9 months ago 8 months ago Intro Share

About Spysafe.com.au

NOTICE: This website is still under construction!
A few things don't work yet, and very many of the pages are incomplete. These will be edited and fixed up ASAP... See here for more about this.

This page is still very new and being fixed up!

I had to make a lot of pages fast in order to get this site online, and the large menu structure needs a lot of pages to work properly.

I'll then go back over all these pages and edit them...

NOTE that a lot of the code and layout I used for this website came from an earlier website I made, about prepping. Some of the prepping-related content (and ads) are still here. Later on I'll edit and/or delete those pages. This layout needs a lot of web pages in it to work properly at all, so I've left many of the older pages in for now.

READ THIS SECTION FIRST: (If you haven't already seen it on another page here.)
Some general information about this new website is explained below.

I'll try to add at least one new page a day to Spysafe.com.au, and see how realistic it is for me to keep up with that workload (including during the holidays). I've been working on streamlining the process, so I can add pages easier and faster.

Since it's the Christmas holiday season, many of the new pages will be more general and somewhat lighthearted in nature. And perhaps somewhat off-topic in not mostly being about security-specific information — of which there will be more of as of January 2022, and onwards...

Games

If you're new to the website, the games I wrote that you can play online on this site (in your browser) are probably the most interesting things here. Click here to see the games.

The most interesting games so far are probably Conqueror, Fast Draw (the poker machine one), and Eel (an improved version of the classic "Snake" game, but with an undersea theme).

There's also the Bandit Wargame, which isn't hosted here, but you can play it online — and it's a great way to learn Linux and security skills within a game-oriented style of learning.

Coming Soon on Spysafe

Here's a few things I'll try to add over the next couple of weeks, and also longer-term ideas for what might end up getting written about, depending on the level of interest there is for them:

  • Health-related content, including ways of improving back pain, and eating more healthy.
  • Introductory coding, including examples, and ways which might help make it interesting, and cut through the wall-of-complexity which can seem daunting and confusing (especially at first).
  • Some security-related news, including current events in the world of Cybersecurity.
  • How to get started with learning about Cybersecurity, including beginning Linux information.
  • Kali Linux, including how to install Kali in a VM (virtual machine).
  • Information about "how the internet works" at a top-down level.
  • Examples of other websites and IT projects I've worked on in the past (especially if I can copy and paste them easily into new pages).
  • Some other content from other websites which is at least somewhat relevant, that I can also copy and paste into web pages here quickly.
  • If I can't think of anything new on a given day I can always write about how some part of this website itself works internally, with code and database/SQL examples.
  • Anything else that seems like a good idea...

"Recursive" Explanation

I've made many websites before, yet this is my first informational one covering Cyber Security, or even IT in general. It took me a whole few days of working on it before I realised that one of the things I can write about is how I'm actually making this website.

As in — the ideas, the techniques, the technical knowledge and skills, the tricks — and so on.

Even just that itself could be enough material to cover a huge content site with many hundreds (if not thousands) of individual web pages, depending on how much time I have to spend on it.

I can even give away things like SEO tips, which I have been shy to do before (since I wanted to keep my high google rankings on my niche terms to myself).

Initial Topics for Recursive Explanation

Right now, some of the things I'm thinking about, and figuring out how best to do, are:

  • How to add a lot of pages from other types of documents, and do them fast.
  • This includes, especially, how best to format them into HTML and have them looking nice, and easy to read, and so on.
  • How to add images to web pages in a much more time-efficient and streamlined way. Including all the required details like the tags which appear when you hover over them, image captions, and necessary image credits (especially when they are legally required for copyright), getting them a good resolution, and so on.

Some of the other broad topic areas relevant here are:

  • How my whole custom-made Content Management System (CMS) works. It's nearly all hand-coded by myself over a period of 20 years (on and off) and has been worked on and improved a lot over time. It's never going to be in the same market as something like Wordpress since it's been deliberately made for me to work with, and there is no need for a HTML front-end (like there is for something which non-technical people will be using). The way I've set it up allows me to add new pages extremely fast, and allows massive flexibility with a lot of things which the pre-fabricated CMS systems (e.g. Wordpress, Joomla, etc.) can never allow (because to do that you would need full access to all the code, and the ability to tweak it, and those CMS systems are so big now that no one person is ever going to be in a place to do that. And also it would break a lot of the updates needed to keep those things from being hacked. My system, having literally no admin front end (like a place where someone can log in from far away and edit the site), gets around a massive list of security issues which I really don't have to worry about.
  • Having said that, I can also describe what security techniques I have used on the site. And with a reasonable level of confidence that doing that (that is, by writing up the tricks I've used on the internet for anyone to read) will not result in my site being breached. And if my website were to be breached, how I might know about it, and automatically be alerted of it by systems I have set up for that purpose. And then I could learn what security hole(s) had been present, and write about how they are/were able to be fixed.
  • For example, what I've done in order to defend against SQL injection attacks (which are still to this day one of the very most common types of successful cyber-attacks).
  • How I learned how to do all this stuff, broken down step-by-step.
  • What coding languages and other tech topics/skills are required, and how they can be learned in an interesting way.
  • How these things have changed over the years, since I was first on the internet in 1991. That was before there was even a "web".

Note that although I hand-wrote (in the sense of hand-typed, without using some sort of "framework", or "wizards" — not hand-wrote in the sense of literally writing by hand with a pen on paper) nearly all the back-end code — a lot of the front-end HTML, CSS, and JavaScript was obtained from other sources, including a pre-built template that I paid about $30 for.

It's much quicker and easier just to buy one of these templates ($30 is not a lot of money really) then to write it all from scratch. I used to write front-ends from scratch, and it takes a huge amount of time (a lot more than ~$30 worth of time) to develop one.

As I get around to it, I'll post some of the front-ends and complete sites I did, with explanations of how all the different elements work together to make a complete site.

I also definitely didn't write all the JavaScript code that's used on this website, which includes things like jQuery.min.js — which is a large and very widely used library of code which (according to Wikipedia), "as of May 2019 is used by 73% of the 10 million most popular websites", and which I certainly did not hand-code all of by myself, lol.

History

I had my first internet account in 1991, which is earlier than anyone else I know personally (either in real life or online). I've been online a long time, and seen a lot of things change.

A long time ago I was a Physics and Astronomy student. Once I did a short stint as a trainee at Mount Stromlo Observatory in Canberra. (Officially it was called a "Vacation Scholarship", in the long summer break between year 2 and year 3 of my BSc degree.) My supervisor, Professor Alex Rodgers, said that he thought the field of Astronomy was much more enjoyable to work in "in the old days" when you could read and follow and keep up with what was going on in the literature. And that in recent years, there was so much going on that you couldn't follow it all. And he missed the days when you could.

I loved the beauty, the majesty, and the powerful feeling of deep space adventure of the Astronomy I learned as a child. But I found the world of professional astronomy to be overly complicated, technical, dry, and overwhelming. It can be like that sometimes with prepping too.

I loved the beauty, the majesty, and the powerful feeling of deep space adventure of the Astronomy I learned as a child. But I found the world of professional astronomy to be overly complicated, technical, dry, and overwhelming. It can be like that sometimes with IT too. Photo by NASA, ESA, AURA / Caltech, Palomar Observatory / Wikipedia.

I think it's become like that with information technology, and even information. It's a very good thing that there's so much information available — but it does make it hard to know exactly what to look, at and where to start, and what to do next. True there are sites and videos about how to start, but after that there isn't that much to give a broad overall structure, and an overall plan, with different options for different people's individual situations and preferences, and that doesn't just cover one person's method of how things are best done.

My aim for this website is to try to cover these gaps. And also to see what I learn and can do myself, in a reasonably sane and intelligent order — and write that up online in a way that it's possible for someone else to read it. And follow it. And, without getting overwhelmed with having too many things that must be done.

How to Begin With All This

You can start reading from the Welcome Page and then follow the "Next page:" links at the bottom of each page, and see where that takes you.

Alternatively (or if you've already read those), you could look at the listing of pages in the "Intro" category, and pick out whatever looks interesting. Or go on to the next page in this series: This Is Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It.

Or just browse around the other pages and see what's of interest. If you're new to learning Cybersecurity, or any detailed IT tech topics, then at some point (sooner or later) it would be a good idea to read one or more of the First Steps pages, as mentioned above. There will eventually be some pages on "Why Learn Cybersecurity?", "Why Learn Coding?", etc., which I haven't written yet...

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Spysafe.com.au Homepage - Australian Cyber Security Web Magazine

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