Firewalls Don't Stop Dragons: A Step-by-Step Guide to Computer Security and Privacy for Non-Techies, 5th Edition

  • 9h 2m
  • Carey Parker
  • Apress
  • 2023

Rely on this practical, comprehensive guide to significantly improve your cyber safety and data privacy. This book was written expressly for regular, everyday people -- though even technically savvy readers will find many useful tips here. This book contains everything you need to protect yourself-step by step, without judgment, and with as little jargon as possible.

Protecting your digital domain is much like defending a medieval castle. Wide moats, towering walls and trained guards provide defense in depth, safeguarding the people and property within against the most common threats. But attempting to dragon-proof your castle would be counterproductive and costly. The goal of this book is to keep your devices and data safe from the most likely and impactful hazards - not a targeted attack by the NSA. Like wearing seat belts and sunscreen in the real world, there are dozens of simple, effective precautions we need to take in the virtual world.

Author Carey Parker has structured this book to give you maximum benefit with minimum effort. If you just want to know what you need to do, each chapter includes a detailed checklist of expert tips. But the book also explains why you need to do these things, using entertaining analogies and straightforward explanations. This revised and expanded fifth edition includes:

  • Updated for Windows 11, macOS 13 (Ventura), iOS 16 and Android 13.
  • Updated recommendations for most secure and private products.
  • Over 200 tips with complete step-by-step instructions and screenshots.

What You Will Learn

  • Maximize your computer and smartphone security.
  • Minimize your vulnerabilities and data footprint.
  • Solve your password problems and use two-factor authentication.
  • Browse the web safely and confidently with a secure, private browser.
  • Shop and bank online with maximum security and peace of mind.
  • Defend against identity theft, ransomware and online scams.
  • Safeguard your children online, at home and in school.
  • Block online tracking, data mining and malicious online ads.
  • Send files and messages with end-to-end encryption.
  • Secure your home network and keep your smart devices from spying on you.
  • Create automated backups of all your devices.
  • Learn how to deal with account hacks, data. breaches and viruses.
  • Understand how computers, the internet, VPNs and encryption really work
  • And much more!

About the Author

Carey Parker, CIPM was born and raised in Indiana, an only child who loved to tear apart his electronic toys and reassemble them in interesting ways. He began programming computers in middle school when personal computers were just starting to become popular. For years, these twin interests percolated until he attended Purdue University and learned that you could get paid to do this stuff—it was called electrical engineering! After obtaining both bachelor and master degrees in electrical engineering, Carey launched his career in telecommunications software development at Bell Northern Research (aka the "Big Nerd Ranch"). Over the next 20 years, he wrote software for multiple companies, large and small, and lived in various cities across the southern United States. In recent years, particularly after the Edward Snowden revelations in 2013, Carey became deeply concerned about computer security and privacy. In 2014, he began combining his passion for computers, cybersecurity, and fantasy novels with his long-time desire to write a book, and the result is Firewalls Don't Stop Dragons. This eventually launched a blog, newsletter, and weekly podcast of the same name.

In this Book

  • Preface
  • Here Be Dragons
  • Privacy Matters
  • Castle Guard Certification
  • Get Your Castle in Order
  • Who Goes There?
  • Raise the Drawbridge!
  • Guard the Castle Gate
  • Spies in Your Midst
  • Coded Messages and Wax Seals
  • Protect the Market and Town Square
  • Watch Over the Lads and Lasses
  • Armored Carriage—Your Mobile Castle
  • Odds and Ends
  • Parting Thoughts
  • Glossary