Getting Started with Cyber Security

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We are going to start with the basics of Cyber Security. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20ish years, the internet has enabled the world to connect and interact with one another. Like everything else in life, there are pros and cons to have unlimited, instant access to the internet. The internet connects us all together, enabling us to communicate, shop, virtually do almost anything. But, there are bad people out in our society. Folks that like to take this amazing service and turn it upside down to cause harm. Unfortunately, when the internet was created, security wasn’t really something the creators were worried about. The internet is extremely basic and vulnerable. Fortunately, over the years, we have gotten better at improving the security of the internet. But still, even in 2021 there are many ways to get into trouble on the internet.

The purpose of this podcast and blog is to present to you information about the cyber security world. My main focus is to tailor my episodes and blog posts towards three distinct audiences.

First up are small business owners. During the pandemic, small business owners have been hit the hardest. Sales have probably decreased significantly and many have gone out of business entirely.

Next up are the everyday users of the internet. This can literally be anyone that uses the internet. And yes, this does include you!

And finally, my final target audience are students all over the world. Over the past 8 years, I’ve been trying to introduce folks to the wonderful world of IT/Engineering and have seen little impact. After researching and exploring, I’ve come to the conclusion that if I want to make a dent in the world, I need to start with the youth. I need to influence and guide our youth to make more cyber secure aware decisions when they are interfacing with the internet. And because of this, my last portion of my episodes/posts will be geared towards making the topic relevant to them.

The intent is to also reuse all my content across the different mediums. There are going to be different levels of information you’ll receive depending on the medium you are consuming.

The podcast will focus on: Awareness, Information, and Personal Relevance by utilizing current events.

The blog posts will build upon that foundation and actually walk you through some illustrations or graphics that will further expand the topic. These explorations will be more tailored towards my 3 specific target audience members.

I’ll then take that blog post information and create an actual tutorial geared towards helping people actually implement the information/strategy I discussed in the podcast and blog post.

Lastly, I’ll be utilizing social media to tease and highlight portions of each podcast, blog post, and YouTube tutorial.

Let me know what you think. I’ve been working on this for a few weeks now, trying to create something that will help people on their cyber security journey. The last point I want to highlight is that this journey is going to start at step one. I personally don’t learn very well when I’m thrown in the middle of a topic. So, I’ll be starting at the beginning and covering the basics and then working my way up to more technical content. The first episodes might be a little slow and dry, but for someone that has never learned about the world of cyber security, they’ll be comforted to know I’ll be starting at the most basic level.

Come join me on this journey! If you have any friends or family members that you think might benefit from my content, please share with them. I’m really trying to organically grow this thing and I would really appreciate any of your support. Just reading my articles, listening to my podcast, and watching my videos makes my day!

Connect: https://apetech.me/social

How Much I Earned in 2020

It’s January 1st and that means you not only get the December review of my side hustle, but you also get my year in review of how things went.

Youtube

I created a new template for how tech tutorials are going to be produced going forward. I wanted to have something that is easy to follow, engages you at the beginning, but also also explains with clarity what’s going on from a technical perspective. We’ve recorded our new video with this format and it will be published on January 4th. Make sure to keep an eye out for that.

We also spent some time being inspired by other Scratch YouTubers and tried to find a good balance of what we think is working for them and how we can add our own unique style. I’m excited with what we came up with and I really think it has the potential to make an impact on the Scratch community.

We had a goal of posting 10 Scratch videos but fell drastically short of hitting that goal. In fact, I had the goal of trying to get 70 videos published, but we are currently sitting at 57 videos. We also had a goal of hitting 350 subscribers and we managed to hit 312. Had a goal of hitting 750 Watch Hours and we hit 720 hours. Now, I’ll admit that we lost A LOT of momentum because of the holidays. People just weren’t watching our videos as much, but we have a VERY strong plan for January and plan on compensating for our December downfall. I have 12 videos that are already planned for January and production will continue this first week of January. I’m feeling more confident about this new month because I’ve also set up our template in such a way that if my wife doesn’t wake up to make the videos, I can easily make them myself now.

Goals for January — 400 Subs and 800 Watch Hours. 69 videos published in total by the end of January. Let’s do this!

Podcast

The podcast is going very well. I know that the numbers are still very low, but I’m genuinely surprised at where I’m at right now considering that I just started this thing a few months ago. Had a goal of publishing 10 podcast episodes and got 9 episodes out! I honestly thought I was going to have at least 12 episodes out but recording these videos is sometimes a little challenging. Nonetheless, I’ve made a total 2.50 cents from the podcast. I”m averaging about 9 downloads an episode and as more people discover my podcast, they start listening to older episodes which is great. Additionally, I had a goal of ending the year with 250 downloads to my podcast and I ended up getting 272 which is AMAZING! I crushed that goal!!

Next steps are to finish my current season 2 of the podcast which is focused around general security articles that I had written back in May of 2020. Once I finish those, I’ll be pivoting to season 3 which will be a deep dive into security fundamentals. I’ll start from the beginning of the Information Security journey and create episodes that will be targeted towards every day users of the internet. My intention with season 3 is to take a lot of the technical stuff out of cyber security and help every day people understand and be more aware of cyber security.

Goal for January is to publish 10–12 episodes. This is where I’m making the “most” amount of money so I’m incentivized to really put a lot of effort into this endevour.

Blog

I had a goal of writing 14 blog posts but ended up only publishing 9. This is MUCH better than the month of November where I only published 3! Not really sure why I didn’t hit my December goal but I did start making some money on Medium. I managed to make a total of .08 cents!! Again, not a whole lot, but the running total so far is 2.58 cents! It’s humble beginnings and no where near replacing my salary, but this is money I’m making from ideas in my head. This is awesome!

Goals for January on the blog are going to be interesting. I plan on moving away from Medium in January. For the month of January, I’ll be posting on both Medium and on a new website that I’ve created solely for the purposes of blogging. In 2021, I’m going to expand my blog post topics to include Technical Program Management topics in addition to Cyber Security topics. I’m excited about this next chapter because it will give me a change to not only reach more people but potentially monetize more as I’ll be able to control the ads and will not have a pay wall on my personal site. Depending on how this goes, I might ditch Medium, but not sure yet. Shooting for 20 blog posts in January. 10 cyber related and 10 TPM related.

Twitter

Month of December was strong on Twitter, but then towards the holidays I lost all momentum. Twitter is a different beast when everyone is on holiday break and just counting down the days to end the year. As a result, I didn’t grow as much as I would have liked, but I still managed to make respectable progress. I had a goal of having 500 subs on Twitter, and ended up getting 490. It was very close, and I think I would have actually hit it if it wasn’t for all the people that follow and then unfollow for some reason. my numbers fluctuated in the 480’s for a couple of weeks. Twitter is weird that way I guess.

January goals is to get to 550 followers. I know this is a bit aggressive, but considering the number of content pieces I’ll be putting out, I think more and more people are going to want to engage with me. I also plan on doubling down on that 1.80 Gary Vee strategy which should play a significant factor in me trying to grow my audience.

Still same strategy from last time as I didn’t actually follow it.

  • Engage with the people I’m following. Ask questions, provide good thoughts. I’m going to go above just a simple, congrats.
  • Post only about Leadership, Agile, Scratch, and Cyber Security. I’m going to leave off the commentary about my personal life to see how things go. Less ranting and more thought provoking content.
  • Utilize gif’s and pictures more.
  • Utilize Fleets more.

TikTok

In what is becoming a common trend with my life here, I lost a lot of momentum on Tik Tok. I ended up getting 54 likes on my videos but most of those likes came from my wife and cousins. . . so I just didn’t have the reach that I wanted to have. I have to rethink how I’m going to utilize Tik Tok in January but so far I’m completely unmotivated to use the platform. I’d like to stick on the topic of leadership but maybe I need to make vidoes where I’m talking as opposed to just drawing. Maybe I can migrate my drawings over to Instagram. We’ll see how this goes, but I have no clear objective on how I’m going to crush it in 2021 with Tik Tok.

Freelancing

Didn’t do anything in December with respect to freelancing. Planning on starting very small gigs on upwork and fiverr. Not sure what to expect or if I’ll get any work, but I’m going to at least put a profile out there for my LLC and see if I can help anyone out there.

Books

Didn’t make any progress on my Jira book, but I did manage to start creating an outline for my Technical Program Management book. These books are going to be a major part of my 2021 success but they take time. I need to do a lot better in this area. I’m setting up daily goals to make sure I make some progress on each of these books, even it is just writing one sentence down. I have a lot of faith in the value that I’m putting into these books but first I have to write them.

Saas

No progress here in December either, but again, just like with the books, this section is going to play a vital role in the success of my 2021. I have a long list of the different things I want to create and now I just need to start creating things. I think this part scares me the most since I’ll actually have to “engineer” something into existence, but after reading The Third Wave by Steve Case, I’m excited to think about the future and create something that will help me ride the 3rd wave!

Competitions/Challenges/Coding/Live Streaming

Didn’t do anything here either. I do plan on coding and live streaming more of that in 2021. I just really need to pick up coding as a whole and start producing code. I have this great skill that I spent thousands of dollars on and I need to start putting it to work. And no, I’m not actually a software engineer at work, so I don’t get to code on a day to day basis. But the only way I’m going to get better is by writing code. Hopefully January is the month I actually start doing this!

Mentorship

This is a new area for me and one that I actually started making progress on in December. I started helping someone I met online with their journey to finding their first full-time software engineering job. This is all new to me and I haven’t really ever done anything like this before, but I do believe in the power of mentorship. I’m hoping I can actually help this person out because if this works, I plan on engaging with more folks in 2021!

Total:

2.58. Not bad in my opinion. I’m not putting in 100% effort like I should be to make this extremely successful as my wife and I are balancing two kids, and two full-time engineering jobs. This is going to be a slow, but steady incline and as I gain more and more momentum, I’m sure this number is going to go up drastically. Stay tuned to find out how the new year helps me grow!

2021 Goals

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

As 2020 comes to an end, let’s talk about 2021 goals. I plan on getting started on December 28, 2020. Why, well because my planner starts on that day and my OCD is telling me I need to start on page one.

I’m going to be focusing on 5 things in 2021. 4 of these things are business/work related and the 5th one is strictly personal.

YouTube

My biggest goal for 2021 is to grow my YouTube presence. Up until this point, we’ve been focused on making Scratch tutorials, but in 2021, we are going to expand to other types of tutorials. When we originally set up Apetech Tutorials, we always intended to make it a multi topic tutorial channel. As such, we’ll be rearchitecting our Scratch tutorials to line up with the following objectives:

  • AP Computer Science Curriculum based videos.
  • Scratch Videos based on grade level (elementary, middle school, and high school)

In addition to Scratch, we’ll be venturing into new areas related to STEM. We’ll be doing more tutorial videos on Micro:bit and Makey Makey. We could do a lot more, but focusing on just Scratch, Micro:bit, and Makey Makey is going to allow us to create valuable tutorials that have a direct impact on the educators trying to utilize this technology in their classrooms.

Podcast

On the podcast front, I plan on continuing my efforts in the cyber security world. I’m going to be focusing on three main target audiences and pivoting my podcast around those topics.

  • First, I’ll be focusing on creating valuable content for small business owners.
  • Second, I’ll be focusing on creating valuable content for everyday stewards of the internet.
  • And finally, I’ll be focusing on creating valuable content for students.

Blogging/Writing/Courses

I’ll be writing 3 books/courses in 2021. I’ll also be focusing my blog posts to these topics as well. There will be many blog posts that will all feed into my books and courses. The topics are:

  • Jira Execution
  • Technical Program Management
  • STEM Book (Based on the topics/tutorials from YouTube)

Apetech LLC (Freelancing/Consulting)

I started an LLC in the Summer of 2020. I haven’t really done anything with it because both my wife and I have full time jobs that don’t really give us too much time to work on it in a way that I think would benefit my customers. In 2021, I’m going to start venturing into some minimal freelance work that I can finish/complete over the weekend. I’m going to start out super small as I don’t want to over commit, but meaningful enough that if I can grow something, I’ll try to fuel the fire. I’m going to start out with reaching to local businesses in my community and also posting to upwork and fiverr.

Weight Management

I’m pretty tired of weighing over 200 pounds. 2021 has to be the year where I finally tip the scale in my favor. I’m getting a Fitness+ membership and I’m building a mini home gym in my garage. Weather permitting, I’ll be running/walking a lot more as well.

Conclusion

Those are my 5 areas of focus for 2021. I have many other things I’ll be working on in 2021, but I’m going to try to keep my focus on just those 5things. Once I grow each of those, then I can afford to spend more time on my other ideas. But currently, I feel like I’m just thinning myself out that I don’t actually make any traction. So, in 2021, I’ll be trying to get traction on these things and put all my time and energy into just these things. Wish me luck! If you want to stay up to date with my journey, please make sure you follow me here on Medium and on all my other social media places which can be found in my profile description.