Thing 70: Online Security Audit

August got away from me and I’m tardy in completing Thing 70.

Like Michelle, I found this Thing both interesting and helpful.   Several of the articles were too technical for me to get much out of them but I also came away with even more respect for what our IT staff does and must think about.

Mark Honan’s essay was chilling and made me grateful I’ve been thinking more about online security.  I recently read “The Googlization of Everything” which prompted me to start thinking about how much we take for granted online with respect to the big e-behemoth’s such as  PayPal, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and especially Google.  But I digress.
At work, we use Symantec and Malwarebytes and I have Malwarebytes on my netbook.  I run that often and probably should run Windows Defender much more often.  My spouse’s computer has Norton on it and I have reason to wonder if he doesn’t have a piece of malware so I’m going to try to check that out by putting Malwarebytes to work.
I have different passwords for nearly everything. I tried out the  “How Secure is Your Password?” on a couple of my passwords that I could remember right now and was surprised at the one that wasn’t as secure as I thought it was. Fortunately, a minor tweak made it amazingly secure in comparison.
The article “Secure Password Generator” was interesting. I was unfamiliar with the products mentioned but have been using LastPass and like it. Recently I had time to run a LastPass security check and didn’t like what I found. I will be changing some passwords and eliminating accounts for services I don’t use. (Some of the accounts were for things I tested or tried when I participated in 23 Things and I either missed removing them or haven’t used them as I thought I would at the time.) I’ve been cleaning up accounts as it is, not being a fan of clutter, including e-clutter, but the LastPass audit gives me additional incentive.
I won’t pay bills online or make purchases over an unsecured wifi network.  Even at home I’m edgy about using the PayPal account I was finally forced to set up to deal with a vendor for the small business we have.  This summer, I had to get  a debit card too but have I used it yet?  No.  Maybe I’m a Luddite, but  one can get into enough trouble with cash and checks; I’m not keen on adding more opportunities.

The seemingly inexorable march towards cloud computing makes me really edgy.  I don’t understand all the issues but I do understand that cloud computing requires a lot of “trust” in the vendor, service or system facilitating the cloud computing and I think that right now, this “trust” might be misplaced — and not just because of the security issues Honan touched on.

When I joined my current employer, it was as a librarian, and one of the first things I got to experience was observing the  final stages of negotiating the contract for the installation of the institution’s OPAC system followed by the installation and launch of same.  I thought the issues were complex then and it boggles the mind to ponder what libraries of any size must consider now.  The kinds of issues I wrestle with now (issues surrounding accessibility of technology and providing accommodations) are “head-achingly” complex enough!

Lots to think about in this Thing. Thanks for offering it.



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