Convenient security

Ok, ok I’ll admit it. I preached the words I didn’t heed. My name is Phillip and I used to be insecure.

These would be the words I’d utter if there was an insecurity annonymous meeting. Without that facility to purge my transgresssions I will say them here. At work and for clients security was job one but at home… I was that guy with all the open routers. I was that guy with easy passwords. I’m not proud of my past I can only move on to help others.

In all seriousness, though, I was like many people. Insecure because we were too lazy to take the extra steps. Security always adds extra things to think about and that’s extra work. There are many good reasons for it though. First, I’ll give you the top 5 reasons people are insecure and then easy steps that remedy these problems.

1) “I don’t have anything anybody really wants.”

Know it or not there is so much information about you that can be known from a simple scan of your computer that can be used to get access to using your identity.

2) “I don’t leave my laptop laying around so anyone can touch it.”

Most security breaches aren’t from the intruder physically touching your machine. It’s from internet access to it. Especially when they know it’s idle.

3) “I use WEP encryption on my wireless. That’s good enough.”

WEP can be cracked in 1 minute by an attacker now.

4) “Programs put the little *’s so no one can see the password.”

The asterisk is a parlor trick that programmers sometimes use to cover the password from display. However, knowing the backend of most programs and their password database is where the real hacking is. Programs like keyloggers and many hack tools don’t use the program from the interface like you do.

5) “I really don’t want to remember so many passwords. I’ll use just one.”

Having only one password enables a hacker to only have to crack the weakest program. Logic would say to use that password on every other program, network connection, device, or account you have.

Make security simple

1) Change all your router to WPA.
2) Encrypt all your important data like Quicken info in a TruCrypt protected drive space.
3) Use long passwords (15+ characters is best) with numbers in them.
4) Have multiple passwords. I have my secure, not so secure, etc.
5) ALWAYS use an SSH program for remote connections.

Of course, I’m embellishing a little about my home’s security (as my family would attest). Keep in mind though, if you live in a crowded area like a condo/apartment building minor security mistakes will have the bad kids on the floor below using your wifi for bittorrent and laughing at the love letters you wrote on your computer. Live free but live secure.

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