People often ask me what do they can do to avoid catching a virus or having their identity stolen. Although there are literally thousands of techniques out there that would answer this question, the most common response they get from me is to “have a healthy sense of paranoia.” The reason I say this is because I believe that the human element is the biggest security exploit a computer can be exposed to. There a few obvious examples such as leaving your computer on while you go to the bathroom at work. Or allowing someone to check their email on your system. And then there are the less common but more severe types such as not having a password on your device then losing it or having it stolen. During the hustle and bustle of everyday life we rarely think of these types of things as computer security exploits. Yet in the wrong hands, that is exactly what they are. If you have never heard of Social Engineering, this is the craft of tricking someone into releasing their secure personal information. Take this lock for example, a commonly used device to secure our personal belongings. Whether it be at home, work, travel or some other area of life. The lock is a great utility, but it is useless if not properly implemented for security. Just ask around and you’ll find countless stories of home owners who’ve had all of their tools stolen out of an unlocked work-shed. Or the employee who had his brand new iPhone pilfered from his insecure locker. Or the commuter who forgot to clamp his lock during their rush to catch the subway to work in the morning. There are real live tangible human exploits and vulnerabilities all around us on a daily basis. I believe we must remain vigilant in protecting ourselves in the interest of living a secure and peaceful life both off and online. What do you think? How do you stay safe online?