I got an email from my good friend and mentor, Steve Ensley, the other day. I worked with Steve for years at American Family Online. Steve is one of those quiet, humble guys who doesn’t say a lot. But when he does speak, it pays to listen. His email was a good reminder to me the number of threats out there and rather than echo the things he said, Steve said it was fine to share his message with you. So here it is. The only thing I would add is to suggest to you to join Steve’s list, even if you are not an AFO Customer. Click here to do that. Okay… here’s Steve…
|From the Desk of Steve Ensley|
My name is Steve Ensley and I am the CEO of American Family Online (AFO). It has been a long time (over a year) since I last communicated with all of you via email and web. So although many of you already know me, many of you are new to AFO.
I stopped writing on a regular basis, because of complaints I received about too many emails and articles. However, from a security standpoint, I just cannot be silent any longer. So please forgive me if you feel overwhelmed, but you should be aware of some very important issues.
Since I last wrote, identity theft, spying and malware have increased exponentially. The use of portable devices has increased by almost 500%. Malware, viruses and spyware are attacking every connected computer daily. Although the Internet is a wonderful tool, it also HAS A DARK SIDE.
Here are just a few of the major issues:
• IDENTITY THEFT – Billions and billions of dollars are stolen every year from folks who have been unaware of how easy it is to steal confidential information. From weak passwords, to social sites, to gas pump scanners and insider theft, most of the transactions conducted daily are at risk.
• MALWARE – Viruses, spyware, trojans, key stroke trappers have also increased exponentially. Public connections such as hotels, coffee shops, malls, even some safe places like churches have become cesspools of these evil intrusions into our finances and private life.
• MOBILE DEVICES – Last year (2013) retailers reported sales that indicate mobile devices are outselling computers by 5 to 1 and MOST of these mobile devices are “smart” which means they can be connected to the Internet. Which also means they have ACCESS TO THE ENTIRE INTERNET, THE GOOD AND THE BAD. This should strike fear into the heart of every parent because any self-destructive behavior you can imagine (and probably more) is available on these “smart” devices.
• SPYING – one word, NSA
Over the course of the next year, I will be addressing each of these security issues for you in-depth with research and information from the experts. As Solomon once said (paraphrasing), “my people die for lack of knowledge”. Whether we care to or not, we must stay informed. Our families, our church and our country depend on it. But don’t worry, I will not be flooding you with emails. The plan is to send one email per month. That should be very little inconvenience for the knowledge gained.
As always, your feedback is greatly appreciated and I look forward to hearing from you! God bless!