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5 Tips You Need to Know to Protect Your Personal Security

Learn about what steps you can take to protect your personal security.

Episode 219: In the modern age of technology, it is easier than ever to gather information on people. However, with this comes the danger to personal security. In this episode, we dive into 5 tips you need to know to protect your personal security.

In this episode, learn about what steps you can take to protect your personal security

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Transcript of Episode:

Jamie Irvine:

You’re listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. And this is the show where you get expert advice about heavy-duty parts that keeps trucks and trailers on the road longer while lowering cost-per-mile.

You know me as the host of The Heavy-Duty Parts Report, but did you also know that I am a co-host on a radio show on TNC radio called Mind Your Trucking Business. Each week we talk on this radio show about how to help people in the trucking industry make their fleets more professional and operate more efficiently. In one of the recent radio shows that we did, there was a clip that I thought was particularly applicable to the listeners of The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. And so I wanted to share that with you. That’ll be the basis for today’s episode. I hope you enjoy it. Hey, you’re listening to TNC Radio Live, and this is Mind Your Trucking business. My name is Jamie Irvine and I’m with my esteemed co-host Tom Kelley and James Rogers. Before our, in our first segment, we were talking about cybersecurity, how it relates to autonomous vehicles, how it relates to your truck right now and what you need to know. Now we’re gonna shift gears a little bit and talk about personal security for the next couple segments, but to just illustrate how vulnerable we as individuals can be to cybersecurity threats, we put our co-host on the hot seat. So James Rogers, we found out a bunch of information about you without you even realizing it. All we did was we took your email address and we found some very, very detailed information about you. Are you ready to find out just what kind of information we were able to find?

James Rogers:

I don’t know. That’s that sounds like a loaded question. I mean we got the little beep button over the easy button. Beep beep.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah. Well, we promised not to reveal any personal details, but we, but for the point of illustration, Tom, can you just show us what kind of information was accessible simply by knowing what James’s email address was?

Tom Kelley:

Yeah. You know, this started last week, James because you had to drive and Jamie and I were here without you. And so we picked on you.

James Rogers:

No, I appreciate yes. Punishment.

Jamie Irvine:

Well that’s what you get for not showing up James.

James Rogers:

<laugh>.

Tom Kelley:

So Jamie challenged me to because I was saying all of our stuff’s already and people, oh I don’t, I’m gonna fill out that form. I don’t want people knowing my personal stuff. They already got it guys. They already got it. They’ve already got it. And so to prove my point, Jamie challenged me and, and so here are the rules of the challenge. I only had your email address, James, and I know your name. And it had one hour.

James Rogers:

Oh

Tom Kelley:

Wow. That was my constriction. Okay.

James Rogers:

Now I’m really praying.

Tom Kelley:

Yeah. How does that there’s all sorts of things I could tell you. I could talk, I could tell everybody about where you live. You live in a nice house there in the middle of Missouri, not far from the Mississippi river. Matter of fact, I’m looking at a very nice picture of your home right now. Yeah. Which you purchased in October of 2015, paying roughly $82 a square foot. You worked out a pretty good deal because the, uh, owner before, uh, wanted a lot more than that. But you, you, you kept working ’em down where they, they, they dropped the price a couple of times. And then when you got into there to negotiate, you got ’em to come down on the price a bit more. So you worked a good deal with the, uh, previous owner. So you got a good deal in the house. So where’s about, uh, twice as much now is when you paid.

James Rogers:

Yeah. Come on. Really? Yeah.

Jamie Irvine:

S James, I gotta know, man, just to sit on this hot seat and have somebody know that much information already, this is just a, a few minutes of searching. How does that make you feel?

James Rogers:

I feel violated, I feel violated. I feel like I have no protection. I mean, I’m a disabled vet and we took personal security highly. And I thought I brought that out in the civilian world when I retired and I do I feel violated. I just, I want to go take a shower.

Tom Kelley:

You are the principal owner of Spartan Direct LLC.

James Rogers:

Yes, sir.

Tom Kelley:

Which you officially formed on June the 14th, 2017, which by the way, happy anniversary to you and happy anniversary too, to you and your lovely wife.

James Rogers:

Yeah. Really? Come on. You can see that too.

Tom Kelley:

Yeah. So I see that you just celebrated your anniversary. So congratulations for, for that. So I could give you your corporation number, but I won’t do that.

James Rogers:

No, no, no,

Tom Kelley:

On air, but basically I can give you, what is your corporation’s social security ID number. So all of that information again, you know, it I stayed within the hour. I learned a lot about your wife. I know all sorts of things about struggles that she had growing up. I know about where you grew up there in New York. Yeah. Is it Castile? How do you say that?

James Rogers:

Yup Castile. Yep. You can see man.

Tom Kelley:

So, and Castile, what a nice little quaint town they say, it’s, you know, it’s very nice and mom still lives up there.

James Rogers:

She does really, you know what? I need to enter the witness protection program. That’s what I need, I need to be reeducated on what I need to do cuz this, that it does. I mean, I literally, I’m sitting right here and it’s like, you had an hour and you know, just that amount. I mean, just the fact that, you know, my business and that easy is concerning.

Tom Kelley:

It is. And, and, and, and, and so I don’t say all of this to frustrate you or to frustrate people, but to kind of awake everybody up, you know, one of the things and this is an important takeaway in all of this. Very seldom, our computers actually hacked people will say, oh, I was working on my computer. Somebody hacked in on it’s actually people who are hacked. Okay. It is going out and getting this information and then using it against you. Okay. My son has never been to Canada in his life, but his step grandmother got a call one day and the person knew enough about her and enough about my son to tell her he had been arrested and was in Canada and needed $10,000 for bail money. And it was only the very alert person at the bank who said, something’s not right. This woman has never walked in and asked for $10,000 before I’m not trusting this is an issue we need to stop this and talk to her about what’s really going on.

James Rogers:

How does that, you used the key phrase, there was people are hacked. So how are people hacked?

Tom Kelley:

Be, because think of all this knowledge that I have about you now. Right. Okay. And if you and I were strangers and I was to call you up and start describing myself as an attorney or as a business colleague of somebody else, or a friend of the family, and get you to a position of, I mean the whole idea of these guys is you’ve got money in your pocket that I want to get in my pocket.

James Rogers:

Right.

Tom Kelley:

So with all this information that I have, there’s, you know, and I would come in, of course, with, you know the people who do this are very, very skilled. Okay. And that’s where they hack you. Because they, because they know just what to say, they’ve got your hot buttons and they you know, they’re masters of psychology and they really know how to work somebody to make it so that you will gladly hand them money you’ll never see again.

James Rogers:

Yeah. That’s, I mean, that’s even more concerning and makes me feel even more open because, you know, I don’t do it because obviously I’m running my company and I’m home, you know, quite often, but speaking from a driver’s perspective, if you’re out on the road and you receive them phone calls, sometimes you might continue the conversation just cuz you’re having somebody to talk to and not even really realize what this skilled individual is doing to you.

Jamie Irvine:

Well, and the thing that I’m thinking about too, is that, you know, as human beings, we’re very social and we are wired to be part of a group. And so if somebody uses the right psychological levers to establish some rapport with us and some, some trust, all of a sudden our defenses just drop to zero and that’s when we’re truly at risk. So one thing I’m hearing in all of this in some ways, James, I’m almost glad that Tom is telling us that it’s less likely our computer’s gonna be hacked and more likely the person. And the reason why is because with education, we can actually defend against this. And that’s why this conversation today is so important.

James Rogers:

Well, you’re absolutely correct. And, and, and then another question I would have, it’s a term that I heard in the military a lot. So, you know, they have this conversation, they get it. And what about where do phishing attacks come into this? Because I’m sure that at some point, somebody’s gonna say, well, let send you an email or send a text.

Tom Kelley:

And phishing is a part of all this and phishing, that’s spelled with a ph now, phishing is a part of this overall grand scheme. Okay. And, and I’m not trying to make people paranoid, but I’m also not underselling. It it’s a grand scheme. There are a lot of people who are out there who their whole purpose in life is to figure out who’s making an honest living and get them to give you their money. Okay. They want your money and they’re gonna figure out ways to get it, you know? And, it will be things that you probably today, somebody listening today got a text message that said something about your bill is ready to be approved from some place you don’t even recognize,

James Rogers:

Just so everybody knows I’m broke.

Tom Kelley:

And that’s part of what they do. So you click on this little thing, I’m not gonna approve them. And what is this? And you click on it. They got you.

James Rogers:

That easy.

Tom Kelley:

That’s all they needed.

Jamie Irvine:

Okay. So we’ve established that this is legitimate, we should be worried about it, but that there is a way to defend against these strategies and that is through education. So when we come back in our next segment, we’re gonna give you the top five ways you can protect yourself personally. And James, I hope you’re gonna take notes, because man, it looks like you need a little bit of help in this just like the rest of us do.

James Rogers:

Have my notebook and pen ready.

Jamie Irvine:

All right. All right. So you are listening to Mind Your Trucking Business on TNC Radio.live. We will be right back. Don’t have a heavy-duty part number and need to look up a part? Go to parts.diesellaptops.com or download the app on Apple or Android to create your free account. Looking for high-quality fuel injection for heavy-duty applications. Having one supplier for fuel injection allows you to better serve customers by providing them with a complete line, which increases your sales and profitability. Learn more at ambacinternational.com/aftermarket. Welcome back to mind your trucking business on TNC Radio.live. I’m one of your hosts, Jamie Irvine, and I’m with Tom Kelley and James Rogers. In our second segment, we kind of put you on the hot seat, James. And, uh, we showed people just how vulnerable we all are with our personal information, have you recovered my friend?

James Rogers:

Oh, I hope. I feel, I feel weak. I feel wide open right now. So I’m hoping that Tom can educate me on what I need to do to rectify this. So he can’t find me again.

Jamie Irvine:

That’s right. That’s right. Okay. So what we’re gonna do in this segment is we’re gonna provide you with the top five ways you can provide, or you can improve your own personal security and that through this education that you’re gonna get in this segment, it’s gonna help you to defend against these kinds of, of attacks on our personal security. So, Tom, what is the number one thing we need to know? What is the number one tactic we can employ to protect our personal information?

Tom Kelley:

Well, the number one thing is passwords are the key. Okay. Making sure. And look we all do it. Okay. We’re all bad about, you’ve got a password and maybe you have one, two exclamation point that follows it. And then on another system, it’s three, four exclamation point. And on this one over here, it’s, you capitalize the third letter, but not…and you’ve got your own little system. Their systems are so much better. They, they know all your system. You’re not gonna come up with a magic way to have the same password. Pretty much everywhere with just a slight variation and not have them figure it out.

Jamie Irvine:

James, let me ask you something. When you were in the military, I assume that security is very important. And did they provide you with like specific instructions on how, as someone in the military you had to conduct yourself to help with security?

James Rogers:

Oh, absolutely. One of the biggest things obviously was, you know it went everywhere from, you know, depending on location or wherever, what we could wear and all this stuff all the way down to using the computers and everything to, you know, passwords had to be a certain way, whether it was, it could be between eight and 16 characters, but it’s gotta have this number of, you know, numbers, letters, special punctuation, and so on. And it was in the military, it was easy, because there was a constant reminder of it. Right. And then like I said in the previous segment is a lot of that. I thought I brought with me, but I guess I’m sitting here and I am, I’m sitting here thinking about it and I’m like, you know what, I, I really forgot doing it. And, and the reason I think that is, is because it’s not, it wasn’t, it’s not in my face, in my, in my everyday life, you know, to, Hey, you need to update this, Hey, you need to change this, it’s been 60 days. You might wanna go back and change it. Or how about not use the same password for everything you use because you can’t remember it, you know?

Jamie Irvine:

Right. What’s the joke, right? What’s your password. Okay. Just hang on. It’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

James Rogers:

Yeah, exactly. Right. You know, it does. And I laugh. I’m sitting here kinda laughing at the same time, because as we’re talking about it reminds me like that scene from the movie, I think it was Hangover 2. When the guy was like, well, what’s your password? Oh, it used to be baloney, but they made me add a one. Yeah. And it’s, you know what I’m saying? So now it’s baloney1. And now I’m like sitting here. I’m like, he got all that from my email, but yet I sit here and I’m listening to him and I’m like, oh my God, I do the other things too.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah. So, okay. So passwords need to be, they need to not be, uh, repetitive. They need to have multiple characters. Uh, they need to have upper and lowercase and they also, uh, need to be random to a certain degree and they need to be regularly updated and changed. Tom. What’s the second thing we can do to defend, uh, against cyber security attacks on us as individuals.

Tom Kelley:

Well, just one more thing on the password stuff is whenever you can do use a random password generator. Okay. And then use your system, whatever system you you like to use. I can’t describe ’em all between iPhones and Macs and PCs and Androids and all that, but all have ways of storing password information that can, that only you can get to do that, but always do use those random generated passwords. Those are so helpful.

Jamie Irvine:

Right. And in addition to that two like two party or two factor authentication is also a great way to, to go along with the password, right? Because then, you know, they might be able to hack your password, but they don’t have maybe access to your physical phone. So if you’ve got that second step built into your security with passwords, that’s gonna give you that added security.

Tom Kelley:

And I know it’s a hassle and I know people, I don’t wanna have to put in this number every time I get in the internet put, it’s so much less of a hassle than trying to clean up.

James Rogers:

Now, how can we, as drivers though, when speaking of an industry specific, how can we better protect ourselves with as many, you know, like iPhones, you know, Android, the tablets, everything that we have in our trucks. I’m gonna assume that we’re just as vulnerable going down the road, or if we’re sitting in, you know, complex, you know, these complexes that have all these wireless signals floating around, may connect to it or something. It’s kind of this I do, I feel exposed now. I’m gonna just start asking all sorts of questions.

Jamie Irvine:

Don’t rush ahead, because we’re gonna cover that. So Tom let’s get to number two,

Tom Kelley:

Number two, as much as you possibly can encrypt your email. And especially with your business partners, this would be your, your customers, your suppliers, your, your employees anything that you’re talking that you don’t want that information to be publicly available to others, use the highest encryption that you are able to use and tell them your, your customers, your employees, your, that I am using highly encrypted email. If you have a problem, let me know and ask them to do the same with you. Okay. And again, I can’t describe every single how every single email works, because this guy uses Yahoo and that one uses Gmail and this one uses Outlook and they’re all slightly different, but they all have a way to make the email. Do you want to encrypt your email?

Jamie Irvine:

So just so everyone understands, we’re not asking you to quote and get encryption software. What we’re saying is inside of your email client, they’re in the options. You’re going to be able to go to privacy and security or security settings. And you’re going to be able to select a certain level of encryption. And you know, like to Tom’s point, depending on what email client you use, it’s gonna look a little different. But there is a way to do it inside of the email service that you’re already using.

Tom Kelley:

Correct. And so here’s an interesting point on all on, on that too, while we’re talking about encryption, you know, people ask the question, can God make a rock so big he can’t pick it up. Okay. Or so heavy that he can’t pick it up. There is a rule, a law within the us government that you cannot write encryption software that is so good that the government can’t hack it. Think about that for a minute. There is a law that says, you know, and I understand encryption software and how to put it together. I can’t make it so good that the government can’t get in.

James Rogers:

It means you’re just completely vulnerable anyway.

Tom Kelley:

That’s a little scary, isn’t it? But you know, just one of those things that that’s out there. So always do that. Now you were asking a great question and um, I wanna, again, not trying to freak everybody out, just a simple rule to keep everybody safer, take your, your personal products. So, you know, whether it’s an iPhone, Android, tablet, whatever, reboot them every day, every day, because it is through those types of devices that unsavory people can get access and be able to do different things. And, but one of the things that they need for a lot of what they do is continued access.

Jamie Irvine:

So is that number three, Tom restarting your device. That’s our third point.

Tom Kelley:

That’s third point number, number,

Jamie Irvine:

Number three. Okay.

Tom Kelley:

Reboot your devices every day. Not so you don’t have to worry so much about your home PC or, and that kinda stuff. But if you are a driver you’re from spot to spot, truck stop to truck stop, hotels, all that kinda stuff. Spoofing your phone into making it think that it’s connected to McDonald’s or holiday Inn or Marriot. And in fact, you’re actually now working through the network that somebody else is controlling is a very common method for people to get information off your phones. You hear all the time about a star who or starlet who has her pictures show up all of a sudden on the internet. That’s what they’re doing. They’re just hacking into her phone that way, by making that phone think it’s connected to something that it’s not connected to and then it’s wide open. They’re able to get in there and do whatever they want.

Jamie Irvine:

All right, trucker nation, you are warned. And, it is very important right now that you schedule a time to restart your device starting today and make that a new daily habit. Now, Tom, what is the fourth way that we can protect our personal information and defend against people who really pose a cybersecurity risk to us as individuals?

Tom Kelley:

You know, it’s so easy and if everybody did it really would knock down, how much people are able to hack into computers and so forth. Keep everything up to date, people don’t. They see it pop up on their computer, you have updates available restart, oh man, I’m not gonna restart right now. I don’t have time to, or your phone says something about, you know, they have an update available and well maybe it might mess something up. I don’t wanna mess with that right now. Last time I did it, I think it ran slower. You come up with these reasons. I don’t want to take the time right now to do, to have that download. I’m expecting a call. And these are critically important things because most of the updates are security updates because they have identified a vulnerability that exists in either the computer or the cell phone or the tablet that you’re using. So when they say do this update, do it. Also know, as a part of this too, when you, when your phone gets to the age that they no longer send out updates, you are highly susceptible for somebody cracking in, getting into your cell phone.

Jamie Irvine:

Gotta get rid of that flip phone.

Tom Kelley:

That crack berry you thought was gonna last forever. You know, the older the device, the more there is information out there on the dark web about how to get into it.

Jamie Irvine:

Well, it’s funny that you brought up, man Blackberry, that just hurts, I’m Canadian and that just hurts my heart. Every time I hear the name, because at one time Blackberry was the business phone because of how secure it was. I mean, it was the leader and it’s just so sad that that company did not continue to innovate. And wasn’t able to keep up with the likes of the Android and Apple devices. But the point is, is that now it’s a different brand of phone that is more secure because these are the newest and most up to date devices. So, James, I mean, I don’t want to have to make you go buy a new phone, but you know, you might need to go get a new device.

James Rogers:

I mean, I’m starting to wonder, I mean, I’ve got a, I think it’s an iPhone 12 or maybe it’s an 11. I thought it was pretty up to date, but I am, I’m sitting here thinking actually I have a whole list. Okay. We need to check our devices. I need to go back through check all our passwords. I mean, cuz the thing is, is he didn’t even, he didn’t just mention about me. He was able to get connected to my wife, to my mother, who else in my family did he see within that hour that, you know, we just didn’t have time to talk about. So it’s like, I really need to start digging into this.

Jamie Irvine:

So well and you bring up a good point, James, because if you’re a driver and you’re on the road a lot, someone might hack you, but then the people who could be hurt is your family or your children. And I mean, that’s scary. Right? Because if they can fi figure out where you live, they can figure out where your kids go to school.

James Rogers:

Exactly.

Tom Kelley:

Oh, I know exactly where his kids go to school.

James Rogers:

See, and that’s the scary part. Because the other thing is, obviously if we’re out on the road and we’ll just say, if they did get in through our devices, like you said, if, because I’m bad about it, I don’t reset my devices. Well I do now.

Right. Yeah. But you know, if I’m going down the road and all of a sudden they pull up, oh, this guy lives in Missouri. But you know, we snagged him over here in this industrial park in Jersey. We can nail his family because his family’s obviously vulnerable to us, you know, electronically, but physically he’s not there.

Jamie Irvine:

That’s right. That’s right. Okay. So what’s our fifth way that we can protect ourselves, from being hacked?

Tom Kelley:

Have a plan. Okay, a security plan talked about including what’re gonna do, if you do feel like you you’ve been hacked. Okay. So let’s start at the beginning of this. James, as everybody learned last week and as they’re getting to know you, you have several drivers that you work with, correct?

James Rogers:

Correct.

Tom Kelley:

It is on you as the business owner to make sure that they are following proper security procedures. Yes. And I know it sounds like, oh, I don’t wanna be a nag and you’ve gotta be a nag. You gotta push you. It’s gotta start with you as the business owner to make sure everybody else around. We talk a lot about safety, safety, safety, safety, but we don’t always talk about security. So have that security plan and have the plan.

James Rogers:

Excuse me. Now you just gave me something else to worry about on top of that, because you’re right. Because even like with the larger carriers and then even me as a smaller carrier, we do share apps that access into our back office. And with that being said, they can get in and see everything, all financials, I mean all sorts of stuff.

Tom Kelley:

So if they can, but they’re not secured, you know, that leaves you vulnerable via them. So have that plan and have the plan for what’s gonna happen. If you do get hacked, make sure you’ve got proper backups and backups on top of your backups so that if something does happen, you can restore business quickly. Because the last thing you can afford to do is for me to tell you, I’m sorry, James, you’ve been hacked in such a way that you’re not gonna be able to drive for the next two weeks.

James Rogers:

Wow.

Tom Kelley:

You know, you can’t have something like that.

James Rogers:

I feel a new policy coming into place.

Jamie Irvine:

So if you’re listening live right now on TNC Radio.live, you may say to yourself, well, I want access to this information. Where am I going to get it, when I get back to my home office, fortunately, you can go over to our podcast section and click on Mind Your Trucking Business, which will give you this episode on demand. And you can make this part of your security plan. Step one, get all your drivers to listen to this episode on demand on the podcast and be able to take all of this information and in, you know, put it into their own personal lives. But also then you can incorporate all of this information into your security plan for your checking business.

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