Safe Computing Is Like Safe Sex: You Have to Practice It to Avoid Infection—Keeping the Bad Guys Out and Your Information Safe
a book by Richard Lowe Jr.
(our site's book review)
The Amazon blurb says: Computer security can be achieved even in a world full of hackers, viruses and spam. You can protect your computer and your valuable information, bank accounts and photos without breaking the budget or hiring an expert. What if practising a few new habits could dramatically reduce the chances of your system being infected with a virus or attacked by a hacker? Imagine surfing the web without worrying about the terrors of credit card fraud or identity theft? What if you could keep the bad guys away with a few simple applications? Security expert and computer executive, Richard Lowe Jr, presents the simple steps you can take to protect your computer, photos and information from malicious hackers, malware, ransomware and viruses. Using easy-to-understand examples and simple explanations, Lowe explains why hackers want to break into your system, what they do with your information, and what you can do to keep them at bay. Lowe answers the question: how do you keep yourself safe in the wild wild west of the internet?
There is no such thing as perfect cyber-security, but Lowe can help you achieve the next best thing
- What the heck are the hackers trying to do with your computer and your data?
- How to protect your computer from viruses.
- The best way to keep your online accounts, including your bank information, safe from hackers.
- How to keep your data and photos safe from computer crashes and disasters.
- How to prevent intruders from using your wireless to break into your computer.
- How to protect yourself on while surfing the web using your local coffee shop Wi-Fi.
- How to safely use a hotel or public computer.
- How to build a firewall around your computer to keep evildoers out.
- How to protect your computer from viruses using antivirus.
- How to secure your home network.
Good cyber-security requires shredding envelopes and documents before throwing them away
Safe Computing Is Like Safe Sex: You Have to Practice It to Avoid Infection is written for the average Windows computer user who wants to protect their computer. It starts with a Foreword that features testimonials from a number of people who have worked with Lowe. It outlines his 35 years of experience working in the field of cyber-security. The first part of the book simply deals with information and terminology. Most of us are familiar with a lot of it in a vague sense, but Lowe has a talent for pulling it all together into a simple, understandable whole. Lowe also provides lots of tips and techniques to make your computer more resistant to hackers and any kind of personal data thieves (e.g., the Equifax Data Breach).
They include such simple practices as not using any public wifi, using a PIN for your phone and tablet, shredding envelopes and documents before throwing them away, making sure no one sees you enter your PIN or password, refraining from posting things on the Internet that you really don't want to end up as public knowledge (e.g., sexting photos), not ever using public computers to access personal information, etc. Lowe explains the ins and outs of cloud storage, backups, and using a password manager—like RoboForm. (Ransomware can encrypt data on any connected external hard drive so keep these disconnected unless backing up to them, or instead of disconnecting, use a USB hub with individual on/off switches per port. For this reason, if you have a LAN, stay disconnected from it until you are actually using it, since ransomware can get to other computers on any connected home network. Manage connectedness by going to the Control Panel, then the Network and Sharing Center, then Change advanced sharing settings, where you can Turn off network discovery, Turn off file and printer sharing, and Turn off public folder sharing.)
He states that one of the most vital things you can do is make sure your operating system is up-to-date (although updating to Windows 10 turns out to have hidden liabilities and losses. Also see 10 reasons you shouldn't upgrade to Windows 10). Safe Computing Is Like Safe Sex: You Have to Practice It to Avoid Infection is filled with highlighted best practices. It includes examples of Lowe's relevant personal experiences as well as a few other people.
Lowe explains cloud storage, backups, and using a password manager
Safe Computing Is Like Safe Sex: You Have to Practice It to Avoid Infection is worth buying if you are actually serious about protecting your computer, and safeguarding the information you put on it daily. There are hackers out there that can hack your password in seconds. Lowe gives you a step-by-step easy-to-understand solution to protecting your precious information. One can never be protected enough. The author tells us how to be proactive and how not to be a victim, and even what to do if we ever become a victim. Recommended.
Safe Computing Is Like Safe Sex: You Have to Practice It to Avoid Infection is focused on the Windows operating system, although many of the safety concepts and precautions apply to all OSs and platforms. Since Blue Cross, Equifax, Target, and eBay all got hacked and the data of over half the people in the country got compromised, it shows that safety concepts and precautions are now an essential aspect of operating any computer or smartphone or tablet.