Anna Dodson

Software Engineer

Browser Security

May the Fourth be With You - Talk at Women in Tech Meetup

I regularly attend the Women in Tech Notts meetups, I really enjoy the wide variety of talks and meeting interesting and friendly people - plus free pizza! When Jess (Team organiser) asked me if I wanted to give a talk I was a bit unsure what I could do a talk on but also excited to be a speaker at the meetup.

It’s usually a pretty good mix at WiT, some developers, some engineers, some UXs and some researchers and students, I thought internet security would hopefully be interesting and useful to everyone.

I’m by no means an expert but I find internet security and online privacy a really interesting topic. I did a module during my masters on Computer Security where we ‘hacked’ into servers and did packet sniffing in lab sessions - all very cool stuff so i thought this would be a good topic to cover.

My talk covered HTTPs, cookies and passwords.

I wanted to discuss the difference between privacy and security, how a security policy should keep your private data private. What it means to be ‘tracked’ all over the web and what that means to us as a user.

I finished my talk with questions to the audience about their online experiences with privacy and I opened up the floor for a discussion. We had a great debate about online security, companies responsibilities with our data and how important decent passwords are.

I encouraged the audience to check if they’ve been pawned. One audience member had been pwned by a few accounts and was outraged that she had not been told by the companies or apologised to. She had no idea of the breaches and how this could have affected her.

The next speaker at WiT Notts was Helen, a privacy lawyer talking on the new Data Protection regulations coming out in 2018. I was really happy how her talk followed on from my talk and how the audience who had been at my talk understood the implications and how technically companies should be protecting their data.

I loved giving this talk and the organisers were so helpful and encouraging, I’m definitely inspired to do a talk at another meetup after such a positive experience.

Slides on GitLab