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Protect your Privacy Online with Adrianus Warmenhoven

George Grombacher July 17, 2022

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Protect your Privacy Online with Adrianus Warmenhoven

LifeBlood: We talked about how and why to protect your privacy online, why it’s important, recognizing your privacy has value, and how to get started, with Adrianus Warmenhoven, Online Defensive Strategist with Nord. 

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Adrianus Warmenhoven

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Come on Bob Leffler This is George G. And the time is right welcome today’s guest strong, powerful Adrianna Sparkman Hooven Adrianna. So you’re ready to do this? Yes, absolutely excited to have you on address is a defensive strategist with Nord security. They’re a world leader in providing digital security and privacy solutions for individuals and businesses. Adrianna, tell us a little bit by your personal life, some more about your work and why you do what you do.

Unknown Speaker 0:40
Right, it’s a tall order. I’ve started doing this whole security thing since 1985. And it’s ages ago. And it started out when I actually wanted to show my father some pictures of NASA from from Mars. And I found out that you had to hack, no, not not hack at the moment. But you had to contact servers from NASA and the US and I was located in the Netherlands. So first, the phone calls and dial up stuff, but it was really expensive. So the first thing I learned to hack was actually blue boxing and make it the phone carriers think I was one of the phone carriers as well. So and that’s how I got into contact with all the other security hackers, then security people now. And yeah, that’s kind of set me on the path. I was the same thing. When I was at university, I was so disruptive, I got my own office. And I started the one of the first web hosting companies in the Netherlands. And then from there on, I’ve had a lot of adventures around the world. And I’m now doing mostly security. And I’m doing this mostly because, well, I have a son, and I have a wife. And my son should be able to be an artist or a dancer or whatever, he shouldn’t be bothered about all the cybersecurity stuff. And since I’m a daddy, as a dad, he always wants to make the world better for for your kids. So that’s basically it.

george grombacher 2:01
I appreciate that. I’ve got two kids as well. And so I would like to have them inherit a world that is better than an hopefully we found it. How, how do you think about that?

Unknown Speaker 2:16
That’s really good effort. When you said that, I had to think about the motto from the All Blacks to the rugby team, they have a motto, leave the jersey in a better place. And basically, that then means exactly the same thing you’re not doing, you should always try to improve everything that you get and learn your lessons. Like we’re just learning our lessons about the fossil fuels and everything else. So we try to repair that. And yeah, so I totally agree with that.

george grombacher 2:54
So we are sort of coming into this realization that, yeah, plastic. It’s not it’s not been good for for human beings. And we need to find new ways to create energy. How does that How is how is that correlate to, to the internet today? Privacy,

Unknown Speaker 3:14
I think there’s a really striking analogy. With fossil fuel, we suddenly got mobile and a productivity rose, and we could see more of the world, which was a good thing. And then with plastic, we were able to make all the things and we could improve people’s lives now and look at all the things that you have in house in your house. But what we didn’t do in both those cases was look at all the side effects that were associated with it. And basically, we’re kind of doing exactly the same with software at the moment as well. We’re really focused on productivity. And I was at the we are developers Congress with 1000 developers really large, in Berlin. And everything was geared towards productivity, and all these tools. And I was just asking some people, but what does it do with the user profile? Yeah, just source it in the cloud. But that’s not really nice for the user. And then they started thinking about those things. And we had so many talks about all these not intentionally privacy infringing techniques, that were a byproduct of this productivity that we currently having. So this is really something that that we should think about. And also, if something is maybe not privacy infringing in your country, if it’s moved outside to a different country with different laws, it suddenly might be allowed to do all those things. So you have to think about global things as well. And one of the things that you see in in software is that a lot of people are I don’t want to say artistic but we have a lot of people on the spectrum who did this is no thing and they like to Make the world smaller. And this is why they are in it. But the big problem now is at least somebody should help them to see the bigger picture of what they’re doing. This is basically really becoming more often, often often an issue.

george grombacher 5:19
It certainly makes sense that we have productivity, productivity, productivity, progress, progress, progress, innovation, innovation, innovation, better, better, better, better, better. But that we’re lacking in wisdom. Because this is such a new thing. It’s exciting. And we want to keep pushing forward. But it takes somebody who has a little bit of experience, somebody like you who’s been at it since 1985, to be able to pull back and say, We need to pump the brakes a little bit and be more thoughtful about how this is going to kind of the downstream effects that maybe we’re not thinking about.

Unknown Speaker 5:58
Yes. There’s also some some things from from other studies, for instance, Carlota Perez, she studies industrial revolutions. And currently, we’re also in one of these industrial revolutions, actually, the fourth industrial revolution. And all these revolutions are paired with a paradigm paralysis. And paradigm paralysis means that when we do productivity thing from the previous industrial revolution, we’re now getting into the decentralization and all those other things. And they clash. And we get also the wanting to have more privacy with that. You see a lot of clashes in those things as well. And if you really look at how things are being managed, it’s being managed, like the plastics and fossil fuel we talked about, with with the productivity in mind. But actually, you can see that the younger generation already is doing decentralization, and having privacy completely in mind. Also, if I’ve just made a real short sidetrack, I want to say something about the Word privacy. Because whenever I talk about privacy, one of the first things I hear is I have nothing to hide. And I really want to set the record straight on what privacy is. Privacy is that you are in control of what you want to share. It has nothing to do with anything to hide. hiding things simply means it’s a secret. But the secret is not the same control you have over your personal data. So for instance, if I want to, if I really want to share something, then I might not want to do that simply because my socks are blue this day, and that this is totally fine. This is your human rights. And hiding something means somebody else had that’s the connotation that somebody else has the right to see it, but I’m keeping it away from them. So I really want to change the narrative on privacy. Privacy means you are in control for whatever reasons, and nothing to hide, well feel free to share everything. That’s what I want to say about that was really a short sidetrack on privacy and my balloon,

george grombacher 8:15
I very much appreciate that. Because that is this idea of I have nothing to hide, and then simply like what’s, what’s the big deal? If, if, if, if I’m just out there?

Unknown Speaker 8:27
Yes, but the big deal is simply we are acting if somebody insults somebody, we’re acting in lots of different ways that we harm or hurt somebody. And for a lot of people, they don’t realize that privacy is also something that represents you. And if I have to divulge some some of my things that I do not want to be known to others, that could hurt me as well and can be seen simply as simple as your sexual preference, or your medical history. Or maybe you just don’t like people talking to you, or, I don’t know, your privacy is simple, simply your last line of defense and feeling comfortable in this world.

george grombacher 9:15
So what what can what ought an individual be doing to protect themselves when when you’re thinking about your kids, you say you really you got to be doing this?

Unknown Speaker 9:30
We have a couple of problems. The first is to get this notion of privacy that this actually represents you as a human being, and that you have to protect it somehow just like you have. You don’t jump off a bridge. You have to protect your body. The same thing is also what your privacy. This is the first thing that children have to learn and it’s important. The problem with children of course, is that it’s very intangible and it goes away It’s outside of the realm of how to live. So it’s a difficult thing to teach them, but keep at it. Next thing is to explain to them that if somebody wants to trade, to show them that if somebody wants to trade your privacy for a product they’ve made, it means your privacy has some value, otherwise, this other would not give you something. There might be one or two people outside out there who really give away free stuff. Sure. But the amount of philanthropists that would be on the internet, it’s ridiculous if you just look at how much free stuff is there, and it means the alt, just not saying, if you don’t pay for the product, you are the product. It’s true in most cases, actually. And what is it started out with just advertising because advertisement profiles, but we see these things slowly creeping into the medical history into credit history, even into housing, people don’t want to have somebody who has a specific history. And suddenly, your privacy. If you don’t have any privacy at all, you will be you can be outcast in a lot of different communities. And this is really bad thing for you. And then you make one mistake, or you do something other people don’t like what you are keeping in your home, let’s say, I don’t know, you have a sexual preference, and you live inside a religious community. Nobody ever gets hurt, you don’t talk about it, you keep it to yourself. But as soon as this is being known, you get ostracized. And this is a punishment for something you didn’t do something for something you just are. And we see this in more and more areas as well. And this is why privacy, it started out as advertisement, everybody’s still talking as if it is only advertising. But people should realize, don’t give everything away all the time. Tell companies, if you don’t have a paid option, subscription option is not going to make use of your services. And with this paid option, you can say, Okay, I’m going to re compensate you for your for your efforts, because I like your product. But I’m not going to pay with myself I’m going to pay with with something else. And as long as that option isn’t there, you have to try to avoid those pros, which is really hard. I have a mobile phone with only a couple of chat apps. I’m not on Facebook, or any of the social media networks. And this is hard to keep in contact with people because all of these products are also made that you feel left out. And what I do is I have of course I’m in security. When I say I’m not on social media, that means I am not as my person on social media, of course, I’m social media as various other people. Most of the people they feel left out and these platforms, make sure that a lot of communication about things you like happen only on those platforms. And you can only get on those platforms. If you give yourself away. This is something that people should protest against, they should really ask, give me a paid option. If I don’t have anything and this is the other bad part. If I don’t have any money, then I will have to pay with myself with my privacy to get on those platforms. And this This is hurting the poor countries a lot more than than the richer countries.

george grombacher 13:45
Do you see a willingness slash appetite for these social media platforms to make a switch to a paid platform?

Unknown Speaker 13:55
Absolute absolutely none. But I’m having I’m having my hopes based on the younger generation. Also yesterday in my presentation, I told them, it’s your world. Now, I cannot give you a solution. Because my solution is from my mindset from from where 80s 90s and all that. And you do see that a lot of younger people are making decentralized platforms, privacy friendly platforms. It just hasn’t gotten that big yet. But they do think about it a lot more. There is reason the bigger platforms are still there is just the reason why television like the normal television is still there is because of my age group and older because we’re so used to it. And we still go back to it. And the same goes with Facebook. But these things can change really quickly. Just look at MSN. And we have these geo cities pages and then we have all these different platforms. As soon as the age group moves away, it’s gone and it’s over. really quickly. And this can happen with these social media platforms as well, as soon as the younger generation picks this up and runs with it. So there might, that I think it would be a good business strategy to give a privacy friendly paid option, because there will be a lot of people just be willing to pay to just join, I will join Facebook, no problem. If I just could pay them to not track me or make a profile out of me. It’s not no problem. Because Facebook is so horribly invasive in everything you do. And it has even horrified horrifying policies for for getting rid of the platform, if you want to quit, you must not just not once go to one of the Facebook pages. Otherwise, the system will say, Oh, you were interested in us, we canceled your your your deletion of your accounts, those kinds of things happen. So I’ve heard

george grombacher 15:59
that the Tick Tock is is even worse from a privacy standpoint, doesn’t mean it’s true or not.

Unknown Speaker 16:06
Yes. There’s tick tock really caters and gamifies to a younger age group. And it really gamifies the interaction for me, and maybe I don’t get it, because I’m 52. But there’s not much content except wasting time on there. But for some reason, it makes a really good profile of classifying the content, and then checking your likes or your views. And it gets a really good profile of who you are. And it’s mostly under aged kids on there as well.

george grombacher 16:44
Yeah. Fascinating, Brave New World. adrionna. So you’ve been talking like you’re 100 years old, you’re still a very young man, you’ve got you’ve got a lot of work left to do here, sir. How much? How much? How much would you pay? Like how, how much? How much is our data worth? Two different Oh,

Unknown Speaker 17:04
we did we did the start with last one. I don’t know the numbers by heart. But on the North website, we did a couple of researches. One was in the dark web with passports award which a private private data is worth, what the profile is worth. So you can find all the numbers in there. But the most expensive item was actually like a like a passport from some country in those $350. Most of it, you can buy in bulk for like seven or $8. Even bank accounts for like 15 or 20, which which are functional bank accounts. That’s a bit about Dark Web site. The thing is, these dark webs can be filled with all of the data. Because a lot of sites are just gathering all the data even if it’s not necessary. And they don’t protect those parts of the data as really as well as their logins or monetization systems. So that’s the first one. I forgot about the the other part of the question just how much you would pay how much I would pay. I think doing between seven or $8 a month for for for having Facebook would be reasonable. It feels like it’s on par with the streaming devices at the moment. So that would be okay for me to to just join Facebook and listen to all the people in my neighborhoods.

george grombacher 18:30
Sure, sure. I love it. Well dressed people are ready for that difference making tip we have for them.

Unknown Speaker 18:41
What you really should do is see if not, let’s do a security tip, which we do at my family. Pick one date every month, make it a nice day, have some snacks ready, get all your digital devices there. And check if they are updated. If they can be a bit if they cannot be updated, put them on the replace them list, replacement list. And check all of the accounts you’ve made with all the websites because sometimes you might get an account with a shopping website, and you’ll never go there again. And if the shopping website goes into decay, so it gets not updated because the owner doesn’t get any money out of it. And he wasn’t doesn’t want to pay to remove it. Then these are easy targets for hackers, those that’s actually where they get most of the passwords and usernames and banking accounts from so make this one day in a month and then the things you’re doing you can decide to make this with the last Friday of the month. And the last Friday of the month. My son, my wife me we take all our devices and we make it really nice happening so we all know what is secure and if it’s not secure anymore, remove it Just just like cleaning your house cleaning your toilet, it’s a chore. But you have to do it at least once a month?

george grombacher 20:06
Well, I think that is great stuff that definitely gets come up. How do I how do I know, if I’ve forgotten, there’s just probably countless websites that I’ve signed up for and just I never used again, or they’re out of business

Unknown Speaker 20:20
use. The first thing is use a password manager, don’t don’t type in or reuse the password, always use a password manager. Not have some, but there’s also some other offerings. And if you really are scared about privacy, there’s also some offerings which you can host yourself, but use a password manager. By the way, from Norwich, I can tell you, we are extremely privacy conscious. A big part of my work is discussing with my people how we can not track people, it makes our life a lot more difficult in developing stuff. But we really are about that. And just use a password manager and in this password managers you see when was the last time you logged into a website. This is actually exactly the thing that we using at our home. We just take a print of the password manager and check off the site. So decide that that’s basically how you go through that.

george grombacher 21:13
Love it makes sense. Well, Adriana, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? And how can they engage with you and Nord security?

Unknown Speaker 21:23
Yes, I say go to not and ORDSEC dot c om. And for me personally, you can just find me on LinkedIn, LinkedIn by typing my first name and last name, you’ll find me.

george grombacher 21:40
Excellent. Well, if you enjoyed as much as I did, show Adrianus your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to Nord It’s no rd and check out all the great resources we’ve been talking about and make sure you have password manager and I know that that Nord obviously has a full suite of ways to protect ourselves and our businesses online as well. Thanks again address. Okay. And until next time, keep fighting the good fight. We’re all in this together.

Transcribed by

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