Online Security: Don't Get Left Behind
By: Jeremiah Kiefer

While I dedicated a few paragraphs to cyber security in 2023, I feel it necessary to use this platform to double down on the subject as we begin the new year. There are very few things in life moving forward which demand our attention more than our online security.  

While it may not be as obvious for a generation or two, we are, as I type, stepping through the doorway between the 4th and 5th industrial revolution. Nearly every aspect of our lives is tethered to a digital footprint, I for one can't survive more than a few hours (who am I kidding, minutes..) without online connectivity, and AI is quite literally changing us into a different species on an everyday basis. Simultaneously, armies of predators perfect their craft of feasting on the technical ignorance of the population as a whole. To the latter, think about the fact that one of the most lucrative professions on the planet requires no formal education, no aristocratic pedigree, can be performed from the comforts of a coffee shop or living room for that matter, and comes with a very small likelihood of consequences given their superiority in knowledge over the lay person, difficulty in combating the issue with numbers, and ease of currency movement in the cypto space.  

Quite frankly, the current situation just presented is both terrifying and overwhelming, but with some level of discipline on an individual-by-individual basis we can protect ourselves and in doing so those around to the extent that it will make an exponential difference as we enter this new age. As start shifting through the gears of 2024, I challenge you to embrace the following aspects of being a responsible citizen in this technology centric world we find ourselves in: 

 1) Adopt a password manager to replace spreadsheet (and for some of you piece of paper😊) that you continue to hold onto in fear of trusting a software company to do it better. I fought the transition for years and now feel liberated for having taken the time to make the leap. Less than a hundred bucks and a Saturday morning, and you'll make yourself and those around you lightyears more secure than currently. I'll go as far as to suggest NordPass while following it with the suggestion that your preferred internet browser or operating system (including phones) have numerous options that will get the job done. 

2) Make multi-factor authentication of MFA (also called 2-factor authentication of 2FA) part of your standard workflow beginning with financial accounts. Other than locking down and routinely changing complex randomly generated passwords, MFA vital to protecting your accounts and identity in general.  

3) Educate yourself a little. I'm not suggesting you go enroll in a night class or anything, but don't hide from the occasional article about the digital world we live in. Information replaces fear while instilling confidence. These compound over time and before you know it, you will have replaced your current outlook over the subject matter with a healthy combination of respect, fear, and general understanding of how to navigate the treacherous landscape. 

One bite at a time folks. Get a password manager, embrace MFA, and dedicate 10 minutes a week to learning something about the digital world we live in before you are so far behind you never catch up. 

Thanks for listening! 


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