Cyber security was a hot topic this year at South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi), the digital, film and music festival held in our headquartered city of Austin, TX. We took part in the security discussions by sharing some mobile security tips, hosting a networking party Saturday night and participating in three SXSWi panels. Take a look at our SXSWi activities and what we learned
CSID President Joe Ross and CIO Adam Tyler Shared Mobile Security Tips
Prior to the festival starting, Joe and Adam got behind the mic and in front of the camera to share mobile security tips. Joe on KLBJ radio and Adam on KXAN News, both discussed how a large event like SXSWi attracts cyber criminals as there is an onslaught of out-of-towners and a tendency for conference-goers to use public Wi-Fi. Here are a few suggestions they shared with the audiences to help protect against mobile risks during the festival:
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi and use a VPN for added security, if possible.
- Use a different mobile passcode during the festival and then change it back to your original code when you travel home.
- Be cautious about downloading new apps during the festival. Always download apps from a credible app store.
We Hosted Our Annual “Protect Your Buzz” SXSWi Party
We held our annual “Protect Your Buzz” party at Star Bar on Saturday during SXSWi and had a chance to connect with security professionals, strengthen partner relationships and celebrate our hardworking employees. And as always, we enjoyed food from our favorite Tex Mex caterer– Valentina’s!
CSID CIO Adam Tyler Demonstrated the Power of a Malicious $20 Hacked Router
In his “When Good Technology Goes Bad: Mobile Technology” solo panel, CSID CIO Adam Tyler showed how inexpensive, readily available technology can be hacked into a malicious device used to create “man-in-the-middle” attacks. Here are the key takeaways from his panel:
- If you must connect to Wi-Fi on your laptop, take a moment at the end of your session to “forget” the network. This can help you avoid man-in-the-middle attacks that allow malicious technology to connect to your device via past networks. Smartphones and tablets, however, do not have the capability to “forget” networks, so the best policy is to not connect to public Wi-Fi at all.
- Make sure your mobile device does not automatically connect to Wi-Fi. You should always manually choose a secure Wi-Fi connection on your device.
- While technology can be manipulated into malicious devices, you should never be afraid of using technology. In fact, the better informed you are about technology, the better armed you are to protect against the bad.
Internet Privacy Lawyer Parry Aftab Partnered with CSID to Talk Reputation
The hour-long SXSWi panel, “That Was the Old Me: Managing Online Reputation,” featured CSID’s VP of Product and Marketing Bryan Hjelm and renowned Internet privacy lawyer Parry Aftab. They discussed how personal and business digital presences have evolved in our fast-paced world and the implications of a damaged online reputation. Some crucial lessons:
- Suppression services can help hide unwanted, and many times untrue, articles, web profiles, etc. that can hurt a reputation.
- Hiring managers are looking at social media more than ever to determine whether a candidate is fit for a job.
- The excessive reuse of passwords across multiple websites and the frequency with which teens share their passwords can put many at risk for identity theft, which can lead to damaged reputations as well as injured credit.
Two Child Online Safety Advocates Discussed Child ID Theft in a Roundtable Discussion
In CSID’s third security panel, “Growing Up Unprotected: Child ID Theft,” CEO of Inflection Point Global Chris Crosby and CEO of Lookout Social Clay Nichols discussed how child ID theft should be a top privacy concern for parents. Here are some lessons learned from the discussion:
- Children have a digital footprint before they are even born! This early digital footprint can make cyber criminals aware of a fresh identity on which to prey.
- Many parents are unaware that child identity theft is a growing problem, since there are many other frightening cyber challenges they face, such as cyber bulling.
- To combat cyber criminals, parents can start the digital safety conversation early with children. Let kids know why they should not share their passwords with others and educate them on what is appropriate to post on social media.