Decisions, decisions …

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

I don’t know if it’s the changeable weather or just me getting a bit fuzzy in my old age, but I seem to be having some difficulty in making decisions lately.

computer-securityMy latest dilemma is my upcoming holiday (just one sleep to go): I can’t decide where to go. And it’s an important decision because Sunday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day and I need to prepare myself for this auspicious occasion.

My holiday options are Wellington (with the increased wind conditions will I need to staple my parrot on to my shoulder so he or she doesn’t take an unexpected flight), the Gold Coast (will I suffer from parrot envy comparing my feathered friend with all the ginormous birds that wander around the beaches there) or Sydney (will I have to learn to say ”Yarrrrr me hearties” with an Aussie accent).

We’re hoping to be on a plane to somewhere by Saturday morning so I guess it’s time for me to make a decision. You wouldn’t think going on holiday would be this hard, would you?

If you need to know more about talking like a pirate, and why it’s so important, check out the official website and embrace your inner buccaneer.

Just be careful with your parrot, they bite.

And speaking of things that bite, Symantec reckons the threats posed by vulnerabilities in Adobe’s popular PDF files are increasingly common. In fact, in the April to June quarterly report, Symantec found that ”the top web-based attack was related to malicious PDF activity, which accounted for 36 per cent of attacks”.

As always, make sure you computer’s files and programs are all updated with the latest  patches and use a healthy dose of suspicion when it comes to attachments in emails. Especially if you weren’t expecting the attachment.

The dodgy underworld of online nasties is all getting a bit much, really, with a Norton study showing 65 per cent of worldwide net users have been victims of some form of cybercrime. In the United States the figures are even more scary, with 73 per cent falling victim to credit card fraud, identity theft and other online crime.
Here in New Zealand the numbers are just a squidge lower than in the US but are still higher than the overall global rate: 70 per cent of New Zealand adults have been hit.

Check out all the details of the Norton Cybercrime Report: The Human Impact at the official site.

And lock up your parrots and headgear: piracy is rife on the net and you don’t want some dodgy buccaneer stealing your buccan ‘at.


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