Releif Workers in a CyberSecurity Emergency
Disclaimer: This content is the result of my having survived several emergencies of varying effect sizes. Most of these ideas are rules of thumb, and not canned answers. As in any emergency your best outcome will be if you keep calm, consider many options, and flow from plan to backup plan as requried.
Maintaining Security while Visiting an Emergency Zone
If you enter a cybersecurity emergency zone with minimal electronics for communication purposes, i.e., a laptop and a cell phone, the following may be useful guidelines:
- Use an old, 'dumb', cell phone, as smart phones are suseptible to all kinds of intrusions and are difficult to contain once you leave the area.
- Your laptop will be the most secure if you do not update it and keep it physically secure. If necessary, keep the machine with you at all times.
- Remember that you are ethically obligated to prevent the spread of worms, so you should carefully contain the dirtiest electronics as you leave the area.
- Be pleasent to the people who live there, as they have to deal with the emergency on a daily basis while doing their best to maintain their economy.
- People want your help more than your money. Kindness goes a very long way.
If you want to help people, please, please, please start from a place of respect. The communities in South Florida are of varied racial and ethnic backgrounds. People there are from all over the world, and South Florida is currently addressing a global warming crisis whose discussion the rest of our country has ignored and repressed.
Having met a number of people there and knowing the strength of the community, I trust that relief workers will be treated very well, be as safe as possible, and greeted with a great deal of gratitude.
It behoves the rest of the country to help out South Florida, after decades of silently contributing to the problems of global warming, politics, and cyber-insecurity.
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- I hardly need to tell people how to deal with a slow emergency. People have quite a bit of extra time, so please ask people about themselves and make friends.
- If you know a government official, please ask them to declare a state of emergency in South Florida. The situation has reached a crisis level when a new person like me wants desperately to leave after being there only 4 months while also making lifelong friends.