This story has no paywall. Just responding to comments and questions. do you think you are, anyway?Did you hit a paywall on one of my stories and wondered why I do that? Everyone else is giving things away for free. Why don’t you, Teri Radichel? I mean, who do you think you are, anyway?I’m just someone trying to earn a living. That’s all.Some people write free stories because they are trying to sell you a product or service. And in part, I hope that you might read something that leads you to hire me for a penetration test, security assessment, or a security class.But the reality is, my writing is the product.After developing, deploying, reverse-engineering, and hacking systems for many years, I want to share that knowledge.Instead of writing a book, I’m trying to write these stories on a blog. I don’t understand why people are not aghast to pay $7,000 for a cybersecurity class that lasts 5 days and is full of a lot of regurgitated information (not all) and yet they are insulted when you inspect them to pay $5 for thirty days of on-going training material, or $50 for a whole year’s worth of material for new, unique, and insightful takes almost every day.A few notes on commentsLately I’ve had a number of reactions on social media related to this that I am taking the time to explain why the paywall exists. Some people seem annoyed, displeased or downright angry when they come across a paywall on one of my stories. The reaction may range from, “How dare you? Well, I’m not reading that if I have to pay for it” to “Well, I couldn’t read it but here’s what I think anyway” type response.Now, if I was going to respond to that last type of comment, I would basically be writing what I wrote in the post behind the paywall. So of course I’m not going to respond.What I don’t understand (and I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad as I’ve probably done this myself in a reactionary moment) is that if you don’t want to pay for and read the post then you don’t know what I wrote so how does it make sense to comment on it? And why would I respond with all the information I have behind the paywall when I am attempting to get paid for my time and effort to write down the concepts and ideas in the first place? That would defeat my objective, no?Again, no worries if you’ve done that. I’m sure I’ve done it as well but I try not to…I’m just explaining why I’m not responding to the comment and suggesting that maybe the post has something about what you wrote in it. I’d love for you to read it!The other thing is, I can spend years trying to explain why comments are incorrect or miss the point. I just don’t want to do that. I’d rather just move on to the next blog post. Everyone can think what they want. I’m ok with that. I get bored rehashing old topics.I need to update my book on that note. I mostly wrote it to be timeless. But there are a few stats I should update and it’s hard for me to go back and re-read and update old content. I have so many more interesting ideas, experiments, and research awaiting my attention! Bleh. I’m on to the next idea — look — something shiny!Instead of just responding to all these comments, I’m just going to post a link to this story. I wrote it because this has come up a lot recently.Sometimes, the comments are on the title of the post alone (which may be a provocative title and not really what the angle is in the post as I’m trying to get you thinking if you actually read it.) Like one time I wrote a title called — Deployment Systems — Danger or Defense? One person whom I really like and admire, responded “Both” and proceeded to explain why. Pretty sure he didn’t read the article because he was basically repeating it.Sometimes the comments are not correct, misinformation, spam, or already addressed in the post.By the way here’s a security tip — beware of anyone who tells you to get help on Instagram or at some other social media account, for example. Any time those appear in the comments for one of my posts, they get blocked and reported to appropriate social media powers that be. They are usually trying to get you to give up some information that will help them get in your account, not you.If you really want to know what I think and whether the comment is even relevant, you have to read what I wrote in the first place.RSS Feeds and Stolen ContentPeople who repost or use what is behind the paywall without permission are stealing. Some people have no ethics or morals in this regard. But stealing content and harms my ability to earn a living and pay the bills. Not very nice. I found that when my stories are not behind a paywall the entire content gets pushed in RSS feeds and posted on alternative websites. I think that’s a Medium bug, to be honest, but in any case, a paywall prevents that to some degree.I wrote some stories on plagiarism and how to report it to Google.Is Someone Sabotaging your Blog?About those who don’t follow me as a result of my paywall…Some people find out I have paywalls on some of my content and they stop following me on social media. Why isn’t everything free? What makes you think you are so special that I am going to pay for your blog posts.I am curious as to why people have this reaction to a paywall when they are happy to go to Amazon and buy a book on a topic of interest? The concept is the same. Someone spent a lot of time producing something for you to read. They would appreciate if they were paid for their time and effort.Well, at the end of the day, I’m trying to earn a living, just like all of you. I have bills to pay. A dog to feed. (He’s really cute!) And I don’t particularly want to go work as a CISO (they can make upwards of $300–500K per year I hear) or in a stressful, political, corporate environment. Been there, done that. Did my time.I am choosing alternative work and as a result not paid as much, but I’m happy with my choice. And I’m hopefully helping more people than if I worked for a single company. I actually help CISOs on calls for IANS Research. And honestly I probably make more on one call that I do in a year’s worth of writing on Medium at the moment but I hope Medium can figure out their payment model — either that or I have to find a new platform.Want to Talk to a Cybersecurity Expert?If someone is following but never going to pay for anything or even refer me to anyone that might hire me or get a subscription, then what’s the loss if they don’t follow me anyway?Of course, there is some giving back on my part as well. Not only do I try to provide valuable content in return for a small payment, I have some free posts for people who are just starting out in cybersecurity at the end. I’ve done free presentations for various organizations and there’s a link to a video for people starting out in cybersecurity in that list and various other videos online. I have some presentations online you can view for free here:Teri RadichelIf people are only taking and not giving back then what’s the ROI for having them as a follower on social media because they are angry about the paywall? What is the loss to me if they stop following? I’ve been pondering that recently. If having them as a follower never leads to any benefit from me why do I care if they follow me or not? Sometimes less is more. High quality followers are more important than a massive amount of people who just want you to give everything you do away for free.I know one person with a bazillion followers on social media who constantly gives away everything for free and I wonder how that person makes money. It’s also exhausting. I have to limit what I give away for free because I also need to earn a living.For those who also want to write on Medium and get paid for it like me — I’m not going to promise you will get rich — but it is a little supplemental income. If you are trying to get started, I wrote this post. I liked the advice I found when I was starting out — write for your fans. Forget the rest.Sharing cybersecurity ideasThe ROI on a subscriptionFor those on a tight budget, so tight that you cannot afford $5 per month, I have some free articles. Maybe getting into cybersecurity will help you earn that additional income you’re seeking. These posts are for you:Cybersecurity Careers and JobsFor the others, I get it. You can’t pay for everything you read on the Internet. I don’t. But perhaps, if something provides some unique perspective and value that helps you learn an grow in your career, or maybe just get things done faster, maybe $5 per month is worth it.It’s an investment and for each person, it will either have a solid return on investment (ROI) or not. It depends on your circumstances and if the information will lead you to either saving time and money or making more money. Or maybe you just read technical articles for entertainment. ;-DOf course, if you don’t value the material and it doesn’t help you, then you won’t want to pay for it. But for some it is an alternative to taking a class.Or perhaps they are using my code to help them better secure their systems or get their jobs done faster.Maybe I will write something that helps a company stave off a data breach — the cost of which is in the millions or billions of dollars. That’s a pretty good return on a $5 per month investment.So is a lucrative career in cybersecurity.Why my posts may be differentMy stories aren’t your general news blog type posts or someone spewing off concepts with no real actionable outcome. This isn’t a high level top 10 list. Those types of articles appeal to the masses but don’t usually get to the heart of problems in any significant way.My posts are such that you can read them and take the information and actually do something with it. You can use the code and concepts in your cloud accounts, network policies, or log analysis on your home network, for example.If you are trying to learn cybersecurity can follow my steps for implementing a home network to start understanding how to analyze your network traffic logs.Home Network DiagramMaybe you want to learn an easier way to dissect network packets and covert hex to binary, if that’s something you’re doing for work or for school. I am not a math person and I found an easier way to grasp those concepts than the way it was presented to me.Cybersecurity MathMaybe you want a strategy to rearchitect your cloud accounts to improve governance and reduce risk.Cloud GovernanceI’m not writing just to write. I’m trying to write stories that help people solve problems they are facing in cybersecurity with code and steps to take to solve them. I try to provide the steps to take to fix the problems rather than generalized knowledge or simply writing “about the problem”.I even give you the code you can take back and play around with and make your own (as long as you are not reselling it in any way, in which case you can license it.)Writing code that works and steps with screen shots and architecture diagrams is time consuming — much more time consuming than putting together a powerpoint presentation or spitting out a blog post. And I’m not taking something I wrote for an employer and publishing it online (which people should not be doing as that code and work generally belongs to their employer.)I’m writing for you. My readers. And, for myself. I’m using what I write to improve my own security and validate that it works. And sometimes I’m writing things in ways that have more security and governance than I need as a single user because I want to help organizations become more secure.And that’s why some of my stories (but not all) have a paywall. If any of that sounds valuable to you, then you might consider a Medium subscription. If it is not valuable to you then I understand. It’s just another source of news and you can’t pay for them all. No problem.What’s freeThe current iteration of my GitHub repository for my most recent series on cybersecurity automation is free. It’s just that you won’t understand why I did the things I did in that repository if you don’t read the associated blog posts. I have a big new chunk of code to add there shortly.GitHub – tradichel/SecurityMetricsAutomationIf you are trying to get a job in cybersecurity and you want to know how to go about doing that, or if you are trying to get paid more, or you are trying to hire someone who works in cybersecurity, I have free content on those topics here:Cybersecurity Careers and JobsIf you think my posts might be useful, you could subscribe for as little as $5 per month to try it out. You don’t just get my content but content from a lot of other authors on Medium.Also, if you don’t like what’s in your feed, give Medium feedback so they can fix it. It seems like they are trying to do just that.And if you want to help me keep writing, join my email list below, read, and clap on the articles you like. I think the claps contribute to getting paid but Medium is always changing how they do things. They are coming out with something new called boosting. Not sure how that will work.Medium Boosting —and fighting AI generated contentI’m not sure how long I will keep this up but I plan to for a while anyway. It all depends on my ROI. :-)Thank you for reading.👏Follow for updates.Teri Radichel | © 2nd Sight Lab 2023The best way to support this blog is to sign up for the email list and clap for stories you like. That also helps me determine what stories people like and what to write about more often. Other ways to follow and support are listed below. Thank you!Get an email whenever Teri Radichel publishes.About Teri Radichel:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Author: Cybersecurity for Executives in the Age of CloudSlideshare: Presentations by Teri RadichelSpeakerdeck: Presentations by Teri RadichelRecognition: SANS Difference Makers Award, AWS Security Hero, IANS FacultyCertifications: SANSEducation: BA Business, Master of Sofware Engineering, Master of InfosecHow I got into security: Woman in techCompany: Cloud Penetration Tests, Assessments, Training ~ 2nd Sight LabLike this story? Show your support so I can write more!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Clap for this story or refer others to follow me.Follow on Medium: Teri RadichelSign up for Email List: Teri RadichelFollow on Twitter: @teriradichelFollow on Mastodon: @teriradichel@infosec.exchangeFollow or Like on Facebook: 2nd Sight LabFollow or like on YouTube: @2ndsightlabBuy a Book: Teri Radichel on AmazonRequest a penetration test, security assessment, or training via LinkedIn: Teri Radichel Schedule a consulting call with me through IANS ResearchCybersecurity for Executives in the Age of CloudWhy Do Some Of Your Stories Have a Paywall? was originally published in Cloud Security on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.