Smart homes need more protection
Smart homes need more protection
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CUJO stories: Phil Cogan from NYC

Phil Cogan has had a varied career that has involved the use of evolving technologies. He was a broadcast journalist for a dozen years; an unpaid, sworn police officer in Virginia for 8 years; a senior manager for the Federal Emergency Management Agency for 23 years, assigned to over 100 national emergencies; a licensed amateur radio operator. Currently, he is a volunteer emergency responder with the American Red Cross in the busy New York City chapter.

Wow, just wow!

We couldn’t help but ask him a couple of questions about his views on technology, security and the experience with CUJO.

Meet Phil Cogan

Meet Phil Cogan!

What kind of smart devices you and your family usually use at home? Do you try to keep up with innovation and the newest technology?

Our family uses iPads, MacBook Pros, PCs, and Android and Apple smartphones. I’m an avid reader of tech blogs and print articles, and try to follow, as best I can, the latest developments in technology. But it’s difficult to stay completely up-to-date as tech changes so quickly. I rely on reviews to help evaluate new tech and often wait before acquiring first generation devices until others have gained and reported on their experiences.

Do you think there is enough information about privacy and security in your usual communication channels? What’s the most confusing concept for you?

I think the ongoing cybercrimes and data thefts has resulted in a general distrust of exposing data to the Internet, with conflicting advice being distributed about how to respond to information breaches. I suspect that the average user is frustrated and somewhat confused about what to do about breaches that have already happened and how to prevent future information thefts.

I think one of the most confusing concepts is the proper setup of firewalls.

When was the first time you started thinking about your privacy and security?

CUJO protecting the router in Phil's home

CUJO protecting the router in Phil’s home

The pervasive news media coverage of multiple data breaches was enough for me to say to myself, “I don’t want this to happen to me.” Having decided that, I had to figure out how I was going to protect my family’s devices.

What security measures did you use before installing CUJO? How about your friends or family?

For the last few years, I have run a VPN on all of my devices. I also try and keep the software, including operating systems, updated. I even run anti-virus, anti-spamware scans on a regular basis.

How did you find out about CUJO?

I learned about CUJO from the crowdfunding campaign. The fact that it was connected to a cloud database of “bad” sites appealed to me since it would be regularly updated as new threats were detected. The relative ease of setup and the ability to monitor its activities via the smartphone app also were pluses. I’ve been using CUJO since it was first shipped as the crowdfunding perk. Since then I have added a lifetime subscription.

Could you tell us about your CUJO setup process? Did you encounter any issues during the installation?

The setup process was relatively easy but was complicated by the unique nature of my Verizon FiOS network and equipment. Here’s what makes CUJO stand out from other computer hardware: the telephone support. As good as the hardware and associated software is, the support is even better. 

CUJO support staff are always willing to try and solve network related issues even when they may or may not be directly attributable to CUJO. They have been consistently willing to go the extra mile to make sure that CUJO is doing the job and my network connections are working with CUJO. 

When I’ve reviewed CUJO online, or spoken with friends or acquaintances about the device, I go out of my way to stress that you’re not buying just hardware and software… you’re also buying excellent technical support to make sure it does the intended job. I can’t say that about every hardware or software device that I’ve purchased in the past.

On a scale of 1 to 10 would you recommend CUJO to others? Why?

I rate CUJO 9 out of 10; it would be 10 out of 10 if CUJO could automatically configure itself to any network without any intervention on my part. (Unlikely). But otherwise, it rates a 10. CUJO just sits on my network quietly doing its thing, blocking bad guys and dangerous sites from misbehaving on my devices on my system, while I remain confident that I can use the network with CUJO protecting my family and me.

Phil noted that his favorite CUJO AI feature is the notifications on the app that let him know when a threat is blocked.

Care to find your own favorite feature? Visit CUJO AI Amazon page and find 650+ reviews with 4.5 stars.