The host of the recent PA GroundRod course, IDPA Grandmaster Jack Weigand of Weigand Combat Handguns Inc, was kind enough to send in a review for me to share with the readers...
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 a 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.