Privacy is Dead – be faster than the slowest guy

A viewer on Youtube commented on one of my videos: “Privacy is dead. The minute we are on social network using our real names or not, personal information is already out there floating somewhere, somehow…”

I agree. If someone really wants your personal information and you have put posted something on the Internet, there is a good chance that they can get it. The more you post, the more exposure you have. Even if you use a fake name and fake address.

There is no such as 100% security or privacy. But you can have some level of control that makes it harder for attacker to get you. If you have some controls in place attackers are more likely to go after softer targets.

If it take attacker a longer time to go after you then it does to go after someone easier, they will usually choose the softer target.

Protecting Your Identity from Crazy People Personally identifiable information

As we get more popular we encounter crazier and crazier people. This video is an example of why you should be careful about posting your personally identifiable information online.

Do not use your real name – With your real name, people may be able to find out your address.  Do not show your physical address – Imagine what someone can do if they know exactly where you live?
Do not advertise your real birthday – Your date of birth is another bit of information that will help identify you.

for privacy use passcode

6 tips for mobile device security & privacy

If you have a mobile device, you realize how powerful it can be.  The more you rely on these devices the more you need to be aware of protecting your data on them.  Here are 6 quick tips to protect you mobile device:

1. Separate phone / SIM card – A separate phone / SIM card helps you keep your privacy on personal matters.  Use a separate phone or SIM for work, home or for your personal business.  Keeping it separate helps keep all transactions on a specific device.

 2.  Mobile device security code – creating a phone security code prevent anyone from spying your phone by just picking it up and tapping a button.

for privacy use passcode

use cell phone privacy lock screen-pin

 3 . Delete history – You mobile device saves and tracks all transactions by default.  So if someone got access to the it, they could see everyone you contacted back to the first day you activated the device.  Deleting phone calls and messages remedy that some what.

 4. Keypad lock – You must have your keypad automatically lock after  a short period of inactivity just in case you set your device down and forget to lock it manually.  The shorter the time you set (ex:5 seconds) the better.

 5. SIM card code – for confidential contacts, setting a code into your SIM card is a must.

 6. No automatic email log in – do not set your emails into automatic log-in so people cannot trace your personal info by merely picking up your phone.

Mobile devices with links in to social media, personal email accounts, contacts, and transactions can give someone immediate access into all aspects of your personal life.  Its important you implement some or all of these tips if you want to maintain some of your privacy.

gmail security

gmail security

gmail security

Gmail is one of my favorite email products.  Its free, its extremely good at collecting and organizing data (in-line with google’s vision of world information organization domination) and its so intuitive.

The gmail security features are kind of tucked away to bring the organization and search functions to the foreground.  But once you know where they are, its easy.

1. First, browse into your email and sign in.


2. Inside your email under your name, click privacy.

3. Under Account Privacy, hit Security and add alternate recovery email and mobile number.   This will allow gmail security to alert you of any suspicious activity such as someone attempting to access your account.

gmail security

gmail security

privacy tips

8 Tips Protect Privacy

8 Tips to Protect Privacy: from those using your computer or account

2013 has been a big year for privacy issues.  There is a lot of talk about the government’s spying on citizens and usurping certain civil liberties.  While this is definitely a concern regardless of what country/state you live in, a more immediate threat to your personal privacy are the people actually using your computer and or accounts.  Friends, family and co-workers that are using the same computer you are using, for example, can do more damage just from seeing something they are not supposed to see.  At the very least, it can just be embarrassing.

Whether they are just borrowing your system and you trust them is not the point.  TRUST is not the point.  Access is the main concern.  After all they may ACCIDENTALLY see something they are not meant to see.  Or a trusted friend might allow someone ELSE that you Do NOT trust to use your system.  So it is really not a matter of TRUST but ACCESS.  If its easy to access the data then you must assume that they already have or will access, copy, modify this important private data.  If you value your data and if you are security minded then you must control access.

Here are 8 tips to protect privacy of personal data.  

privacy tips

courtesy of cubicle chick – privacy tips

1. Create multiple password protected accounts 

Your local system should have multiple accounts even if you are sure no one else will log-in directly to the system.  Multiple accounts allow you to have separate roles.  An administrator role to install, upgrade and configure and a normal account for surfing the web, creating documents and doing day to day stuff.  You should not surf the web with your administrator account.  Each account should be password protected.  If you surf the web with an admin account you risk your system being compromised by malware that will run as the admin account you are using.

 –> Create Users 

2. Delete Browser History & Cache

Why delete you browsers cache and history?  And how can deleting that info protect privacy?  Your browser track all your browsing activity by default.  So, if for example, your mom or dad jumps on your computer (and your computer is wide open with no accounts or passwords).  They use YOUR account and YOUR computer to quickly search information about “dictionaries”  As your mom/dad types “Di “ and the word “dick” auto-completes and is something you previously typed.  An innocent search can reveal all the places you have gone if you don’t regularly clear the history and cache from all browsers.


3. Lock Mobile Device

As of 2013, cell phones, tablets, smartphones and some laptop are the biggest gapping whole in protecting privacy.  Mainly because its fairly new to many people.

If you have a mobile device, chances are high that they have a direct access into your email account.  You must put a automatic lock on your phone so that if you are away from your phone for more than a few minutes.  Or if you lose your mobile device at least whoever finds it won’t have access to all your emails and online accounts.

 4. Use Separate Emails for Separate Uses

To minimize the risk of professional life leaking into personal life (and vice-versa), use separate email accounts for work and home life.  Especially if the email is tied to a social network.  If you have a business, you should keep its email traffic separate as well.  This keep contacts separate, social network posts and the professional and personal life in their own lanes.

5. Encrypt or Delete Files You don’t want Others to See

protect privacy

congress weiner privacy ?

If you have nude photos of yourself its really none of anyone’s business but those you wish to share it with.  Do you have nudes of your significant other? Do you have a drunken video of your BFF’s birthday party?  You should put them in a folder that only you know about and encrypt them.  Better yet, keep them off your computer and encrypted on removable media (thumb drive, CDROM etc).  DO NOT send half nude selfies, titty pictures, nudes or ANYTHING like that over the Internet especially if you have a high profile job.  You really cannot trust anyone to protect your data.  No one cares more about your privacy than you.  If you don’t mind others, your kids, your parents and coworkers seeing your amazing body, then its fine.  Case in point, NY-Congressman Weiner sent very personal pictures of himself to twitter under a different name.  Unfortunately, his opponents found out and used it to get him publicly shamed.  He eventually had to resign as  congressman.   It’s best not to send pictures or sexually explicit text out to anyone.

6. Password protection

Don’t give out your password.  Use strong password (at least 8 characters, UPPER/lowercase, special characters, numbers all mixed in).  Change you passwords immediately if you feel it has been compromised.  Don’t use the same password for every account.

7. Log off

You may need to log-in to your social media website or email from a public or work computer that others will need to use.  You must get in the habit of logging off.  If you can, set up the account to automatically lock or log out.

8. Auditing Your Accounts

privacy audit logs

picture of logs from a computer important in privacy courtest  terminal services

Social network accounts allow you to audit the account and send you a message if someone attempts to access your account from a different location or if they              mis-authenticated over and over.  You need to know when someone is attempting to access your personal information.




google’s Safe Browsing Alerts

The all seeing eye of Google is upon Safe browsing and and alerts for your network. I think this is proof that Google is not “evil” as some say. Some believe that Google is “evil” just because they want to organize all of the worlds data. To this I say, “stop, hatin’!”

Google has taken steps toward protecting is users from malware and phishing attacks by alerting webmasters of malicious content and bad URLs.

Now Google offers a service for Network Administartors that allows system owners to receive early notifications for malicious content on their network. Its called “Google Safe Browsing Alerts“. As an example of how powerful this can be, imagine an Internet Service Provider have such a service.

I can already hear the “nayers of google” crying, “what about the privacy of the networks and your users?” To this I say, “SHUT THE HELL UP!” Google loves you. Google died for your sins. Repent, for the kingdom of Google is at hand.

That is all.

can i locate someone by mobile phone

Is it possible to locate and/or track someone by their mobile phone? Yes.

How and Why is it Possible to Locate Someone by Mobile Phone?
The FCC mandated the implementation of enhanced 911, E911, for wireless services (Dec 2005). This regulation required that all cell phone carriers provide the capability to trace cell phone calls to within 100 meters or less of their location. Cell phone carriers place GPS technology into the handsets of the cell phone. Most cell phones do not allow direct access to the GPS network; you have to go through the cell phone carrier, another tracking service, or as a result of a 911 call or other emergency. Thanks to the E911 FCC regulations, the authorities can track someone who does not have a GPS enabled cell phone and subscription to the GPS data via their cell phone carrier

How Can You Locate Someone By Mobile Phone?
prerequisites: (unless you have access to 911 emergency systems) the mobile phone you are trying to locate must be GPS enabled and be subscribed to a GPS data plan
Register the GPS subscribed phone with a location based services (LBS). These are carrier or website services that will give you an interface to locate the mobile phone.

Location Based Services:
Mapquest Find Me (Sprint/Nextel)
Sprint’s Mobile Locator
Wherifone (for tracking your kid by their mobile phone)


Do more with LBS:

Privacy Concerns:
So basically, you can be tracked at all times if you have a cell phone. This raises serious privacy concerns especially since the potential for abuse of LBS is huge. What if someone does not wish to be found? There are also some security/safety concerns to consider: What if someone was recently placed on a witness protection program? Allowing such easy access to their currently location could get them killed. Consider some of the “crazies” out there that want to stalk and/or exact some sort of sick plan on a specific person. Furthermore, can we trust a government (ANY government) to protect each citizens rights to privacy?

Before you attempt locate someone vie their mobile phone you should consider their privacy.

facebook privacy

Privacy is really important but unfortunately the default setting of Facebook and other social networks is to push out all posts, links, and media content out to everyone on your “friends” and sometimes even “friends of friends”. The problem with this is that not everyone on your “friends list” are friends. Some maybe immediate family, distant family, co-workers and while others are complete strangers.

There maybe parts of your life you want to share with family that you don’t want co-workers on your friends list to see.

With Facebook you can manage all the content that you post by creating Lists. Once the list is created you can control who has access to what you post and upload.

How to Create Facebook Friends Lists:
1) Login and go to Account | Edit Friends
2) Click on “Create New List” and make a name for your new list
3) Once you have your new list you can add people to that list

Limiting Access to Content:
Anytime you post content you will be given the option of permitting or deny certain lists of friends (or even individuals) to what you are posting. At the bottom of every post near the “Share” button, there is a lock with an arrow to a drop down featuring: Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends, and Custom. If you click Custom, it will allow you to choose the new list you created or even specific individuals.

With this built in access control feature you have pretty good control over your privacy.

Facebook Imposter Scam

The first time I saw the “impostor scam” was on myspace. One after another about 6 or 7 of my friends myspace accounts were hijacked. What followed was my friends sending me messages about viagra and bogus malware sites. It was obvious that they’d been hacked, but they usually catch it a few days later and send out a message to apologize to everyone. It seems not social network is exempt from the imposter scam.

Enter the Facebook Imposter Scam:
The Facebook Imposter Scam is the same exploit that hit myspace. Users accounts are hacked using phishing techniques. Basically, users are lured into clicking on what looks like a legitimate link, they are scammed into giving out their username and password (sometimes with a phishing site that looks like “facebook” a “facebook imposter”). Once the user enters the username password, the criminal has there information and can do whatever they want. What they typically do is use the account to advertise a product, service or scam to EVERY friend on the victims list. The facebook imposter will even use the victim’s account to scam others.

This scam earned its way on the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

The best way to avoid falling prey to this imposter scam, is to watch out for outbound links. Always hover over alink and look at the bottom right-hand corner of the browser to see where it is actually going. Type in the supposed link into the address bar rather than clicking on outboud links. Pay attention to phishing warnings that myspace, search engines, browsers and facebook give you.

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