CSG: AAR On Groundrod Primer

groundrod-primer-11

Course description

Next course possible in Texas; contact K at that link for details.

AAR:

GroundRod Primer Course Review

Please understand this review is being written by a non computer guy. I see computers as a tool and the less complicated the better. I need to be spoon fed information and repetition is required. In this class I got what I needed.

It is a two day course of non stop input, not rushed but ongoing. K did a great job in not let anyone get behind. He patiently answered questions and jumped in and helped when necessary. There was the full spectrum of students from casual computer user to some fairly high speed dudes in the class. I can safely say no one was bored.

The course started out with an explanation of what the threats are, defensive measures and physical counter measures. It was nice to have all of that in a nutshell. It was an eye opener to me, I knew some of the threats but not all of the threats we were introduced to.

A great explanation of what operating system to use and why. This was worth the price of admission. As a non techie guy, Linux was a known entity but I didn’t know much about it. I am now in the process of changing over to it.

A fantastic explanation of open source software proceeded. I finally understand why that it is so important to use open source products.

Then we proceeded into various pieces of software. Each was explained in detail, what it did, why we needed it and how to use it. Disc overwriting software, encryption software, Keyfiles, passwords and keys, wireless security, Internet protocols and such. We delved into VPN (virtual personal networks) which was of great interest to me. I am already running one. We went over the “Dark Net” and that could have been a day long study on its own. Tor was a good deal of time in the class and for good reason. Meta data was an interesting study and how it is used against you. Web browsers were discussed the pros and cons of many of the popular offerings.

Email was of course a popular topic and the inherent risks of using that. Encrypted chat was discussed, setup and used. Constructing, managing and storing passwords and the software to do all of that was setup and used. Steganography was discussed and demonstrated – awesome field of study.

We ran Tails and rummaged through a lot of modification, setup and running that. I have that running since the class.

Last but not least, Bitcoin was discussed and demonstrated in great detail. I was completely enthralled with that topic and am starting to use that also.

All in all you are given a fantastic overview and taste for computer security and how to establish pretty secure communications using your computer. I believe I have 20 pages of notes and suggestions for study in my notebook for further implementation and use.

If you are not sure the course is worth the time and money it will consume I believe I can say from my vantage point it was worth that and much more. I told K to sign me up for the followup course to this one.

Hopefully I will have this one digested by then.

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