Simple Cyber Defense

Weekly Update for 2020 Week 1 Show Notes

Welcome to the simple cyber defense podcast. Today’s date is January 4 2020. This will be the first in the long series of weekly security updates. Where I will analyze things during the week and discuss important cyber security things and how to protect yourself. This week we will be discussing new gadgets that you’ve received during the holidays and how to protect yourself.

So let’s begin.

The first thing to do is to always stay on top of the updates. security patches are constant thing in this day and age and not keeping your gadgets up to date could leave yourself open to attacks. If your device does not have Any mechanism for updating, then it’ll probably be a good idea to replace them. Because the hackers will find ways to leverage those devices against you. The next thing to do is to register device with the manufacturer. It’s always worth visiting the products official website and registering it with the manufacturer. This lets them know who bought the product and shows you what warranty services are available and what support options you may have.

This also gives you a good way to recover some devices because some manufacturers will give you ways to recover data or to locate your device but only if it’s register with them. The next thing to do that many people don’t even think about is backing up your data. If a device malfunctions or is destroyed, you will lose all the data that’s associated with that also. And the best thing to do is to practice what is known as a 3-2-1 backup rule. This one sure your data is safe and secure.

So what is a three to one backup role? Well, it’s three copies of your important files two on different storage medias and one persistent in an off site location. The first thing to do is to get two different external hard drives. One can be small or small device that’s easy to take with you. And another one can be kind of large and will stay at your home.

For the off site storage, you can use cloud storage options like Google Drive, iCloud, iDrive, Dropbox, Microsoft, OneDrive, or many others. But the most important thing about 3-2-1 backup rule is that all storage has to have the same data. If changes are made on one copy, then that must be also changed on all the other copies too. This one sure that you’ll have at least the latest backup available when you need it. If you can’t afford to get two external hard drives, you could substitute this by getting one external hard drives and two cloud backups. That way, you still have three different copies out there. If you have data that you don’t want others to see you can encrypt the data before saving it to the backup storage or the cloud providers. You can use software like Cryptomator, AES Crypt or PeaZip.

The next thing to do is to lock down your accounts right away. Passwords can be the weakest point in security. And many of these devices come with default passwords that should be changed immediately. There are stories of the ring doorbell where people were accessing the ring system and talking to the people. Well, the main reason why this was possible is because the owners of the ring didn’t take the time to change the default password so that the hackers didn’t have access. The thing that you want to avoid is using your name or simple common expressions that others could easily guess. Also, avoid anything that can be found on your social media profiles include numbers that aren’t personal to you and consider substituting letters with numbers or special characters. The best practice is to use a password manager like LastPass BitWarden, 1password or Dashlane. This way you can create really strong passwords that are hard to guess. And you don’t have to worry about remembering them because your password manager will do that for you.

So the next thing to consider is to stop your new smart devices from spying on you. Smart TVs are known to be very, very intrusive when it comes to spying. Mostly they do this to serve you ads. But there are ways to limit what they can see. In the show notes I’ve put a link to specifics about most of the top brands that can be used to create a more secure experience.

When it comes to Alexa, Google and Facebook, there are specific ways where you can tighten down those devices from, from spying on you too much. Fortunately, most of these platforms offer and method to disable or remove recordings at your convenience. But most users aren’t aware of how to do this. To access the private settings of Amazon devices, download the Alexa app, navigate to Settings, then Alexa count, followed by Alexa privacy. Here you’ll be able to listen and delete audio recordings. Alexa may have already captured managed permissions and how to change your data to improve luxan This option will allow you to stop blocks of recording you simply open manage how how your data improves Alexa and toggle the settings off to disable transcripts. For Facebook portal, simply tap the camera and microphone off button on the top of the device. Additionally, you can block the camera with the included cover that comes with your portal. It’s a small plastic flap that clips on to the top of the screen. You also have the ability to set passcode so only you can unlock the screen. To activate a pass code, go to the home button of your portal and tap Settings. Then tap privacy followed by passcode. Your past code can be set between four and 12 digits, so make sure only you know it for privacy menu. Your privacy man You can also be used to delete voices recordings captured by portal, as well as adjust how Facebook com harnesses the data and collections. for Google devices, login to your Google account, and head over to my activity page at Click on the Google activity click on the other Google activity. Scroll down until you reach voice audio and activities. Click the link you’ll and you’ll be taken to a page similar to the one for searches stream. You can scroll through and fleet individual voice activities items here as well a change settings for voice and audio activity so no further data is collected.

Following these steps will increase your security all links discussed in this episode can be found in the show notes

Transcribed by


External Hard Drive:

Portable External Hard Drive:



AES Crypt:

Cloud storage options:

Free password managers:

Paid password managers:

Optimize privacy on smart devices:

Online user manuals:

Good Backup Practices:

The 3-2-1 Backup Strategy:

The 3-2-1 Backup Rule Explained:

Stop Smart TVs from spying on you:

Upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7:

Learn how Google tracks you (and how to delete it):