The Basics of Cyber Safety Book Review

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I’d like to share with you tips from the book The Basics of Cyber Safety: Computer and Mobile Device Safety Made Easy by John Sammons and Michael Cross.

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The Basics of Cyber Safety Book Review And Summary

The book decently covers a range of cyber safety topics, including security and privacy aspects of the Internet, social media, computers, and phones. There’s also a chapter on protecting children online. It doesn’t go into a lot of detail, but does include many specific recommendations of practices, software, and websites. 

The Basics of Cyber Safety: Computer and Mobile Device Safety Made Easy
$16.17

The Basics of Cyber Safety: Computer and Mobile Device Safety Made Easy presents modern tactics on how to secure computer and mobile devices, including what behaviors are safe while surfing, searching, and interacting with others in the virtual world. 

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
August 2, 2020 11:06 pm UTC

This isn’t one of the best books I’ve read on the subject, but it has some information and advice that other books lack. Some of the info is dated, and several links are broken (in this review I’ve corrected them or left them out).

Here are my notes from each chapter.

Before Connecting to the Internet

Password crackers aren’t fooled by replacing letters with symbols (e.g., P@$$w0rd).

Test password strength with the Online Domain Tools Password Checker.

Software Problems and Solutions

Free antivirus can be as good as paid. Companies that offer free versions make money from paid versions.

Free antivirus/anti-malware for Windows, Mac, Android

Avira Free Antivirus: Real Time Protection and Repair
Free

Avira Free Antivirus blocks spyware, adware, malware, and ransomware, and it gives you real-time protection and updates.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Avast Free: Award Winning Antivirus And VPN
Free

Avast Free is packed with the largest threat-detection network, machine-learning virus protection, and home network security that will not slow down your PC.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Paid antivirus/anti-malware

  • McAfee (Windows, Mac, Android)
  • Panda (Windows, Mac, Android)
  • Symantec (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android)

McAfee: Security Solutions For Cloud, Endpoint, and Antivirus
$59.99

McAfee provides virus protection against the latest malware, spyware, and ransomware attacks. It also has a password manager and a VPN for a safe web browsing experience.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Protecting Your Reputation

VPN providers

Private Internet Access: Anonymous VPN Service
$39.95

Private Internet Access provides state of the art, multi-layered security with advanced privacy protection using VPN tunneling. It helps block unwanted connections, hide your IP address, and defend yourself from data monitoring and eavesdropping.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

To overwrite deleted data or completely wipe a drive

  • In Windows, at the command prompt, type cipher /w: followed by the drive letter and optionally a folder name. For example, to overwrite D:\Data, type cipher /w:D:\Data and press Enter.
  • Use CCleaner.

How to react to a data breach

  1. Change your password.
  2. Set up multi-factor authentication (if possible).
  3. Contact appropriate authorities (financial institution, breached site, police, federal authorities, etc.).
  4. If credit or debit card numbers were affected, request new cards.
  5. Scan your device for malware.
  6. Install all software updates.
  7. Check email rules and filters to ensure the email isn’t being forwarded.
  8. Deauthorize third-party apps that have access to the compromised account.
  9. If breach involved financial info, carefully check statements and credit reports. Consider freezing credit.

Beyond Technology—Dealing with People

How to meet in person someone you met online

  • Meet in a public place with many people.
  • Tell friends or family who, when, and where you’re meeting. Tell them when you’re home safe.
  • Keep your phone with you.
  • Don’t drink open drinks.

How to do a simple background check

  • Compare what the person says online to their online profiles.
  • Do an image search on the person’s photo, using Google Images.

Protecting Your Kids

Your rules for your kids should be a combination of:

  • Supervision: you oversee, regulate, and help direct their online activity.
  • Education: you teach them proper online behavior, and the prevention and solutions to various potential problems.
  • Tools: software, hardware, and settings that limit risks and allow you to monitor their online activity.

Kid-friendly password generator: DinoPass.

Enable SafeSearch in search engines (Google, Bing, etc.)

Kid-friendly search engines

Popular parental control software

Net Nanny: Parental Control Software and Website Blocker
$39.99

Net Nanny protects your child against dangerous content and online threats. You can block apps and websites on your child's device, and get peace of mind with the best parental control software on the market.

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Configure Family Safety controls in Windows.

If your phone is stolen, and you’re able to track it, inform the police. Don’t try to recover it yourself.

Rules for kids

  • Use secure passwords.
  • Don’t reveal passwords.
  • Don’t share personal info online (address, school name, current or future location, phone number, birth date, age, etc.).
  • Don’t blindly accept that a person is who they claim.
  • Don’t visit disallowed sites (you’ll need to define what these are).
  • Never agree to meet in person, without parent’s permission.

Occasionally review your child’s friend/contact list.

Signs of a child at risk from online predators

  • The child possesses child porn (of themselves or other kids)
  • The child receives mail from someone you don’t know.
  • The child has phone sex.
  • The child discusses sex when talking on video games, video chat, etc.
  • The child becomes withdrawn from family and friends.

If a child is contacted by a sexual predator, report to local police and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (in the US) or the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (in Canada).

If you use parental controls or other monitoring software, tell the child you have the ability to see and limit what they’re doing online. Tell them it’s not necessarily because you don’t trust them, but to help them if they encounter problems, to protect them from seeing disturbing content, and to lower the risk of getting malware. Tell them you’re willing to discuss the restrictions.

Tell the child you have the right to review their technology and accounts.

Remind the child that others can monitor their online activity, such as schools and libraries.

Help the child configure privacy settings on all their accounts. Remind them not to put personal info in profiles.

The Basics of Cyber Safety Book Review – Final Thoughts

If you found this summary helpful, then read the book, The Basics of Cyber Safety: Computer and Mobile Device Safety Made Easy by John Sammons and Michael Cross.

The Basics of Cyber Safety: Computer and Mobile Device Safety Made Easy
$16.17

The Basics of Cyber Safety: Computer and Mobile Device Safety Made Easy presents modern tactics on how to secure computer and mobile devices, including what behaviors are safe while surfing, searching, and interacting with others in the virtual world. 

We may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
August 2, 2020 11:06 pm UTC

The Resources page has additional books about cyber safety and computer security.

What You Should Do

Here are the top tips I’ve selected from this book.

  1. In passwords, don’t simply replace letters with symbols (e.g., P@$$w0rd). That doesn’t fool password crackers.
  2. To securely delete data, or to wipe a drive, use the cipher command in Windows, or use CCleaner.
  3. When you’re affected by a data breach, take the steps listed above.
  4. When you want to meet in person someone that you met online, tell friends or family who, when, and where you’re meeting, and meet in a public place.
  5. Your rules for how your kids use the Internet should be a combination of supervision, education, and tools.
  6. Consider parental controls such as Net Nanny and Family Safety (included in Windows).
  7. Teach your kids how to be safe online. See the tips listed above.
  8. Watch for signs that your child is at risk from online predators. If you notice the signs, talk to your child and investigate.
  9. If your child is contacted by a sexual predator, report to the local police and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (in the US) or the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (in Canada).
  10. Tell your kids what parental controls and monitoring you have in place. Explain the reasons, and that you’re looking out for their good.
  11. Remind your kids that their online activity can be monitored by schools, libraries, and others.

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