A Proposal: Steve 2.0

CEATEC 2009 - 001

So it’s been a pretty interesting week. A bit of a perfect storm in terms of my meta-life, with mini-crashes, new data influx, changing environment and my typical neurotic breakdown. The result being that I have decided that I need a good cleanse/redesign/rebuild of my information otherself.
Trying to attack this a piece at a time has not yielded any good results, so I dusted off my Project Manager cap and am going to attempt to deal with this the old fashioned way.  When in doubt, reboot, reformat, reinstall.

Warning. This is super dorky technical junk.

So here is my plan of attack for Steve 2.0

Section 1. Data Management

  1. Organize all digital data
    1. Documents
    2. Media (created)
    3. Content (downloaded and purchased)
  2. Digitize all critical data

Section 2. Network Design

  1. Terminal configuration
    1. PC/Laptops
      1. Clean OS install and inventory of all software/versions
      2. Local storage for temporary/workspace use only
    2. Mobile/Tablet
      1. Configurations set for usage (primary, household, loaner)
  2. Servers
    1. Backup server setup.
      1. a. NAS
      2. b. No direct interaction. Daily backups of system by schedule
    2. Content server setup
      1. Raid enabled NAS
      2. uPnP/DNLA compliant media server
    3. Cloud data backup.
      1. Backup of mobile devices
      2. Backup of critical data and documents
      3. All backup data must be encrypted

Section 3. Data Security

  1. Digital Identity
    1. Online Account Management
      1. Inventory of all active online accounts
      2. All critical services have unique high security password
      3. Non critical services use disposable passwords and identity information
    2. Information Integrity
      1. All accounts updated with latest information/avatar
      2. Unused accounts closed and deleted when possible
  2. Network Security
    1. Firewall and Antivirus
      1. Protection set for home network and mobile devices
    2. VPN
      1. Configured for elected use on home internet and mandatory use while on public internet
    3. Mobile
      1. Mobile locate, lock and wipe enabled for all mobile terminals with private information stored

well, that’s my to do list for now.  Actually about 1/3 of it is already in place and another 1/3 will only take a few days to set up.  The rest gets a bit more complicated.  I hope to have the whole architecture set up within a couple of months or so.

I think to some people this might seem a bit extreme. Others are probably scoffing that this hardly guarantees safety on the net today.  I think both positions are accurate.  this is not by any means foolproof, nor is it something that most people would be able to set up for themselves.  I guess I would call this a reasonable solution for someone like me.  The fact that I haven’t prepared to this level is actually a bit of an embarrassment, but this will certainly take more work than most people would consider practical.  But times are changing and I guess I need to clean up this stuff sooner or later.  Something tells me sooner is better.

I’ve left out a lot of details. partially because it’s probably not a good idea to publicly post a blueprint to your digital home. Still I’d love to hear any ideas/comments/criticisms about this plan.  If you actually read it and don’t hate me by now, please leave your thoughts in the comments (or just tell me next time you see me).  I plan to post more about some aspects of this later on as well.


About Steve

Gadget Addict, Tokyo Resident and Techno-Luddite. Training, Solutions, and New Media Specialist. Not a fan of Mosquitoes.

Posted on July 2, 2011, in Culture, Media, Mobility, Technology, World Domination. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Disaster recovery plan

  2. What happen if any one part of your network fails?

  3. Matt from VT here. 🙂 Hope the summer is treating you well. If you’re looking for a decent way to keep/make secure single passwords I recommend KeePass Password Safe. I’ve started using it to help me manage passwords. The main benefit is that I have an easy way to store single unique passwords for individual sites that will not get dictionary attacked/rainbow tabled. It’s also now trivial for me to generate new passwords for sites so I can just redo my passwords however often I’d like. I also carry the database with me on a USB stick. It’s encrypted so if I lose it, it should give me enough time to get home and just reset all my passwords, and that way I also have access to them while I’m on the go.

  4. @Matt one thing I don’t like about password management tools is that they share a common concept that everybody want to avoid in case of disaster: dependence.
    I don’t want to depend on any critical tool making it a single failure point. I use to think about paranoid situations. For example, I’m running or escaping from something and I need to access my data in a internet caffe, so I want my pass to come to my mind right away. Maybe I’m wrong but what I’m doing right now is creating a strong, random password and then add a pattern to identify sites. So it’s + The magic word is also a kind of simple pass. For example my strong pass is uH66&4#dA and my magic word to login to this page is x$$thewesternworld.net so I only have to remember my strong pass, the simple one and check the site domain name. You can create other rules, like changing the top doman, instead of .net just .blog or in this case .steve 🙂

    One more thing, *never* saving passwords helped me to remember always my pass and practice it a lot, so I can easily remember weird character combinations. For the strong one, use a password generator, humans are predictable. For the rest, invent your own rule.

    Also to @steve I suggest to carry a minisd card with an encrypted file system using TrueCrypt. It’s open source and it’s available for all platforms. Create a common FAT filesystem. Copy the software TrueCrypt for all platforms, Linux, Mac and Win, you’ll never know which computer you will have access in a critical scenario. Then create an encrypted filesytem image on that SSD card. Inside that filesystem, put critical cada, like a scan of all your documents, credit cards, list of passwords, contacts, whatever you consider really important. Also there is one more advice to create the filesystem image with truecrypt, if you want to know, I’ll tell you in private. The micro or minissd card is so thin and easy to put in your wallet, inside some part of your clothe when you travel, whatever.

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