95: How precisely to protect your data! Hear from the world’s leading expert on data security, John Sileo.

John Sileo shares very specific and simple strategies everyone can use to best protect your data - both personal and professional. Imagine feeling soo much safer with your finances. This episode is a GAME CHANGER. Did John and I just solve everyone’s problem?

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John Sileo shares very specific and simple strategies everyone can use to best protect your data – both personal and professional. Imagine feeling soo much safer with your finances. This episode is a GAME CHANGER. Did John and I just solve everyone’s problem?
 
John’s Bio:
 
John Sileo’s identity was stolen from his business and used to embezzle $300,000 from his clients. While the cybercriminal masked his crimes using Sileo’s identity, John and his business were held legally and financially responsible for the felonies committed. The breach destroyed John’s company and consumed two years of his life as he fought to stay out of jail.
 
Ultimately, the struggle that took almost everything from John and his family lead to his greatest success and fulfillment. From his first-hand experiences came the first of many books, a great love of sharing what he’s learned, and a profound mission to help others defend their data.
 
Now one of America’s most recognized and respected thought leaders on cyber security, identity theft and entrepreneurial resilience, John specializes in making security fun and engaging, so that it sticks. He is the award-winning author of Privacy Means Profit (Wiley & Sons), a highly-sought-after keynote speaker and has appeared as an expert on 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper, USA Today, Dr. Oz, and yes, even Rachael Ray.
 
John’s happy clients include the Pentagon, Visa, Charles Schwab, Homeland Security, the FDIC, Pfizer, MDRT, the FTC, Northrop Grumman, The Hartford, the Federal Reserve and hundreds of corporations, universities, and associations of all sizes.
 
John is CEO of The Sileo Group, a small security think tank based in Denver, Colorado. He graduated with honors from Harvard University, holds a second-degree black belt in taekwondo (where he’s regularly thrashed by teenagers half his size) and spends every minute of his free time at the center of his compass—with his remarkable wife and two highly-spirited daughters.
 
 
Links to John:
 
 
John’s Book is:
 
YOUR HOST: 
Mike Domitrz is the founder of The Center for Respect where he helps educational institutions, the US Military and businesses of all sizes create a culture of respect throughout their organizations. From addressing consent to helping corporations build a workplace free from fear (reducing sexual harassment and helping employees thrive by treating them with respect every day), Domitrz engages audiences by sharing skill sets they can implement into their lives immediately. As an author, trainer, keynote speaker and coach, Mike Domitrz loves working with leaders at all levels. Learn more at http://www.CenterForRespect.com
 

 

 

READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPTION of the EPISODE HERE:

 
 Mike Domitrz:

Welcome to the Respect Podcast. I’m your host, Mike Domitrz, from mikespeaks.com, where we help organizations of all sizes, educational institutions, and the US military create a culture of respect. Respect is exactly what we discuss on this show, so let’s get started. I am so excited about this week’s guest. He is a dear and close friend. He is also a role model for me as a parent and as a human being, and he is a leading cybersecurity and digital privacy expert, one of the leading experts in the world. He’s also an author and a hall of fame keynote speaker. John deals respect every day. Respect for security and the privacy of the critical data inside of our organizations and our homes, from firewalls to Facebook to Amazon Alexa, two-factor authentication, which we’re going to get into today. Data security is all about respect. John’s going to share that with us. But I want you to meet him right now. That is John Sileo. John, thank you so much for joining us.

John Sileo:
Mike, it’s really good to be here. Thanks.

Mike Domitrz:
Absolutely. Well, I want to dive right in, because you are the person in the world when it comes to talking about this, about making good choices. I want to start off with the most obvious question. How does respect play into the everyday person who’s listening’s life when it comes to our data and our security?

John Sileo:
Gosh. I think having failed at respecting it properly, of taking care of data and what it defines about us, respect is about understanding this issue that we have got with identity theft, cybersecurity, privacy, before it happens to us. I unfortunately did not know that, did not do that, and had a couple of difficult situations because of it. Really, I don’t know how often you find this with your guests, but my respect came out of failure to respect. They were hard-won lessons.

Mike Domitrz:
Let’s go there, John. Because for those listeners who haven’t heard you before with me, it’s an incredibly powerful story. Can you back up and give people what lesson you’re referring to? What happened that made you look at your entire data in your life completely differently?

John Sileo:
Yeah. It’s a two-part story, quickly. One is way back in the time when we used to still throw out our trash and documents, physically throw it out, without shredding it. I did exactly that after a real estate purchase, buying a new home. Threw out copies I guess of the mortgage documents. A woman, [Rosemary Serrano 00:02:49], went and rummaged through our garbage, pulled out everything she needed to steal my identity, my social, banking information, et cetera, and she actually bought a home across the country in Boca Raton, Florida. We live in Denver. Bought a home in my name, and on my credit, and then spent down our bank account and defaulted on the loan and left me with bankruptcy, in essence. That was the first brush that I had with, “Hey, this can take literally your life savings away.” It took hundreds of hours of recovery. It was embarrassing. I’d say that I started in that, I started to respect the power of our personal information. But I didn’t make it all the way there. What I didn’t do was I didn’t evolve that into my business, my company.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah, because this goes a whole ‘nother route here in a moment, right? Because right now, we’re talking about a personal life situation that took place that took you down a horrible experience. Then the business, and for those who aren’t aware, you had a very successful business. It wasn’t like, “Oh, I had a little thing and I lost a little bit.” You had a long-standing, very successful family business.

John Sileo:
Yeah, it was a family business that, because it was a computer company, and that was dying at the time because of big box stores, so I morphed it into an application company. Essentially, we provided accounting over the internet. Now, this was in 1999, 2000, so this was early on in what we now call the cloud computing or the app computing game. In that process, I brought in a business partner, frankly my best friend, my rock climbing partner. We had this incredibly successful business model years before it would become popularized.

John Sileo:
Unfortunately, he was using my identity during that entire time to embezzle from our clients. It was an accounting package, and he was using that, my identity, his access into their records, to embezzle from all of our clients. I faced the two year criminal trial, lost the business, essentially lost everything that I had other than my family, because of the failure to respect some basic principles about who we give information to, how we trust, who we give access to in our systems, and so forth. Obviously, it was one of those life-changing moments. It was really my oldest daughter that brought it about at some point, that said, “Hey, this stuff is worth deep respect, even though it’s just ones and zeroes.”

Mike Domitrz:
It was your oldest daughter that brought that about? Can you explain that?

John Sileo:
Yes.

Mike Domitrz:
Because she was still young at the time.

John Sileo:
Yeah. She was five when we were going through this, when I was essentially feeling like I was going to be put in jail. Every crime looked like it was me, because it was my banking login credentials. It was my signature on the line. At one point, my daughter, [Sophie 00:06:17], who was five, she wandered into my home office and asked me to read her a bedtime book. I don’t know if you’ve been there, but I was so distracted, I was so worn out, this had been two years running, I essentially hadn’t been working in that time. I told her that I didn’t have time for her.

John Sileo:
She looked up at me with these big eyes, and it was this realization that I had sacrificed so much in those two years because of some basic things that I could’ve done, that we all can do with our businesses and in our personal lives. In that moment, I realized I lost two years to this crime. I didn’t just lose money. I didn’t just lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. I really lost, I guess when you get down to it, her respect for me as a dad. God, in that moment, when she looked back up at me and said, “When you’re done with all of this, can I be important? Can you read me the bedtime story?” Everything flipped. Everything flipped.

Mike Domitrz:
For those who don’t know you, I said at the opening there, you’re a role model father. Because when you say everything flipped, we all say our family is a priority, and we all believe it. I don’t mean that like people are just saying it because they don’t mean it. But you are really, really wonderful at respecting the boundaries of, “This is the time I have for my family, and it will be with my family. I don’t care what’s happening. That’s my family time, and I do not breach that.” You define that so well in your life. I don’t mean a little bit. For people listening going, “Well, I do that on Sundays.” John does that continuously every day. Every day, he treats it with that kind of priority. It’s beautiful to watch.

John Sileo:
Well, thank you. I think I’d love to ask of you, as somebody who deals with respect throughout all things, do you feel like you gain respect… Can you gain it organically without going through something so difficult? For me, I think I’m the dad I am because of that moment, because of that failure.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah. It’s an interesting question, John. I don’t believe you gain respect. I think it’s a given. That’s something I discuss a lot, which is, our culture says you earn respect, you gain respect. That’s the problem. We don’t just give it. We don’t give it as an inalienable right, which is what it should be. If everybody treated everyone with respect, I don’t have to make you prove your respect, like you have to prove to me you deserve my respect, and I give it to you, I don’t embezzle. I don’t do awful things to human beings. Because I treat everyone with respect, which means I’m treated with respect, which means I don’t need the worst sides of me to reign my decision making. If we can get there, then you also aren’t in the office freaking out.

Mike Domitrz:
Because we all would recognize, and I’ve done it too. I’ve absolutely done it, John, where your kid’s like, “Hey, this,” and you’re like, “I can’t right now.” Then you’re like, “What did I just do?” And you catch it. But we wouldn’t even have said, “I can’t right now,” if we didn’t think, “I have to do something right now to get this result over here. That is more important.” Now, that’s basic human idea of respect. Like, “I’m going to give you respect.” I think that’s different than when you’re discussing, “Am I good at respecting the value of my money?” That’s a different discussion. Because behavior will show that.

John Sileo:
Right. I guess the distinction of what I was saying was, I didn’t have respect for the protection of these things, the connection between the social security number and the relationship I had with my daughter and my family. I didn’t have the respect for that at that time. It’s a different use of that term. But for me, it was hard-won. It was nobody giving it to me. It was me making that connection, that link that I had never had before, something really terrible happened.

Mike Domitrz:
Well, I’m going to say something that’s really important for a lot of our listeners. Because in my area of work, people self-blame a lot. When horrible things happen to them, self-blame is what almost every human being does. “How could I have let that happen?” I think it’s really important for our listeners to understand right now. Everything that happened to you, John, was the other people’s fault. Everything you teach is to protect from those people. In the end, though, it was those people. If they don’t do that-

John Sileo:
Right, absolutely.

Mike Domitrz:
No crime is happening.

John Sileo:
Absolutely.

Mike Domitrz:
The crime doesn’t happen because you’ve failed to respect your data. It happened because a person made a horrible choice against you, that they totally chose. Now what we’re trying to do is, how can we respect ways that we can protect ourselves?

John Sileo:
Yep, I totally agree.

Mike Domitrz:
I think that’s really important for listeners to understand. Because often we do think, “Oh, I made the same mistake John make, and I lost $1 million,” or, “I lost $10,000,” and they’re blaming themselves. Instead of recognizing, “No, no, no, no, no. Somebody did something awful. They’re at fault.” What we’re discussing today, what John shares with the world all over the world, are, what are ways that we can protect ourselves from those who don’t live with respect? For those who don’t respect our finances, our money? What are ways we can protect ourselves? That’s really what you do.

John Sileo:
Absolutely, yeah. Whether it’s at the personal level or at the business level.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah. That’s the beauty of what I love, that. I think that’s such an important conversation, because I think too often people don’t add that part in, and it sounds like everything happened to you, John, because you didn’t do everything right, in how people can interpret that. Versus, no, it happened because somebody did something awful. Now John wants to help people protect themselves. You’re the self-defense instructor with data.

John Sileo:
Yeah, correct.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah. Which, you’re the ultimate, because you’re so good at this. I want people to be able to touch, because we do live in a culture where there is so many people out there trying to do harm right now. There are things we can do to help protect ourselves. What are some of those things, John, that you’ve mentioned, that, “Hey, I didn’t respect my finances, or I didn’t respect ways to protect my data.” What are ways people now can do that?

John Sileo:
Yeah. It’s two different conversations it it’s personal or in the workplace. Personally, it’s stuff that you’ve all heard of, that we know is out there. It’s the taking action on it that so often doesn’t happen. The old-fashioned example that is less relevant now but still relevant is shredding your documents. When you open a piece of mail, a statement or whatever, and you throw it out, that used to be a major source of theft. Not so much anymore, because if a criminal can hack a database and get a million of those at a time, it’s worth a lot more money for them to sell that on the dark web than it is getting it one at a time. The more modern form are just the things we do to protect our devices, the things we do to protect our computers. You mentioned at the opening, two-factor authentication.

John Sileo:
I’m guessing that there’s not many people out there at this point who don’t know that you can have a secondary password sent to you by text, or through an app, or on a little key fob, that protects your bank account, that protects your Facebook account, your Gmail account. The problem is not necessarily that people don’t know that that exists, and is out there. They don’t know why it’s so strong, and they don’t take the time to actually turn it on. Here’s the way, just really quickly, that two-factor authentication works. You have a password to log into your bank account. That password is the same one that maybe you used on LinkedIn or on Facebook that have been hacked constantly, all the time.

John Sileo:
Well, the criminals go and they take your username, which is always your email address in most cases, the password that has been hacked elsewhere, and they run it through a million banks and they see if they can get in. When you have two-factor authentication, you have a second form of passcodes. It’s a text you get to your phone. The criminal has your hacked password. They don’t have your phone. They can’t get into the account. This is one of the simplest tools, literally. I go into corporations and I see that they don’t even have this enabled, and yet you and I could turn it on for our bank, our investment company, our email, any software that we use, in 30 seconds. It’s that simple.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah. That’s what a lot of people don’t realize. I know many people who say, “I’ve heard of it, but…” I’m like, we already use it. Like, if you log into your bank, banks almost mandate it now. A lot of bank services do. But they don’t use it on their other stuff. They use Dropbox to put all their files in, but they don’t do two-factor authentification there. You’re like, “Woo, that’s access to all your data. Literally, all your files are in there, potentially.” I think that’s so brilliant that you shared that with us. What are some other common mistakes people make, and what’s a solution to the mistake, John?

John Sileo:
Common mistakes that people make as individuals? Such a simple one that, again, it’s a 15 year old tool that still the majority of Americans don’t utilize, and that’s a simple credit freeze. When Equifax goes out and loses, I don’t remember what it was, 500 million accounts with social security numbers and so forth, or Anthem lost 80 million accounts, having a credit freeze so that somebody can’t go out, like Rosemary Serrano did in my case, she bought a home using my credit profile, meaning my social security number. You can lock that just like you lock your computer with a password, or your front door with a lock. You can freeze your credit so that people don’t get into it, so that criminals can’t take out credit, buy a home, buy a boat, get a cell phone, whatever. And yet, it’s like 94% of Americans have not frozen that, even though their data has been breached over and over again.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah. What a lot of people don’t realize is that, in the past few months, all three are available online now. It used to be that one of them, you had to mail in. They’ve finally caught up. Of the three credit companies, you can do it all online.

John Sileo:
You can. Your computer needs to be secure. You have to have taken the steps to make sure you have a safe computer before you do that. But literally, in 30 minutes time, you can take the number one protection that stops about 90% of all of the worst cases of financial identity theft with one step. You do that for yourself, your spouse, and your kids, and you’re a pretty safe family at that point. But the reality is, people are going to listen to this, they’re going to think it’s a great idea, and they’re not going to give the respect to it and actually go and take this step. Even if it’s one thing that you do. That’s the missing piece in terms of adopting a culture of security.

Mike Domitrz:
That’s what I love in this discussion, is because people don’t realize it. They’re like, “Well, once I freeze it, then if I want to get a loan, I’ll have to unfreeze it.” How often are you getting loans? How often are you buying cars on financing? For most people, they might be doing something like that once a year. You know what you do? You go online, you unfreeze for the timeframe you need. Could be a week, could be a month. We have to do it with, if you have a kid in college and you’re doing financing, you just unfreeze it. You have it for a day, and it goes right back to freeze. It’s way easier than people realize.

John Sileo:
Yep. The time not to freeze is if you’re about to do a refinance, or to make a major purchase for you where you and your spouse are cosigning. That’s six unfreezes, that’s six thaws that you have to do. If that’s in your near future, hold off. But other than that, there are very few things that you wouldn’t want to spend. What you’re doing is, if you do it online, you can unfreeze it in about a minute and a half. You spend 15 minutes up front, a minute and a half on the backend. For the average American, you’re protecting more than $300,000 in money, in buying power. Because that’s what your credit is worth.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah. It’s so, so important. That’s why I love you sharing this. It’s awesome. I know you know, what are the most common mistakes people make when it comes to the smartphone? Because if you leave your smartphone near John, you better watch out. Because John’s going to have some fun. Because he knows the tricks, right? You do. That can be a fun little game you can play. But it’s a serious issue. What is a common mistake with smartphones?

John Sileo:
Yeah, you’re right. I love to hack into somebody’s iPhone in my audience, because it shows you how quickly you can get an amazing amount of data. Right there, there’s the answer to the first part, which is that physical access. That is the first thing. If I’m a hacker, can I hack it through your Wi-Fi connection? Yeah. Is it easier to just have the device itself and have the passcode? Absolutely. What I do in that exercise, when I’m onstage, is I take somebody’s iPhone. They’re at a speech on cybersecurity. They know what we’re dealing with. I still get the iPhone out of their hand. I get enough information from challenge response answers and questions by asking them in different ways, and I essentially socially engineer them out of the code to get into their phone.

John Sileo:
Once I’ve got the phone physically, and I’m into the phone, I do a down-swipe, I type in the word “bank,” it shows me their bank. I bring up their banking app. I’ve got all kinds of access then into making a phone call as them, making a transfer as them, and so forth. Really, that physical access and the giving away of answers that they think aren’t related to getting into their phone, that’s the first step. That thing better be on you and near you at all times, because it’s super powerful.

Mike Domitrz:
Well, and this is a mistake you’ll see teenagers make, is they’ll let their friends have their passcodes to use their phones. Suddenly, their friend’s posting stuff as them they don’t want posted. They think, “Oh, it’s funny,” and all. But that friend could share that passcode with somebody else when you’re not around. They might not just be doing silly things with the phone. They could do harmful things with the phone.

John Sileo:
Yeah. We all think it’s silly or fun or lighthearted at the start. Then you have something happen like that. You’ve sat on juries where you’re testifying about how a normal situation turns bad, and it’s the same way here, that somebody sends… they sext from the phone or whatever, and quickly you’re in hot water. It’s very difficult to prove that it was not you. The presumption is, it’s your phone, it was your text.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah. Now what about social media, and the sharing of data on social media?

John Sileo:
Before we go there, I want to go back once, because I only answered the first part on the smartphones. The second area is the digital side of it. It’s everything from having a passcode, and by the way, if you’ve still got a four-digit passcode, it’s imminently hackable. It’s easy. A six-digit numeric passcode, or even better, an alphanumeric passcode, which every smartphone out there now has alphanumeric passcode, it will automatically wipe the information if somebody enters the wrong passcode 10 times or more. You’re of course backing it up on your computer or in the cloud, so you’ve got a backup if it ever does get wiped out. Those basic things of putting in a long and strong password. Yes, maybe you attach your fingerprint to it, or a facial scan, so that it’s convenient and that you use it.

John Sileo:
But the overall lesson here is, going through and changing the defaults on your phone, going into the actual security and privacy defaults on your iPhone or your Droid, now that’s the missing step again. That’s what people are not doing. I’ll tell you what. If you spend a half an hour when you’re bored and in line at the DMV or something, and you go through every one of those settings and ask a few questions, you can Google if you don’t know what it is, we do all kinds of videos and blogs on it, but there’s all kinds out there, and change those default settings. Who’s tracking your location? Do you truly want a game that you’re playing to track your location and your purchases elsewhere? No, you turn that off. Changing those defaults, that’s really the big missing link here.

Mike Domitrz:
Well, and so that’s going to walk us right into what I was about to go into, which is social media. Because a lot of people allow Facebook and everybody else to track, because then they’ll post a picture, it’ll say, “I’m in Italy,” and the picture will say, “I’m in Italy.” Can you go into the dangers of that kind of sharing in social media?

John Sileo:
You can. Actually, depending on the platform you’re on, some of them make it rather easy to make changes. We’ll walk you through it. Facebook has had so much heat put on them from so many breaches that they do a pretty good job of walking through it. But let me dispel any notion that you actually have any privacy of your information at all if you’re on social media. Face it, we are in a surveillance economy. The business model of the internet is surveillance capitalism. They are collecting our information, they are sharing it, selling it, analyzing it, adding it to big data databases. That is the model of the internet. That’s why you get Facebook for free, so to speak. That’s why you get Instagram, or that’s why Amazon Prime is so cheap. They are learning your behaviors and your habits.

John Sileo:
That’s the reality. If you think that you can be on social media and not have a great deal of information about your behaviors, your patterns, and so forth, shared, you’re wrong. That is the business model. However, you can go in there and you can turn off who gets to see. Does it go outside of your friend group? Does it go to everyone? You can not put your correct birthdate in. I know it’s not legal by Facebook’s policy, but I would never put my correct information in there. I would never share. With a hometown and a birthdate, I can generate your social security number. Carnegie Mellon built a model that does that with those two factors.

Mike Domitrz:
Well let’s pause. Let’s pause there. Because you and I had this discussion just a month ago personally, I found somebody’s else’s birthday, and then started doing searches under lots of people and found all their birthdays online. That’s something I think people don’t realize is happening. From what you had told me, John, you’re like, “There’s not a whole lot you can do, Mike, because if it’s public record, they can go down to a birth certificate in a county or whatever. They can put it online. There’s not a whole lot you can do.” Is that true?

John Sileo:
That’s true. There’s a huge amount of information, before we thought through these things diligently, that were uploaded and put online. Now, governments are walking that back. But on the list of things to do for your local county government, are they really going to do that? Is that the first thing on their list? No, it’s not. A great deal of our information is already out there. Which is why we do the preventative stuff, like the credit freeze.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah, exactly. Now you add in Alexa, Siri. How does that play in? You have listening devices. Is the iPhone always listening, or only if you activated Siri to listen? We hear the different stories. Alexa, you know it’s listening, because it’s built to do that.

John Sileo:
Well, if Siri weren’t always listening, she wouldn’t know when you say, “Hey Siri,” to turn on. So yes. Always, always listening. Always recording? Not yet. But there was a really interesting research project and article done by the New York Times not long ago. It took a look at the patents for Alexa, for Google Home, for Siri. What they’re all going for is always on access. They want to be recording every conversation. That’s why they are putting that device in your home, is so that they can be recording. “Hey, these people are talking about wine. Next time they’re on Amazon, I’m going to advertise that type of wine to them.” That is the whole point of taking search into a digital assistant mode, is they can listen to everything, not just the words that you type into their search engine.

Mike Domitrz:
How do you think this all plays into the concept of respect?

John Sileo:
I think it plays in, to some degree, in that we are actually not giving what I would consider true consent in our privacy. We are signing up for these services, and getting apps, and all of this convenience. We think that we’re giving a little bit of information, but we’re giving massive amounts. In my opinion, the average user doesn’t know enough to actually be consenting to what they are doing. It’s a blind consent. Yes, I checked the box. But I certainly didn’t read the data use policy, and I don’t know how they’re selling and using and aggregating my information. I would say right now, we are in a period where there is not respect from the corporate aspect for our personal data. It’s purely a profit motive.

Mike Domitrz:
I agree 100%. The way we define consent in our organization is that it’s mutually wanted, enthusiastically given. Those two phrases alone do not apply to most apps. It’s not mutually wanted, what’s being agreed on. It’s actually, “I guess I have to agree to this just to use the app.” They feel like, “I’m hesitantly consenting,” which is not an ideal understanding of consent at all.

John Sileo:
It’s not. In your realm, what is the… not the answer, that’s oversimplified. But where do we go?

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah, and that’s just it. What if we said to people, “Look, you cannot consent to this until you have to show that you’ve read what you’re consenting to, and be able to answer questions based on it.” Could you imagine how that would change all this?

John Sileo:
That’s so-

Mike Domitrz:
It would change everything, right? I have to read every paragraph, and after each paragraph, I can’t just check a box that says I read it. I have to answer a question about what was in the paragraph. If I get it wrong, then this isn’t a mutual agreement, because I don’t even understand the agreement.

John Sileo:
Right. Which there’s no way to do pragmatically. In my world, there are hundred-page data use policies that nobody can understand, and you’re checking the box.

Mike Domitrz:
So what would that force them to do? It’d force them to cut that thing down to a page.

John Sileo:
Yeah.

Mike Domitrz:
Because nobody would be able to do the hundred pages, right? Now suddenly they have to get way more simplistic, which means they can’t use all the legal jargon to protect themselves from doing things that people don’t want them doing. That would be the game changer here.

John Sileo:
It would. It would take legislation that’s not going to happen.

Mike Domitrz:
Right, right, exactly. That’s the sad part.

John Sileo:
I hate to say it.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah, you and I just solved all the world’s security problems on apps and software. Who’s going to legislate that? That’s now the-

John Sileo:
That is the question. For me, it’s the frustrating part. Do you find that in your field, that there are walls that you’re beating up against that are exceptionally difficult to bring down?

Mike Domitrz:
Well, the state you live in, and I won’t release that for privacy reasons, but the state you live in has the worst, in my opinion, you and I have looked at it, laws when it comes to minors and sexual decision-making. It’s ridiculous what it has. Saying that a 15 year old can consent to being sexually active with a 24 year old, and it’s okay. That’s just insane. Then another clause that’s in there that’s even worse, actually. Yes, you see that, and you go, “Who allowed that through legislation?” And it was not that long ago, the legislation. So yes, we run into the same thing. Who’s out there fighting for the consumer in this case, when it comes to data? Is there anyone effective-

John Sileo:
Not anymore. It’s pretty obviously that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been gutted. There’s no teeth left in that. That has disappeared, and because of it, fraud has gone up. In terms of cyber legislation, really beyond California and Massachusetts, there’s nobody taking an active role. There’s not even a federal head of the cyber unit anymore. That person was relieved of their position two years ago when the latest president took office. It’s an exceptionally difficult time for cybersecurity, because there’s nobody that’s watching the wheel. There’s nobody paying attention on the consumer side of it.

Mike Domitrz:
That’s really scary. It’s really scary stuff. It’s something for everyone to listen to, when you talk to your legislators, saying, “What are you going to put back in to protect us?” That’s what should be being asked right now.

John Sileo:
Absolutely. Bring back some of what we’ve had. I’m not saying bring back stuff that was just from a Democratic or an Obama administration. I’m saying stuff that was started by Republicans and Democrats, and somehow has disappeared as non-important, frankly because of business lobbying. Because it’s better for these companies to be able to collect everything, and here’s why. The stuff that I see in the back channels of government is, when the organizations collect all of this information, ultimately the government gets access to it. They love that. They love that for tracking criminals, for all kinds of good reasons. They love that for determining how people will vote, as we’ve seen with the loss of the Facebook and the Cambridge Analytica data. That was, “Hey, I know that this woman is on the fence, and I can change her vote by advertising this way.” There’s self-interest there at government levels of wanting this information to flow freely, because they benefit in their personal world from it.

Mike Domitrz:
I want to make sure we get in this last question, because this is so fascinating to me. I could go for hours with you, you know that, John. I want to go to this question, though. Now people know that I can go into a private tab when I’m on any browser, whether Safari, or Chrome. I go to a private tab to have privacy. That’s not going to get tracked. True or false?

John Sileo:
Partially true. Because there’s all kinds of people who are still in the midst of what you’re doing. The computer that you’re on, the Apple knows where you’re going. The browser itself, whoever produced that, knows where you’re going. Your ISP, the person who gives internet connectivity, knows where you’re going. Does it reduce the amount? Yes. Even putting a VPN, a virtual private network on, still doesn’t encrypt it to all the people who have to get you to the internet, and at the other end of it. So yes, those things do, and I never want to give the sense that taking those steps don’t matter.

John Sileo:
We just wrote a whole book on that topic, of these privacy settings that we have on all of our devices. It’s quilt work, it’s a patchwork. You have to do more than one thing in order to keep your privacy. I wish I could say it was simple and immediate. It’s not. It’s like, “I wish that you could buy the car and put the seatbelt on in a cyber format.” You can’t, because right now there’s no legislation saying, “Hey, you’ve got to have seatbelts and airbags on this device.” Consequently, every device is different, and you have to change it on every device.

Mike Domitrz:
Yeah, absolutely. Now I want to make sure everybody can find you. It is Sileo, S-I-L-E-O, sileo.com, that simple. It’s all going to be our show notes, along with all of John’s links. But we want to make sure you also know about John’s book. It’s Your Data is Showing: 12 Privacy Tools for the Surveillance Economy. By the way, folks, when I say a short book, small book, quick, easy to read, this defines the concept of a small, short book, easy to read, that just loads you with great information. John, what do you want to add about the book?

John Sileo:
Just that. I’ve done my share of long books that go into detail about it. This is just the action items. This is, “Here’s what you do with your Alexa. Here’s what you do with Siri. Here’s how you set your phone. Here’s how you do two-factor authentication. Here’s how you freeze your credit.” It’s just the meat of it. Because that’s what people want. They just want to solve the problem.

Mike Domitrz:
Is the best place for them to get the book on your website?

John Sileo:
I appreciate it when they do that, because we don’t get a whole lot back from publishers and stuff when we do it through the other sources. Yeah, it’s sileo.com directly, or yourdataisshowing.com, that’s a great place to get it.

Mike Domitrz:
All right, perfect. John, thank you so much for joining me today.

John Sileo:
Total pleasure. Thank you, and I hope we get to do it again.

Mike Domitrz:
Well, absolutely. Anytime, you know that. This is what I love, and I hope our listeners understand. I think listeners hear this and think, “Well, how close are a guest? It’s a guest.” John is somebody that I’ve talked to earlier today that had nothing to do with the show, I’ll talk to on Monday, and I think that’s really important for all of us to think of. A lot of us have amazing people in our lives. We forget the gifts we’re surrounded by right now. I hope all of our listeners are thinking, “Who do I have in my life that could be a great resource for me? Have I asked them questions I should be asking?” Maybe you know somebody that works at a bank that could help you realize some of the things with your own security, with your own money. Because people like John are a gift in my life, not just with security, but as I talked to earlier, being a role model as a father. Thank you so much, John.

John Sileo:
Oh, it’s a pleasure, Mike. The same goes for you. I get so much out of our relationship. Thank you.

Mike Domitrz:
Well, thank you. For our listeners, you know what’s next. It is question of the week. Before I answer this week’s question of the week, I’d love to ask you a question. Would you please subscribe to this podcast, the Respect Podcast with Mike Domitrz? By subscribing, you can make a huge impact. Now, you might be wondering, “Mike, how does my subscribing to your podcast make a huge impact?” Well, here’s how. For every person that subscribes, it raises the rankings of the show in the search engines. For people who care about respect like yourself, when they’re doing a search for podcast, they’re more likely to find this show, thus providing an awesome opportunity for us to spread more respect around this world. All you do is hit subscribe under your podcast. Plus, the second benefit is, by subscribing, you automatically get every episode right into your phone, or whatever device you are listening to the podcast on. It happens automatically. So subscribing also makes your life easier. Now, let’s get into this week’s question of the week.

Mike Domitrz:
Oh, and by the way, you can always ask your questions of the week by joining us on Facebook in our discussion group. It’s called the Respect Podcast Discussion Group. Go there on Facebook and ask whatever questions you would like me to answer and/or address in this segment of the show, and then listen to each episode to find out when your question is included. This week’s question is, “Mike, why are women way more often degraded for being sexually active when men are often praised for the same kind of sexual choices or sexual activity? Why does this happen?” Sadly, there are so many reasons this happens in our society. Because of a historical preference of treating women this way, that men can be sexually active, have multiple partners, and women must be loyal to one. This theory has been out there for so long in this belief system, in this cultural teaching that men sow their seeds, but women better stay pure and innocent. Because of that, there’s this entire culture that praises men for being sexually active while degrading women for being sexually active. That historical past does not make it okay ever to do that.

Mike Domitrz:
If you are going to say that an action is okay for one gender, then it should be true for all genders. If men can be sexually active, women should be sexually active. If you think that women should have high standards for themselves, men should have high standards for themselves. You should not have it so that one gender has to live in a world or a culture where they’re more restricted than other genders. That’s not freedom, and it’s not okay. Do you know what I would love? I would love to hear your answer to this week’s question of the week. Would you please answer what your answer would have been if you were asked that question today on the show? All you do is go to our Facebook page. We have a special group where we have these discussions called the Respect Podcast Discussion Group. Share with us, what would your answer have been to this week’s question of the week?

Mike Domitrz:
And if you take a moment, post us a new question for future episodes. What question would you like to hear me answer on an upcoming episode? That’s all done on Facebook in our special group, which is the Respect Podcast Discussion Group. Can’t wait to see you there. Thank you for joining us in this episode of the Respect Podcast, exploring work, love, and life. This episode, like every episode, is brought to you by our organization, the Center for Respect, which you can find at centerforrespect.com. Of course, you can find me, your host, Mike Domitrz, at mikespeaks.com. Thank you so much for joining us.

 
 
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