“Security is Hard. How do I start?”

“Security is hard” is a comment I hear often while discussing the frequent and seemingly endless news articles of data breaches. It’s great that so many people are now suddenly concerned with their data security, but I understand that it can be exhausting to even begin to think about how to secure your data, given the massive online footprint that many of my peers may have.

I mean, think about all of the accounts you may have accumulated for various social media services or email in recent years:

How about the websites where you store payment/credit card information? Finance, retailers, services, utility bills, subscriptions…

Then you realize you may have been Extremely Online since the early 2000’s, and may have signed up for accounts to discuss why Yellowcard’s ‘Ocean Avenue’ really spoke to you, why you’re embracing the surfer culture Hollister promoted, or share your favorite Eminem lyrics in an ‘away message’…

The question here is that if and when one of these websites, like Yahoo, suffers a breach and malicious attackers are able to recover your username and password, how safe are you and your private data?

  • Do you use the same username/password combination for your email account, bank account, Facebook, and Apple?
  • If someone were to obtain your password from your email account, can they easily use the same login information to get your iCloud photos and Facebook messenger conversations? Could they also use the information to get into your Amazon Prime account and find your home address, and see the inside of your living room through your webcam with your Nest account?

Yikes!

In the coming weeks, I’ll be creating several tutorials/guidelines on how to secure your presence online and how to protect yourself from breaches. My aim is to do this in a way in which anyone can understand and follow. I will be covering the following topics:

Account and Password Security
Username/Password Basic Concepts (posted 11 Sept 2018)

Secure your presence online/audit your accounts

Protect your mobile device

Protect your laptop/desktop

Secure your home Wi-Fi

Any other topics suggested.

Feel free to provide feedback, suggestions, or hate mail — daniel.battisto(at)protonmail(dot)com