Basics of Digital Privacy Is Now Available in Portuguese

Translated Title I’m please to announce that Basics of Digital Privacy is now available in Portuguese.  Based on the package that I just received from the publisher someone from the Brazilian branch of the publisher liked the book enough that they took their option to publish the book in Portuguese as well as English.  This makes the book available in Brazil in their native language opening the book up to another 200+M potential readers.

I welcome these new readers of the book (and hopefully this blog, which is only published in English, sorry about that) and hope that they did a good job translating the book so that it makes sense in Portuguese.

Getting a book translated into another language is a first for me.  All I can say is that it’s pretty cool that someone feels that my work is good enough to take the time and money to translate it into another language.


What does “Heartbleed” mean to the rest of us?

By now we’ve all read about the Internet bug called “Heartbleed“.  But what does this mealy mean to the rest of us?  In a nheartbleedutshell it means that there is a real good chance that someone has your username and password that you don’t want to have it.

Is my computer infected?

No, your home computer isn’t going to be infected with anything.  Heartbleed exists because of a bug in the software which handles the data encryption on some web servers.

Are all websites infected?

No.  Not every website is infected.  There is no easy way for us the end users to know which websites are still suffering from the problem and which ones aren’t.

How can I protect myself?

The only way to protect yourself is to not use websites which are suffering from the Heartbleed problem.  If you are using websites which haven’t had the needed patches installed on them, then any information which you send to those websites could be read by an attacker.

Is there a list of websites which are safe to use?

Sadly no, there is no list of websites.  All you can do is check with the company which runs the website or wait for them to tell you that their webservers have been patched.

Is this something that I need to worry about?

Sadly the answer here is yes.  If you shop online, or use the same username or password or different websites then you might be at risk.  There’s no way to know if your information has been leaked or not, so it’s best to change your passwords for all the websites that you use.

How would I know if a website is safe to use?

There’s no easy way, or any way to really know for sure.  The best bet for an end user is to look at the SSL certificate for the website and see what the dates for when the SSL certificate was issued.  If that date is April 2014 or later then it is probably safe.  The reason that I say this is that part of the threat is that the private keys for the websites certificate may have been compromised, so websites are getting new certificates and having the old ones disabled.

Finding if the certificate is new is pretty straight forward.  In your web browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome connect to the website in question, I’ll use as an example.  Once connected to the website find the padlock which shows that the website connection is secure, which I’ve circled below in Internet Explorer, and click on the padlock.


When you click on the padlock you’ll get some basic information similar to what you see below.  Click on the “View certificates” link at the bottom.


This will show you the certificate itself, which you can see below.  At the bottom you’ll see the dates which the certificate is valid from and to.  If the from date is in April 2014 or later then it’s probably safe.  You’ll notice that the from date in this case is April 2, 2014.


If you are using Firefox or Chrome the steps will be very similar but the screens will look a little different.

What should I do?

The best thing you can do is change your passwords for all the websites which you use, and use a different password for each website.

As I learn more about this, I’ll post it here.


Basics of Digital Privacy talked about in Woman’s World Magazine

Well this is definitely a first for me, the book which I wrote “Basics of Digital Privacy” is talked about in a non-IT magazine, in this case Woman’s World magazine. It’s a short one page article, but there’s a couple of quotes from me and mention of “Basics of Digital Privacy” right at the top of the article.  If you want to take a peek the magazine went on sale yesterday basically everywhere in the US.  It’s the one dated February 17th and it’ll be on sale until about Wednesday or Thursday or next week.

Needless to say I’m pretty thrilled that the book is being recognized outside of the world of IT.


Basics of Digitial Privacy is Now Shipping!

I’m pleased to report that “Basics of Digital Privacy” is now shipping from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  The price is the same from either one, currently at $25.15 but at Amazon it is eligible for Amazon Prime so there’s free shipping if you’ve got Prime (which if you don’t I highly recommend if you order from Amazon more than a couple of times a year).

The Kindle version isn’t available just yet, but hopefully soon.  So if you are interested in a dead tree version, now’s the time to order.


Basics of Digial Privacy Now Available For PreOrder from Amazon

We must be getting close to getting the book published. I saw on Amazon today that the book is available for preorder both as a paperback and as a Kindle e-book. The paperback version shows a release date from Amazon on December 29th, 2013 while the Kindle version shows that it’ll be delivered to your device on January 26th, 2014. I was hoping that we would be able to get the book done before the holidays, but apparently we just missed our goal.

If you order now you’ll be able to get your copy delivered just as quickly as Amazon (or your favorite book retailer) have it available.

If you’d like to take a free sneak peek at the book, it looks like Google Books already has part of it available for viewing online.


My Part Of This Project Is Done

Writing a new book is a complex multi-step process, only part of which is done by the actual author. There are three basic steps where the author has stuff do to. The first two are the writing of the first draft and then reviewing the copy which has been tech edited to make revisions based on the notes from the tech editor.

This part of the process is now done for The Basics of Digital Privacy

Now a bunch of magic happens and the word docs get converted into some PDFs which are basically what the actual book will be printed from. I’ll get those back in probably a few weeks so review them to make sure that nothing got screwed up, that the images are correct, etc.

Then a few more weeks of magic and a physical book appears on my doorstep.

Hopefully the magic elves over at the publisher will get their part done for a holiday release as scheduled.


Introducing Basics of Digital Privacy

I’m pleased to announce that the Basics of Digital Privacy is almost done.  While this isn’t my first book into the information security space, this is my first book which is written not for the Information Technology worker, but instead for the general public.  This book is being written to explain what the risks are and how to solve those problems in plain English so that people who don’t spend their entire lives working with computers can begin taking control of their digital information with the eventual goal of keeping others from watching what they are doing online.

While the book hasn’t been published yet, the hope is to have it available for purchase by the holiday season.  You won’t find it on Amazon or any of the other book sales websites, yet. It will make it’s way there slowly as the project gets closer to completion.  There is however a teaser on the publishers website.

For now that is all I’ve got. Hopefully you get a chance to take a look at the book.