Necessary Security Updates for 2012

There are changes coming in the world of security technology. Never before have so many criminals been so organized across borders as they are today. The Internet has spawned international crime syndicates of the best of the best criminal minds, who seek to take from you, your government, and all the merchants we rely on to provide products and services.

Security companies have been preparing for this eventuality, and many are rolling out new and improved versions of their technologies to fight the good fight.

Antivirus: Today’s antivirus protection is not the same as yesterday’s. Over the years, antivirus companies have had to upgrade their detection methods and change the way they recognize malware. And it’s no longer effective to have a free, basic antivirus program installed. Criminals are coming from all angles: attacking your PC’s operating system, various browsers, Macs, mobiles, and any website you visit. In response, antivirus companies now offer “total protection” or “all access” suites of software, to protect all your devices across various operating systems for one low price.

Credit cards: The shift from “magnetic stripe” credit cards to “EMV,” which stands for Euro MC/Visa, or “chip and PIN” is underway in North America. Both Canada and Mexico are going full on EMV and several major banks in the United States are beginning to test and even roll out EMV. EMV cards are far more secure than traditional credit cards, and consumers should embrace these new, more secure cards.

Mobile security: The BlackBerry has always been relatively secure, and hasn’t been prone to viruses that impact PCs. The iPhone has been virtually virus-free, but is not 100% immune. Android is quickly becoming a serious contender for the iPhone’s more than 50% market share, and bad guys are paying attention. There has been a significant increase in Android-related hacking, and Android users must, therefore, download and install all the latest updates and invest in a mobile security product.

Keeping your head up and knowing what to watch out for is job one. By staying security savvy, you can effectively deter the bad guys.

Robert Siciliano, personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto. Disclosures

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