Four Facts About Women in Tech (and Security)

Four Facts About Women in Tech (and Security)

I was honored to volunteer with a group of high school students and to be on a Microsoft DigiGirlz Panel with incredible women who started their own company from Women In Technology, to leaders at Microsoft & Bloomberg discussing girls and tech with high school students across the New York City. It was great to look out and see a sea of young girls interested in careers in tech!

For young women and experienced this is both an extremely invigorating, yet nerve wrecking place to be when few resemble and look like you. I love having the opportunity of sharing my experience of starting out as a computer science major to now owning my own company. It has been a winding road with twists and turns like many other people I know. Life has been anything, but predictable and I enjoy being part of the movement of men and women to move the needle on these statistics.

Facts:

1. Women make up 40% of the labor force
2. Responsible for $20 trillion of consumer spending
3. Make up 30% of tech roles
4. Women make up 5% of corporate boards
Jessica Robinson, is a writer and Founder & CEO of PurePoint International. She has worked with a top 40 company and with the 2015 US Open. As a security & risk management expert and outsourced CSO (Chief Security Officer), she advises and consults with small and medium sized businesses on cyber prevention and response. Learn more at www.the-purepoint.com.

Top 4 Tips for Shopping Safely Online – CYBER MONDAY

Top 4 Tips for Shopping Safely Online – CYBER MONDAY

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I am sure your top question today isn’t what you will purchase online, BUT how to purchase safely! Here are a few tips below for today and the rest of the week!

  1. Use credit vs debit card – very important and be sure to check your statements when you receive them! 
  2. Limit public Wi-Fi usage – big deal! 
  3. Use store apps (Macy’s, Target) versus going through a search engine! You will want to ensure the store apps you use have a secure checkout. There is usually a picture of a lock at the bottom of the page.
  4. If you are really ambitious, apps such as: 
    1. Keeper – prices vary, but you can get a 30 day free trial 
    2. PassKey – (requires a thumb print versus your regular password) this can be great to use in the future especially as the world starts to move away from passwords to biometric readings (facial recognition, thumbprints). I think that app is only applicable for Amazon for right now. This app is my top recommendation for today.
    3. – Password Secure Manager Pro (3.99) – great for securing personal information. Not sure how user friendly it is for shopping online.

Shop safety today!

Jessica Robinson, is a writer and Founder & CEO of PurePoint International. She has worked with a top 40 company and with the 2015 US Open. As a security & risk management expert and outsourced CSO (Chief Security Officer), she advises and consults with small and medium sized businesses on threat prevention and response. Learn more at www.the-purepoint.com. Need a speaker? Click hereHoliday Lecture Series. Did you like this article?   Sign up for our Newsletter

Are You Doing the Simple Things: The Top 5 Habits to Protect Your Information

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Are You Doing the Simple Things: The Top 5 Habits to Protect Your Information

I often tell people we are in the new normal. The way we think about information and privacy is not the same as we thought about it even ten years ago. If we are using email, various websites or consistently saving files, getting into the routine of changing our passwords, updating our antivirus and becoming familiar with using cloud software is becoming more of an imperative. Below are the top five things people are not doing to protect their information. Some of it may seem very simple, but I continue to run into people that are not practicing these habits on a consistent basis. My guess is you know someone who isn’t as well.

1. Changing passwords every 4-6 weeks: This may seem rudimentary, but ask yourself when was the last time you updated your email, LinkedIn, Facebook, or banking passwords? Nowadays, there is a passcode for everything and I know it seems almost labor intensive to go through and update every single one. Mainly email accounts and website passwords (if you have a website) should be updated most frequently. Then continue with the websites you use most frequently and rotate that password every three to five months. TIPP: There are different apps that can add additional layer of security. Look at PassKey or Keeper for your phone or tablet. Passkey uses fingerprint technology for login on frequently used sites.

2. Updating the antivirus software when it expires: We get the 30 day reminder, then the 29 day reminder, then the 28 day reminder….It’s worth it to update your antivirus software when it expires. Remember why you paid for it the first time. Think about it as oil for your computer, similar to how oil is needed for a car. It’s a necessary tool to help make sure your computer is running well consistently.

3. For entrepreneurs, or solopreneurs – invest in secure email exchanges:  There are many ways for a small teams to invest in a secure email exchange at a low cost. It’s easy to not invest and to use your personal emails until someone’s email is compromised. If you are growing the size of your team, the one thing you will want to do for all aspects of your business is set the right culture from the beginning. In many cases, this will mean the onboarding process and having the right training. As part of that training, set expectations for data privacy of company and client information, and how emails should be used. Establishing the right culture early on will help tremendously in creating a preventative culture on data security.

4. Using the cloud: I know there are a lot of people still very resistant to the cloud.  If you have an external hard drive that’s great, but odds are you do not have it with you all the time. Then, of course, to have access to the cloud you need internet access. There are pros and cons to having the cloud or not having the cloud, and as I talk to people I find they are still hesitant to use it. However, generally, it is safer than email and can be safer than an external hard drive. You will want to know what layers of security are in place to protect your cloud, but that is something you would want to know for your email and computer as well. Google, Apple, and Microsoft are all reasonable places to start when thinking of using the cloud.

5. Do not respond quickly when email is hacked: You know its happening. Your friends contact you because they received an email from you stating you were in an overseas location, in danger, and needed $5000 immediately. How about when your computer is starting to run slow, are you are still hesitant to act? Don’t be! You could be seriously affecting your computer files, email, cloud, or external hard drive. Respond quickly to warning signs and if you think your email is compromised. Immediately change the password and if you think your computer was compromised with malware, run an anti-virus scan. That’s right, this would be the time you will be happy you renewed your anti-virus plan.

It’s all about prevention! These are the routine habits you can do at home or work to have a safe and empowered workplace and to lead a consciously secure life at home.

Jessica Robinson is Founder & CEO of PurePoint International, a firm disrupting the security market by providing affordable outsourced Chief Security Officer (CSO) consulting services for startups, international non-profits, and mid-size commercial businesses. She completes training and assessments for businesses in physical and cyber security and risk mitigation/business continuity. We help you create a safe and empowered workplace.
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