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Major ISPs Implement Increased Cyber Security - At What Cost To You?

Any increase in cyber security on the part of an Internet service provider (ISP) comes at a cost. In this case, that cost is privacy. FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski, recently commented that privacy must not be compromised for the sake of security. This is a tight rope walk of there ever was one. Although steps taken by ISPs to tighten security may infringe on privacy, not doing anything opens users to an even greater privacy threat from unscrupulous sources.

The increase of cyber threats and cyber fraud detection has caused some of the largest ISPs to agree to establish three recommendations to increase cyber security: a DNS best practices, an anti-bot code of conduct, and an IP route hijacking industry framework. What does this mean for you?

DNS Best Practices

DNS security (DNSSEC) is a set of extensions that securely prevent Internet criminals from coaxing users in giving up their credit card numbers on illegitimate websites. Although the ISPs involved have not agreed to full DNSSEC implementation, they have agreed to best practices to better secure the DNS.

Anti-bot Code of Conduct

The ISPs have agreed to:

  1. Collaborate with other ISPs which have agreed to the Anti-bot Code of Conduct.
  2. Offer help to users with affected computers.
  3. Inform users if and when botnet infections are on their computers.
  4. Increase botnet detection on their network.
  5. Educate users about botnet threats.

IP Route Hijacking Industry Framework

The ISPs have agreed to implement new practices and technologies to reduce the number of Internet route hijacking events.

How This Affects You

Who is affected? Currently, only 8 major ISPs have agreed to these recommendations: AT&T, CenturyLink, Comcast, Cox, Sprint, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon. (T-Mobile has agreed to implement the recommendations that apply to their architecture.) That represents about 50% of broadband consumers.

Your Thoughts?

What do you think of these recommendations? Are you willing to give up a measure of privacy to allow your ISP to increase online security for you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Take our Online Security poll and and tell us if you like that your ISP implements cyber security at the cost of privacy or if you prefer handling your own cyber security at home.

Read More: FCC News Release