I was asked to be a guest on an internet radio show a couple times late last year. The host of that show decided that he needed to focus more on his business, and asked me if I would like to take over his show. I was floored – I’d never considered hosting my own show. I spoke at length with the network’s owner and agreed to give it go! We rebranded the show after my book and the very first episode went live last week (the second episode should be available shortly)! You can find it on the America Out Loud web site, as well as on iTunes. (It will show up on other podcast sites soon.)
Like the book and the newsletter, my goal is to provide timely, practical, easy-to-understand advice for securing your digital devices and guarding your online privacy. I will cover noteworthy news items, interview a guest about an important topic, and answer questions from listeners. Please check it out and tell your friends! If you have a question you’d like me to answer on the air, or if you happen to know of someone who would make a great guest, please drop me a line at “CareyParker” at “americaoutloud.com”.
My second interview has posted on the George Orwell 2084 site – this one about the Internet of Things, or IoT. As they say, the “S” in “IOT” is for security. In this interview, we talk about the impact that these newly-connected “smart” devices are having on our lives, particularly with respect to our overall security – including some simple things we can all do to mitigate the threats. Check it out!
Check out my radio/podcast interview with David Boron at George Orwell 2084. We talked about the Gooligan malware for Android, which has infected over 1 million Android phones so far and is making lots of money for the hackers.
Look for another interview in the near future about the Internet of Things and how the insecurity of these devices is a major threat.
If you are worried, you can go to Check Point’s Gooligan web site to check. (Check Point is the company that discovered this malware.)
I would like to enlist your aid in getting the word out! I’m doing my best to reach as many people as I can – I feel strongly that people need to have a basic understanding of computer security and online privacy. Obviously my book is one way of reaching people, but right now I’m focused on expanding the readership of my free weekly newsletter.
To that end, I’m announcing my first-ever contest! (I’ve never done this before, so bear with me on this.) For the next two weeks (until 11:59pm Eastern on July 24th), I will be asking you to help me sign up as many new people as possible – and to make it worth your while, I’ll be giving out prizes!
Share my newsletter sign-up link (below) with as many people as you can over the next two weeks. Make sure they note your email address on the form, as well, so that you get proper credit! Here are the prizes!
- If you sign up FIVE new people, I will answer one custom question about security or privacy for you!
- If you sign up TEN new people, I will send you a free link to download a color PDF version of my book!
- Whoever signs up the MOST new people (at least ten) will receive a free, signed copy of my book by mail!! (restricted to US, Canada, UK and Europe)
Again, this contest ends at 11:59pm on Sunday, July 24th! Note that all new subscribers are eligible for this contest, as well!!
Now go spread the word!! Here is the link you need to send out for people to sign up:
CONTEST SIGN-UP LINK: http://eepurl.com/bUDnij
I will use the “referrer” email addresses to determine who gets prizes, and I’ll email you directly to let you know if and what you win! (If you have any questions, please email me: email@example.com.)
I’ve been focusing most of my efforts on my new weekly newsletter. But I wanted to make sure some of this info is making it out to my blog, as well. Here’s a little taste of my newsletter. To get this yummy goodness automatically every week, sign up here!
This tip is one of the most basic and yet most important pieces of advice I can give you, and lately is has become critically important. There has been a rash of “mega-breaches” this year – hackers have compromised a large number of high-profile corporate servers to steal tens of millions of account credentials (ie, email addresses and passwords). In some ways, this isn’t new – this has been going on for a while now, though it’s been getting worse. It’s also not new that they are taking these credentials and trying to use them on other online accounts. However, the scale of these attacks has markedly increased. This report talks about a recent attack involving 1 million attacking computers against almost half a billion accounts at two large web sites – a “financial” company and a “media/entertainment” company. Another article notes that Carbonite accounts were attacked in a similar way.
What this tells you is that the bad guys know that most people reuse passwords – that is, people use the same password on multiple sites. Passwords are hard to remember – I get it. But if you want to be secure, you need to use unique passwords for every website – at the very least, for the important web sites. These include not just your financial accounts, but your email and social media accounts, and any site that has your credit card information.
How do you do this? YOU don’t… humans are not capable of remembering dozens or even hundreds of unique, strong, random passwords. You need a password manager, like LastPass or 1Password or KeePass. I personally recommend LastPass (see Tip #2 in the Top Five Tips pamphlet I sent you). LastPass offers a Security Challenge (which you can find at the left in your password vault) which will tell you which passwords are bad and highlight any places where you’ve reused the same password. You can also use LastPass to automatically change your password on many sites
Regardless of how you do it, you need to set aside some time in the very near future to generate unique, secure passwords for your key online accounts. While you’re at it, turn on two-factor authentication wherever you can.
Again, sign up here to receive helpful tips like this every week, delivered to your inbox! (And no, I will never give your info to anyone else.)
I’ve added a page to the site that contains some of my favorite web sites related to computer security and privacy! Have a look!
Welcome to the newly-revamped web site for the book “Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons”! With the book nearly ready to publish, I wanted to make the site much more useful. Let’s take a quick tour…
First of all, if you’ve purchased the book, I strongly encourage you to sign up for Book Updates. If I find any major errors in the book or if something happens in the real world that significantly changes the recommendations in the book, I will use this mailing list to send out updates. You will also be notified of new editions to the book as they are published.
The Book Links tab has a handy list of all the web links in the book, in order. If you have the paper copy of the book, or if your eReader has no way to access web links, then you can use this page to give you quick access.
Obviously, the Buy The Book tab will provide you with links to buy this book!
This main page will be reserved for my new blog. You can use the RSS link at the upper right to subscribe, or just visit the site from time to time.
I have a Twitter account, too. I’m not sure how much I’ll be using it now that I have the blog. However, you should be able to see my most recent tweets at the right, as well.