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Security sells…..but who’s buying?

I guess we all know by now that porn is probably the single most popular thing people look for on the internet. You and I are rare exceptions of course, but still. As I was curious to know how the term ‘security’ relates to the approximately two billion (!) search results found on ‘porn’, I decided to Google for ‘IT security’ as well. And you know what? It’s almost a draw! A reassuring outcome to say the least. Then again, these results are dominated by companies trying to make a buck. The question is: are we all buying?

Low hanging fruit

After all, contrary to the ‘less decent’ services offered, protecting our data and IT systems is not for free. There is however some low hanging fruit waiting to be picked that don’t cost a fortune. Here are some measures I personally took that have, so far, paid off:

  • I avoid open Wi-Fi and only communicate through a VPN.
  • I encrypt all data on my laptop. In case this is not a standard functionality offered by your OS, there are plenty of encryption tools available to be of assistance.
  • I keep track of the places where my data are stored, either on my PC or in a European cloud.
  • Passwords don’t last long as I frequently change all passwords I use. All of them, some two hundred altogether, are complex and automatically generated by password generating and vaulting apps.
  • I am aware of the fact that, as a human being, I represent the weakest link. Therefore, I am very careful what to communicate and with whom. On top of that, I will never leave a printout unattended at the printer.
  • Making backups has become second nature, like opening a door before entering a room. There is just no other way.

I have no intention to scare you but there is a story I wish to share that was brought to me by a reliable source. The business friend in question happened to be talking to a colleague about a very specific subject he was interested in. Moments later he went back to work only to find a pop-up banner on that same, very specific subject. One he had never received before! Had his phone been tapped or was it just a bizarre coincidence? You tell me. I am no longer taking any risks. It’s better to be safe than sorry….

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