Firewall Chats, Ep. 3: Simple Steps to Control Your Privacy

By | November 10th, 2015|Firewall Chats|

PodcastDid you log in to Facebook recently to see post after post of “privacy notices?” Those ineffective status updates were spawned by rumors of how people assume online privacy operates. There are a lot of unnerving rumors and myths circulating on the best way to control your information. In this week’s episode of Firewall Chats, we want to give you the facts and cut through the clutter.

We sat down with Katie Stephens from the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Identity to discuss how keep your information safeguarded, online and off. These habits don’t require you to copy/paste any text into your status updates, or sacrifice hours of your day. We offer simple tips you can adopt, right now.

At the Center, Stephens is the education program manager and has a heavy hand in the UT’s new master’s program exploring identity management and security. Whether she’s speaking at SXSW or helping craft a security-related video game for kids, Stephens is dedicated to informing people about privacy and security.

“The key point surrounding privacy is to know what you value and to educate yourself accordingly,” she said. “The more you are willing to give up, with regards to your privacy, the more risk it opens you up to in terms of identity theft.”

We need to be careful not to give away data that is unnecessary to share, Stephens explained. Filling out forms in an urgent care clinic? Don’t feel the need to jot your Social Security number down.

“There’s absolutely no reason they need that information,” Stephens said. “You can leave it blank. If someone is insistent that they need your data, feel comfortable asking them why they need it, who has access it to it, and what precautions they will take to keep it safe.”

We explore password health, children on social media, two-factor authentication, and the woes of identity theft with Stephens. To hear it all, listen on, and reach out to us on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Save the Date: Our next episode will air on Tuesday, Nov. 24, and will feature CSID’s own Adam Tyler and the Internet of Things.

Firewall Chats, Ep. 2: Cybersecurity Trends with Passcode

By | October 27th, 2015|Firewall Chats|

PodcastIt’s Tuesday, and time for us to share the second episode of our new podcast series, Firewall Chats.

Today’s headlines are constantly competing to warn the public of the latest data breach and cybersecurity developments. Consumers want to learn the facts fast, and from a reliable source. Out of the noise, one outlet is quickly becoming a leader in cybersecurity news.

In February 2015, the prestigious Christian Science Monitor debuted Passcode, an outlet dedicated to cybersecurity and digital privacy issues. We’ve had the pleasure of engaging with Passcode’s talented journalists before, first at South By Southwest and then the Center for Identity’s ID360 conference. It seemed natural to ask Passcode’s editor, Michael Farrell, to sit down with us to explore some of the latest trends and hot topics in the space.

“The Monitor has always been known for trying to tackle the really difficult questions of our time,” Farrell shared. “It seems like every week there’s a different kind of breach. We’re trying to keep pace with [these events], the implications and ramifications, and the ripple effects—both domestically and internationally.”

Farrell said Passcode is increasingly busy following the latest cybersecurity news from Washington. This, paired with the company’s mission to share the latest developments from experts and researchers, makes Passcode a valuable resource for the public.

In today’s Firewall Chats episode, learn how Passcode strives to equip consumers and businesses with the latest facts on issues like two-factor authentication and oversharing. Farrell also discusses what we can expect from his team in the near future.

You can stream the entire episode here: And let us know your feedback on our Firewall Chats Twitter and Facebook pages.

Save the Date: Our next episode will air on Tuesday, Nov. 10, and will feature the Center for Identity’s Katie Stephens on simple steps to control your privacy.

Firewall Chats, Ep. 1: Social Media Matters

By | October 13th, 2015|Firewall Chats|

PodcastEvery day we click, like, post, tag, and swipe our lives across our favorite social media channels. The big players, like Facebook and Twitter, provide a life-sharing platform for billions and billions of users. But new channels are constantly competing for our attention and information.

Social media is a fantastic way to keep in touch with friends and family, promote your brand, and engage with celebrities. But there are dangers. Can a careless post lead to identity theft and fraud? Can it damage our privacy and reputation?

In our debut Firewall Chats podcast episode, we sat down with Chris Crosby, CEO of Inflection Point Global and managing director of, to discuss the above and share tips for staying safe on social sites.

Crosby’s interest in social media was originally piqued after talking to friends and family members over their concerns with oversharing and cyberbullying. was created to be a resource for parents and families to chaperon their children online. Today, when you see services offering to help monitor your social media accounts, there’s a good chance Crosby’s software is powering that technology.

In today’s episode Crosby reminds listeners that malicious minds will use any available information to their advantage.

One simple tip he offers listeners is to constantly edit your friends or followers list online. Should everyone see pictures of your kids or know where you live and work? Probably not. Be thoughtful with your connections and the information you’re sharing.

“As a general rule, don’t put anything online that you don’t want to be seen by a billion people,” Crosby says. “We don’t know what this world is going to look like in five years and how this data is going to be used against us.”

Our expert also goes on to discuss what you should never share online, how to be mindful when using the latest social network startups, and social media guidelines in the workplace.

Listen to the entire episode here: And let us know your feedback on our Firewall Chats Twitter and Facebook.

Save the Date: Our next episode will air on Tuesday, Oct. 27, and feature Passcode Editor Michael Farrell on the latest cybersecurity trends.

Welcome to Firewall Chats

By | October 9th, 2015|Firewall Chats|

PodcastWith all the excitement and hype surrounding podcasts like “Serial” and “This American Life,” we finally decided it was time we hosted an ear-bud friendly conversation of our own.

Next week, we are thrilled to debut a brand new podcast called “Firewall Chats.” Our pilot series explores five hot topics with five talented industry experts. Together, we weigh in on the latest conversations surrounding social media security, two-factor authentication, identity theft, privacy, and the ever-expanding Internet of Things.

In our debut episode, we’ll learn about the price of oversharing on our favorite apps and social platforms with Chris Crosby, managing director of Can a Facebook post lead to identity theft and fraud? How do we stay safe on the latest networks, like Periscope and SnapChat? We’ll discuss tips to secure your favorite accounts and how to create a conversation at home about safe digital sharing.

Next, we dive into cybersecurity trends with our friends at Christian Science Monitor’s Passcode, one of the fastest growing cybersecurity publications online. Editor Michael Farrell gives listeners a glimpse of the on-going work inside Passcode to cover news in government, policy, and cyber threats.

Katie Stephens, the education program manager at The University of Texas’ Center for Identity, stops by in our third episode to give us all the facts on taking control of our privacy. Stephens addresses how consumers can adopt small, simple habits to help keep their most precious information safeguarded from cyber criminals.

Our fourth episode spotlights CSID’s own Adam Tyler. Our passionate colleague speaks frequently on our increasingly connected world, and the privacy and security challenges we can anticipate as we reach 50 billion connected devices in 2020. In this podcast, we explore the devices we welcome into our home and our garages. What data is being collected? What are the dangers? Find out a little later this fall.

Closing our pilot season is Encap Security’s Vice President of Business Development Adam Dolby, who takes time to chat with us about scams, malware, and phishing attempts. Did you know that there are roughly 156 million phishing emails sent globally every day? What are the warning signs of a scam? What is two-factor authentication and how do we implement in on our most important accounts? Listen to learn.

We are proud of this new channel and hope it serves as another great platform to share resources and timely news with both businesses and consumers. Have comments, questions? Want to see a topic addressed in a future episode? Let us know on our new Firewall Chats social channels on Twitter and Facebook. Thanks for listening!

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