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Today, my old lady gang pinged to ask if I'd listen to them practice a security presentation they've made for a senior ladies group #proudaf
I absolutely can't say it enough: I've learned so much from working w/ a group that's 70+ yrs old. We cannot afford to leave them behind
Most security tools require humans to be in tip top shape, and don't leave room for short term memory issues, arthritis, etc
Furthermore, telling anyone to "just do X" without providing proper support or coaching is a road to failure. Especially past a specific age
1 of the most important lessons my old lady gang has taught me: repetition, practice, and education in groups is vital. They figured out...
... so much when they got stuck with software UI/tasks because they could also teach each other things like memory tricks and strategies
For some, it was difficult to move between password managers, input fields, text and 2FA codes in ~30 seconds on mobile device. Arthritis.
For another, her eyesight (light grey on white background!) was an absolute killer. And yet, the old lady gang collaborated and shared info
There are so many times someone told the old lady gang to "just do X" for security, but the advice didn't fit their needs or uses
In a case where home caregivers might have been improperly accessing a friend's iPhone, they showed her how to set up Touch ID and then...
...came up with three different ways that friend could find her strong passcode if it slipped her mind or TouchID required it. It worked.
In another case, the ladies got their church group together to practice enabling + and 2FA (SMS, TOTP, hardware key) until they all got it
Not only did they practice it, they talked about the services they used that would fail safe, or fail open with a customer service call
To top that off, they all scheduled meetings with their financial advisors to discuss getting multifactor auth on their various accounts
Maybe 5 determined ladies (and their friends and family) isn't enough to make that big of a dent in all of our issues, but...
We talked about anti-robocalling software, coming up with memory strategies, practicing pw managers, 2FA... and family, weather, news
Now, they're getting up in front of a group of people to spread the love and help protect others. They're double checking the facts so...
... that they don't start spreading harmful advice. It has taken years, but isn't that what we should all be doing and working for?
Also, omg, tangent but unrelated. Let's talk about the time one of the ladies was on a family vacation and she "hacked back". Masterful.
Let's call her Lucinda. Lucinda went on family vacation, and her grandkids were more interested in apps and games than family time. Sucked.
I worked for awhile with Lucinda to set up memorable but strong passcodes and TouchID on her devices. She understood the whys inside out
Lucinda put passcodes on EVERYTHING, made her husband upgrade his operating system so he had to have minimum 6 digits. 4 wasn't good enough
So, Lucinda is hanging with the grandkids and they have screens everywhere. After awhile, she notices that they don't have passcodes on them
Lucinda waits until the kids are watching TV, and puts passcodes on ALL the things. The kids freak out and try breaking back in. Hilarity.
Lucinda explains that they're going to have to try millions of combinations to get back in, and the phone will lock them out. Kids freak out
Lucinda mentions that there are plenty of other things to do-- pool, trampoline, water park-- that are more fun than trying numbers all day
For the rest of the vacation, the kids only got the passcode after dinner to play games, etc. Grandma absolutely won
And here's the great part: she mastered concepts behind passcodes so well that she applied them to "attack" the kids. Super smart!
Anyway, TL;DR-- most of our security is inaccessible to older folks and kids for similar reasons, and we need to not leave them behind
It takes support: repetition, task management, empowerment, trust and a dedication to finding reasonable solutions. Let's get to work
For those asking: I can't share the presentation. It isn' t mine, and has their PII + grandkid pics. I'll ask about recreating but...
... I absolutely do not want a bunch of internet jerks targeting people I know to prove a point. I've dealt with it once, and NEVER AGAIN.
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