Technically Religious
S2E06: Tales from the TAMO Cloud with Jez Marsh

S2E06: Tales from the TAMO Cloud with Jez Marsh

February 11, 2020

Did you ever wonder why IT diagrams always use a cloud to show an element where stuff goes in and comes out, but we're not 100% sure what happens inside? That was originally called a "TAMO Cloud" - which stood for "Then A Miracle Occurred". It indicated an area of tech that was inscruitable, but nevertheless something we saw as reliable and consistent in it's output. For IT pros who hold a strong religious, ethical, or moral point of view, our journey has had its own sort of TAMO Cloud - where grounded technology and lofty philosophical ideals blend in ways that can be anything from challenging to uplifting to humbling. In this series, we sit down with members of the IT community to explore their journeys - both technical and theological - and see what lessons we can glean from where they've been, where they are today, and where they see themselves in the future. This episode features my talk with friend and fellow SolarWinds aficionado Jez Marsh. Listen or read the transcript below.

Leon: 00:06 Welcome to our podcast where we talk about the interesting, frustrating, and inspiring experiences we have as people with strongly held religious views working in corporate IT. We're not here to preach or teach you our religion. We're here to explore ways we make our career as IT professionals mesh, or at least not conflict, with our religious life. This is Technically Religious.

Leon: 00:53 Did you ever wonder why it diagrams always use a cloud to show an element where stuff goes in and comes out, but we're not 100% sure what happens inside. That was originally called a TAMO cloud, which stood for "Then A Miracle Occurred." It indicated an area of tech that was inscrutable, but nevertheless something we saw as reliable and consistent in its output for it pros who hold a strong religious, ethical or moral point of view. Our journey has had its own sort of TAMO cloud - where grounded technology and lofty philosophical ideals blend in ways that can be anything from challenging to uplifting to humbling. In this series, we sit down with members of the IT community to explore their journeys, both technical and theological and see what lessons we can glean from where they've been, where they are today, and where they see themselves in the future. My name is Leon Adato and the other voice you're going to hear on this episode is Jez Marsh.

Jez: 01:44 Hello.

Leon: 01:45 Hi there. Thank you so much for joining me today.

Jez: 01:47 No problem.

Leon: 01:48 Before we dive into the actual conversation here on technically religious, we'd like to do a little bit of shameless self promotion. So Jez, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jez: 01:57 All right. Well I'm the founder and principal consultant for Silverback Systems, which is a UK based, um, enterprise monitoring, professional service, uh, consultancy service, but specializing in the SolarWinds mindset. Yeah. Well, you know, uh, and that's basically how we got here, but we'll talk about that later. Um, my website is a http://silverback.systems either with an S or not. It'll work. Oh, sorry. HTTPS or HTTP. Either one will work. Um, and I suppose if I had to say for this podcast perspective how people would describe me. Ah, well I would describe myself as an agnostic.

Leon: 02:35 Okay. And if people wanted to find you on social media, do you have a presence or have you completely issued that and just stayed away?

Jez: 02:42 No, I uh, I burnt my Facebook account over two years ago cause I could see where that was going. But you can get me on Twitter. I'm @JezMarsh on Twitter. Um, and I'm also on LinkedIn if, uh, if you've got a business persuasion.

Leon: 02:57 Got it. Okay. So I'll wrap it up just to make sure that we have like bookends, uh, with the social, with the shameless self promotion. My name is Leon Adato. I'm a Head Geek at SolarWinds. Yes, that's actually my job title and SolarWinds is neither solar nor wind. It's a monitoring vendor. And we'll probably end up talking about that a little bit on the podcast. You can find me on the Twitters, as the younguns like to say, @LeonAdato. I also blog at HTTP://www.AdatoSystems.com. And I identify as Orthodox Jewish. And if you are scribbling all these things down, madly stop it. Just listen, relax and enjoy the ride because we're going to have show notes that'll have every link and everything that we talk about in there including a transcript. So you don't have to do that. So let's dive right in. I want to start with the technical. Um, and I want to start off with today. So what are you doing technically today? Describe the kind of work that you're doing and what a typical day looks like.

Jez: 03:54 Well, as mentioned in the introduction, um, my business specializes in providing professional services to customers, either new or old of, uh, the SolarWinds platform. Uh, I look, I do a bit of dabbling and others, but SolarWinds is pretty much where I live. If you cut me, I bleed orange. A typical day for me really would be, um, dialing into a customer environment. Most of my work is remote these days because the is there, why not? And dealing with whatever I've got on my plate or whatever. Uh, part of the particular scope of work I have to do on that day. Uh, it's pretty frenetic. Uh, I mean my, uh, contract is with a specific customer right now until, until the summer. Uh, but there's always people asking me questions and I do like to be helpful.

Leon: 04:46 Got it. And uh, for those people who aren't familiar with the SolarWinds ecosystem, Jez is very helpful over on THWACK.com. Yes, that's actually the name of the website. What can I tell ya? Naming things is hard. Okay? SolarWinds, THWACK, it's just, it can be very difficult. So over on THWACK.com, Jez is part of the crowd of MVPs: Most Valuable Persons, who, uh, answer questions when he's not, uh, working with clients. And I presume that you were born again, bleeding orange, that you, uh, came out of your mother's womb already knowing all things about SolarWinds, uh, back in... No, probably. That's probably how it work. So where did you start off in tech? How did you get into it?

Jez: 05:26 I guess there's a lot of, it started when I was very young, probably around about 10 or 11, my father brought me a, a Zenex Spectrum, 48K with the rubber keyboard back in the day. Um, and I saw, I learned very much at the beginning literally by going through the Input magazine. I don't know if you're familiar with that, but uh, it would over months and months and months it would give you all of the code to type in to get this program running. And back then there was no colorization there was underlining of the code to say if you've made a mistake. So yes, I did spend weeks typing things in and need to find, I had a typo somewhere and then having to try and find out where it is. It was a nightmare. But that's where it all started. So a hobbyist I suppose you could say.

Speaker 6: 06:12 Um, at 10 years old it's, there's no like, it's not like you're a professional at 10, so we were ALL hobbyists with everything at 10, but okay, fine. You were not thinking of doing this professionally when you first started. Okay.

Jez: 06:26 Like most people, I didn't really know what I was going to do. Um, funny story really. I went through school, got into secondary education, which is around about 16, 17 years old. Did well in the, what they call GCSEs over here, which is the, um, high school education, I guess, uh, in the States. Um, and then went to the next level, which is college, I guess for you guys. Um, and sat down on day one and the teacher said, "Okay, we're going to do, we're going to learn BASIC." And uh, and I put my hand up and I said, "We did that for GCSE. When are we going to learn something useful?" Right. I know that. Well, yeah, I know, I know. Right. And um, the teacher stood firm and said, "No, this is, this is the curriculum I decided to go with. So you either do this or you get out. "And they actually kicked me off the course. Right. So that, that was a huge, huge thing. But I was, even then, I was adamant that I wanted to learn. I didn't want to repeat what I needed to do. What I had done previously, I wanted to learn something new and keep going. And that's something that stayed with me. But anyway, coming back to where I started in IT...

Leon: 07:32 I just want to clarify, the thing that stayed with you was, um, was standing firm and being useful, not speaking up and getting kicked out of places.

Jez: 07:40 No, no, no. Yeah, I don't like getting kicked out of places. I, I tend to uh, stop there, you know? Okay.

Leon: 07:47 Just making sure, you know. I like to say the biggest barrier to my employment is my personality.

Jez: 07:53 But who could ever not employ you? Leon? Come on.

Leon: 07:58 A few. Demonstrably a few people, but this is about you, not about me. So moving on.

Jez: 08:05 Okay. So my first job was, um, working for a very small, um, it support type mom and pop store, but it was lifted just run by one guy. Um, so it was building PCs, um, changing toners, that sort of thing. Really basic stuff. So in the trenches, like most people start. Um, and then from there I went to other companies and did more advanced versions of the same thing. And then it went through a mat work for a managed service provider and so on and so on until, um, I made the decision back in 2015 to start my own business. Um, it was basically the, the, the managed service provider I was working with, they'd been bought out by another company. They had a slightly different direction for the operations side of it to, uh, how we were running things before we were bought out. And the effect of he made my role as the, uh, monitoring engineer redundant. Um, so they said you can go back and do third layer Microsoft support or, um, you can take the money in, roll the dice. And that's what I did. And it was a good decision cause you know, uh, this worked out for me and uh, uh, it was obviously the right decision, but it was brave man. I was, uh, I was really, really not sure what was going to happen.

Leon: 09:21 It, you know, I know that a lot of the folks who listen either are running their own business or are thinking of it and In IT I think that that's a pretty common thought is, you know, "Why am I working for this other person when I could go out and hang up my own shingle?" And yet the intestinal fortitude that it requires to actually take that leap is PRETTY challenging. So a full full props for, for doing that. And like you said, it's worked out for you so far.

Jez: 09:47 Yeah. So far touch wood.

Leon: 09:50 Exactly. So, uh, so that's how you got from there to here is really just that steady IT tech progression. I want to turn things around now and talk about religiously at the top of the show you mentioned that you were agnostic and I'm going to guess that you weren't born into an agnostic family, that you probably started someplace else. So, uh, first I want to hear what does your religious ethical point of view look like today?

Jez: 10:18 Well, I think it's more a case of believing in more than just the flesh and blood on the ground... procreating,. But having read and spent time with people of various religious beliefs, um, I can't hang my hat on any one. So I believe there's something and I respect everybody for their views, but I'm not ready to, uh, hang my colors on a particular one. Um, so definitely not an atheist. It's more a case of there's something, but I'll find out when I do, when I need to or if something makes itself known, shall we say.

Leon: 11:00 Okay. And is that a, is that the prevailing attitude in the household? I know that, um, you have kids and uh, so I wasn't, is that the whole household? Was that your personal philosophy?

Jez: 11:13 Personal philosophy? I would say. I would say the children, um, were, did spend some time with, uh, in a Baptist church because we have relatives that is, um, that, uh, I don't even know what's the right word. A, a lay preacher I suppose for, for the, for the church there. And um, yeah, we used to go there quite a bit. Sleep were very involving. They had a "messy church" thing where you could take the kids and they can have fun and you could also spend time talking to the people who actually go on a regular basis.

Leon: 11:40 A messy church. I like, I like that terminology. We have, we have a messy church and the families are like, "Okay, we can be here. Like you don't have to worry about knocking things over." That's wonderful. I that that's a terminology that needs to get picked up by a lot of other places. I think.

Jez: 11:56 Yeah. I mean, I think the idea behind it was that the children can go, um, and then they have, they have these, um, activities for them. So you paint something, uh, make a Christmas card or make whatever at that particular time. They have a number throughout the year. Um, and uh, my wife, again, Baptist orientated, uh, I know her grandmother on her father's side was, uh, very much, uh, a church goer on a regular basis. Um, but it didn't, didn't, uh, didn't stick with her. So I think the whole household, I believe, uh, are believers, but not specifically in any one thing. And I'm being very, um, open minded for my children's sake. They can do whatever they want. I'm not gonna make them follow me into one thing or the other, but that's not why I'm an agnostic. It's more a case of they make their own mind up is their own. It's their own journey.

Leon: 12:54 Okay. Oh, so going back to something I said earlier, you probably were not born into an agnostic house. So how, how were you raised, you know, what was the house when you were growing up?

Jez: 13:04 Okay. Um, my father's family are not religious really. They are, um, arms length Church of England, I would say. Uh, so, um, Protestants rather than Catholics and my mother, um, well, you know, may she rest in peace. Uh, she's no longer with us, but um, she had a difficult upbringing. She did spend some time living in a nunnery. Uh, but that was mainly because her parents walked out on her when she was very small. Um, so she was, she had a Bible, she had a, a prayer book. I've still actually got that somewhere that I made sure I had when she passed on because I can always remember her leafing through. It's got lots of paper, uh, newspaper clippings and stuff in it. And um, but you know, she always went to midnight mass and then the local in the local Protestant churches. And uh, I would sometimes go with her to support her, but my father never did. Um, so I suppose the growing up the family weren't really practicing any particular religion, but they were, I suppose if you had to say they were Christian.

Leon: 14:13 Okay. And then the question, similar to the technical conversation we had earlier, so how, how exactly was your progression or your journey from, you know, "there" in that, you know, generally Christian identifying family into where you are today. Were there any, were there any, you know, specific moments or milestones that you said, "Okay, this is, this is what I am now?"

Jez: 14:37 Well, I suppose I've always had a bit of a liberal bent, um, myself and some of the, some of the decisions of the Catholic church or sorry, the, the Protestant church where there, no, at the time anyway, when I was growing up, no, uh, no, no female priests and so on and so forth and their ideas of, you know, like, uh, 'LGBT is wrong' or that sort of stuff. So back then I thought, well, you know, at the end of the day, if there is one God and He supports everybody no matter what color you are, what creed, no matter what, then why are you kind of saying no to that? That doesn't make any sense. So I think it started there when I realized that there are some people who were effectively excluded. And from there I just thought, well, there's definitely something, but I'm not happy with that label. So I'm just gonna bump along on my own.

Leon: 15:25 Okay. Nope, fair enough. Okay, good. So, given that fairly, you know, I'm going to say wide open worldview of religion, um, and your long time career in tech. I'm curious if there were ever any points where the two came into conflict where you found that the technical work that you were doing and your particular ethical, moral point of view were somehow um, you know, creating a challenge for you?

Jez: 15:52 Uh, it's when I was working with the MSP, um, or managed service provider for those who aren't a technical bent listening to this, um, there were a number of customers that we were supporting who were uh, aggressive investment bankers, uh, to the point where they would - there's nothing wrong with that per se - but it was more a case of the way in which their businesses bought other businesses, pare them down to the nth degree and then sold them at a profit. And I didn't like supporting that sort of behavior cause there are people who are going to suffer. And I found out a few years down the line that does actually exactly what happens! But yeah, I mean, but ultimately my job is to put, to support the customer. Um, and whether I don't agree with it morally, um, I couldn't afford not to support them. So that was the, my job, you know, my team had that customer and we had to support them.

Leon: 16:45 So on the flip side of that, were there ever any moments where, you know, your, again, your moral, ethical point of view created a benefit or a positive that you weren't expecting but sort of, you know, came up and you realized with some surprise that "Hey, wow, this really worked out well"?

Jez: 17:00 Well, I suppose putting myself out before the children were born. Um, we had a number of people who on the 24 hour rotation that we had at the MSP weren't able to work for whatever reason. And you know, and I stepped up and covered the shifts for them. And it meant that those people could have their time with their family cause they needed it. Because there was one occasion where somebody whose parents weren't very well in other occasions where the children weren't well. And whilst, you know, I knew that effectively I was missing out time with my family. I wasn't married at the time. Uh, it was my, my, uh, my parents and my sister. Um, I felt it was important that I could give something to them and help them in a time of need. So ultimately it's more a case of being flexible and I suppose being agnostic means you can afford to be flexible because...

Leon: 17:47 Right. You don't have quite as much of a dog in the, when it comes to, uh, you know, specific holidays and things like that.

Jez: 17:54 Yeah. I mean, obviously now I have children, it's a little bit different. Um, but, uh, you know, I still have respect. Like for example, my, uh, my eldest daughter has a friend who is from an Indian family and they celebrate Diwali and all the rest of it, and they include a, include her in that and I'm completely happy with that. Whereas potentially I may not have been if I had actually hang my colors somewhere else.

Leon: 18:17 All right. So any final thoughts? Anything you want people to think about or, or ponder as we finish up this episode?

Jez: 18:24 I suppose in this time of potential problems in the Middle East, um, ultimately everybody deserves to have a life. Um, and don't look down on those simply because they don't have the same outlook or religion as yourself. Everybody needs to have food and water for their children.

Speaker 3: 18:44 Jez, thank you so much for taking a few moments out of your, uh, this is actually the end of your holiday, so thanks for carving out some time in and talking to us.

Jez: 18:53 Not a problem. Anytime. Leon, happy to be here.

Leon: 18:56 Thanks for making time for us this week to hear more of technically religious visit our website, https://wwwtechnicallyreligious.com where you can find our other episodes, leave us ideas for future discussions and connect to us on social media.

 

S2E05: Home (in)Security, part 2

S2E05: Home (in)Security, part 2

February 4, 2020

Last year we started to dig into the idea of what it’s like to be an IT professional with a strong religious, ethical, or moral point of view, who is also a parent. In that episode we discussed some of the concerns we have with technology, and how we get around those concerns. But like most topics in tech, there is a lot more to say. So today we’re revisiting this topic to extend and deepen the information we shared. In this podcast, Leon Adato, Keith Townsend, Al Rasheed, and Destiny Bertucci about parenting with a bible in one hand and a packet sniffer in the other. Listen or read the transcript for part 2, below.

Leon: 00:06 Wlcome to our podcast where we talk about the interesting, frustrating and inspiring experiences we have as people with strongly held religious views working in corporate IT. We're not here to preach or teach you our religion. We're here to explore ways we make our career as IT professionals mesh or at least not conflict with our religious life. This is Technically Religious.
Leon: 00:53 This is a continuation of the discussion we started last week. Thank you for coming back to join our conversation.
Leon: 00:59 Okay, so I'll, I'll run down, uh, my setup, I'm using what, what I officially call pro-sumer. It's not really consumer. It's, it's in between professional and consumer equipment. Qustodio uh, sorry, Ubiquity, uh, network year, which, um, the, the security gateway that they provide, which you don't have to buy if you don't want to, you can actually run it - okay. really geeky - on a container. You can run it in a container or you can run it on a raspberry pi. Uh, that's what I'm doing. Or you can run it in a virtual machine or you can buy the security key and put it on your network. And that gives you actually NetFlow data. So you can not only tell how much bandwidth you're using, but you can tell by, uh, by source and destination. And so you can tell which device was accessing which targets at any given moment and see a breakdown, and see a breakdown by categories. You can see how much social media traffic, how much video, you know, YouTube or Netflix or Hulu traffic, et cetera. So that lets me see that. Um, it has allows me to create multiple networks so I can segregate my IOT devices. Again, Destiny, going back to the whole Ring and Wise camera thing, I can put those on a completely separate network, which doesn't fix the problems we were talking about, about them being hacked. But it does allow me to lock down those devices a lot more than I would my cell phones or the tablets in the house. I can have separate, you know, lockdowns and controls. Um, and unless you create filters, uh, whether they are access control lists or other kinds of filtering that you can do. Uh, I also have Qustodio on every device in the house. So every Tuesday.
Destiny: 02:44 I used to use that.
Leon: 02:44 Well you're the one that told me about it. Uh, so that's the one I'm using. Yeah. Qustodio on every cell phone, every tablet, every laptop. It even runs on Linux. Yay Linux! So I run that on everything. And that allows you to have per-user controls. It also lets you have really granular settings. Like I can say that my son is able to watch YouTube videos from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. And that's it. But he can watch, you know, Netflix or Hulu at different times. And the overall device usage is up to four hours a day and after four hours it shuts down. And you know, on Saturdays there's absolutely no usage until after sundown because obviously he shouldn't be using it. But Keith, to your point, temptation is temptation. You never know. So it lets you have really granular controls about the who, the what and the where that devices and that follows my kids everywhere they go that use the device. So it doesn't matter if they're inside my house or outside my house. Qustodio goes with them. And it does give you some other really nice benefits, like Destiny you told me about, uh, your daughter was in, uh, an accident and you knew immediately she couldn't tell you where she was, but her phone was able to tell you where it was and you were able to get there really quickly because you know, your daughter who was already sort of in crisis and not able to process the information, wasn't able to give over that information. So it has a lot of,
Destiny: 04:16 Yeah, I got an alert immediately that something had happened and I had a kid see her GPS location, knew everything that was going on and I was already on my way to get her before she even found her phone.
Leon: 04:27 So yeah, it's really, really good stuff. So Qustodio goes on every device. Ubiquity is the network gear. I have a little app called pi-hole, which will, uh, run on a Linux machine or you can run it again on a raspberry pi. It was meant for raspberry pi, hence the name pie hole. And what that does, it's, it's security, but it's also almost an internet speed up. It filters out, uh, spam ads that come into your house. They just never come into your house. The pie hole captures them. So you'll see a page and there's gonna be three ads you can see. And two, you can't because the two, you can't were span ads. So that speeds up the webpage. But it also means that there's a whole bunch of garbage that me and my kids are not even seeing. And that's on a element by element basis on every website.
Destiny: 05:16 Which also protects you from the cyber attack. So...
Leon: 05:19 okay, there you go. And, and finally, uh, OpenDNS or a Cisco Umbrella, depending what you would call it. And the benefit of Cisco umbrella. It's not just that it's a DNS protector, it's crowdsourced everybody who's using it. Every corporation, when, when the Umbrella system sees a bunch of attacks coming in from a particular IP address, Umbrella blacklists, it automatically, and nobody who is using Umbrella can get to that site. So if an enterprise is suddenly seeing a new cyber attack, you're not going to even get it because that IP address, that destination is automatically puts, you know, black holed, so you're never going to get there. So...
Destiny: 06:01 And the cool thing about that, if you remember right when I was talking about this in Australia was the main thing that I loved about Cisco Umbrella is like SD-Wan, especially like the way that they're running their network and the way that they're testing and getting things done. Like you were saying on the blacklist and everything, you are getting that enterprise level new technology and new hacks that are coming to SD-Wan that you are getting prevented from as well.
Leon: 06:25 And I will say that for the basic level it's free.
Destiny: 06:28 Yup. And then you can get, you know, a little crazy with it, with your little cloud access, security blockers and everything.
Leon: 06:33 I will say for those people who are interested in it, um, and again, you know, thinking about the Orthodox Jewish community which tends to go with whitelist only. So I can't get to any site that I haven't purposely white listed that, um, you're only, you can only have a certain number of white list items before you have to pay for it. But anyway, that's my setup. Um, what does everyone else have?
Al: 06:52 I actually have something similar to what you just described. I'm just getting into Ubiquity, so I'm curious to learn more about it. Everybody speaks very highly of their products and their services, but I want to filter the content that's coming in or trying to go out. I want to be able to see what, uh, is being viewed online. And this way this can provide me with something to go back to whoever the guilty party is and say, look, this is why I'm here. This is why we implement this and this is why we're going to prevent it moving forward.
Destiny: 07:23 So some of the things that I've also implemented, because obviously you know the Qustodio and everything in which that that I've set up before, but I've helped a lot of people use the Mobisip as well. But it also depends on what devices you like. Right? Like like if you have Kindles versus you know, iOS updates or if you have Android versus... There's different things that you can grab. But mobi, sip is one of the ones that I like for like a Windows / Apple kind of a household that you have. And I like setting that up, especially for teenagers because they can request like when they're like trying to do homework, like for health and it has to do with sex or something like that, it'll automatically go to my phone and I can look at the link, bring it up, see if I approve it and approve it from my phone. And it automatically allows them to start engaging with that content. So it's not like, you know something that's not very like quick, if that makes sense. Cause if they're in school using their laptop, cause here they get to use their own laptop or iPads or Kindles or things like that at school then it's something that I can easily like switch on and off. So much so to where even the school now is trying to implement that on their tablets because they were like "how did you do that?" But um, same thing is another product is Net Nanny. I don't know if you guys have heard of that, but net nanny as well. Those are some of the things that I've helped a lot of families set up on with those. A NetGear, they also have NetGear Armor. So here around in New Mexico, a lot of the free wear of which they give people. So a lot of the times, you know a lot of the people that are going to be on the internet will have NetGear. Right? It's usually a Nighthawk in this area and like you can get extenders and things of that nature. But it comes with something called NetArmor that can help you visually like be able to, to track and to do things and to block things at the actual router itself. Something that I do like about that product in the way that they have it set up though is that it's very user driven, if that makes sense. So like if you are new to it, as we were talking about earlier, protect your networks. It'll say "guest network: enable or not?", You just click the box and it'll disable it, right? So disabled that guest network if you're not using it and it'll ha so you can set up reminders, you can do dynamic QoS, like you can block people, you can do scheduling when you can shut down your network, shut it down per device, you know, things like that. But it's very user, um, uh, has a lot of user accessibility to it that I like because it's one of those things where if you're new to it and you're going to be given a router and you're going to be giving everything out of the box and "Here, welcome to the internet." Right? It's very step-by-step on how do I protect myself. And that's something that they've actually started doing in the past six months when they engage that NetArmor. So I think that NetGear is coming around and understanding that Hey there's people out there that don't know what they're doing per se to secure themselves in their home network. So let's see if we could make it wizard driven. Right? Cause anytime it's wizard driven it's fun. So those are some of the things and it comes with the device, right? So I think that it's one of those things that if you are listening and you have NetGear or if you have something that your provider, your ISP has given you to connect to the internet, make the phone call the tech support. Right? Like ask them "What's my username and password ?"if you don't already know it. Cause I know several people who have no idea and ask them, what did you set this up for? How do I log in? Okay cool. Let me turn off my guest network. Let me change my password, let me see what I have going on here. And they will walk you through those, but you can also Google it and figure it out just as much. But you, you have to be the proactive one to protect your fort, right? Like you have to want to protect yourself, which means you're going to have to understand and use the GUI, use the actual website, like dial into it, see what it's doing, look at those logs, set up your alerts, update it, right? Like set it to automatic updates so you get those security updates. So just so that you're implementing that basic cyber hygiene.
Leon: 11:28 Right. And there's a few other points of, of that basic cyber hygiene I think that are worth talking about. Um, Al, you hinted at it earlier, but I want to hit it again. Uh, password managers: Period. End of sentence. Whether regardless of what device, regardless of what environment we're talking about, use a password manager for two reasons. First of all, that way you don't have to have everything set to the same password because your password manager will remember it. And two, closely to related. It will generate strong, secure passwords that you don't have to remember. And it will automatically input those passwords into all of your apps. And that is the number one attack vector for people who are trying to get your information is they'll just, you know... When you see in the news, Oh, there was a Amazon S3 bucket that had 2 million usernames and password hashes that were in there. What that means is they now have a library of 2 million people and their password that they say, "Oh, this person uses this password. They probably use it in a few places. Let me try it against this site, this site, this site." And suddenly they have their bank or they have your Facebook or they have your Instagram. And from there they can get into your this and your that and your other thing. And that's how people build an a, you know, an attack against a particular individual. And by the way, these things can all be automated. I think sometimes we think of hackers as "Well, who's really gonna worry about little old me." Nobody's going to worry about little old you. There's a bot for that. There's a, there's a machine that is automatically walking through those 2 million accounts and just running a whole set of predefined processes. And when it finally gets a hit and goes through every other possibility, it sends a report back to somebody and then they start digging.
Al: 13:12 Right. And if I could add to it, a lot of people underestimate two factor authentication. It literally takes two minutes to set up and it saves you hours upon hours moving forward.
Leon: 13:24 Yes. Everything. They can have two factor authentication, turn it on.
Destiny: 13:29 And here's the thing, you have more information and this is statistically shown on your phone than you do in your home. Think about that. Used to, we used to keep files or mortgages or information or bank accounts or statements and everything in our house. You're all accessible from your phone and an application or a website. So if you have stored passwords, things like that and you're not changing them, you're kind of at a disadvantage anyway. And some of the things that me and you have talked about, Leon, especially, ESPECIALLY at conferences, is securing your line, encrypt your phone. I was like, we literally... me in Leon. We're in a conversation one day when the lady was like, "Oh, I don't care if they get my phone, who cares?" I was like, "Oh, I don't know. But if you pay attention over there, they're like literally going through everybody's photos and putting them on display because they can. And they're displaying your bank account that's overdrawn. So I don't know what to tell you right now. Feel like you should probably secure that." And it's those little things like, I mean, I use Avast Secure Line. I mean, it's like cheap for a year to use it. I can constantly connect it and it's encrypted the whole time. It constantly keeps me protected. My kids are that way as well because they're going to school and I'm sorry, but their school does not even have an IT person and like they're in an open network. I'm like, "no." This just isn't gonna work for me. So I, but it's one of those things where it's like you teach them to protect themselves and now they do it on their own. Like my kids will tell you if they see something that doesn't make sense, right? Cause you see something, you say something. And like if they get sent something from their teachers or like, cause now they're using third party applications are using Google drives, they're using all this stuff and people are sharing passwords and my daughter's like "you really shouldn't do that." Well then they found out that one of their friends got all their homework deleted, right? Like it's like they're seeing it in their daily transactions of school to where they are more ahead of changing passwords, not giving your information. Make sure you have more than a four digit code on your phone because they're have friends who break into them like they are figuring out the cyber waters way faster than most parents are right now. And that's, that's okay. But if you have that open forum or if you're having those conversations, you can actually help each other.
Roddie: 15:47 Thank you for making time for us this week to hear more of technically religious visit our website at http://technicallyreligious.com where you can find our other episodes. Leave us ideas for future discussions or connect with us on social media.