Saturday, December 5, 2015

Security and your computer's data: who do you trust?

In a recent post below, I wrote about the hundreds of tracking cookies and other kinds of spyware being secretly installed into our computers while running the Windows 10 operating system.  This prompted a comment from my friend Tom over in New York, and in turn my reply to him.  I'd like to share those with you.

Blogger Tommy said...
Ray, this certainly is one reason why I have NOT updated yet. I don't like it and I never will. Even without the cookie issue, just turning "ET phone home" stuff off is a pain in the neck. We as consumers should not need to deal with this crap. Privacy is such a nice word.

Of course, I'm sure that "Big Brother" is counting on the fact that the vast majority of people 1) Don't care or 2) are too ignorant to figure this out.
December 4, 2015 at 6:24 AM.

Delete
Blogger Ray said...
Yes, Tommy, I agree that Microsoft is assuming we're all too stupid or too gullible to question their motives, methods, and manipulations.

And that's going to contribute to the decline and fall of Mighty Microsoft.

As another critic pointed out recently, "There's no free lunch! If something seems too good to be true, it usually is."

And just because we are being told that we can trust these people to respect our data and keep it as secure as we would like it to be doesn't mean a damned thing!

There isn't a crook in the world who would say anything else. Every two-faced lying bastard that ever lived wanted us to believe he was as honest as the day is long, as solid as the rock of Gibraltar, and as dependable as tomorrow's sunrise. And once he got us where he wanted us, it was "game over" and guardian angels, prayers, or Almighty God himself couldn't save us from disaster.

So: should we trust someone's magical "personal assistant" with our secrets, or trust someone's distant and unverified "cloud storage" with our valued records, just because they say we can? And we've never even met these people, or had the opportunity to check them out for their integrity, reliability, or truthfulness, and we wouldn't recognize them on the street if we stumbled into them today, but we should jump at the chance to use their "free storage" because they say so?

I don't have to ask "What's wrong with that picture?" because the smell test warns us while we're still far away. And we should heed that warning.

Enjoy your day!

Postscript:

We got into this mess because the multitude of mobile devices are all too small to hold the hardware required for large amounts of storage space and big slabs of RAM (Random Access Memory) like you'd find in one of today's desktop computers, which all have enough of that so you can keep all your own stuff on your own computer, or on its separately-connected backup drive. 

The prices of RAM and Hard-drives have gone down considerably in the past ten years or so, and it's easily possible now to have computers with huge amounts of disk-space and RAM, sufficient for almost anyone's needs. Even my six and seven year old computers have hard-drives of 600 Gb or so, and I've successfully run as many as three different operating systems on each, with no problems.

But mobile devices have extremely limited storage, and their owners are being tempted into using someone's distant "cloud storage" instead of the device's own retrieval system, because the built-in stuff just can't hold enough. We're a very graphically oriented society, and images gobble up huge amounts of storage space, and therein lies the problem. And who among the "young & horny & desperate" wants their nude selfies stored on a mobile device someone else might access without their knowledge?

I don't need "cloud storage" because I don't do nude selfies and nobody would want see those if I did, because I'm older than nuclear fission, and have more wrinkles than a Republican Congressional Committee. 

1 comment:

Tommy said...

Very well said Ray. I do wonder if one thing is true though. You say that you're older than nuclear fission. Now thats pretty old buddy...