25 June 2018 | by Heather MacLean

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BOOK REVIEW: Have You Been Hacked Yet?

There is no shortage of books on the market about cybersecurity. Some detail cyberattacks. Some detail the history of cybersecurity or cyber warfare. And of course, there are more and more books emerging on how to protect yourself online.

This latest book review is on Have You Been Hacked Yet? By Dr. Natalia Stakhanova.  Dr. Stakhanova is by no means a slouch when it comes to cybersecurity. In addition to being an Assistant Professor at the University of New Brunswick, which has a stellar and robust history in cybersecurity, Dr. Stakhanova is the New Brunswick Innovation Research Chair in Cyber Security. In her spare time she is also the co-founder and CEO of CyberLaunch Academy, an initiative focused on promoting science and technology for children.

From the book’s synopsis:

“….this book gives a gentle introduction into the practical aspects of your daily security. It introduces the most common risks associated with the daily use of modern computing technology. Building on that, the book articulates the importance of, and demonstrates the use of, various types of defence strategies to protect you as a user.”

And now the review:

From first glance at the Table of Contents, I feel that most people would not be intimidated by reading this book. For the most part, the language is straightforward. It covers all the things that one would want to learn about in order to help protect their families and themselves.

When getting into the content, Dr. Stakhanova explains things clearly and easily. I particularly like that she covers off just how easy it is for someone to fall victim to cybercrime. She makes it easy to understand that these criminals play on our emotions, our concern for others and our need to help to scam us. So many people are embarrassed to admit that they have fallen victim that we often don’t have a true picture of just how many people have been scammed.

One of my favourite chapters has got to be Chapter 2. Dr. Stakhanova explains what our digital valuables are and why we should protect them. It is a very common sense perspective, but we often don’t take the time to stop and think about it this way.

I also appreciate the time she has taken to focus on social engineering. I know far too many people who have succumbed to social engineering and/or those who fail to see the concerns around how much information they are sharing online. I hope that this helps change behaviour.

There is, of course, lots of other good information in the book. It is the first edition and I know that Dr. Stakhanova will be making some edits to update some information and fix a few “bugs” shall we say.

So, who is this book for? It is definitely a book for those who know they should be more careful but don’t know what they should be doing about it. It’s a book for those who want to better understand how to protect and educate their children. It’s a great resource for consumers that want to learn how to be “safe” or “safer” online. There are two people in my life that I will be giving this book to immediately.

[Editor’s Note: this blog post previously appeared on the Author’s Personal blog.]

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