Common Sense Answers to Common Questions
- I see it all the time... but what does FAQ mean?
It may sound simple, but many times computer
"experts" use terms so often they forget that some people may not know
what the heck the term means. In this case, FAQ means Frequently Asked Questions.
- My cable modem (or DSL) comes with a firewall, so why do I need you?
Or: I have a firewall on my computer. I use ABC software, so why is your service any better?
While you may have software or a device that the maker claims to be a firewall,
chances are what you really have is simply a packet filter. The difference is that a packet filter looks
at the traffic and based on the header (the first few bits of a packet that determine where the data came from
and where it is meant to go), the filter either allows it in or denies access. Packet filters are easily fooled
and are very easy to bypass. Firewalls perform much deeper exploration of the packet and are much more complex,
making it more difficult to bypass.
- I still use a modem to dial into my provider. Do I have anything to worry about?
Because you aren't using an "always on" connection, your risk is lessened.
However, while connected, you are still a potential target and need to take steps to secure your computer
- I only browse the web. Why do I need your services?
The risk isn't based on what you do, it is based on whether or not you are connected
to the Internet. Once you are online, your computer or network becomes part of the whole, making it a target.
Like any criminal, those who attack computers seek the path of least resistance. So by improving your security,
you lessen (but never completely remove) the risk of attack and penetration.
- I get confused on these terms you "experts" use. What is the difference between a switch
and a hub?
Start simple and work up. A hub is a device that allows you to share one network connection
among multiple computers. So is a switch... but the difference is in how they share that
connection. Say you have both a 4 port hub and a 4 port switch. If you hook 4 computers to the hub on a 100 MB link, the
hub will split the 100 MB into 4 equal shares, so each computer gets a maximum of 25 MB. Hook them up to a switch, and
because of the way a switch manages traffic flow, all 4 computers have the entire 100 MB available to use.
- Wireless networks are easy to set up and install. Why do I need your help?
Because while wireless networks are easy to install, most people leave them set up with
the default settings. This makes it easy for your data to be intercepted by an unauthorized person, since the network
is broadcasting your data into the air (just like an AM-FM radio). By properly configuring your wireless network and
adding encryption technology, our consultants make it more difficult to intercept the signals and if they are intercepted,
the data is nothing more than gibberish without the proper decryption technology.
- You sell cameras that spy on people. Isn't that illegal?
Not at all. Any illegality comes from how or where the equipment is used. At any installation performed by STS,
we make sure to post warnings that the area is under surveillance. We don't install equipment in areas protected by law (like changing rooms
or restrooms), and we don't "bug" telephones and privileged conversations. However, there is nothing illegal about using
photographic means to ensure the safety of the home or business owner and the public.
- Our office has cameras that record to our VCRs. Isn't that enough?
Probably not. Most video recording equipment installed today has been made obsolete with the advent
of newer digital technology. Plus, video tape has a low shelf life and poor reusability. Look at the quality of videos made
public by the media. Most are so grainy or washed-out (high brightness and contrast due to repeated use) that the average person
would never be able to identify someone on the basis of the photo alone. Our systems use the latest capture technology and we store images on either CDROM or
DVD for longer shelf life.
- All this camera and monitoring stuff scares the heck out of my employees. Isn't this
getting kind of "Big Brother"-ish?
Some would argue that it is. But with the increase in computer invasions, more reliance
on outside labor in the home, and the astonishingly high cost of theft from businesses, something has to be done
to stop those who would take advantage of a situation where no monitoring takes place. The staff at STS has many
years of experience in dealing with these threats and can offer the least-intrusive solution available per the wishes
of the customer.
- OK, I'm sold. I'll buy your service package. So when you're done, I'll be perfectly
safe and secure, right?
Nope. As mentioned earlier, STS doesn't sell absolute safety... no one does, nor can they.
What we do sell is proven methods and technology to make you less of a target and increase the chances that trouble
will choose to pass you by... and land somewhere (and on someone) without your foresight and our products.