Posts Tagged ‘internet security’

A mixed bag post this time. In the office, October was security awareness month. Even though the processes and procedures should be practiced on a daily basis, it is always good to remind ourselves why we do this. Of course when you are trying to gain access to your phone quickly, and you have a 2-step passcode set up, I wont lie, it becomes very frustrating!

My issue is not with the complexity or elongated process of inputting the password, it is using a touchscreen to do it with. I may have said this once or twice, but I hate touchscreens! They are so unbelievably counter-productive. I need to be sending quick email responses in seconds, not minutes and the differences between a hard keyboard and a touchscreen when typing are severe in comparison. With a hard keyboard my proofing tome is minimal. A few years ago, some colleagues and I worked out when they changed our phones from Blackberry to iPhone, it took six times longer to respond to emails Six times! This is significant when we receive 50+ plus emails per hour that have to be actioned. Decreasing productivity, means the tool is inefficient.

Well it was inevitable, but I recently had to change from Blackberry to a Samsung S7 Edge. This is my morning commute:

Device: ‘Incorrect password’ 

Me: “poxy phone”

Device: ‘Incorrect password’ 

Me: “ffs”

Device: ‘Incorrect password’ 

Me: “I hate you, you stupid phone”.

If I’m really annoyed then I launch the phone across the room. Needless to say that by the time I get to work, I’m really in a pleasant mood. Therefore, I have reached the conclusion that touchscreens were not made for productivity, or those with severe dermatitis, because I can’t set up the fingerprint recognition to access my phone either.

Next stop is a clip on keyboard for the phone. Watch this space.

But I digress. 

Back to security, I have been subject to Hello Kitty desktop backgrounds before, normally without my authorisation, due to leaving my computer unlocked in my professional work environment. Many times my colleagues of the past have had emails sent on their behalf, when they have left their screens open, but in all of the gest, it does send a clear message, we need to keep our data private especially as many firms have chosen to go paperless. If a fraudster was trying to obtain details, their only option is to go for electronic devices.

On the topic of electronic devices, it is worth knowing your company procedures and what you should do in the event of your mobile devices being stolen or lost. This is not just the case with work data, but also personal. Everyone is at risk. If you need to do work on the move, make sure you use privacy screens and make sure your passwords are not set to briefly show as you type. With touchscreens (as – elegantly listed above), it can take several attempts to type in a password. If the characters are on preview while typing, someone only has to be standing over your shoulder paying attention on the train.

Also, while most office doors are card key locked, you can still get tailgaters and how many of us are really happy about shouting “stranger danger”, not many I’m guessing.

The GDPR (General Data Protection Rules) will be coming into place soon, and while many are not expected to know them off by heart, unless that is your job of course, a good understanding of data protection in general is good to know particularly if you are sharing every post and every picture you take online. Find out how accessible you are, keep your data safe as that can be used in identity left, and be careful of wi-fi devices and webcams as these can be used in reverse.

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A few weeks ago the Daily Mail online posted an article about how hackers spy through your webcams, nanny cams and your computers. This article of course made its way on to Facebook where people thought it was shocking. However if you think about it, it isn’t really that surprising.

We in this consumer driven technological society, have to have the latest gadgets which have to connect to the internet so we can share stories using dozens of apps frequently throughout the day. Our lives have never been so documented, its a hacker’s dream, so why are people surprised when others can hack into their live feeds, newsfeeds and any other feed, sometimes effortlessly.

We openly and with consent post pictures of animals, children and locations online all of the time thinking that they are within the comfort and bounds of password protected walls, when really they are not.

So many unfortunately make the mistake of not checking their settings, using the same password for everything, and then are up in arms when they find a picture of a loved one on some other site which they did not give permission to.

Being a technology professional, I have seen and heard the horror stories, but for this very reason, I do not post anything online that is personal, hence why I very rarely post pictures on Facebook or Twitter unless I don’t care if they are ‘ripped off’ for want of a better phrase. If I had children their pictures and videos would certainly not be online, if they want to do that when they are older fine, but I am not risking any personal pictures being taken for ‘personal use’ by someone else.

When I shared the above as a more minimised response to the Daily Mail link on Facebook, I was told “Big Brother is always watching us”. Well, aside from CCTV in public places, ‘Big Brother’ will only watch you, if YOU let it.

Remember, if you post anything online, whether it be through a website, webcam and so on, no matter how secure you think it is, there is always someone out there who is able to decrypt, hack and infiltrate.

Cyber Security at MoD MOD 45156131