When we hear the words “computer” and “antivirus” used together, we usually think software, right? Names like Norton, McAfee, and Kaspersky are almost as well-known as Obama, Pitt, and Jolie. Well, there’s a new antivirus sheriff in town but it’s not software, it’s (ahem) hardware.
Yep, the USBCondom has arrived, thanks to some innovators at a company called int3c.cc. Evidently, one size fits all, considering that USB ports are standardized across the industry. The idea came about as a way to combat the increased frequency and effectiveness of malware attacks upon flash drives, tablets, and smartphones. In particular, it prevents “juice-jacking,” which is a term used to describe how hooking up to a charging kiosk or a computer can steal users’ information from their mobile devices.
Juice-jacking can not only take info from your device, it also can install viruses and other malicious code that can then be spread anytime you hook up to anything. You simply put the USBCondom “on” by inserting it between your device and the charging/data cable. This prevents the exchange of information between devices by only allowing the power pins to work and disabling the data pins.
However, this high-tech prophylactic doesn’t replace traditional security software, it merely augments it. You still need to have the latest and greatest to keep your computer and mobile devices from being infected. Symantec (the makers of Norton products) recently reported that web attacks increased 30 percent in 2012, and this year is expected to show a similar trend.
In response to these increased threats, and in an attempt to head off future ones, Norton has updated its security suite, including Norton 360 Multi-Device, Norton 360, Norton Internet Security, and Norton AntiVirus. These updates are also optimized for the mid-October release of Windows 8.1. Norton has also come out with 2014 editions of their software, which can be purchased for a discount to save while keeping yourself secure.
So, the next time you’re about to let your devices engage in electronic intercourse with other devices, considering the possible consequences if you don’t use protection. Have the most up-to-date security software installed, and slap on a USBCondom (available for preorder here) for some additional peace of mind.
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