Encounters of a nasty kind

JILLIAN ALLISON-AITKEN
Last updated 11:35 07/02/2013

There's been a lot of chatter online in recent weeks about the ongoing security issues with Java and, while it's a platform that seems doomed to be vulnerable to security holes, Oracle has at least hurried up with releasing fixes for some of those issues.

However, it's worth remembering that for every hole plugged, there's a new one just waiting to be found by some persistent wannabe hacker with too much time on their hands.

Security experts who know much more about all of this techno stuff than me have been warning that the safest option is to disable or even uninstall Java and reckon that most of us don't really need it anyway. Probably one of the clearest explanations of what the problem is and how to deal with it is on the How-To Geek website, which comes complete with illustrated instructions and a minimal smattering of long words and geekspeak.

And still on the subject of nasty things online, Symantec (not nasty) reckons there has been a spike in ransomware (nasty) activity again, this time targeting purveyors of porn (could be nasty, depending on how much you pay).

Ransomware is a type of malware that restricts access to a computer system and demands payment (or ransom) to remove that restriction.

Symantec says this particular little ploy has pulled in more than US$5 million from unwitting victims so remember: If you're searching for smut online, make sure your security software is updated. Just like in the real world, you can come away from an online pay-as-you-go sexual encounter with a nasty infection.

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