Translating Pop Music, Getting Hacked, and Web Security with Greg Stromire7:07 with Craig Dennis
In this episode we’ll be talking to Teacher, activist, and privacy software engineer Greg Stromire.
Hi, I'm Craig, welcome to the Treehouse Show. 0:00 The Treehouse Show is our weekly conversation with the Treehouse community. 0:02 [SOUND] In this episode, we'll talk with the Treehouse teacher, 0:05 activist, and security fanatic, Greg Stromire. 0:11 Thank you for being on the show, Greg. 0:15 >> Yeah, sure, no problem. 0:17 >> I have a question for you. 0:18 How did you get started in technology? 0:18 >> Well, I was the youngest in my family, so 0:23 I just sort of default became the IT person. 0:26 >> [LAUGH] That's cute. 0:29 >> So yeah, this was around the time of AOL instant messaging. 0:32 They'd send those America Online free trial disks were around for everything. 0:37 So yeah, I just did that, and also, 0:41 I remember having a pretty cool computer science class in high school. 0:44 And my teacher, his name was Craig, and 0:51 one of our assignments was to create a Prince translator. 0:54 >> Prince like the- >> Prince like the artist 0:58 formerly known as. 1:00 >> Okay, right, awesome. 1:01 >> So we take this English, sort of prose text, and 1:03 then run it through this translator. 1:06 And it would take the Y-O-U and turn it into capital U. 1:09 >> [LAUGH] >> And the F-O-R into the number four. 1:13 >> Like I would die. 1:17 >> I would die for you. 1:18 >> Nice. >> That's his song. 1:18 >> Awesome. 1:20 >> And I just remember being super impressed at how fast it was, and 1:22 of course, it didn't make any mistakes. 1:25 And just this concept of learning a language that also did stuff, 1:27 I thought it was really cool. 1:31 >> Yeah, nice, awesome. 1:32 So that inspired you to go on. 1:34 And now you're here teaching a course for us. 1:37 Can you talk about what it is that you teach? 1:39 >> Yeah, so I teach a computer literacy, or a security literacy course. 1:41 And it's really a little bit different than the other TreeHouse courses, 1:45 where it's not really any programming. 1:50 It's really just how to be safe, secure, and 1:52 private while you're doing online things. 1:56 >> So when I think of that stuff, well, kind of what I think about is like, 1:59 do you change your password a lot? 2:01 >> Right, so there's this website that I talk about in my class that you can go to, 2:03 is called haveibeenpwned.com. 2:08 And you just go there and you enter your email address. 2:10 And then it'll show you if that email address has been part of known breaches. 2:13 So there's lots of examples of email services or 2:20 other music streaming services that have had their databases breached or 2:23 their info leaked or otherwise hacked. 2:29 And so if your email shows up there, you'll want to go and 2:32 change your password immediately for that service. 2:37 >> Well, that's awesome, that's cool that they put that out. 2:41 [LAUGH] That would make me feel at ease. 2:43 >> Yeah, and really, I've gone there and I saw that mine's been hacked. 2:45 It really happens to almost everyone, and it's really not even your fault. 2:51 Their system got hacked. 2:56 But it just means that you put in a little extra effort, and 2:57 then you can get to be way more secure. 3:00 >> Okay, awesome. 3:03 >> It's important to have really strong passwords and 3:04 have unique passwords for each site that you use. 3:07 You don't wanna reuse passwords. 3:11 And you don't wanna use weak passwords, 3:12 where there's only my name plus 123, or something like that. 3:15 >> Okay, right, so I keep that in passwords.txt on my desktop. 3:19 >> There's different levels of security. 3:24 There's great tools out there, like password managers that can really help. 3:27 They can generate strong passwords, they can store your passwords. 3:31 So you really just have to remember maybe one password, and 3:35 then the rest of them are stored for you. 3:38 And you never have to think about it again. 3:40 >> Okay, cool. >> That's really helpful like that. 3:42 >> Do you talk about that in the course? 3:43 >> I do, yeah. >> Okay, 3:45 cool, what sorts of other things are in there? 3:45 Just a teaser. 3:49 >> Yeah, sure, so it's all around, 3:49 you wanna look for HTTPS when you're sort of browsing online. 3:53 And that's just the little prefix to it in the address bar. 3:58 And that can kind of signal that your browsing is secure. 4:02 >> I actually saw a website recently that said should my site use HTTPS. 4:06 And it seems like it's one of those things where you go to it and it says whether or 4:11 not, but you just go to yes. 4:14 [LAUGH] >> Yeah, [LAUGH] nice, 4:16 it's a pretty clear thing and there's some great tools out there for programmers, for 4:17 developers that are creating their sites to use things like Let's Encrypt. 4:22 Which makes it super easy to get set up with SSL and HTTPS, so 4:26 it's really sort of a we should be all getting there point. 4:31 >> Okay, cool, so, if I'm going to a website, and 4:35 it doesn't have an s at the end of it, what's happening there? 4:38 >> So, basically, a lot of your traffic, lot of your communication back and 4:41 forth is sort of in the clear, and other people can sort of view it. 4:47 And this may not be a big deal. 4:52 If you're just going to a sports website or 4:54 just looking at movie times, you're not really passing sensitive information. 4:59 But if you log in for anything, if you're trying to purchase anything, that stuff 5:04 can get really sensitive, and you'll wanna make sure that that is protected. 5:08 >> Yeah, and that's interesting, we're at a time, I think, 5:13 where we're using our laptop out in public more, right? 5:15 >> Absolutely, yeah. >> So I'm at a coffee shop, 5:18 an unnamed coffee shop. 5:20 >> Sure. >> And I'm sending my data, somebody 5:22 sitting there at the coffee shop could be- >> Absolutely, yeah. 5:25 >> While I look at my movie times. 5:30 >> That's right, that's exactly what I talk about in my course, 5:31 so- >> Cool. 5:34 >> Yeah. 5:35 >> I have a question that the students wanna know. 5:36 What's something that they might not know about you from just watching your courses? 5:38 >> Well, I got started with this course because I was doing a workshop called 5:44 Data Privacy for Activists. 5:49 So, I've had a little bit of background in activism and 5:51 sort of education around anti-racism and sexual violence prevention. 5:55 >> Cool. 6:01 >> And I also became an engineer. 6:01 And those kind of seem sort of separate parts of me, and 6:04 I always kind of wanted to bring those together in some way. 6:06 >> Like a Venn diagram sort of thing. 6:09 >> Yeah, and they were completely separate, and 6:11 I was like, how can I smash those together? 6:13 >> Nice. >> So I was doing this workshop, and 6:15 some people from Treehouse came and said, hey, we can do a course with you, 6:18 and I was like, that'd be great. 6:23 >> Awesome. >> And security's kind of cool in 6:25 this way, because it does sort of address a lot of the same issues. 6:29 You get to talk about security in the context of consent 6:33 and justice and making sure people are able to live freely. 6:38 >> Wow, that's awesome, man. 6:43 I love that combination of those skills. 6:44 >> Yeah, the Venn diagram is looking better. 6:46 >> Yeah, cool man, and thanks for sharing that with us. 6:48 >> Yeah, totally. >> Thanks a lot. 6:50 [MUSIC] 6:51 Thanks for watching the Treehouse Show. 6:56 To get in touch with the show, 6:58 reach out to me on Twitter, or hit us up in the Treehouse community. 6:59 See you next time. 7:01 I don't know about you, but I'm gonna go change all my passwords. 7:03
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