combine it and stand together as one, real change is possible. Fighting SOPA in the digital arena helped bring that change fast, but only because we had—and used—an internet that allowed us to use our guaranteed right of free speech.

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