KeyNOTES with Dave Chalk

Today marks the launch of Internet Safety day to raise awareness of protecting our kids online: Safer Internet Day

Technology Expert and Futurist David Chalk has been studying the issue of Internet Security for the past 10 years.  He recognized it was a problem long before anyone else.   Here are 3 tips David asks his own kids to follow to help protect them online: 

  1. The "don't talk to strangers" rule is more important than ever on the Internet.  Not only are strangers a danger, on the internet they can pinpoint your exact home location and follow you home.
  2. Unplug the internet from desktop computers when not in use and/or shut off access to WiFi.  This may sound excessive but it is the only known security measure to protect personal information, what is referred to as an "Air Gap".
  3. Treat your internet connection like the lock on your front door in a sketchy neighborhood. Everything is a potential threat if you do not secure it.

Protecting our kids is important, but David knows that everyone on the Internet is vulnerable, so he was very pleased to hear the Department of Homeland Security finally put cyber security on their list of top threats in 2015.   What prompted this action?  Einstein III, a multibillion dollar computer network developed in collaboration between 40 of the World’s top Cyber Security Companies, Government Agencies and the John Hopkins University physics lab to be the most secure computer network on earth, was hacked.   And it took 8 months to discover the breach.

This was a catastrophic failure that exposed all of the USA’s top security information including the identity of more than 23 million present and former federal employees, from covert operatives to diplomatic personnel in the government.  Their Social Security numbers, personal information, family information, fingerprints and security clearances were all exposed, along with top secret information which is now in the hands of criminals. Following this breach, the Department of Homeland Decurity concluded that if a computer system like Einstein III can be breached,  then no computer network can be secure and we are all 100% vulnerable to hackers.

President Obama announced that the protection and threat to the United States of a massive cyber attack – especially to our power grid - was now only a matter of time. On that day he declared that this threat now outweighed even international terrorism against the sovereignty of the United States.  Underlining this point is news that on February 8th, during the Superbowl, the FBI and Homeland Security were attacked.  Read about this breach here Cyber Attack

Only David Chalk knows what organizations can do to truly protect themselves online.  Four basic tips you can start doing today include:

  1. Make Cyber Security a daily priority.
  2. Look at the computer logs to make sure your organization’s network has not been breached, as checking these diligently will minimize the time the breach can last.
  3. Sounds basic, but updating software and hardware to the latest version is an important step in cyber protection.
  4. Use extremely complex passwords.  This is the main way hackers get in.  The more symbols, upper and lower case and numbers you use, the safer you are.   The average password can be hacked in 2 to 10 seconds.

Here is a list of prevention measures supplied by the US Department of Homeland Security: Cyber Safety Tips

Be Safe and if you want David Chalk to share all of his expertise on how you can protect you or your organization for all cyber threats, contact us today!