Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons: A Step-by-Step Guide to Computer Security and Privacy for Non-Techies
Link to book page on Amazon:
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What is your book about?
My book aims to educate regular, everyday, non-technical people about cybersecurity and online privacy, using as little jargon as possible.
What inspired you to write your book?
I’ve always consider privacy important personally, but when Edward Snowden revealed the warrantless mass surveillance being conducted by the NSA, I felt compelled to do something. So I decided to write a book that would help everyone guard their privacy and protect their devices.
If you have a business related to your book, tell us about it:
I was a software engineer for over 27 years. The book and the podcast were just a passion project. As of October 2020, I’ve retired from writing code and am now 100% focused on my privacy and security advocacy. To do it right, I’ll need to start making some money doing it.
What is a typical day like for you?
Most of my time these days is spent researching the latest news on security and privacy, and passing this on to my audience through my podcast, newsletter, blog, and social media. Since retiring, I’ve been spending a lot of time ramping up my marketing and growing my tribe.
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
I truly enjoy helping people understand the digital world we live in and helping them feel more secure in it. When I hear from a listener or student that I’ve helped them, that’s what gives me energy to keep doing what I do.
What are some favorite books you’d recommend to our readers?
Probably my number one non-fiction book would be “Data and Goliath” by Bruce Schneier. If you prefer fiction, I’d recommend “Little Brother” by Cory Doctorow. Others include “No Place to Hide” by Glenn Greenwald and “The Code Book” by Simon Singh.
What advice do you have to offer our readers?
Don’t give up! I think most people feel that it’s hopeless – you can’t prevent hacking or tracking. But you can! There are many things we all can and should be doing to protect our computers and data. In the real world, we install smoke detectors, wear seatbelts, and apply sunscreen. There are several simple, free things we can do to defend our digital castles.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Probably that I have several smart devices in my home, including smart speakers. I’m a technologist and I love my tech! But I understand the risks and tradeoffs, and I know how to manage the risk and maximize the benefits.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on creating a course on secure communication for my publisher, Apress. I’m also about to release my 200th podcast (Dec 28th), with a world-renowned security expert as my guest. Next year, I hope to write another book.