Protecting Yourself, Your Online Data and Your Digital Finger Print

Over the past four years, we’ve witnessed [or have been affected by] a large upswing in data breaches, information leaks and your digital identities stolen or used against your own will for the profits of others. Protecting your and your family’s data and identities is now a real, immediate emergency. As part of this security blog series, I am going to start discussing how to best protect your data and identity in a cheap and time effective manner.

If you are asking yourself if these online and offline protections matter, please don’t waste another second mulling over the threats to your online identity and data. We have seen enough small, and large, data breaches over the past ten years to stop ignoring our approach to personal data security. Got it? Lol, cool. Let’s focus in on why and what has happened over the past few years.

Equifax breach and the growing political circus

Almost 6 months ago today, Equifax announced one of the largest, yet most heinous breach of consumer data in the history of the Internet (and United States, frankly). An approximated 145 million US consumers have been compromised in this breach – with attackers gaining access to critical personal information such as: social security numbers, birth dates, driver’s license numbers, and, get this, credit card numbers. Short of bank pins, or credit card security codes, this silver platter, data smorgasbord freely opens up essentially everything on these unknowing consumers. And we bet that is not the ONLY data Equifax is keeping on us consumers.

Let’s dive in and find out what’s transpired during the past few months and what we can do to stay safe.

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Good work Intel. Spectre and Meltdown processor flaws leave everyone exposed and vulnerable

Just after a bright and hopeful ringing in of the New Year, January 2nd, 2018 came with an amazing, yet terrifying, report of two major processor (CPU) security vulnerabilities that affect virtually every computing device. The two CPU flaws – dubbed Meltdown and Spectre – are reported to affect CPU chips manufactured within the past 10 years by Intel, AMD, and ARM holdings. However, as more and more R&D and triage is being reported, it looks like Intel is truly the major owner and inventor of these processor bugs. And these bugs sting; if you are a user of a desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, cloud service, etc, you are potentially vulnerable (which includes everybody).

As we all should know by now, a decade in the world of tech and computing might as well mean a Millennia. Let’s take a few minutes and dive into Meltdown and Spectre and learn what’s to come as vendors scramble to make and push updates to our precious computing devices.

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Online security fatigue – how to maintain your sanity

A recent study from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) finds that online users can suffer from online Security Fatigue. What? Why? Not me! I’m always safe online. Sure. We’ve reached a point in history that if you are using a computer to do things online, you are concerned about hacking, viruses or other malicious actors that may steal your data or worse, your hard earned cash. Let’s talk Security Fatigue and some methods to rid ourselves of those security worries while doing things online.

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