Although we have left many old things in 2012 and are embracing many new things in 2013, one thing is both old and new—cyberspace security threats.  They are old because, well, they happened in the past.  They are new because the bad guys and girls just never relent.  Nick Mediati of PC World shares many security threats to be alert to in 2013.  Although the list is long, a few particularly caught my attention because they can easily affect so many users, including you and me (“2013 in Security: The Threats to Watch Out For” December 2012, pp. 43–44):

“The browser is the great equalizer.  Whether you use Windows, OS X, Linux, or any of the smartphone or tablet mobile platforms, or even a browser-equipped e-reader, the browser is the one application everyone has.  Email and text messages containing links to malicious websites will become virtually indistinguishable from legitimate communications.  The messages will be more polished and professional.” (p. 43)

This is pretty serious.  The wolves are getting better at simulating sheep.  Extreme attention to every single point of contact in cyberspace is crucial to our cybersecurity.  Related to this one, Mediati emphasizes the expected proliferation of social-media schemes and phishing attacks:

“The user is the weakest link in the security chain.  Users frequently choose convenience and simplicity over security, and all too often fall prey to phishing schemes.  Attackers continue to refine and evolve their techniques to make phishing bait seem more credible.” (p. 43)

That points the finger at you and me.  Obviously, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.  In the chain of cybersecurity, we own most of the blame.  To add more fuel to the fire, the massive expansion of new tablets and smartphones has hung out a new “red meat” sign.

As with all security matters, better safe than sorry.  These days, a little paranoia can be a good thing.  Be safe!

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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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