The best books to help you protect your personal information

Who am I?

I have been an information technology and cybersecurity professional for over two decades. I’ve learned over and over again that “people are the weakest link.” You can build the most secure system in the world, with stringent password requirements. But if the user writes their password down and leaves it where someone else can see it, system security is irrelevant! The easiest way to gain access to a system is via “social engineering” – to trick a human being into giving you the access you need, rather than trying to hack the system itself. The books on this list will help the reader lower their chances of being exploited like this.

I wrote...

10 Don'ts on Your Digital Devices: The Non-Techie's Survival Guide to Cyber Security and Privacy

By Eric J. Rzeszut, Daniel Bachrach,

Book cover of 10 Don'ts on Your Digital Devices: The Non-Techie's Survival Guide to Cyber Security and Privacy

What is my book about?

In nontechnical language and engaging style, 10 Don’ts on Your Digital Devices explains to non-techie users of PCs and handheld devices exactly what to do and what not to do to protect their digital data from security and privacy threats at home, at work, and on the road. These include chronic threats such as malware and phishing attacks and emerging threats that exploit cloudbased storage and mobile apps.

Through ten vignettes told in accessible language and illustrated with helpful screenshots, 10 Don’ts teaches non-technical readers ten key lessons for protecting your digital security and privacy with the same care you reflexively give to your physical security and privacy.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Book cover of Cybersecurity Is Everybody's Business: Solve the Security Puzzle for Your Small Business and Home

Why did I love this book?

Cybersecurity is Everybody’s Business is a great book that focuses not only on the how to keep your data safe, but on the very critical why this is important. Author Scott Schober suffered a grievous cyberattack in a previous business, and he brings his experience to the forefront in this guide. Joined by his brother as co-author, they focus on cybersecurity for the home and small business – environments that are unlikely to employ full-time cybersecurity professionals. (That’s why these places are often targets for the bad guys!)

By Scott N. Schober, Craig W. Schober,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cybersecurity Is Everybody's Business as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Since publication of his first book, HACKED AGAIN, Scott Schober has dedicated himself to educating anyone who would listen by telling his own story of being hacked in the hope that others can learn from his own mistakes. Now joined by his brother Craig, the two have set their sights on the biggest target of all, small businesses.

There are 30 million small businesses currently operating in the United States. Some of them are single owner/operated while others collectively employ hundreds of millions. This book is for all of them and anyone who makes it their business to stay safe…

Book cover of How to Stay Safe on Social Media: Social Media Dos and Don'ts: What Kids and Parents Should Know

Why did I love this book?

This book focuses on cybersecurity for parents and teenagers, specifically focusing on social media. As a parent of a teenager myself, I know how critical this area really is. Teens are often using social networks and communication channels that their parents are mostly or completely unfamiliar with. Due to that lack of familiarity, parents have a hard time monitoring or setting appropriate limits on the ways their children use social media. Author Effie Manolas wrote this book for both parents and teens, enabling an open conversation on both the benefits and the risks of social media.

By Effie Manolas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Stay Safe on Social Media as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do you feel your child isn’t using social media correctly?

Social media is a powerful platform that can either make the world better–or more dangerous. When a person doesn’t know how to use social media the right way, they can break relationships, disseminate false information, or even tarnish their own reputation.

As a parent, the last thing you want is for your child to be using social media in a way that can hurt them. But parents can hardly help their children if they themselves remain oblivious to the repercussions of their behavior on social media.

Teach your child to…

Book cover of SafeCyberHome: Protect Your Family From Fraud, Identity Theft and Computer Hackers

Why did I love this book?

SafeCyberHome focuses on understanding how corporations and governments collect and use our personal data. The book also gives strategies for opting out of this data collection whenever possible. And, where it is not possible to opt-out, the book gives clear explanations on why we should be as restrictive with our personal data as possible. Vancannon uses an example similar to one from my own book: if someone is really determined to get your data, they will. But if they’re just looking for an easy target, and you’re not one, they’ll move on. Same reason you lock your front door – a determined master thief can defeat even the best lock, if they really want to – but do you want to make your house the easiest target on the block?

By Billy VanCannon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked SafeCyberHome as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Online security and data privacy is one of the most pressing yet misunderstood issues of our time.

Today we use the internet to shop, work, learn, and be entertained. At the same time, we leave a trail that others can use to steal from us, assume our identity to commit crimes in our names, and hack our computers. If you ever felt helpless because governments and corporations can’t protect themselves with all their resources, then this book is for you. The vast majority of fraud and cybercrime can be stopped with basic knowledge about how your data is collected and…

Book cover of The Art of Invisibility: The World's Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data

Why did I love this book?

Kevin Mitnick is often called the “world’s most famous hacker,” and he spent years in prison for his crimes. However, he’s since reformed, and now advises individuals and corporations on how to protect their data. In this book, he talks about strategies that we can all use to better protect our data from exploitation by corporations and governments. Although it’s never possible to be truly “invisible” (despite the title of his book) he presents some great strategies to lower your risk profile.

By Kevin D. Mitnick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Invisibility as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Like it or not, your every move is being watched and analyzed. Consumer's identities are being stolen, and a person's every step is being tracked and stored. What once might have been dismissed as paranoia is now a hard truth, and privacy is a luxury few can afford or understand.

In this explosive yet practical book, Kevin Mitnick illustrates what is happening without your knowledge--and he teaches you "the art of invisibility." Mitnick is the world's most famous--and formerly the Most Wanted--computer hacker. He has hacked into some of the country's most powerful and seemingly impenetrable agencies and companies, and…

Book cover of Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World

Why did I love this book?

Security expert Bruce Schneier wrote this excellent book, talking about the “Goliaths” who are looking to exploit individuals’ data. Focusing more on politics (specifically US politics) than the other books on this list, Schneier talks about the Edward Snowden classified information reveal. He talks about mass surveillance conducted by the US and other governments around the world, and lays out in detail why this should concern us all.

By Bruce Schneier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Data and Goliath as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Data is everywhere. We create it every time we go online, turn our phone on (or off) or pay with a credit card. This data is stored, studied, bought and sold by companies and governments for surveillance and for control. "Foremost security expert" (Wired) Bruce Schneier shows how this data has led to a double-edged Internet-a Web that gives power to the people but is abused by the institutions on which those people depend.

In Data and Goliath, Schneier reveals the full extent of surveillance, censorship and propaganda in society today, examining the risks of cybercrime, cyberterrorism and cyberwar. He…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in computer security, information technology, and social media?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about computer security, information technology, and social media.

Computer Security Explore 23 books about computer security
Information Technology Explore 37 books about information technology
Social Media Explore 117 books about social media