A Defensive Computing Checklist    by Michael Horowitz
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I gave a presentation on Defensive Computing at the HOPE conference in New York City on July 23, 2022.

The presentation was, obviously, based on this website. Below are the topics that I covered in the talk. Some topics were short and quick, others had more detail.

The slides for the presentation, as of July 31st, are available here as a PDF. 219 slides. I did not get to the last 3.5 topics.

Videos from the HOPE 2022 conference went up on YouTube on Channel 2600 in early August. Here are all the conference videos. As for my talk, its here.

Defensive Computing can be dull and boring. I did my best to make it an interesting presentation. While this website is aimed at non-techies, part of the talk did get somewhat technical.


The focus of the tech press has always been on the sky falling. The disaster of the day makes for great headlines, defending yourself does not. When defensive advice is offered by the press, it is typically the same old thing over and over. This talk will NOT round up the usual suspects. For example, we cover a number of issues with VPNs that few people are aware of. One of the best ways to avoid being tracked and spied on is DNS, so we will cover DNS starting with an overview of legacy vs. encrypted DNS, then ways to test your DNS environment and NextDNS. Anyone who understands the rules for domain names can not be fooled by scam websites, so we cover both the rules and common scammer naming tricks. Chromebooks. Keeping important medical information on a cellphone. How the concept of a secure website is, in many ways, a scam. Suggestions for both a new approach to dealing with passwords, having two phone numbers, Router security and being safe on public Wi-Fi.

Defensive Computing at HOPE 2022


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