When one of the world’s biggest hackers wants to teach you how to stay safe online, you’d better listen. And this is exactly what Kevin Mitnick does in his newest book.
We are living in the era of Big Data, and unfortunately in the Big Brother age as well. Our every move is being watched these days. And privacy is a luxury that very few people – mostly geeks – are able to create for themselves. But this book has the potential to change things.
The author has a lot of experience in the field; he was able to penetrate the security systems of various governmental agencies and corporations in the past. In fact, he was on a famous “Most Wanted” list for several years. Fortunately, Mitnick is now reformed and often times he is quoted as the expert when it comes to online and offline security.
Our online experiences have significantly evolved during the last few decades, and yet many people are doing crazy things online. They use their dogs’ names or “1234” for their passwords, for example. And even if they do choose a good password, they think that its 8 characters make it impenetrable.
Cyber security expert Kevin Mitnick wrote his book to change this perception for good. It’s a cold shower that should bring anyone back to reality: we’ve got TV sets that spy on us, cell phones that track our every move, electronic medical records, body implants which tell the interested parties how we feel, and much more.
Mitnick dedicates a large section of his book to email. His advice is to use an encryption application such as PGP – pretty good privacy – to keep your emails away from the unintended recipients’ eyes.
The Art of Invisibility is much more than having secure emails, though. The book also discusses VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), methods to encrypt phone calls, ways to access your favorite websites using two factor authorization, and several other geeky methods that will help you regain access to some – if not all – of your personal data and privacy.
A special chapter is dedicated to intelligent Wi-Fi usage. Too many people use weak passwords for their home networks, thinking that they are safe. But hackers can simply plug in a high gain, external antenna into a miniPCA card using an inexpensive U.FL cable, and then connect to your network even if they are 100 feet away from the router.
Mitnick tackles credit card purchases as well. His recommendation is to use a reloadable gift card whenever you want to purchase something online. He doesn’t recommend purchasing anything online, but if you really have to do it, this is his recommended method, because it minimizes risks.
The Art of Invisibility is a book that anyone doing anything online should read.