NCET explores business and technology
By Dave Archer
Hacking. Data breaches. Phishing. Scams. It seems like every day we learn of another attack on our privacy and personal information.
While it sometimes seems an overwhelming challenge, YOU can take steps to protect your Internet privacy in your home or home office. To learn more, we asked the advice of three of Northern Nevada’s top Internet privacy experts:
- Sterling Hamilton, Lead Developer, Noble Studios
- Darren McBride, Founder and CEO, Sierra Computer Group
- Tony Rucci, Director of Information Security & Threat Intelligence, GRIDSMART Technologies, Inc.
Here’s what they recommend:
- Stay current. Threats to your privacy are changing constantly, and you can’t protect yourself if you don’t know what’s out there.
- Not everything matters, so prioritize the protection that’s important to you. Your options range from simple steps that provide basis protection, to specialized services that provide higher quality of protection and that reduce the emotional wear-and-tear that comes with staying constantly vigilant.
- Treat your home network with the same rigor and discipline as you would (or should) your business environment. Take the time to “Lock Down” each and every device you connect to your network:
- Remove factory-default logins and passwords, and make sure you use a strong password in your administrator accounts.
- Enable two-factor (or multi-factor) authentication for every account and device that you can. While it adds a little time when you are setting it up; you’ll find it’s well worth the investment if your passwords are compromised as a result of third-party breaches.
- Setup a Lastpass account – or use a similar service – to document passwords for every web and email account. Take advantage of strong password recommendations and autofill features. Make sure the Lastpass account can be accessed via your smart phone too. (lastpass.com)
- Make sure your Wi-Fi router is set to use WPA2 (not WEP) and that you’re using a strong password. Don’t leave your Wi-Fi open.
- Back up your critical data:
- You can always rebuild a fresh operating system, but it’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to reconstitute your data if you’ve lost it due to a hard-drive crash or if you fall victim to Ransomware and haven’t backed up your critical data.
- Use your local storage as a primary backup resource; research a cloud backup service that fits your budget and needs as a secondary resource; and replicate your critical data onto a removable storage device such as an external hard drive that you can remove altogether from your network as a tertiary resource.
- Tell the kids (preferably when they’re young) that in YOUR household all passwords are shared with the parents. This includes email, Facebook, Twitter, and all web or social media accounts. Each account that is created must be documented in a web tool like Lastpass. Explain this is for their own protection and is non-negotiable.
- Educate yourself and your kids about email and phishing scams to learn how to avoid viruses. YouTube offers a number of good free videos on this.
Learn how to protect your home and home office at NCET’s Internet Privacy luncheon – featuring our panel of experts – on July 25. NCET is a member-supported nonprofit organization that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology. More info and register for the event at NCETspecial.org.
Dave Archer is President and CEO of NCET, a member-supported non-profit that produces networking events to help individuals and businesses explore and use technology.