We just went through a Friday the 13th. I’m not superstitious, nor do I have bad memories of the movies, because I didn’t watch them. But I remember that in the past, Friday the 13th used to be scary for those who worked with computers.
In the 1990s, computer viruses were more aggressive with machines. They spread by spoiling files, corrupting systems, leaving a visible trace of their presence. There was a hint of fun and sadism on the part of those who wrote the viruses.
In the midst of this “fun”, some special dates were chosen for the viruses to manifest and cause their damage. A person could be infected by the virus at any time, but he was waiting for the right day to act.
Over time, the viruses became more “mild”, causing less apparent damage and, as a result, they became less cited.
Virtual pest creators have realized that the less damage the virus does, the longer it can stay inside the host doing whatever it wants. The curious thing is that it somewhat resembles the evolution of real viruses.
Today, the focus of viruses, attacks and malware in general is on stealing information to somehow make money from it. They can intercept banking data, confidential company data or even the more aggressive ones known as data hijacking (or ransomware).
As viruses evolved, systems also evolved and began to put layers and layers of security. To access the bank from a computer it was necessary to install additional software, use password keyboards with the mouse, confirmations and confirmations. Some people got used to it pretty well, others hated internet banking (depending on the bank, with good reason).
But our life has completely changed with the use of smartphones. Today we have everything at our fingertips. We have banks, family photos, access to the software we use in companies, our spreadsheets with financial data, our heart monitoring, not to mention all our confidential conversations or not, all in a small device that is always with us, either in hand or in the pocket.
Do a quick mental exercise: if your cell phone went down right this minute with you away from home (or company), how much of your day would be affected? Would you be able to make the payments? Could I call a car to pick you up? Would you remember the phone number of people nearby to call someone? Would you know the next appointments for the day?
How long would it take you to get a new device, install and configure all the apps again? Would you lose a day’s work on that, perhaps? And your important files and photos, would you have a backup or would you just lose them?
The ease of having our whole life available in our hands can lead us to a great inconvenience if our dependence on it is also very great.
But I’m just raising the possibility that the cell phone stops working. How about we make this scenario worse?
Last week, the report of a person who had his cell phone stolen while using it went through the networks. In possession of a cell phone that had the screen unlocked, the robber “had a party” with everything he had access to.
Before continuing, I have not confirmed whether the story is real or not. But unfortunately, it’s a very possible story to happen, because we don’t care so much about information security and often, some layers of protection are just a “security theater”, something that makes us feel safe, but that a Password recovery request already sends a code to unlock applications to the stolen cell phone.
Going back to the story, bringing just a few points, the person reported that the robber had access to two different bank apps, was able to make transfers and apply for loans. Still, he said that he was not able to resolve the situation with the banks, nor prove that he had not carried out those operations.
Not to mention that the person was still in possession of the messaging apps, being able to contact everyone they knew to try those known scams.
Whether or not the situation is real, how much do you care about the security of your information? Do you customize your device’s security settings to make unauthorized access difficult? Do you use hard-to-break checks and passwords?
Spend a little time checking your apps, checking security settings, and making backups periodically. If you can automate it, even better.
Good week for everybody!