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March 25, 2019
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Happy Birthday Internet

Happy Birthday to the Internet today!  You may have heard Al Gore is responsible but that would be incorrect, politically and otherwise.  Two men are given credit for what we now know as the internet,  Vincent Cerf and Robert Kahn who helped develop Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol or TCP/IP for short in the 70’s.  It is simply an agreed upon set of procedures and rules of communication or “protocol” between two or more computers.  And so for you “peace and harmony” lovers, there IS one thing Windows and Apple can agree on for sure; how to communicate with each other over multiple networks.  But, it wasn’t until 1983 did this communication technology start to develop outside of government and military use.  Ultimately, in 1993, an English computer engineer and scientist,  Sir Tim Berners-Lee, invented what we now know as the World Wide Web. So, you can thank them for your shopping-bill paying-item searching-gamer-TV binge watching-mensa skills.  However, the internet comes with its share of issues too.

If you have been a victim of credit card hacks, computer viruses or other malware/adware hell, then you’ll want to check out the latest extension from Google for Chrome.   It will cross check the passwords you use regularly to see if they’ve been hacked with a database of more than 4 billion leaked credentials. Now, if you practice safe surfing like a boss, then chances are you most likely won’t find yourself a victim very often, but it is not a guarantee. This plugin might be a good fit for you if you have been a victim or find yourself regularly exposed to adware/malware and other shady phishing gems.  More than 40 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen in a single attack against Target and Yahoo had all 3 billion of its accounts hacked!  Yes, that’s THREE BILLION.  However, the breaches are getting worse according to statistics gathered at IBM.

Why is it on the rise?  Data is the “new gold”.  In gold mining, one may have to dig up many tons of earth to retrieve very small amounts of valuable gold.  Likewise, hackers who steal data know that only a small percentage of those credentials will yield valuable results so huge breaches yield profitable results, illegal or otherwise. What can you do?  Protect your data!  Use tools like this one that Google has developed to help you keep your information “YOUR information”.  Also, use other services that your financial institution, credit agency, and other paid services (i.e. LifeLock) offer.  Most of all, be diligent with your private data.  Also, if you’re in the neighborhood of the Beau Rivage this Friday, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber is sponsoring the second annual Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce Technology Expo on March 15, 2019, 7:30 am – 4:30.  Here is the link for more info.  I hear local techno-genius, Charlie Oaks, will be speaking among other great keynote and breakout session presenters.  It’s a great opportunity for individuals and small/large business to brush up on some of the latest greatest technology.  So Happy Birthday Internet; thanks for all the memories, but not so much for the hacks.  The Internet is her to stay and it will continue to shape our lives for many generations to come.  Here is a link to the article from a BGR report about Google’s new plugin

https://bgr.com/2019/02/05/google-password-checkup-chrome-plugin-will-identify-hacked-passwords/

Happy Birthday Internet and Safe Surfing!

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