by Emma England
On 23rd November, Mary-Jo de Leeuw, an associate partner at Revnext, expert on cybersecurity and innovation, and active supporter of women in business and STEM, gave an engaging, humorous, and occasionally terrifying talk on cybersecurity.

Everything, simply everything, is connected

“Everything you always wanted to know (and ask) about hacks and cracks” introduced us to the basic concept behind cybersecurity and the “Internet of Things”. Essentially, anything that connects to a network is vulnerable to attack. This includes everything from coffee machines to cash machines.
Mary-Jo discussed apps and the necessity for caution in accepting Terms and Conditions without reading the small print or taking the time to check what the app is demanding permission to access. Do you want to share your location, contacts, camera, or even microphone with apps? What will companies do with this information and given how easy it is to hack the internet do you want to risk it?
Toys were also discussed, such as the Cayla doll, which was proven to be a security breach. It is possible to hack into the doll and spy on children.

Thought provoking

Throughout the talk Mary-Jo gave great advice about being careful when storing things online as clouds are vulnerable to hacking. She suggested using VPN’s to protect your identity and location and setting up social media accounts under fake names – in fact use your real name and details as little as possible.
It was undoubtedly an intense presentation that was interesting and deeply thought-provoking, but it was also very amusing and given with panache. Thank you, Mary-Jo!
Emma England, of England Lifestyle Management Services (ELMS), is a service provider for individuals and small business with less time than they want or need. Emma-England