In episode five of Podcaster Stories, I sit down with Jeff Esposito, Global Head of Regional Social Media at Kaspersky, and co-host of the Transatlantic Cable Podcast.
After being an early adopter of social media, and working on the PR and communications side of VistaPrint, Jeff started at Kaspersky, where he uses the company’s podcast to educate both consumers and business of the importance of online security and data protection.
In this week’s show, I sit down with Jeff to talk about the changing face of security, and some of the things you can do to protect yourself.
Topics on the menu include:
- Why the Kaspersky podcast was launched
- How the dark web operates
- How to monitor what your kids are doing online
- How to protect your family from hackers
- Some simple tips on securing your home network without breaking the bank
- Why you should never pick up random USB sticks
Settle back for an informative show about security, what privacy online really looks like, and why you should never assume businesses have your best interests at heart.
Connect with Jeff:
Contact me: email@example.com
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The following transcript has been created using an automated service, so may not be 100% accurate.
Hi, and welcome to Podcaster Stories each week we will have a conversation with Podcast those across all mediums and share their story. What motivates them, why they start to do a show at the groove show and more, but also talk about their personal lives and some of the things that have happened that made them the person they the afternoon. And now here’s your host Danny Brown Hey guys, welcome to another episode of Podcaster Stories or where we talk to the people behind the voices of the show is that we listened to this week. I’ve got a friend of mine from Boston, Massachusetts. Who’s a, one of the, the main communication guys at Kaspersky. Did I say that? Right? I’d never get that word.
We did it because it’s Kaspersky now we rebranded in it’s a Russian name. So it’s hard to say
Because especially for a scope you’ve got canceled. Yeah. So I’ve got Jeff Esposito on from As you mentioned Kaspersky so I’m going to let Jeff mentioned it, but I’m, I’m just going to stop right there. And we’re going to be talking about the show that you know, where it came from, the idea is behind the et cetera, and go from there. So Jeff I over to you?
Jeff (1m 5s):
Hey, so thanks for having me. Danny like you said, I am, you know, I’m the global head of regional social media at Kaspersky and I am one of the two hosts surrounding our podcast called The Transatlantic Cable podcast, where we talk about Security and ways that both consumers and businesses could look up their Security game.
Danny (1m 24s):
So the Podcast Dan is directed, are both a consumer and business that is not just like a lot of corporate, but Podcast its not just four businesses and you’re trying to educate, you know?
Jeff (1m 35s):
Yeah. So when we started it out, like we know that the security is not always the sexiest news topic. Yeah. Everybody, everybody gets excited when you hear about it, like the shadow brokers leaks or you know, wiki-leaks with things or even an Edward Snowden. But when you look at the end of the day, there’s a lot of bad stuff that happens on a weekly basis when we started it, it was more on educating people in 20 minutes or less was the original goal, give five Security stories with people who need to care about, you know, we tend to keep it where it’s that weird mix of businesses and consumers. But we also veer a lot towards the, you know, the Podcast has evolved over time. So we’re looking at doing a spinoff now with a team members of mine, from Dubai and Istanbul to take on the more B to C version and my, myself and my partner, Dave Buxton, who is over in the UK are going to talk about more towards things that are small to enterprise level of businesses, which are focusing on bigger types of stories versus the Gen Hey, Facebook got breached.
Jeff (2m 36s):
If Facebook had a data breech, here’s what we need to know or hay tic-tacs owned by China. So this is what you need to know type of thing.
Danny (2m 41s):
Okay. So it’s going to more niche than for the, the existing Podcast that an offer on a consumer or only version?
Jeff (2m 47s):
Yeah, its, its one week it’s when we worked on, because as you said before, it’s a very hard to juggle, you know, something that security related for an enterprise level of customer down to somebody who’s, you know, just a person like me or you that are looking for security to keep our internet browsing save. So I think when we look at it, there was a clear need to delineate things. And also, but at the end of the day we still have a lot of fun with it. You know, you know me, I can’t not have fun in something I do is not going to be boring. So we, we make, we make our fair share of things. And I know that that people listen to can’t see it, but I have my little pink dinosaur here. This is, this is my curse button. So when I’m going to whatever I’m going to curse, I squeeze it because the editing has become too hard to cur they cut out my curse.
Jeff (3m 32s):
So, so we try to keep it that way and, and it kind of brings some humor to it because pinkie is, is quite sexy.
Danny (3m 38s):
So I mean, I’m guessing that’s being pressed quite a few times then knowing yourself.
Jeff (3m 43s):
Yeah. We had one episode where I squeezed it for two minutes straight and then I saw that I still messed up and said a curse word or five. It has to be cut out ’cause it was, it was just one of those things that, you know, we talked about a story that was, you know, it was related to child predators online and what they were doing. So it was a story about how there was a, a forum that was trading access to get involved with for lack of a better word kiddie porn. So it is, I’m not sure any parent can talk about that without having negative feelings about
Danny (4m 17s):
Oh no, for sure. I know when we, when I started the, the marketing on tap podcast with Sam Fiorella, one of the others we spoke about one week was the dark web. And that was the topic again, to your point, you know, as a parent, you, you do to get triggered, you know, to use our overused word and, and it’s natural. So I could imagine, you know, some of the things,
Jeff (4m 36s):
But it’s a fair point and in the dark web is a nasty place
Danny (4m 40s):
And, and I’m sure like you must necessarily like something that I wanted to ask actually ’cause of the, the topic of the Podcast itself. And is there any sort of challenges on how far you can go on the topic to discuss and what you can know and what, you know, personally from a security point of view is if it’s something that you can see because you don’t want to scare people, for example,
Jeff (4m 59s):
Well, I think there is a very fine line. Like you can go full on Fudd and make some money really scared and that’s easy to do, but that’s not fun. And I think when we look at Stories to any, we really take a delicate view of it, of, Hey, is this, so we actually have a decent news. Filter like, we don’t go by the fake news. So something that isn’t reported on a credible site, if we’re looking at something like with a data breach, how credible is the source, is this legal something that somebody going to, and also we have to put it on the corporate Head of is this in line with our company’s messaging while we will bring up the threats about it, we will also tell you how to keep yourself safe. So, you know, you know, for example, the story we talked about about the dark web and stuff happening with kids, we spun it into a whole area of how do you talk to your kids about what they’re sharing online?
Jeff (5m 46s):
And it’s, it’s one of the few times that I’ll actually agree with a lot of the things that is done by both the Google and a Facebook and having age limits for accountants, because there are certain things that kids be doing on the web, but also, you know, it makes you rethink about, you know, some of the things we thought about when both of us were coming up in the social media industry, has it opened. I think if I could go back to 2006, 2007 Geoff, you know how some of the things that I did now that then are, are fully questionable. Now, when you look at how we’re looking at, you know, privacy and things like that. So, you know, I also hold myself to, to my own part of Gilt on certain things that are done in the past our sins to the father.
Jeff (6m 26s):
But now you look at, you know, it’s out there that you don’t want to scare people. You want to just be able to give them real. Topics ’cause look, if you tell any parent, Hey, look, there’s probably naked pictures of your kid out on the web. You know, the first thing my parents are going to want to do is grab one of the phones and be like, no, no, you can’t have one of these go back to the dumb phone. Right. Which, which isn’t, which isn’t the right way to do it. And it’s more, you know, how do you educate? And that’s, that’s what we look at it for us is educational and the versus the fear because, you know, fear is easy to do, you know? And, and, and we’re not a government, that’s not our job to make people scared. All right.
Danny (6m 60s):
And again, I mean, obviously how old are your kids again?
Jeff (7m 3s):
I’ve got, you know, so it’s usually going to be so seven and nine are going to be at your digital kids. So it’s,
Danny (7m 9s):
It would be similar to that because I feel like I find it. My friends have got teenage kids that are some of the stories they tell you about trying to get them to do something or keep them safe online. For example, is very different from the conversations we’d have and with our kids’. And I guess for you, and when your kids, because different ages, is that something that Kaspersky could help you and it’s with just, you know, based on age, this is what you should be doing to look out for it to them.
Jeff (7m 31s):
Sure. Yeah. We’ve got it. Over on our blog at Kaspersky dot com slash blog. There’s a number of articles out there. Plus we do also offer a product called safe kids, which is something, if it’s a parental control for devices. So if you install it on a kid’s Android device or tablet, you can actually start to see what stuff people are doing with parental, because that was the controls. And because of this whole COVID quarantine stuff, like one of the things I really liked that a lot about lately is we have to go by the kids’ Chromebooks because that’s where the school, those there there’s stuff going on. And what I found really cool. It was some of the parental filters that are built in when you tie them to a parent account that like, for example, you can stop the kids from visiting certain sites.
Jeff (8m 14s):
And that’s, that’s what we found out is important. But I think that the one part it was gonna sound silly is almost go back to the approach of you, you know, what our grandparents had. You’ve got to be open with the kids and talking to them, but also nothing’s done in a private room. So like I remember growing up the telephone was only on the wall in the kitchen and that’s where he had to talk on the phone. And the same thing holds true. And now with our kids are like, the computers had to be used within our sight so that we can actually make sure they’re not doing anything because you know, even a YouTube kids, you know, my son was watching something on there the other day. And some twisted person past by Google is Filter by turning, like they had a Nerf gun battle, but turned almost into looking like bullets in the after effects.
Jeff (8m 58s):
Right? So it’s like this and it’s got like, it, it was really bad. And I was like, this is what shows up. Or if they watch YouTube on the television, now everybody’s got a smart TVs. You can’t opt out of the ads. And like sometimes kids are watching shows or like whatever songs they’re looking for. One of the commercials is for a damn horror movie.
Danny (9m 16s):
Nah, for sure. I’m like you say, I know that it can’t be easy. You know, I have been as big, huge social corporations. I’m trying to get the right, you know, the right line. But I think it still could improve a lot of that algorithm in to making sure stuff like that doesn’t pop up.
Jeff (9m 29s):
Yeah. And I think, I think they’re doing a number of steps to get in that direction. Are they there yet know? And I think the problem comes down is how much staff could you allocate it to this? Because you need people to actually do a Filter machine learning is great. But when it comes down to a certain content, the only way that you can check it is where the human eye and know these are the ones that job that’s a crappy job. I, I would never want that job.
Danny (9m 53s):
And I, I would say just to get a stress and a lot of the PTSD, it must come from some of the stuff that you, you were watching. It.
Jeff (9m 60s):
There is a really good article about that. I forget if I forget what publication it was in, but they talk to the content editors. It might have been the Washington post or motherboard had a story where they talk to the content editors at both Facebook and Google. And they said, all of them had a case of PTSD by the end of like the first month.
Danny (10m 19s):
Wow. Now I just showed you some of the stuff that they must go on there must be in a half day and look through,
Jeff (10m 24s):
Well, I think some of them too got hired. Like some of them were for Arabic speaking countries. So immediately it, it goes towards like, they are here filtering terror groups based on this area. And that’s not something that you really can look through, you know?
Danny (10m 37s):
So how can I Security Podcast has it been any topics that you have discussed? Cause you don’t know about sure. One 30, one 40 at the moment we want to call.
Jeff (10m 46s):
Yeah. I think it’s something like that. Like one 30, one 32, something like that.
Danny (10m 49s):
So has there been any topics have surprised you and Dave the most, either through naivety of people that were scammed or businesses that just had the most basic one-on-one security issue or anything like that, that is go over there. The last thing, you know, a hundred plus shows.
Jeff (11m 5s):
So there was a few of them that really stood out to us. You know, I’m thinking about it, you know, perhaps the one that gets us the most and I always feel bad whenever we do it, but we rip on Facebook so much. There they are an easy target, but a lot of the things that they do, you know, and just that people still trust them. Like the amount of trust that people have in, in Facebook itself is quite terrifying, especially when you know how their business model is made, especially with selling the targeted ads. So that’s one spot that, that always gets me. But another one actually goes out to How careless. People are You know, for example, I think this was one or two years ago and somebody in the British government lost a USB stick on the Metro that had the Queen’s rout to Heathrow airport, but also like a Security setup of when the Royal family goes through Heathrow.
Jeff (12m 2s):
Oh wow. Of what the protocols we’re. So when you think about that, its just like, how do you, how do you do that? And I think if you, if you look down and you look like people like will pick up the USBs and plug them in when they find them, that’s the other thing that scares me because that’s one of those things that nobody thinks about. But as a lot of malicious things that people will put onto the USB ports and could really screw up somebody’s computer just by plugging it in.
Danny (12m 26s):
And I like, you see a note of that, but I guess its security is a factor or what’s on this and you want to check it out. Right. But if you say, as soon as you are open and click on one of these files or something, that’s it you’re hooked.
Jeff (12m 34s):
Oh, you don’t even have to put it on a file. Like there is so, so one of the things that I, this is where I am a researcher from Google had done research a few years ago at the hacker conference, black hat that I had went to and he had a report, they worked to a college or university and had a bunch of these USB sticks and they dropped them around campus to see how many people would pick them up. And it was over 40% of the USBs that were picked up, were installed into a computer. And what they did was when it goes in, it loads a file that when they report back to where they, where the computer was, it was a non malicious area. But it’s still with something that you’re telling me that if I, if I went and greet, reach down, you are going to plug this in. Maybe it has something I don’t have it.
Jeff (13m 16s):
It shouldn’t be. And that’s how a lot of criminals will get into businesses. Like a lot of times they’ll, they’ll do a USB drop to hopefully somebody incorporation X, Y, or Z, we’ll plug it into their computer and they get into the network.
Danny (13m 28s):
And I guess for so many smart applications at home, now you get your smart refrigerator or for example, you’ve got obviously or your echo dot and all of that. And Alexa, and I guess that is a pretty easy way of, for hackers to gain access to your own personal security systems at home.
Jeff (13m 42s):
Yeah. That’s, that’s a very big won the internet of things or the internet of shit, whatever you want to call it. There are any, any little thing that is a, is a way in to them. The other problem is when everybody gets these devices built, they’re hoping for a convenience part. So you don’t, you get an a, you know, Amazon wants you to buy Alexa ’cause it helps you by more stuff on Amazon. You want an Amazon dot or Alexa in a house because you could play music whenever you want to get the weather whenever you want, or even in a refrigerator connected to the internet. I don’t know why you need that, but I’ll go with it. But a lot of times these devices have the same username and password that are default on them. All right. So if you don’t change it, there, there is a whole bunch of sites like a showdown or a census, which our website, you can go to app and scan for devices that are hooked up to the internet.
Jeff (14m 30s):
And a lot of times people get into them. I think, you know, you probably have seen many of the stories about how a parent ha had this wifi enabled baby monitor. But now if somebody is talking through it, it’s because somebody finds the address at a device and is usually admin password or a password password. And Boom there until the device and could control it from somewhere else.
Danny (14m 55s):
That’s scary. And that would say, yes, the The. So, you know, the convenience of smart homes is, is awesome. But then you got the flip side. Obviously
Jeff (15m 4s):
I don’t have any of those things in my house,
Danny (15m 6s):
But I guess what can it Kaspersky you, you, you know, you, you pretty much allow them. Right.
Jeff (15m 10s):
But I think when you, when you look at it, like even on the router, like if, if you think about it, how many people changed the password on their router,
Danny (15m 16s):
Right? Yeah. That it comes with a default one that’s already set up
Jeff (15m 20s):
And it’s there and it’s printed on the back of it, which makes it even worse. But I think when you look at it, like those are all of the things that I like working here, like how I came from a printing car company before this is a Vista print, and now I’m here doing security. And I’m like, wow, this is kind of sketchy stuff.
Danny (15m 34s):
Especially if it’s a smart printer, all I can do some 3d printing or whatever.
Jeff (15m 37s):
Well, you know, there was that whole Well. Yeah, that’d be pretty cool. But then the other one with the, the, the printer, it was like the Pewdie pie thing from a few years ago, like when they are, who is having the battle of who was the top of YouTube star with some Indian guy in his fans, went and found connected printers and were printing out letters to subscribe to the Pewdie pie. That’s scary too much time on it.
Danny (15m 59s):
Oh, a way to much the same map. So, so on that note, then what, I mean also did a whole bunch of advice on the podcast and I will drop all the links to the shows and the blog, et cetera, in the show notes. But M what piece of advice would you give to either an and an individual consumer on a small business owners that may not have that the funds to get huge, you know, our corporate firewall, et cetera, what a piece of advice would you give them on making themselves a secure as possible online?
Jeff (16m 26s):
Well, I think there’s a few things. One of them is getting a, a Security, you know, any, any type of business or any type of home needs a security solution on their computers. There’s a number of free ones out there. You know, if you use Microsoft devices, defender is actually a, a, you know, a serviceable option. But one of the things to think about too is whenever you make a network, whether it’s at home or at your office has made a variety of them. So in my home right now, I’ve got my home network, which is the cable connected to it. And things like that, my guests network, which anybody coming to the house can connect to, if they get the password from me, and then I’ve got my work network, which is completely separate. So I have, you know, you can see it in my office, but there is another router sitting in my office it’s for mine, but I don’t let anybody else on to those ones.
Jeff (17m 13s):
And also make sure, like the basic thing is, make sure you’re changing all of the passwords because the basic passwords or where people are going to get in trouble. If, you know, if you’re using devices, you know, look at having different passwords for every site, a password manager is a great way to remember those instead of using Danny is cute. One through three for, for every site or Your or your children’s names and birthdays. Those are all things that are easy to guess. Another area to is just described to a service call. Have I been pawned it’s have I been pawned.com and pretty much I’m this guy, Troy hunt, run’s a site at any time, your email address is access to a data breach. It will email you about it.
Jeff (17m 53s):
So, you know what information is extra out there to be careful in terms of phishing emails or looking into if we need to change their passwords. And then if you’re looking at it like an extra layer of security on things, you know, there is security keys right now, there is like a little key, a key fobs you’d put on your computer and they’re called Fido keys, which allow you to log in just from plugging in a key into your computer. And those are just an extra level of security that you can have on accounts. It’s a two factor authentication. And I think, you know, one of the things that also helps too, is making sure you update your software and any virus programs quite regularly, because you know, let’s face it. There is not a D you know, we become ever dependent on tech.
Jeff (18m 33s):
So all of these things, you know, while you like to say software is perfect, when it comes out, it’s not, there is always a new version or an update, and it’s really something to, to, to update as you go along.
Danny (18m 45s):
Yeah. Okay, cool. No, flipping it over it a little bit now for people that they may or may not know yet, what are some things that not a lot of people know about you, but it might surprise them.
Jeff (18m 58s):
So this is a really funny one. And I shared this at, at a, at an offsite meeting while we were still allowed to do offsite meetings. I probably traveled about 16 to 20 times a year. Usually international. And one of the things that I despised the most in the world is flying. So I, I hate, I hate traveling on airplanes and it’s kind of ironic knowing that, you know, 16 to 20 times a year, I’m flying internationally. My short, my shortest trip last year, since this year is all out the window was to, so last year it was to Florida on a family vacation. The second shortest was Las Vegas. I should know the second shortest flight it took last year. It was to the UK.
Jeff (19m 39s):
So to London was a second shortest longest was to Singapore
Danny (19m 44s):
The last, almost a full day there. So it was more than a full day of fun times. So I go and do you have to take anything? Then you say you don’t like flying too. You have to take anything or did you just, what happens? All right. That was the good stuff.
Jeff (19m 58s):
I might take that one, but then to avoid jet lag, I I’ve become like the human Guinea pig for a sleeping pills to catch up on jet lag. So I take melatonin and like this I’m the NyQuil stuff, the Zs or whatever it is, I mix those two things and it puts me out to sleep, to catch up with the, the areas, but on planes, I don’t like to be, I’d rather be, have too many boos in me that have a pills because I’ve tried some pills on the plane. And if you get woken up, do you have a really bad flight? I’d prefer to just have alcohol alcoholics to kind of deal with those. Cause they know how to deal with myself being drunk.
Danny (20m 29s):
I like losing a, a, a, a dollar bet, for example. Exactly. Yeah. All right. What was the Jeff like I say it, I appreciate you coming out today and I’m sure like the, the stuff you’ve been sharing, it’s really going to help a lot. People. I know it will be doing, you know, a recheck in my, my ride or a passport and go home. Security I never thought actually, a boat set up a guest wifi account for people, you know, the family over it or whatever.
Jeff (20m 52s):
Then you can also stop people from so all of your devices or tools, like let’s say your PlayStation or Xbox, your Chrome cast, you’re your cable. All of that stuff is hooked into the whole network and yours and your wife’s stuff is set in to there. That’s for you guys to be on. But on the guest network, nobody can truthfully jump onto another area. Plus when you’ve had the guest network set up, you can actually determine what people are on line and what they’re doing at your house. So like, let’s say you have Sam over the house and he starts looking at a weird websites. You can look back to the device level to see his, like, you know, looking at scotch where if for some reason, Ginny ever wants to come up from Chicago, you’ll be able to see her looking at like all of her magazine stuff that she loves.
Danny (21m 36s):
It’s just going to love that show up early. I know that I have it. All right. Okay. So you have, so, so people are wanting to learn more as a, by listening to the podcast or reading a Security blog or just, you know, hanging out with you, where is the best fit as a place to find you online? It
Jeff (21m 51s):
Is in the best place to get in touch with me. Online is Twitter. It’s at Jeff expo. And I’ll happily talk to anybody on there. Yeah. It usually most people
Danny (21m 60s):
The block and felt, okay. I like to say I will. I’ll make sure that I dropped the, yeah. The link to the, where the podcast and the blog done in the show notes. All right, brother. Thank you. No worries. I appreciate being our guys. So this has been another episode of Podcaster Stories if you enjoy this week’s show, make sure to subscribe. So you don’t miss an episode when it comes up and you can either find it on your favorite podcast app or Podcaster Stories dot com until the next time take care and we’ll speak soon. You’ve been listening to podcasts are stories. If you enjoy this week’s show, be sure to subscribe. So you don’t miss an episode and feel free to leave a review on iTunes to help others who are in the show it to you. And we’ll see you at the next time on Podcaster Stories.