Cyber Smart: A book review by Bob Morris

Cyber Smart: Five Habits to Protect Your Family, Money, and Identity from Cyber Criminals
Bart R. McDonough
John Wiley & Sons (2019)

“When it comes to our cyber lives, we all live in a bad neighborhood.”

Bart R. McDonough’s comment about neighborhoods caught my eye because our cybersecurity is usually — not always — much safer where we work than it is where we live. The book’s subtitle refers to these “crucial cybersecurity habits”:

1. Update Your Devices
2. Enable Two-Factor authentication
3. Use a Password Manager
4. Install and Update Antivirus
5. Back Up Your Data

They are explained in Chapter 7 (Pages 84-90)

These are other passages of special interest and value to me:

o Attackers (Pages 11-21)
o Attack Methods (31-61)
o Brilliance in the Basics (83-90)
o Protecting Your Identity (107-110)
o Protecting Your Credit Identity (112-113)

o Protecting Your Medical Identity (117)
o Protecting the Identities of Senior Citizens (120-121)
o Protecting Your Child’s Identity (128-129)
o Protecting Your Children Online (135-136)
o Protecting Your Money(146-149)

o Protecting Your Email (155-158)
o Protecting Your Files (165-167)
o Protecting Your Social Media (176-178)
o The Great Password Problem (182-184)
o Protecting Your Website Access and Passwords (187-191)

o Protecting Your Computer (198-201)
o Protect Against Mobile Sort-Out Scams (206-208)
o Protecting Your Mobile Devices (211-215)
o Protecting Your Home Wi-Fi (221-224)
o Protecting Your IoT Devices (234-236)

Most people who are thinking about reading this book have a great deal at home to protect, probably much more than they now realize. Masters of fraud know where their victims are most vulnerable as well as how to take advantage of them. Consider the basic tenets of a “Cybercriminal Code of Ethics” formulated by Brian Krebs, a well-known cybersecurity researcher and investigative reporter:

o If you look it up on the Internet, we’ll hack it.
o If what you put on the Internet is worth anything, one of us is going to try to steal it.
o Even if we can’t use what we stole, it’s no big deal. There’s no hurry to sell it, and we know people.
o We can’t promise to get top dollar for what we took from you, but hey — it’s a buyer’s market. Just be glad you didn’t just publish it all online.
o If you can’t or won’t invest a fraction of what your stuff is worth to protect it from the likes of us, don’t worry: you’re our favorite type of customer!

Masters of fraud hope you don’t read this book. If you do, they then hope you will be too lazy to follow Bart McDonough’s advice and develop the five habits he recommends to protect you, your family, money, and identity.

Your move.

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