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This Year, Don't Get Zucked

Security/Privacy/2019/Yeah!

Well, it is finally 2019. Woohoo?

In the security space, not much has changed since 2018. Much of the conversation that dominated the year focused on:

BLOCKCHAIN

Or dark blockchain? Blockchain will either secure or insecure destroy everything, it’s a coin toss really. Orange Foam Block on Blue Table Don’t forget to chain your block.

Lack of Security Staff

Report after report has come out as of late describing the gap in qualified professionals for the number of jobs available. While I don’t doubt that security is a growing field, many of the “positions” that are available are companies simply trying to underpay for the talent they require. This issue is compounded by the fact that many companies do not want to internally train candidates. Single white male sitting alone in a stadium full of green chairs “I’m supposed to secure your entire organization?"

I don’t want to go off on a rant here…

To Disclose or Not To Disclose

There have been a few incidents this year where security researchers have published bugs without disclosing first, or waiting a short period of time and then disclosing. This has been quite the topic with strong opinions on both sides. Hopefully companies begin to see the value of working with security researchers and spend less trying to silence them. White male, who clearly needs to shave, screaming into a mega-phone “Can you hear me now?"

Steps For The New Year

While all the above is great for the security community, I thought I’d focus this post on what are some steps users can do this year to increase their personal security. A red and blue school eraser The blue side is for pen…

Reformat everything

Over time, your devices get filled with craps (read: apps) that you don’t use. Many of those applications have background processes that run (updates, giving away your location, sending all your text for processing, etc) regardless of whether you are using the application or not. At the start of the year, it is a good idea to reformat all your devices. Not only will you start clean, you can also test your backup/recovery process for important files. Here are some links that may be useful:

young boy in blue jeans hiding under a pile of cushions on a couch “You’ll never find me!” - All of us at 4 years old.

Use DuckDuckGo and other Privacy Tools

One of the big topics this year was around user privacy. With the invasion of privacy by companies such as Facebook, a renewed effort has been put in place to attempt to stop user tracking and other invasive techniques by these unethical companies. A couple of tips:

  • Install DuckDuckGo or EFF Privacy Badger extention your browsers
  • Install DuckDuckGo Browser on your mobile phone
  • Use DuckDuckGo as a search engine

You might not have anything to hide, but platforms such as Facebook are using user profiling at an incredible scale to undermine everything we care about. Here are some links that may be useful:

Read About Defence Against Surveillance Techniques

Security awareness is at the heart of all good security programs. One step in this area is to take some time to read about the risks associated with how you use technology and then make informed decisions on how you want to protect yourself. A good place to start is with the EFF guide on surveillance self-defense.

https://ssd.eff.org/en

Security, especially privacy, will play a big part in this years news headlines. We here at Keep Secure believe that this is something that every digital citizen should take seriously and are here to help.

 

About Shamir Charania

Shamir is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP – Azure) and has extensive experience building solutions in the cloud, from strategy to deployment to automation

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