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Good Digital Hygiene

A guide to staying secure in cyberspace

Good Digital Hygiene
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ISBN: 978-87-403-0577-7
1 edition
Pages : 86
Price: Free

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Summary

The growth in the adoption of electronic devices is creating an environment where some measures of digital hygiene are needed to protect the devices and the data they contain.

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About the book

  1. Description
  2. Preface
  3. Content
  4. About the Author
  5. Embed
  6. Reviews

Description

Many people now understand the role of personal hygiene in maintaining good health. Until the 19th Century this was not the case everywhere and life expectancy was considerably shorter due to contagious disease, plagues, contaminated food and water, etc.

While viruses and plagues continue to exist in real life, a similar situation arose in cyberspace in the form of malicious software.

The explosive growth in the adoption of electronic devices by the general population (computers in various forms, smartphones and tablets) is creating and environment where some measures of digital hygiene (such as maintaining strong passwords, carrying out backups, not becoming a victim to phishing, etc.) are needed to protect the devices and the data they contain as well as their owners.

This book presents 39 such measures. None is obligatory but each one that is implemented will help reduce the impact of misadventures in cyberspace.

Preface

When Hagel wrote this well-known statement, poor hygiene was not recognised as a contributing factor of disease. Several plagues devastated populations over the centuries and the measures taken by the medics of the time did not focus on hygiene – a surgeon would typically wash his hands after performing surgery, not before (and of course no anaesthesia or antisepsis).

Worse still, those in the medical profession who advocated hygiene (like Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, in Vienna, around 1840) lost their job by offending the medical establishment suggesting they should wash their hands. Then came Pasteur, Lister and many others and everything changed. Nevertheless, plagues continue to exist and hygiene remains an important factor. The problem however has not gone away: an article in Freakanomics published in 2012 entitled: “How to get doctors to wash their hands.”

We should also remember that bacteria and viruses have evolved in pace with new drugs to manage them and now we have resistant strains that don’t respond to available drugs. Hospital infections are found around the world.

As far as the author is concerned, poor digital hygiene, as introduced here, is at the stage comparable to that existed in Vienna when the Great Plague hit: people are unaware of the need to protect themselves and are not particularly bothered with digital hygiene despite many guidelines and good advice being readily available. In addition, malicious software such as viruses, worms, Trojan horses, etc., continue to evolve faster than the capability of protective products to detect them and clean them.

Every person has a role to play to prevent and/or reduce the impact of a cyber-plague. It may not kill millions of people but could make life quite uncomfortable.

Content

About the author

Introduction

Purpose of this book and summary of key points

  1. A scary story for grown ups
  2. The inhabitants of cyberspace’s hostile side
  3. Good digital hygiene: the essentials
    1. Malicious software
    2. Anti-virus and Firewalls
    3. Use a vault
    4. Bad ideas
    5. Disposing of your devices
    6. Backups
    7. Passwords
    8. Personal Identification Numbers (PIN)
    9. Choosing software for your devices
    10. Downloads
    11. Sharing your devices
    12. Locking your devices when not in use
    13. Securing online transactions and “https”
  4. Your footprints in cyberspace
    1. Who is watching your online activities?
    2. Your browser disclosures
    3. Your cookies
    4. Your disclosures
    5. What others may be saying about you
    6. Your IDs and privacy in cyberspace
    7. Being selective about who is in your network
    8. Social media and Internet Memory
  5. Hygiene and the cyber-minefield
    1. Spam and scams
    2. Phishing and spear-phishing
    3. Attachments
    4. Click here to follow the link
    5. Unencrypted “free” WiFi (or WLAN)
    6. Encrypting your domestic WiFi
    7. Bluetooth
    8. Log out of everything you do online
  6. Beyond the essentials
    1. Inventory of your devices
    2. Crapware, craplets and Scareware
    3. Inventory of all your accounts
    4. Lost your smartphone or your computer?
    5. Tracking software for electronic devices
    6. Remotely wipe the contents of your lost device
    7. Encryption and digital signatures
    8. Geo-tagging
    9. Legislation you should know about
    10. Jailbreaking or rooting your devices
  7. Good hygiene in the future
    1. Coming your way: the Internet Of Things
    2. Digital hygiene in
  8. In conclusion…
  9. Other publications and websites
  10. Acknowledgments

About the Author

With nearly 50 years experience in the private and public sectors in several countries, Ed has been active in information security through publications, international conferences, workshops and also as an auditor.

After many years as a senior Information Technology manager in the pre-privatised British Rail, he joined the United Nations as Director of the International Computing Centre, a service organization providing services to many international organisations.

Following his retirement, he was invited to joint the audit teams of the United Nations Board of External Auditors and those of the French National Audit Office (Cour des Comptes), activities he continued for several years.

He is currently a Senior Fellow of the Diplo Foundation, an entity that provides online training to diplomats around the world. He is also a faculty member of Webster University, Geneva, Switzerland and a guest speaker at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. He remains a contributor to security conferences in Europe, the Arabian Gulf and Africa.

His publications include several books and articles in peer-reviewed journals. Amongst them:

Information Security for Non-technical Managers”, Bookboon, September 2013

“Quantifying Information Risk and Security”, ISACA Journal, July 2013.

“Demonstrating Due Diligence in the Management of Information Security”, ISACA Journal, January 2013.

“Strengthening Information Security Governance, ISACA Journal, November 2012

“Planning an I.T. Audit for a Critical Information Infrastructure”, Chapter 11 of the book “Securing

Critical Infrastructures and Critical Control Systems – approaches for Threat Protection” edited by Christopher Laing et.al. IGI Global, November 2012

“Law and Technology – Cyberwar, Cyberterrorism and Digital Immobilization”, co-authored and co-edited with Professor Pauline Reich, IGI Global, November 2012

“Data Integrity, the poor relation of Information Security”, ISACA Journal, November 2011

“Crossing the Executive Digital Divide”, Diplo Foundation, Geneva, 2006

“The Information Society Library”, a collection of 9 booklets (3 of them on security), Diplo Foundation, Geneva, 2003 (in support of the first World Summit of the Information Society)

“Information Insecurity”, United Nations Secretary General’s Information and Communications Task Force, September 2002

Ed can be contacted at gelbstein@diplomacy.edu

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Reviews

Arthur T. Crosby ★★★★★

The author did a great concept and a great job with the details also. Ideas are refreshing.