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Cyber Smart: Five Habits to Protect Your Family, Money, and Identity from…

by Bart R. McDonough

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"In Cyber Smart, author Bart McDonough uses his extensive cybersecurity experience speaking at conferences for the FBI, major financial institutions, and other clients to answer the most common question he hears: "How can I protect myself at home, on a personal level, away from the office?" McDonough knows cybersecurity and online privacy are daunting to the average person so Cyber Smart simplifies online good hygiene with five simple "Brilliance in the Basics" habits anyone can learn. With those habits and his careful debunking of common cybersecurity myths you'll be able to protect yourself and your family from: identity theft, compromising your children, lost money, and lost access to email and social media accounts."… (more)

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Every week seems to bring news of another data security breach, affecting millions of people. By now, it seems like everyone in America has been victim of at least one such security breach. What can be done to slow down, or stop, the cyber criminals?

Get a copy of your credit report from all three credit agencies. Get a copy of your child's report, too (a popular target for criminals). Put a credit freeze on these reports; that way, no one can open a new credit card account. Get a copy of your medical records, and make sure that, for instance, no one has given you AIDS when you don't actually have it, or deleted your allergy to penicillin.

Use a password management program, or write down your passwords and keep that list somewhere safe, like in a locked safe. It is tempting to recycle a strong password among several sites. It is also a really bad idea; once that strong password is cracked, several sites have just been opened. To create a password, put together a couple of words like "willow" and "september". Add in a couple of numbers and special characters. Delete and/or capitalize a couple of letters.

Use nonsense answers to security questions. (What is you mother's maiden name? Chocolate bunny.) Use two-factor authentication; the book explains just what it is. If your bank or the IRS has a legitimate problem with you, they will send a letter. They will not send an email that says Please Click Here. They will also not call you with an attitude of "Pay up now, or you're going to jail!"

For some people, this book is nothing more than common knowledge. For everyone else, the tips in this book cannot be repeated often enough. This book is very easy to read, and is very much recommended. ( )
  plappen | Apr 18, 2019 |
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"In Cyber Smart, author Bart McDonough uses his extensive cybersecurity experience speaking at conferences for the FBI, major financial institutions, and other clients to answer the most common question he hears: "How can I protect myself at home, on a personal level, away from the office?" McDonough knows cybersecurity and online privacy are daunting to the average person so Cyber Smart simplifies online good hygiene with five simple "Brilliance in the Basics" habits anyone can learn. With those habits and his careful debunking of common cybersecurity myths you'll be able to protect yourself and your family from: identity theft, compromising your children, lost money, and lost access to email and social media accounts."

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