How to Keep Your Software and Identity Secure: STARWEST 2015 Interview with Mike Benkovich

[interview]

Mike Benkovich: Whenever you've got people who are trying to throw out a bone, and it's like, "Okay, well then you're going to bring in the people to give it a try," that's a pretty gutsy thing to do.

Jennifer Bonine: Yeah, because there's a lot of people out there that love a challenge, and are looking for that.

Mike Benkovich: Oh yeah.

Jennifer Bonine: Any tips for people out there—just in general, thinking about this—in terms of when you do ... Because a lot of us now buy on the Internet, so we are not going into stores anymore, and very few people are using cash or checks anymore. A lot of it is credit card-based, or bank card-based, debit card. Anything to watch out for, for people knowing if you're going onto a site, to make sure it's one of the ones that's been tested appropriately, or isn't one of the ones that's probably pretty vulnerable?

Mike Benkovich: I think when you're looking at that kind of stuff, from a personal perspective, if I'm going to be buying something, I (a) want to make sure I'm running SSL, which is running https, because otherwise the traffic could be sniffed, and that's bad. The other is that the domain names remain consistent with what you think they should be.

Jennifer Bonine: They're not switching.

Mike Benkovich: In other words, it's not switching to something that's some Netherlands, or—I'm not saying the Netherlands, Netherlands isn't bad—but saying that there's some odd kind of a thing that you don't expect. The other part is just a blind faith of, "Well, I'm putting my credit card out here. Someone, hopefully, they aren't storing it and then using it later on."

Jennifer Bonine: Exactly.

Mike Benkovich: It used to be, you'd call up because you could talk to someone, and then you go to the call centers, and you realize they're just sitting at the same page and typing in your numbers.

Jennifer Bonine: Doing the same thing you're doing.

Mike Benkovich: It's like, "Okay, so ..." It's a reality.

Jennifer Bonine: Yeah. Of what you have to worry about now and having some of that protection, because everyone may not be testing it well, or using it well.

Mike Benkovich: You know what I did? I turned on, with the credit card company, a thing so I get a text message whenever a charge goes through.

Jennifer Bonine: Yes.

Mike Benkovich: That has been really nice.

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