One of the most challenging things that I regularly do is explain my job and career choice to non-techie users. Ask my Mom what I do, and you might get one of the blankest stares you have ever seen thrown right back in your face.

Pen computing on the Palm Zire, by ilamont.com

In fact, I think this general lack of security knowledge among users contributes tremendously to the success of attacks against consumers. How else do we have millions of drones waiting for commands on unsuspecting users machines? I’ve heard the following from family members before:

  • But I bought an anti-virus program three years ago! Why do I have to pay for it every year?
  • But I had to disable the security settings so I could play an online game!
  • I SWEAR I DIDN’T CLICK ANYTHING!

Responsible computing is the responsibility of the user, and clearer heads must always trump flashy advertisements or free offers. Now, how do we tell our parents this?

I was recently on a mission to help someone running a small business IT shop and came across a bunch of non-techie friendly documents on cyber security from none other than the US CERT Team. Security doesn’t have to be all technical, all the time. If you run a small business, or have a family member that struggles with basic security principals, pick a couple of topics from the list to work into a conversation or presentation. The content is already there, and you can start creating awareness by continually using the content and referring people to the site for more information.


This post originally appeared on BrandenWilliams.com.