Protect Children from Identity Theft

Forbes provides some good guidance on protecting children from Identity Theft:

Freezing your child’s credit file helps prevent criminals from opening new accounts in your child’s name, but it is still prudent to monitor their credit periodically to check for fraudulent activity. You can breathe easier with a credit freeze applied to your accounts, but don’t get too complacent. The 2017 Equifax data breach highlights that there will always be vulnerabilities in the system. You need to stay vigilant – because no protection system is 100% effective. You can learn more about the credit freeze process for the three major credit reporting bureaus at their respective sites. Equifax: Online or by phone at 1-800-685-1111 Experian: Online or by phone at 1-888-397-3742 TransUnion: Online or by phone at 1-888-909-8872

4 Types of Work in IT

The Phoenix Project by George Spafford, Kevin Behr, Gene Kim is a good read about IT management. The authors narrate the challenges an organization goes through as it transitions into an agile, streamlined machine through the eyes of Bill, an IT manager, at Parts Unlimited. Some of the topics covered included:

  • Challenges adopting project management, change management and streamlining processes through the use of Kanban Boards
  • Compliance requirements with SOX and adopting frameworks such as COBIT
  • Transitioning away from the traditional waterfall development SDLC processes to an organization whose mindset is aligned with Agile and DevOps approaches

However, none of these organization transitions are possible until IT leadership understands where their employees’ time is consumed with IT work and this is where the book shines the most.

Brenton Johnson summarizes the four types of IT work well, however, my synopsis on these four buckets of IT work is:

Business Projects. These include business initiatives that encompass most development projects e.g. In higher education, these can include a new building, launching the new university website with a different CMS. Typically these projects reside and are managed by the Project Management Office, which tracks official projects in the organization.

Internal Projects: These include projects to develop internal applications that help IT Teams deliver services faster. Unfortunately, though exciting for IT team members to work on, many Internal Projects do not get the attention of the Project Management Office and thus are managed internally and independently with little oversite on scope, cost, and feature overruns. Since internal projects consume untold amounts of IT staff time and resources, these projects will often adversely affect progress on Business Projects.

Operational Changes: These include daily work performed by IT teams to plan, assess, build, test and deploy routine changes to keep the infrastructure running e.g. patching application, application upgrades, vendor software updates. Typically, this work directly supports finished Internal or Business Projects and can be referred to as Keeping Lights On (KLO) work.

Unplanned Work: These include tasks and work that is a direct result of a Business or Internal Project deliverable going down or a system issue affecting business operations. This type of work trumps all other categories and This type of work has the ability to put everything else on the backburner and impacts the go-live date for other categories of work.

Related Links:

The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win

Install dig on Windows

dig is a command line tool developed by BIND for querying DNS nameservers. Aside from DNS lookups, dig can help diagnose other DNS problems as well.

To install dig on Windows:

  1. Download the latest version of BIND from the ISC Download.
  2. Extract the downloaded files to a folder such as C:\Program Files\ISC BIND 9
  3. Run the BINDInstall.exe executable from C:\Program Files\ISC BIND 9
  4. Check the box beside Tools Only

5. Once BIND is installed, open System Properties. There are multiple methods to do this, however, one option is to right click on the Windows menu and select System Info

6. Click Advanced System Settings

7. Click Advanced

8. Click Environment Variables

9. Under System Variables, find Path and click Edit

10. Add C:\Program Files\ISC BIND 9\bin as a new variable and click OK

11. dig is now installed on your system

Reference Links:

dig Manual pages

Unroll.me

Unroll.me – is an interesting service that helps automate unsubscribing from mailing lists, but what caught my eye is their approach to describing data practices with a service that is clearly beneficial but comes at the cost of providing access to an individual’s or organization’s most sensitive data. Unroll.me’s How we use data page specifically addresses the following topics that every organization should strive to transparently share:

How we keep your data safe

What kind of data we collect

How we use your data

Who we share information with

Our commitment to transparency