Our cyber security advisor Erka Koivunen spends his much of his life speaking to private citizens and officials whose livelihood and careers depend on securing private data.
Before he joined F-Secure, he worked on cyber security for the Finnish government for eight years, coordinating response and policy with governments around the world. So he understands not only the ins and outs of protecting a network, but also the motivations of those who may be tracking us both for ethical and unethical reasons.
You might get a little paranoid if you were confronted with stories of how human or design error have resulted in invasive breaches or costly attacks on daily basis. But Erka is also a jovial guy who drums in a band in his spare time and enjoys tooling around on the net as much as any of us, which may lead you to wonder what he does to protect himself online.
If you do happen to be wondering that, you’re in luck.
To mark the beginning of this year’s Cyber Security Month, Erka joined Cosmin Ciobanu and Vangelis Ouzounis from the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security for an “Ask Me Anything” session on reddit.
You should check out the whole thing if you’re interested in how to why big hacks get so much media coverage, ways to prepare yourself for a cyber security career and how to protect your organization from ransomware.
But if you’re wondering how he protects himself and his family personally beyond using internet security software, here was a quick list he offered in response to the first question posted:
- Everything starts with fresh install. The bloatware just sickens me.
- I patch, harden and lock-down all my gear so that there is as little as possible attack surface to go after.
- I use full disk encryption together with strong password protection.
- I backup, backup my backups and locate the backups of my backup-ed backups somewhere else than my home (did I already say about encrypting your backups?).
- I keep a record of my family’s gear, encryption keys and backups; nobody remembers this by heart.
- I am wary of what networks I connect my devices with.
- I am conservative on who I let to our home networks. Nobody get in the inner parts of the network.
That’s a little of advice that — if you follow it faithfully — requires an investment of time and energy that could save you a lot heartbreak eventually.
And if you’ve seen the things Erka’s seen, you’d probably think it’s worth the effort.
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