Two Factors are Better than One

Information Security is a Big Deal these days, just as it should be. We are adding personal data (or personally identifiable data) to the internet at an unprecedented rate. Instagram alone sees 95 million new images  per day. Whilst most would – and should – agree that the level of technology now accessible to the world is an incredible, and incredibly powerful thing, it behooves us to understand the risks that come with sharing any sort of information, particularly anything that can compromise one’s live in the “real world”.

There was a time when the boundaries between the ‘Internet World’ and the ‘Real World’ were pretty well defined. Growing up in the 90s and early 2000s as technology growth exploded, I’ve seen the shifts from that world to today’s fully integrated one. Personally I think it’s amazing how far we’ve come in such a short time, but with ease-of-use comes ease-of-loss.

I can now buy almost any commercially-available item in the world from the palm of my hand, by opening up my Amazon app and using my pre-saved credit card information to have anything delivered to me in just a few taps. I can pay for goods and services (up to a certain amount) using the phone itself as a payment method. I can order taxis, buy airline tickets, send and receive money, all alongside taking pictures and sharing them with friends and family.

This boundless freedom and possibility is exactly why you should be practicing good Digital Security. It’s why simple passwords aren’t “easy to remember” but the digital equivalent of leaving your front door open and your valuables on display. It’s why using the same password for everything is like using the same key for every lock – and keeping the master key under your front doormat.

It’s why Two-Factor Authentication (often referred to as 2FA, TFA, or Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)) is incredibly important today, and why you should all be using it.

Continue reading “Two Factors are Better than One”

Smarter than the Average Home

If you know me, you’ll know that I like my tech. I’ve worked in the sector for twelve years now (actually I think it’s coming up to thirteen … yikes) and have paddled in the seas of tech experimentation at various depths over the years.

After my abortive university escapade, I had my water-cooled custom-cased gaming rig, as well as my own Exchange and Web server. I cared about tenths of degrees of my CPU and GPU, how fast my RAM was clocked, and could tell the difference between a 5400 and 7200RPM spinning disk.

It’s not quite like that anymore.

Continue reading “Smarter than the Average Home”

Move, bitch

In case anyone thinks I’m being in any way sexist, I am of course referring to the Ludacris song ‘Move Bitch’ that has been co-opted into some of the most hilarious videos I’ve seen.

New York City has a problem. Now, I know it’s not a problem isolated to this particular city, nor even this country. I am also aware that London has its fair share of it too, but I swear it is nowhere near as bad as it is here (despite AJ’s protestations to the contrary. She’s supporting her hometown, I get it. But Jesus Harry Christ people, get the fuck off your phones.

Continue reading “Move, bitch”

Exploring the Amazon

I recently talked about what to pack when moving abroad, with the tactic acknowledgment that you can’t bring everything with you, and the stuff. that you do send after you will arrive months later.

What this means for most people is that you’re going to have to buy an awful lot of stuff at the other end, and that can be a daunting task. Thankfully, we have online shopping. In particular, we have Amazon.

I’ve used Amazon for years on and off, as I’m sure most people reading this have too. Once I got here though, Amazon became our lifeline. As it turns out, they now stock damn near everything.

Continue reading “Exploring the Amazon”

America doesn’t want me to have a phone

When I moved to America, I decided that – to begin with – I would just use my corporate phone for everything. It seemed simpler and one less thing to have to buy and setup, plus it would let me wait for Apple’s announcements and see what those brought.

In November, I decided it was time to get myself a phone and split my personal stuff out from the company device, which always left me feeling a little uncertain.

You would think that, after having secured a bank account, a social security number, a place to live, and a house full of furniture that acquiring a phone would be easy.

You would be mistaken.

Continue reading “America doesn’t want me to have a phone”

Signs of Reggie

I recently talked about the process I went through to pack up all my gubbins and travel with, or ship it to the USA. I made a conscious decision that I would move with just what I needed to live; clothes, my laptops (for work of course), things to wash and clean myself, and … that was about it. Everything else would be shipped in boxes over the course of a few months or, if I hadn’t owned it in the first place, simply bought outright.

Once we’d found a place, the question of cleaning it quickly came up, particularly with wood floors throughout (dust magnet) as well as a long-haired canine in residence. A vacuum cleaner was needed, and fast, but my shiny-almost-new Dyson was in a box awaiting a boat to bring it across the ocean.

Faced with the prospect of buying another one to achieve our immediate needs and then having a duplicate a few months down the line, I decided to go a different route.

Enter, Reggie.

Continue reading “Signs of Reggie”

You are now leaving Facebook

1 Friend Request, 1 Message, and 14 Notifications.

That’s what greeted me when I just opened a tab to Facebook before I started writing this. I haven’t opened Facebook in, probably, two weeks. Most of the notifications were to tell me that someone else had ‘posted for the first time in a while’.

I officially swore off Facebook back in January. That was when I deleted it from my phone, removed it from the front page of ‘Recently Accessed Sites’ in Google Chrome, and resolved not to look at it. Avoiding it on my phone was easy – the Facebook mobile site is not great – but I still found myself checking occasionally on the laptop.
It took another month or so to truly stop caring, but I was supremely glad when I did.

Continue reading “You are now leaving Facebook”