For a direct link to our free data privacy and computer security resources, click here.

For data privacy advice in Europe, and some helpful articles, check out brother Mike's site.

For a basic reading list on information security, check this one on Amazon.

For disaster recovery planning and consulting, see Contingenz.


For a reading list on privacy, try Ray's list on Amazon.

For a computer security classic, try Cobb's Guide to PC & LAN Security

Stephen Cobb on The Rise of Dataflation

Q. How many personal data records reported were rpeorted as compromised in the first six months of 2005?

A. 66 million.

This number, and the phenomenon it represents, goes way beyond alarming, into previously uncharted territory. In fact, I respectfully suggest that we don't yet have a suitable vocabulary to describe what is happening to personal data today, let alone understand all of the implications. In an effort to remedy this situation I propose a new word for that vocabulary: dataflation.

Click here for the full column at

Do we need to be quite so gloomy? Information technology continues to improve the quality of life for millions of people, and IT continues to deliver productivity increases in many countries. There is plenty of scope for optimism, but the fact remains that every technology is a two-edged sword. The dark side of information technology threatens to deprive people of their privacy, and unless we get computer security just right, our reliance upon computers could undermine national security.

As an example of the complexity of this issue and the complex conflicts between IT and good intentions, check out this article on "Florida's Identity Theft Kit."

So where does security and privacy start? We think one of the best places to start is at home. That's why we put free data privacy and computer security resources on our web site. We think this will help spread understanding of what it takes to manage the privacy of personal information and the security of personal computer(s). Who are we to offer such advice? Hopefully, the rest of this page will explain.

Chey Cobb is a computer security expert with many years of experience, in both public and private sectors. She is a Certified Information System Security Professional and holds some of the highest U.S. government security clearances. She has spoken at many security conferences and authored two chapters of the Computer Security Handbook, 4th Edition (described by one reviewer as a "must have" for InfoSec newbies and professionals). Chey has co-authored several other books and written numerous articles, many of them intended to explain computer security to people who are not computer experts. She also wrote Network Security for Dummies and Crytpography for Dummies.

Stephen Cobb has 25 years experence in computer audit sndf security, helping companies, governments, and individuals to protect and manage their computer-based information. Formerly the Chief Security Executive of STSN (now iBAHN), Stephen has published several hundred articles on privacy, security, networking and IT. The author of more than two dozen text books, he contributed several chapters to the Computer Security Handbook, 4th Edition. He has chaired, key-noted, and presented at dozens of conferences and symposia around the world. The co-founder of several successful computer security companies, he helped create the Turntide technology that was acquired by Symantec in 2004 for $28 million.

Mike Cobb has an extensive background in high performance database systems. An accomplished software programmer, web site designer, database developer, and writer, Mike has published over a hundred articles on privacy and security, and recently co-authored Microsoft IIS Security (Osborne McGraw-Hill, 2003). As founder of CobWeb Applications he is responsible for the development of security software licensed by several interational companies, and the creation of a number of high volume web sites in both the public and private sector. Mike's web-based tools for financial data analysis, developed in conjunction with Quadrant Consultants, have been deployed by the UK Post Office, regional government offices, and several Fortune 500 companies. Mike is both a Certified Information Systems Security Professional and a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator. He is co-creator of IMCD, a powerful incident management tool produced by ContingenZ, a company that specializes in disaster recovery services .

Updated December, 2004 by webloke © Stephen Cobb
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