Privacy and Security News and Tips 20160426

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!.Benjamin Franklin

Weekly Tip

Protecting your Personally Identifiable Information

With the passing of Prince last week and the recent revelation that he did not have a will, I thought I would talk about some documents we should all have for our piece of mind, security, and to help our loved ones when the time comes.

As we mature and have dependents that count on us, we need to consider how they depend on us and how we can plan for our future and theirs. To ensure you have the appropriate authority in place, health care directives, and that your intentions are clearly and legally defined, the following documents are the bare minimum you will need:

  • Will/Trust
  • Advanced Directive or Living Will
  • Power of Attorney for Healthcare
  • Power of Attorney for Finances
  • HIPAA Release Form
  • Beneficiary designations
  • Letter of intent
  • Guardianship designations

These items should be professionally sourced, signed, witnessed and notarized. As a security consideration, the original should be on file with your attorney, a copy in your safe, and a copy with your executor. It is also a good idea to have scans of these in a secure format that you can take with you in an emergency.  You must make sure that all of these are maintained and updated and that they are stored as securely as possible.

Interesting News

Dangerous Windows 10 flaw lets hackers secretly run any app on your PC

It was shockingly easy for ’60 Minutes’ to hack a congressman’s iPhone

The FBI is working hard to keep you unsafe

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Privacy and Security News and Tips 20160412

Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.John F. Kennedy

Weekly Tip

Yesterday was Patch Tuesday, and this week we had a major announcement from Microsoft. They announced that Flash content in Edge browser Protecting your Personally Identifiable Informationwould now me click to play instead of auto playing like they have been in the past. This is a major step forward for online safety as Adobe was forced to release an out of band update for Flash to address yet another critical vulnerability. Flash has outlived its safe and useful existence and should be used with extreme caution.

My tip for this week has to do with updates and patching. If you are a Windows user, make sure you configure updates to cover all Microsoft applications and to automatically install all critical updates. and to at least notify you of other updates. It is best practice to install all updates when they become available. Also make sure you are updating your browsers since you are using Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. If you do have Flash installed, make sure to keep it up to date as well.

Interesting News

House committee votes unanimously for Email Privacy Act

50% of people will plug any old USB drive into their computers

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Privacy and Security News and Tips 20160405

One person’s “paranoia” is another person’s “engineering redundancy.”Marcus J. Ranum

Weekly Tip

March 31st was World Backup Day, so this week I wanted to talk about backups.
Protecting your Personally Identifiable Information

With the amount of information we store on our computers and phones, and the cost of storage, how can we not consider having a good backup system in place. Think about what you store from precious family photos, financial information, software and art we create, documents we write, and so many other things. What would you do if your drive failed? Would you be able to recover those precious documents? What if your computer was stolen?

It is suggested to have more than one copy on more than one type of media. For recovery speed and ease, an external drive connected to your machine is a good start. Consider fire, flood, and theft, and you would be wise to consider an off-site solution (I use CrashPlan). To be truly safe and not to trust a third party, you might consider storing something in a safe deposit box or at a trusted location.

For my most important data, I have a copy on my computer, a copy on mirrored external drives, a copy with CrashPlan, and a copy with a trusted acquaintance in their safe. All copies are encrypted before being sent and I hold the key.

Interesting News

The 3-2-1 rule and other backup tips

Security tips from a super-hacker: Kevin Mitnick’s advice on protecting laptops, smartphones, and more

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