Friday, May 28, 2010

Who Can You Trust?

As parents, we are always warning our children about the cyber predators who stalk the internet, trying to seduce the innocent into divulging personal information, engaging in sexual activity, or more. We stress that: No matter how friendly or polite, an unseen communicator cannot be trusted. And, more importantly, strangers cannot be trusted.

However, we, as adults, often ignore our own advice. This is especially true for us in the blogging and webmaster world. Here, we try to build relationships with people from around the world. We comment, click on banners, and visit sites for purposes of expanding our visibility and attracting visitors to our sites. We approach our social activities with the full faith and trust of the reciprocal strangers. Yet how often have we discovered that a site we respect has been infiltrated with a malicious virus, disabling our computers and attempting to steal our identies? But yet, we shrug off the bad ones and continue to prod forward, hoping our next encounters are as trustworthy as we are.

On my website, I regularly monitor visitor activities by reading and comparing various log files.  Whenever I suspect malicious activity, I block individual users and unwelcome sources. My decisions may result if disallowing honorable users from accessing the site, but I believe that caution and safety outweigh individual accessability.

Just recently, I made a decision is disallow a wide group of visitors originating from a particular source. Shortly thereafter, I received an e-mail from a person named cvale, who claimed to be a long time loyal visitor of my site. The person noted that he was now receiving access denied messages and requested that I grant him access to my valuable information.

After checking my logs, I found that cvale had only registered as a member three weeks earlier, and only requested numbers once during that period. I replied and informed him of my recent security modifications. But, cvale politely responded, asking again for access to the site.

Should I trust him and grant access on a one-off basis to this individual?

While I was pondering this decision, I received a new e-mail from cvale. It was addressed to a group of reputable websites, and it contained a single link to a malicious website! What a goof-ball.

Reflecting on this experience, I realized that my initial instincts were correct: cvale and others in that group deserved to be blocked. The two lessons I learned is that:

Security standards should never be breached.
Never Trust Strangers!

1 comment:

  1. As a human , we not only don't trust stranger but also our relative

    Do trust ourself .


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