2013's computer security risks: What you need to know (and do)

The Internet is a marvelous, but scary and dangerous, place. And there's a good chance that most of what you think you know about staying safe is out of date.

Here's a summary of the major risks I've seen for individual users recently, and some tips on how to protect yourself against them. (A business or government will of course face more, and more sophisticated, threats- this article is about individual users, with mobile gadgets or home PCs.)

I can fix your computer, but you should know that....

People seem to think that I'm that guy who "knows computers". They're probably right, considering the unholy amount of time I spend building, fixing, programming, cursing at and occasionally using such devices. Maybe you, too, are "that guy", in which case the rest of this article will be face-palmingly familiar.

Or maybe you're looking for such a character, a Wizard of the Order of X86-64 who can help you with "a few little problems" your favourite laptop has developed. The answer is yes, we can (probably) put your hopelessly borked, slower-than-a-tortoise-on-Nyquil, late Paleolithic era Windows machine into a somewhat more usable state. But there are caveats, and you should know that:


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