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Sometimes funny, sometimes informative, the articles and comic strip of the Cyber Falls Sentinel is where the town turns to for the latest cybersecurity news affecting their lives.

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Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Turns into Share-Fest

October 1, 2018
Guest writer, Homer Harwood

The crowd was energized for the grand unveiling of Cyber Falls, a celebration of the town’s commitment to data protection. Councilman Kyle declared: "Today in Cyber Falls we celebrate our past, our future, and the safety of information." Unfortunately, the councilman went on to "wish Anthony Overshario good luck on his upcoming medical procedure." But he wasn’t alone: someone from the crowd shouted something about Mr. Overshario’s insurance policy; another person commented loudly on the summer vacation home of the attending doctor; and someone mentioned how excited they were for Mr. Overshario's upcoming promotion.

The crowd clapped as family pictures and e-mail addresses were shared with the dozens of strangers who had gathered at the ceremony.

Granted, Cyber Falls is a small town ... but citizens of Cyber Falls, we need to talk.

Remember, it's everyone's responsibility to protect information--and that doesn’t mean blurting out other people’s personal information, sharing every aspect of your life on social media, or giving away your contact info willy-nilly to strangers in a crowd.

On this lucky and happy occasion, the mayor of Cyber Falls stepped in to offer a word of warning for all in attendance: "In celebration of today’s ribbon-cutting, I recommend thinking twice about your own data: where you store it, how you share it, and who may be listening."

Well said, mayor! Being just a little more aware may stop this outbreak of security incidents from affecting Cyber Falls and towns across the country.

Today's Comic

Featured artist: Eris

Comic strip

My Interview with MediaPRO’s Dr. Tom

September 30, 2018
Contributing editor, Wayne Phillips

At first I was intimidated. After all, this was THE Dr. Tom. You know, the same security awareness expert who got self-help celebrity Opus to admit that she clicks those "one weird trick" ads. However, as soon as we settled in and I got my recorder working again, I knew his stay in Cyber Falls would be a welcome one.

"If I could say just one thing to your readers," he told me, "it’s to take cybersecurity a step at a time."

At first, I was incredulous. I mean, we read about the big nasty data hacks all the time—big businesses, with their huge budgets and IT departments that can’t stay safe ... what chance do folks like you or I have?

But Dr. Tom reassured me: "There are so many things we can do to stay safe that sometimes we feel overwhelmed. That’s normal," he said. It’s not about reorganizing your life around security. As Dr. Tom suggests, it’s about picking one or two of these things and incorporating them into your day-to-day: "Take it one step at a time, start with something that’s easy. Make it a habit. And in time you’ll build everyday security into your life."

Good advice, Dr. Tom—something I think the people of Cyber Falls need to hear!

Today's Comic

Featured artist: Eris

Comic strip

6-Year-Old Essay Winner, Maggie Sweetapple, Shares a History of Encryptopher Passwordington

September 15, 2018

"My Hero: Encryptopher Passwordington"

I want to tell you about my hero, Encryptopher Passwordington.

Encrytopher Passwordington was a great person. He came to Cyber Falls aboard the iFlower in 1622. He was renowned for his brains, muscles, and expert security practices. He never let a "scallywag" or "mountebank" take his doubloons and other treasures.

He was tall with a big moustache but had a friendly smile and was nice to everyone. He wore nice clothes, but not too nice because he wasn’t so rich because he would give his extra money to poor, orphaned children.

Encryptopher was super helpful. He would help people keep themselves safe basically all the time. He would go from town to town to stop bad people from harming the nice people. These bad people were like the hackers of today but actually lived hundreds of years ago. They would be old and dead now, but were alive and bad when Mr. Passwordington was on his adventures. Like a true hero, Encryptopher Passwordington would not run from danger, but instead be really brave and stand up to these old-time hackers.

One time he was before the Mayor of Cliqueland, who was not a nice man like Encryptopher. The mean mayor said, "Say the password because I’m the boss!" This is the time that Encryptopher would go down in history to become probably the most famous figure in security. He said his famous words:

"A circumspect demeanor wards from nefarious intent."

Basically what this means is that you should always be cautious to stop bad guys. The bad guys want your info because the internet is a cesspool of crime and slimeballs; at least that’s what my parents say.

So this is why I always try to have a "circumspect demeanor" in my life—to keep the bullies and other bad guys away. You should follow the words of Encryptopher Passwordington, too. He’s not just a super old dead guy—he’s a hero who can help you ward off the bad guys, like I do.

Today's Comic

Featured artist: Eris

Comic strip