I.T. Blog: Speak Softly and Carry a Big Mouse

The I.T. world is facing a revolutionizing shift.  The power is being given to the end user.  With the advent of mobile devices running rampant from 3 different vendors (Microsoft, Google, and Apple).  The three tech giants are competing over 1 thing!  Giving the users what they want!   However, who is left to protect them…from themselves???   is it I.T.?

Do you recall the adage “give them enough rope and let them hang themselves”?  Well!  This is very true in our current technology realm.  I must warn you that there are many miscreants waiting on the sidelines waiting for you to make a mistake with your technology device.

Yesterday, I seen a post on a Facebook group I am a member of “Redkey Resale”.  This post (from an attractive young lady) had posted adult novelties for sale under a rouge account (it was deleted after about an hour).  However, I trolled the site and watched more than 20 people complain to the poster about the vulgarity of their post.  Not a person realized that the account on Facebook was fictitious and that it was probably conjured by a person that wasn’t even the same country!  Time and time again there were posts that said if you click on the link it makes you log in to Facebook again.  Which means they were sending their log on credentials to the person who owned the account, who setup a page to look like a Facebook log in page.  It was like watching a train wreck.  The ‘trusting’ residents in the group were blindly walking into a sand-trap.  I felt powerless to protect them.  If I posted on the forum there was so many people flaming the vulgarity of the post that my threads were immediately sent into a place where nobody could see them.  So my question….Who’s job is it to protect them?

Another scenario:  Twice this month I have been called for ‘after hours’ consulting, where users were allegedly “Called by Microsoft” and told they have vulnerabilities.  I know, This sounds ridiculous if you are under 30 years old, but the two elderly people that fell for this were from a generation where this type of service was not unusual.

I’m pretty sure Deb wanted coupons from a coupon site, and she filled out her personal information (including phone number) to become a member of this coupon site.  She then received a call from a rouge agent (pretending to by Microsoft) and thereafter let them remote into her computer by coaching her to go to their website.  She gave the gentleman caller (for lack of a better term) full access to her computer.  He then installed a program that showed her that she had issues and then she paid him nearly $300!!  If this isn’t bad enough the ‘gentleman caller’ left her computer with a keyboard logger.  So all passwords and social security numbers typed on her computer were sent to via email to him on a weekly basis!!  My question is… How could I protect her?

It’s a perplexing question that I’m struggling with.  I.T. folks are becoming a large source of responsibility, but we are losing a large portion of our power.  The power is transferring to the users.  The device makers are forced to give them the flexibility they demand.