Today, I had the honor of being a guest speaker at our local Rotary Club.  The topic at hand… Internet Security, as it pertains to consumers/individuals.

My audience was a diverse crowd of business owners and executives, both young and seasoned.  While the scope of my topic did not delve into corporate or enterprise-class practices, the questions that I received at the end, proved that my message carried weight and that my audience was indeed interested in what I had to say.

During my 30 minutes, I touched on what I considered to be important aspects of safely traversing the internet.  What I strove to drive home, was that common sense and familiarity with the technology play a big role in security.  Points such as HTTP vs. https as well as unique and complex passwords seemed to yield plenty of nods, proving that I was connecting with them.

It was not until I began speaking about my experience in Law Enforcement, as it pertained to cyber crimes and exploitation of children cases and how unsecured wireless networks can be a contributing factor, that I began to see genuine expressions of fear and concern upon their faces.  I had apparently, at this juncture, revealed a large number of individuals who have open, unsecured wireless networks at their homes.  The thought of an offender, sitting outside of their home, connecting to their WiFi and conducting transactions with stolen credit cards or worse, uploading child pornography, had them wanting to go home that second and secure their wireless; some even expressed intentions to turn off their wireless completely.

Even though my intention was not to employ a scare tactic, I believe my point was well received.  I can imagine that the War Drivers and WiFi Piggy-Backers will find the airwaves a tad more secure in our town tonight.

A huge thanks to the Quitman/Brooks County Rotary Club for having me today.  The food was delicious and the members were very welcoming.  I would be honored to visit again, as a speaker or a guest.


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