Goals, Reading, and Projects

This year I want to use this website for a couple of specific things:

  1. To use as a weekly writing platform.
  2. To generate some passive income.
  3. To use a portfolio of projects I have worked on.

In order for me to see some real progress on these goals I’m working on narrowing down how I focus my time. Speaking of time, I now have the most time available that I’ve had in the past five years as I’m done with school for time time being. I’ve been taking this month to develop a plan for how to use my time this year.

One of my goals this year is to 12 different 30 day challenges. Currently, I’m doing a 30 day meditation challenge. I’ve missed a few days, but I pick up where I missed a day and am 9 days into this challenge. 

I’ve also taken the month to make some lifestyle changes. I think the most important one’s being getting off of social media platforms. I still have one Twitter account for cyber security purposes, but I don’t use it to engage in politics or anything else that’s a waste of my time.

For my goal of becoming proficient in the cyber security field, I’m practicing the challenge boxes on HackTheBox. Each box I work on, I’m working on doing a write up. I’ll probably make that a separate and dedicated category on here.

I’m also working my way through a Python Fundamentals course  at Udemy. The goal of working through this is two-fold. 1 being a means to learn the language and 2 as a way to build a web scraper dashboard that constantly checks the health of services like Slack, Office365, Adobe, etc.

On the non-tech side of things, I am working my way through two books at the moment. I’m listening to the audiobook version of War and Peace narrated by Neville Jason and am reading through The Count of Monte Cristo. 

That’s it for now. I’ll be back next week!

Some Basic Tips On Personal Cyber Security

Salutations All, this post came about as a quick post I sent to my church leaders and staff on how to practice good online cyber security. It’s by no means, an exhaustive list, but it is a good starting point.

Use two factor authentication on everything.

Two factor authentication is essentially a process by which you enter your password for a given website and are then required to enter a unique code to be sent your email, phone text message, or via an authentication application.

I suggest using an authentication app or using text message as opposed to email; because if your email is compromised, having the additional layer of security is defeated.

I personally use Google’s authenticator app – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.authenticator2&hl=en_US

Use a password manager. I use 1password – https://1password.com/ What I love about it is that it:

Provides 3 layers of security i.e. when you sign up for it, you get a unique key assigned to your account and are required to make a master password to access your vault. Additionally, you can turn on two factor authentication such that you have to either get a text message sent with a unique key or use a key generator like Google’s Authenticator Application.

When storing your credentials for websites you use i.e. Amazon, your bank, etc 1pass will give you the option to randomly generate a password.

There’s also a browser plugin for 1pass, which allows for you to be prompted to auto fill login information on websites you use. There are some other good features i.e. 1pass will tell you if you should change your password on a given site if that site is known to be compromised. It will also tell you if you’re using the same password on multiple accounts.

Why you should use 1pass or a similar product:

If you use the same password for all your logins and the bad guy(s) get that password, they’ll be trying your login info on all that they can.

You only have to remember one password, that being the one for 1pass.

You can give up bad password habits like writing your password down and leaving it under your keyboard, on your monitor, etc.

If you do use 1pass, make sure to enable two factor authentication.

Secure Email:

This one just came to mind when thinking of communicating to overseas missionaries, pastors, etc. Depending on the country, having unsecured and un-encrypted email information can be used against those whom the government deems a problem. Most notably China. I don’t know for certain what all email providers are allowed to be used in China, that being said, I use and recommend ProtonMail – https://protonmail.com/ – for the purpose of sending secure emails.