I hope everyone has had a good Christmas and New Year’s holiday celebrating with family and loved ones. I’ve had a nice break from school. I had plans to get things done, but wasn’t too successful. But that’s okay, I’m listening to my body tell me that self-care is more important, and things can wait. That’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way before!
Word Press sent a notice congratulating me on 5 years of blogging. Spiritual Sounding Board went public on January 1, five years ago! Prior to that, I had a different blog, primarily about my personal experience at Beaverton Grace Bible Church and the goings on of the defamation lawsuit my ex-pastor filed against me and four others.
Last year was difficult, yet rewarding. Most of my regular readers know that I went back to school a few years ago to get my Bachelor of Arts in Cyber Security. I didn’t know if I could keep the blog going with my full-time school load. Thankfully, between Kathi’s and my busy schedules, we’ve been able to keep plugging along.
I’m nearing the end of my undergraduate work, with only two more terms left. Whoa, it’s hard to believe I’m nearly there. I shake my head at how far I have come since the first day of class when I had to raise my hand to ask my professor how to get the cursor to move from one monitor to the second monitor. Every single time I asked my advisor to help me schedule my classes, all of the classes sounded foreign to me! I’d tell her to pick the classes because I was clueless. And she did. And each term I started my classes, I had a freak-out moment saying to myself there is no way I would be able to do this . . . and each term, I have managed to do this . . .and with grades my Mom would be proud of. This week, inevitably, someone will be getting my freak-out phone call once again. LOL
I don’t think I’ve shared why I chose cyber security. I live in an area that has limited college opportunities, but it does offer a BAS in Cyber Security. This intrigued me for a number of reasons: first, because I knew it’s a very important and relevant field with all of the recent security breaches. Secondly, it sparked my interest because of various nefarious activities that have occurred during my blogging. For example, my ex-pastor bought domain names similar to the name of my old blog in attempt to bring people to his blog that he created against me. Another time, someone reported my blog site as a malicious site and some people couldn’t access the blog. Of course it wasn’t malicious, but we still had to get that taken care of.
And one more example used social engineering, which is a very common way that hackers gain access to data. This is an interesting story. Some may remember T. W. Eston. When I first met him online, he had written a great article about Doug Philips, and I asked him permission to share it here. He agreed. Then later, he volunteered that he had another article to share on my blog. I asked him to send it to me, and he indicated that the formatting would get messed up if he sent it, and instead asked if I could designate him as a temporary blog administrator so he could post it. I wasn’t studying cyber security yet, and didn’t know the full implications of social engineering, but his idea didn’t sit right with me. I knew the formatting would be fine if he sent it to me. I did not give him administrator privileges! From that point on, I kept my dander up with him, and I was proven correct. T. W. Eston turned out to be Peter Kershaw, a man who had been trying to get revenge at Doug Philips. Who knew?!?!
As I’ve been studying cyber security, I’ve noted interesting parallels between cyber security and what I do here at SSB. In cyber security, we look for vulnerabilities that could allow the wrong people access to private data. In looking at systems of abuse, I am also looking at vulnerabilities that could allow someone to access individuals and harm them. Churches and Christian groups need to have safety guidelines to protect children against sexual predators. It’s important that church members know guidelines to protect themselves from abusive leaders. Businesses need to understand the various ways intruders can access their data and have safety guidelines for anyone who uses their systems.
When there is a data breach, an incident report is filed, and the whole system is examined to find where an outsider could gain access. When a child is harmed by a sexual predator a prudent church will take a look at their safety policies to see how the predator gained access, and correct the security breach. I’ve enjoyed discovering the parallels of both church and data security systems: how to protect systems, how to respond when there is a security breach, how to support and recovery from breaches, and how to create new safe policies. It’s so important to protect precious assets and people!
The next two terms at school will probably be the most challenging (so I’ve been told). I’m taking full loads both terms, and spring term I have a major capstone project due, as well. But we’ll keep the blog going!
Here are the top 10 posts of 2017 (articles posted in 2017):
- Jane’s Account of Rape, Response of Master’s University to Her Claims, and a Breaking Development Confirming Details #DoYouSeeUs
- Two Posts Containing Ravi Zacharias’ Personal Emails Were Removed: Why? (Updated)
- A Young Woman’s Personal Story: The Residual Effects of the Teachings by Doug Philips, Bill Gothard, and Patriarchy
- Important New Video about Apologist Ravi Zacharias: Alleged False Credentials, Lawsuit, Online Relationship with Married Woman
- The Dangerous Teachings of Lori Alexander of The Transformed Wife
- Tullian Tchividjian and Mark Driscoll are Baaaack
- Saeed Abedini’s Strange Online Behavior
- Ravi Zacharias Must Explain: Lawsuit, Narratives, and Emails (This post was removed by Ms. Thompson’s request.)
- Ravi Zacharias: Email Threat and Ongoing Lack of Response About Reportedly Inflated Credentials
- BREAKING: Lawsuit between Calvary Chapel Visalia Pastor Bob Grenier and His Step-Son, Alex Grenier, Has Been Dropped