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Spy vs Spy - The Game of Cyber-Security

3 Tips in Cyber-Security and Personal Safety

This past month, I have had the great pleasure of learning more about Cyber-Security and keeping my online presence as secure as humanly possible. Unfortunately, my education came from 'hands on' learning as yet again, I had an issue arise. Fortunately, I had just attended a presentation by Patty Alonzo, M.E.T. of, who had shown us a way to create passwords that are much more secure than what I have ever used in the past, and it made the process of changing passwords much easier and the method she offered is quite simple and effective.

While going through this very lengthy and time consuming process, I kept thinking about how much I used to love reading 'Spy vs Spy' in Madd magazine years ago. It was my brother's magazine, and I just loved that cartoon strip and couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy. I was so intrigued with this cartoon, and always wondered who would come out on top. Of course, that was back before laptops, cell phones, and virtual games - all we had was our imaginations and our ability to read! Spy vs. Spy was created by Cuban expatriate cartoonist Antonio Prohías, who was looking to make a comic strip parodying the political ideologies of the Cold War. It debuted in MAD Magazine #60 in 1961. I wasn't concerned with why it was created way back then, I just knew that these two spies were always trying to outdo each other, get over on the other, and it all seemed to be such innocent fun!

These days, it is all too real, isn't it? We are constantly trying to keep up with online safety, and I am realizing that keeping up with it is going to be a never-ending process. In fact, I have decided that it will be a frequent subject of mine to post about, as I would like to believe I am the 'good' spy, the one who will not only win but help save her Country! (Or, at least help spread awareness on the subject).

Spy vs Spy Good Gal Cyber-Security Tip #1

STOP answering the phone for phone numbers you don't have already in your cell phone! The Baby Boomer generation is a generation that was brought up with letters, tv sets and telephones. We are accustomed to answering our phones, and I often ponder on how an instrument that was made to help us communicate and we used to look forward to finding out who was on the other end is now similar to one of the 'bad' spy's bombs - if we pick it up, we might end up giving out personal information to a scammer! Yes, you can put your phone number on the Do Not Call list, you can spend your day blocking phone numbers that you answer and it starts a scam call, or you can choose to simply NOT ANSWER!

Spy vs Spy Good Gal Cyber-Security Good Spy Tip#2

STOP placing your bills in your open mailbox! Unless you have a box that is completely secure including an accompanying key, those who are inclined can grab your checks, wash your signature off of it, and use that check. It is best to take your mail to your local USPS and drop it into the outside box or take inside. Besides, not only will they cash your check, but they now have your personal information and can get online and go to town with all their devious plans!

Spy vs Spy Good Spy Cyber-Security Tip#3

STOP throwing your empty plastic prescription containers into the recycle bins WITHOUT soaking the containers in sudsy water and peeling or scrubbing off the label so your personal information is available - including your Doc! I learned this while living in California. People can go through the garbage, find these bottles, and if they are the Bad Spy, can get tons of information off that little label and once again create havoc in your life!

Yes, it takes more time to do these things, but protecting you or your loved ones Cyber life is worth it. Be a GOOD Spy, keep learning about Cyber-Security and Personal Safety tips, and help create a better world!

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