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"Parker does an awesome job of bringing computer safety to average users and making it relevant. He's able to make advanced security concepts fun and interesting while not compromising on knowledge." Tip Top Security

Carey Parker was born and raised in Indiana, an only child who loved to tear apart his electronic toys and reassemble them in interesting ways. He began programming computers in middle school when personal computers were just starting to become popular. For years, these twin interests percolated until he attended Purdue University and he learned you could get paid to do this stuff – it was called Electrical Engineering! After obtaining a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in EE, Carey launched his career in telecommunications software development at Bell Northern Research (aka the “Big Nerd Ranch”). Over the next 20 years, Carey wrote software for multiple companies, large and small, and lived in various cities across the southern United States. In recent years, particularly after the Edward Snowden revelations in 2013, he became deeply concerned about computer security and privacy. In 2014, he combined his passion for computers, cybersecurity and fantasy novels with the long-time desire to write the book: Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons.

Don’t Get Caught with Your Drawbridge Down... Stay Informed!

When the Hackers Become the Hacked

The Shadow Brokers have dumped a treasure trove of NSA secret hacking tools, proving that even the best secret-keepers in the country can’t always...

How to Pick The Only Password You’ll Ever Need

This week I talk with Chris Romeo on why humans are so horribly bad at picking good passwords and why this invariably makes you...

Congress Just Sold You Out (Again)

This week I discuss the stunning repeal of Internet privacy provisions with Ernesto Falcon from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Congress narrowly passed a bill...

Protecting Your Privacy at the US Border

What are your rights at the border? It depends on your immigration status, and even US citizens will not enjoy their usual Constitutional rights...

Masking Your Digital Footprints

WikiLeaks dumped almost 9000 pages of secret CIA documents on the web for all to see, detailing dozens of secret hacking tools and techniques....

How The Bad Guys Trick You Into Taking Their Bait

“Phishing” is one of the most common and most effective ways for the bad guys to get your passwords or credit card information. In...

Why CloudBleed Wasn’t So Bloody Scary

The media was once again telling everyone to light their hair on fire over the latest web bug that threatens to expose all of...


Just how secure is your computer right now?

My guess is that you probably don’t really know. Computers and the Internet have revolutionized the modern world, but if you’re like most people, you have no clue how these things work or what the real threats are.

Protecting your computer is like defending a medieval castle. While moats, walls, drawbridges and castle guards can be effective, you’d go broke trying to build something dragon-proof. This book is not about protecting yourself from a targeted attack by the NSA; it’s about armoring yourself against common hackers and mass surveillance. There are dozens of no-brainer things we should all be doing to protect our computers and safeguard our data – just like wearing a seat belt, installing smoke alarms, and putting on sunscreen.


I’ve structured this book to give you maximum benefit with minimum effort. If you just want to know what to do, every chapter has a complete checklist with step-by-step instructions and pictures. The book contains well over 100 tips that are guaranteed to make you and your family safer! Topics include: choosing and managing passwords, securely browsing the web and communicating with others, shopping and banking online, creating automated backups, locking down social media accounts, using your smart phone and tablet safely, and even some tips for safeguarding your kids online. And if you want to go the extra mile, this book also explains some of the more interesting and important aspects of security such as encryption, password cracking, home networking, the Internet, VPN’s, and more – all in an easy-going style that’s fun to read!

“This is a great book for anyone with a computer. While nobody really likes to think about computer security, you ignore this book at your peril. Carey is a real expert on the subject and writes in a fun style that makes the topic approachable and most importantly ACTIONABLE.”

– Alan Forbes, author of “The Joy of PHP”