Safety First!

I started a new job this week with a company rated as one of the Best Places to Work in Tampa. Yay me! It’s meant a 60-90 min commute each way and that translates to twelve hours out of the house. I’m not whining. (Though I do when the alarm goes off. I’m as anti-morning-person as it gets.) I mention this for two reasons. 1) The writing will suffer a bit until I adjust and 2) I’ve learned some very cool things you may benefit from.

The company is KnowBe4. We teach people how to avoid getting bent over by hackers. On a business level, all it takes is one person not thinking when they click on a link or follow an email request and suddenly the company is in huuuuuuge trouble. (For example, the $46.7 million loss this company took –¬†

But it’s not just big business that gets targeted. These creeps are going after anyone they can get to. Raise your hand if you’ve got a spare $500-$1,000 laying around just in case your computer gets caught up in ransonware. Yeah, that’s what I thought.

It’s not practical to think I can lay out everything you need to know to avoid all the pitfalls. I’ve been in training this week and there’s more to go. Annnnnnd people pay my company to properly teach them. I’d probably get in trouble if I gave it all away.

But I can offer a very easy fix.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a clicker. I’m an author and a gamer. That means I love to learn and I like shiny things that could be loot. I refuse to put down my tablet when I crawl into bed. It’s a good hour after sliding between the sheets before I’m turning everything off to sleep. Until then, I’m tumbling down rabbit holes and learning fascinating tidbits. (Marie Antoinette’s children and axe murderers in the family and ooooh puppies!)

So. Much. Clicking. ¬†This, of course, translates to email, but with far more grumbling. Most email not from a friend is approached with a snarled, “WHAT do you want? How do I make you go away?” More clicking. On the email, on the links or the unsubscribe button. Whatever it takes to clear that notification. I’m lucky I haven’t run into anything malicious.nTwo weeks ago, I would have said it was only a matter of time. Now, I’m far more careful.

The CEO of my company puts out a wonderful list every week. I’m linking the most recent below. You should feel free to subscribe to the blog. It’s not at all spammy andit will keep you updated on the latest hacking news, like the WannaCry nightmare that hit so many hospitals. You’ll also get this weekly list of emails to watch out for.

Human nature makes us vulnerable to sly attempts and being creative makes it worse. We’re constantly seeking new ideas and new knowledge. Let’s be a little safer about it, yeah?

And lest you think you’re too savvy to fall for any of these heisting shenanigans, riddle me this… did you click on my links without checking them first? (Hover over a URL to make sure the link and the string on the screen match.)

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