Technology is a wondrous and exciting thing. I often think about what it would be like growing up in this day and age and what technological advancements our children will experience in their lifetime. For those Disney World fans, I like to imagine it like the exit of the Spaceship Earth ride where you get to see how technology and your lifestyle blend in the future based on choices you make on an interactive screen. For those of us that are older, it’s similar to the Jetsons!
Then I read articles based on how Lenovo is backtracking after knowingly placing software and BIOS versions on their machines coming from the factory that bypass standard security measures thus allowing hackers and adware providers access to your personal information. (http://redmondmag.com/blogs/the-schwartz-report/2015/02/lenovo-betrayed-customer-trust.aspx)
As an IT professional, we often are dealing with issues in a reactive manner. After someone already has a problem, they call for support and we resolve the issue and prevent it from reoccurring. But in cases like the recent Lenovo / Superfish fiasco, I feel our jobs become increasingly more difficult. Our goal is to always be proactive as opposed to reactive which has both social and educational aspects to it.
As you may be able to derive from my reference to Disney World, I have a child. An 11 year old daughter to be exact. I recently bought the first computer for her in anticipation of needing it for schoolwork. I also wanted to give her a leg up on using technology in life and will be using it to teach her how to properly embrace technology. My first lesson was that nothing is free on the Internet and that there is always a cost. Sometimes the cost is simply a service fee, but sometimes it is in the form of information gathering. The lesson is: before you randomly download and install something, you should be asking yourself whether you are willing to pay the price.
It becomes upsetting as an IT professional and troubling as a parent when the companies you come to rely on and trust take advantage of that trust. That is part of the reason I value software solutions that take that to heart. Microsoft’s Office 365 is one example of this as they are leading the way in protecting your information as a business and consumer. (http://blogs.office.com/2015/01/30/data-encryption-works-onedrive-business-sharepoint-online/)
If you have concerns about IT security in your business or would like to have someone assess your IT situation, please feel free to contact Jeff Hays – firstname.lastname@example.org or (630) 285-0215.