AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

May/11

31

LaMarcus Bolton on Online Security

My name is LaMarcus Bolton, and I am the American Evaluation Association’s Technology Director, as well as a doctoral student in Industrial-Organization Psychology. The majority of us use computers and the Internet on a regular basis for our work and personal lives. However, with the dependence on such technologies comes great risks to our data. Today, I wanted to tell you about some excellent resources for maintaining your online security.

Rad Resource: PortableApps is a wonderful website that houses a wide array of open source software and freeware portable apps. Portable apps are an excellent way to increase your cyber-security. You simply install the application onto a flash drive. When you need to use the application, you run it directly off the flash drive instead of installing it onto your computer. This is particularly an excellent option when you are using public computers. By using portable apps, all data is saved on the flash drive; no information is left behind on the computer itself. There are so many portable apps available for all of your needs including: web browsing, email, instant messaging, PDF-reading, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, drawing, databases, calendars, tasks, etc.

Rad Resource: If you are on a computer that does not have anti-virus software, it can be difficult to tell if a file or link is infected. You also may not want to (or even be authorized) to download software on the machine as well. VirusTotal is a free online service that analyzes files and URLs to detect viruses, worms, trojans, and other kinds of malware. You simply upload the file or enter the URL and start scanning.

Rad Resource: Today, our online identities are spread across so many sites that remembering all of your passwords (especially when some services have different requirements) can be difficult. Plus, there are an increasing number of websites created to “phish” for your passwords that makes password management even more crucial. 1Password, while premium software, provides 1-click filling and highly-secure password management that remedies these two issues. It is compatible with Windows, Mac, and multiple smartphone operating systems.

Rad Resource: Have you ever wanted to send a private or confidential message to someone without the use of an insecure medium such as email? ThisMessageWillSelfDestruct is a website that allows users to write encrypted messages. The website will create a URL for accessing the message one time only. As soon as the message is viewed, it is deleted. Neither the sender or receiver is able to view the message again. Users also have the option of password-protecting the message for extra security, if they choose to do so.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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