We had a great time presenting to our 2800-person incoming class at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Here’s the YouTube video of the five presentations (Hannah Morgan, Dawn Soufleris, Nick Francesco, Jon Maurer, and Ben Woelk) aptly emcee’d by Chris Tarantino.
Click on the screenshot to watch the show!
I shared this presentation at the October program meeting of the Rochester Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. The presentation demonstrates how the Information Security Office at the Rochester Institute of Technology used marketing techniques to reinforce key messages to raise awareness around information security concerns such as phishing.
To see more about how we’re using blogging to raise awareness in a specific academic course, visit the RIT Cyber Self Defense blog.
Check your Browser Security Settings
How can you tell how secure your web browser may be? Scanit’s Browser Security Test checks your browser security settings and provides a report explaining the vulnerabilities, the potential impacts, and how to correct them.
Use Security Software
Your security software should include an antivirus, anti-spyware, and a firewall.
Keep your browser and applications up to date. If you’re prompted for an update, accept it.
Use Strong Passwords
Use a strong complex password or passphrase. Consider using a password vault such as LastPass to generate and store your passwords.
Install Browser Tools/Add-ons
Current browsers all provide some protection against phishing. There are also browser tools that you’ll find helpful.
- The Netcraft Toolbar is a browser plug-in available for Firefox. The toolbar helps stop phishing attempts by blocking known phishing sites and providing hosting information about the sites you visit.
- The McAfee Site Advisor is a browser plug-in available for Internet Explorer and Firefox. The Site Advisor warns you of websites known to have malicious downloads or links by checking them against a database at McAfee.
- WoT (Web of Trust) provides color-coded ratings of the safety and reputation of websites.
Limited Account Privileges
Limiting account privileges (WindowsXP) provides simple but effective protection when working online. Limited accounts allow you to do most daily activities but do not allow you to install software (only accounts with administrative privileges can install software on the computer).
Many attacks take advantage of administrative privileges to install malware on your computer. If you’re using a limited account, attackers and malicious websites will not be able to install malware. (This is less of an issue with Windows 7 and Mac OS X because they ask you to confirm software changes.)
Threats have doubled since 2009 and the threat vectors have increased. Vigilance is even more important.
One thing hasn’t changed. The key to safe browsing is not which browser you choose. It’s following safe practices.
Please comment on the post and let us know some safe practices you recommend.
- McAfee announces Internet Security, Family Protection for Mac(macworld.com)
- Gadgetwise: A Tool to Help Secure Your Browser (gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Avoiding Phishing (benwoelk.wordpress.com)
- The weakest link in computer hacking? (deurainfosec.com)
Lightning talks introduce an additional element of stress for the presenters: the slides advance every 15 seconds whether they’re ready or not. Our audience was ~150 Summit attendees, so we were presenting to our peers as well.
It’s quite the experience sharing the stage with eight other presenters with totally different styles. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!
Other STC Summit 2011 Lightning Talks
- Robert Armstrong, Don’t Suck at Social Media
- Liz Fraley, Don’t Sell Yourself Short
- Alan Houser, Myths, Fallacies, and Lies in Technical Communications
- Brenda Huettner, Lighting Design, Terminology and Audience Analysis: Succeeding without Winning
- Bill Swallow, Advice from the Trenches on Building Online Communities
Last year, I kicked off this blog by posting about Twitter Use at the #STC10 Summit in Dallas. I thought it would be interesting to look at Twitter use at #STC11 as well.
I’ve only analyzed results from May 13-21, 2011. However, use of the #STC11 hashtag occurred for months preceding this year’s Summit conference. (This is a departure from last year, when the use of tweets with the #STC10 hashtag started much later.) Because my Google RSS feed for #stc11 was unable to handle the volume of tweets this year, I relied on three sources for this post:
- Karen Mardahl’s Archive of #stc11
- Rick Sapir’s TwapperKeeper feeds from 5/16-5/18
- The CoveritLive feed at http://summit.stc.org
Graphical Portrayals of #STC11 Information
Here’s a Wordle of the tweets containing the hashtag #stc11 from 5/13 through 5/21/11. If you’re unfamiliar with Wordle, it produces a wordcloud where the frequency of word usage determines the size of the words in the graphic.
Top Twelve Twitter Handles (% Total Tweets)
- 9.55 % by torridence (Roger R.)
- 8.23% by techcom (Tony Chung)
- 7.88% by sushiblu (Jamie Gillenwater)
- 7.77% by bwoelk (Ben Woelk)
- 5.28% bytechcommdood (Bill Swallow)
- 4.89% by mojoguzzi (Joe Sokohl)
- 4.5% by rjhoughton (Rachel Houghton)
- 4.47% by stc_rochester (STC Rochester)
- 4.43% by RayGallon (Ray Gallon)
- 4.31% by willsansbury (Will Sansbury)
- 4.31% by afox98 (Alyssa Fox)
- 3.42% by ninjawritermama (Sarah Baca)
Selected Keywords (Occurrences)
Again, contrary to some expectations, “beer” was not the most commonly used word in the tweets appearing only 13 times. (This was the same number of occurences as #stc10, but a much lower frequency.)
I’m not sure if there’s any correlation, but “karaoke” also appeared 14 times. The last two years have seen almost equal occurrences of beer and karaoke. Coincidence? I don’t think so!
Just like last year, Twitter provided a sense of community and a “conference within a conference.” Most tweets were positive, implying that many of the Twitter users enjoyed the conference.
I spent much of the conference meeting F2F with Tweeps gained from #stc10. If you’re not using Twitter at conference, I urge you to do so. You’ll find that it will create a new sense of comraderie with other Tweeters, and besides, that’s where all of the really cool STC people hang out!
I’ve curated the tweets into a 341-page MSWord document. This “raw” data is available upon request.
What are your thoughts and observations?
Vanessa Wilburn put together a more detailed analysis of the Twitter usage at #STC10. Her work focuses on the subject matter of the tweets. She found that after removing the “chitchat,” the twitter streams paralleled the key topics of the conference and that many of the tweets relayed content from or observations about specific sessions.