Security Matters (to everyone)

Talking about naive and novice using public wifi.

Why is security so important?

Today we use the Internet all the time from the time we wake up in the morning, and we check the weather on our phones to when we go to bed at night, and we ask Alexa to turn off our lights. Today there are 5.2 billion Google searches per day, and over 22 billion text messages across the globe between people every single day. That’s a lot of data. To give you a frame of reference 90 percent of the content on the Internet has been created in just the past two years. – Hmm? – You think about the world’s population there’s 7 billion of us. Did you know that 3.8 billion of those people are Internet users today? That’s over half of the world’s population. So why is security important?

Data flows every day whether you’re at home, doing personal learning or shopping, whether you go into work, and you’re an employee with an organization, or whether you’re actually in information security. Security permeates what we do, and it’s very important that we understand what data we’re providing, where it’s traveling, and how we want people to use it.

Noteworthy security events

Let’s talk about some of the major security events that may have impacted your personal data. This isn’t meant to frighten you or to make you worry every day about these security events, but rather, it’s meant to help you understand what type of information you may want to consider protecting. It’s really important to note that no matter how secure your security practices are, no business is impenetrable to bad actors.

The first that I want to talk about it Equifax. Equifax had over 143 million records impacted. Things such as names and your social security number. The reason this is important to you is because it’s your credit history, and it follows you for your entire life. Let’s talk about Yahoo! There were 500 million accounts impacted. 500 million! This included things like email address and account information. If someone could get in to your email account, it can be used as a pivot to find out more information about you and the things that are important to you.

Then there’s Anthem. They had 80 million records impacted. That included things like name and birthday. These are your personal health records. It’s your health, people! Finally, let’s talk about Facebook. There were 50 million Facebook profiles involved in this event. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have 50 million friends!

The data that was impacted here included things like your social and political views. This is your privacy! Your thoughts and opinions. Do you want everybody knowing about those? Let’s talk about ways that you can protect yourself.

Password hygiene: that includes using complex passphrases versus passwords, makes your passwords hard to guess but super easy for you to remember. One other thing with passwords is to consider changing them on a routine basis.

Use of public networks: we all love to go to Starbucks and sit down, have a cup of coffee, connect to the free wifi. It’s important to note that that “free wifi” that you’re getting is not secure, so when you sit down, and you decide to go to that banking site and start putting in your financial data, it is not secured. My recommendation is to go to websites that either aren’t asking for information or not important information, so that you know that your personal information isn’t being shared.

The last thing to consider is how we share personal information. Businesses love to market to us. They want to know your likes, your dislikes, how frequently you shop, those types of things. It’s really important as a consumer to understand what data you’re sharing, who it’s being shared with, and where that data might travel to. Speaking of security tips, I just remembered, it’s time to change my password. Let’s talk again soon.

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