The Norman Transcript

Business

September 1, 2013

Update or get hacked — it’s your choice

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Lesser-known but still widely-used programs like Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader and Java also need updating.

The “why” of updating is the dirty little secret that computer manufacturers and programmers wish would just go away but probably never will.

Why do we have to keep updating and patching our computers? Because computer programming is a very complicated and difficult job, and programmers make mistakes; they make lots and lots of mistakes.

The Internet bad guys know this, and they have nothing to do, all day long, every day, but search for those mistakes and figure out how to use them to steal money.

These programming mistakes, also called “holes” or “bugs,” are the Internet criminals’ bread and butter.

They invent ways to exploit the unpatched holes on a computer, which allows them to run all sorts of cons and scams, opening the door for them to install all sorts of nasties, like password-stealing viruses.

Because so many people don’t know they should update their computers, or simply can’t be bothered, billions of dollars are stolen every year.

I see computers every day that have been hacked because the owners are “too busy” to update things, particularly Flash Player and Java. Don’t let your computer be the next one.

Dave Moore has been performing computer consulting, repairs, security and networking in Oklahoma since 1984. He also teaches computer safety workshops for public and private organizations. He can be reached at 919-9901 or davemoorecomputers.com.

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