Tuesday Sweep: 12 December 2017

Your weekly reminder to back up your data, update software and otherwise pay attention to your digital environment. (Oh, and to go to the CRASH Space meeting…)

Maintenance work requires some serious grit. Typically boring, by definition repetitive, low on immediate positive feedback, I almost couldn’t do it today when so much seemed more urgent.

I’d like to share a big dose of “worth it.” though.

graph with multiple lines trending downward. They represent hunger, poverty, illiteracy, child mortality, pollution
The world is getting better. via Johann Knorberg

Want more details? Check out https://ourworldindata.org/. This work got done one day at a time.  Progress has happened, and can continue to happen, no matter if today is a local minimum.  And real progress takes grunt work. So I saw this graph and it gave me a little boost.  Am I still exhausted that some of these fights have to keep being fought, yes.  Is it worth it? The long term data says yes.

Jump in Here

  • Welcome. If you haven’t been following along, it’s okay. You’re not behind, you’re just where you are.
  • I highly recommend the coach tool at the Crash Override Network has a great step by step break down for many of the same introductory steps we did here. There’s a new one on the street: https://securityplanner.org Haven’t used it but it comes recommended by people I trust.
  • Feeling more ambitious? Review the list of OneThing articles and pick one to catch up on.


The basics.

  • Updated software recently? Pick a new device to check on today.
  • Backups still up and running? When was the last time you made a clean disk image? Here’s a new great article on how to design a backup system.
  • App and Password Gardening: Delete a low quality app from your phone or delete an account that you don’t need that doesn’t make you happy. Digital cruft builds up. Delete it. If you’re keeping it, can you move the password to your password manager (delete it from everywhere else) and add two factor authentication?
  • Move to offline archive & delete your histories where you can find them.
  • Double check privacy settings on your phone, social media accounts. The folks running the companies can change the TOS and add “features” before you notice them.
    • NEW: https://ssd.eff.org/en/module/protecting-yourself-social-networks
    • NEW: https://ssd.eff.org/en/module/facebook-groups-reducing-risks
  • Have you frozen your credit yet?


Where do you scan for news?

  • NetNeutrality. Call the FCC. Call your congress people. Here are some scripts.  This is the one thing.


Feeling dumb or stupid about how not-l33t you are? Angsting over some silly thing you “know better than to do.” Stop. That isn’t useful. Regret is only of use if it prompts an actual change in behavior. Maybe it’s NOT you that sucks. Could be it’s the technology and you could come up with a fix that would help lots of people. Look forward and make a plan.


We are a community. You are a welcome part of it.

  •  Did you learn something cool in your sweep? Make something? Share it!
  • Speak up
  • Give
  • Show up at CRASH Space tonight!


I make things that do stuff. The best, though, is teaching others to do the same. Founder of @crashspacela Alum of @ITP_NYU

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