Christian Johnson joins Jim (@jcollison) for show #170 of Home Gadget Geeks brought to you by the Average Guy Network, part of  Christian has had a very busy spring and hasn’t been on the show in a while.  News of the data breach broke in February 2014 and Christian was selected to be on the Presidents Task Force on Cyber Security at University of Maryland.  A complete outline of the events can be found at

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Christian mentioned that the full report from UMD would be out in June.

What are we doing with mobile device security?  Security behind IVp6 with Cell Phones and Smart Phones?  Christian says there is plenty of work that needs to be done here in the future.  His big question is who is going to make Cyber Security a black and while solution in a world where things are still many shades of grey.

How do you become the most efficient person in your network of influence to those around you?

How do we take the human engineering element out of the equation?  Focus on id the human factors ahead of the event. More training and education need to be done with people and not necessarily better systems.  Knowing who the attackers are is more effective in most cases.  Who are the human actors?

What was the biggest surprise for Christian this year?  He didn’t expect to get so involved in the Cyber Security issues that were going on at the University of Maryland.  He also liked the fact that he didn’t get pulled into just the technical aspect of Cyber Security.  Being able to learn how the process work and a changing of the playing field around personal security made a difference.  Learning that the privacy laws in the EU are very different than those here in the US was an important lesson.  How did those processes develop so differently?

So what can the Average Guy do to improve there cyber security footprint?

1.  Pay attention to Cookies – the managing of cookies in the web browser has become important.  Some browsers and merging the browser settings and combine it to make one large string and create a unique ID for you.  He suggested to see.

2.  There are things that can be done to limit the information that is making its way out via social sharing sites.  GPS tags on pictures were a good example.  Young Americans are using apps like Instagram and Snapchat that shares the exact location.  Profiles can be build from there.

We also talked about that the idea that your PII info like Social Security Number and addresses are still private might now be realistic.  Additional systems will need to be put in place to protect yourself knowing that info is most likely already out there.

Christian’s favorite class this year?

Brand new buildings are opening at ACES University of Maryland for next year.  Christian however thinks that freshmen should have to spend the first year in the old dorms in order to better appreciate the new facilities.  Laundry rooms and every floor and both social and quite meeting rooms are also a perk.

Christian is now working for Gallup as an Software Developer Intern for the summer working with Paul Allen.

Show Links:

2014 Home Server Show / Meetup Info –

Cyber Frontiers –

Presidents Task Force on Cyber Security at University of Maryland –

Mock 37 –

ACES program at the University of Maryland – and the staff page


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