Hack-Proof Your Life Now!

The creators of the North American Savvy Cybersecurity training program (2014) have written a practical book about how to stay safe online when using computers, tablets, and smart phones. Using eight rules, they discuss how to improve the secrecy of email addresses, passwords, and online financial accounts. They teach the reader to be mindful about security and their own online behaviours, and how technology can be used to monitor online security.

The book begins with ten yes or no questions to identify your cybersecurity score. The authors then provide eighteen rules to follow, and why, for improving your security online. Some involve spending money, but many don’t. The rules do take time, and a basic knowledge of computers, to implement. The authors provide helpful examples, and more than one option for how to do something. At the end of each chapter are action steps which include a completion date. This helps the reader stay on track and guides them along as they progress through the different sections. Each section completed increased your cybersecurity score.

There is a lot of information in this book, and it can be overwhelming, but it feels like the authors are with you every step of the way. They provide eighteen easy to follow action steps, and within the chapter, they are broken down into even smaller manageable steps. Some steps might not apply to everyone (those without children or who do not do online shopping or banking), but it’s useful information to know.

Computer books become out-dated quickly, but this one will be useful for many years because the topics of mindfulness and secrecy are timeless. The software and hardware names will change but many of the basics of the active steps will remain relevant (tighten your privacy settings on social media, install antivirus software, back up your files, examine email messages for signs of fraud).

The book is illustrated with black and white stick man drawings (reflecting the simplicity theme of the book) and screen shots from the computer. The book includes Canadian addresses and Canadian words such as province and postal code. Back material includes an extensive glossary, index and bibliography. To win a free copy of this book, be the first person to email [email protected] with the name of your favourite website.