Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

Security and Privacy Tag Archive


June 16, 2013 • News

Wireless Emergency Alerts Coming to ATT iPhone Customers

photo courtesy of AT&T has been rolling out Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) for some time. The service is now being added to iPhone 4s and 5 phones through an over the air update. The alerts are sent via free messages and are issued according to geographic location. The alerts focus on messages of threats …

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May 30, 2013 • Reviews

Diamond Multimedia PlugnView Home Monitoring System Review

A few weeks ago, I wrote an initial post entitled The Aftermarket Smart Home – a Gear Diary Journey. The thought for the series came to me after friends told me about the various smart home considerations that were playing into their choices as they do a complete home renovation. I loved some of the …

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April 19, 2013 • Reviews

iSafe Urban Crew Backpack Review – Wired with Protective Lights and a Loud Alarm

In the last few years we have seen reports of violence on college, high school and even grade school campuses. The Virginia Tech and Newtown shootings aren’t necessarily a confirmation of increasing crime on school campuses, but they certainly serve as reminders that we can’t always be with our kids to protect them. While the …

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April 6, 2013 • Events

Lessons on Privacy from the Adult Entertainment Industry at SXSWi

Yes, I know it’s been over for a few weeks now, but I still have some South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) notes about some interesting stuff that I encountered there that I would like to share with you all, so I hope you don’t mind. Note to Readers: This post discusses topics related to adult …

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April 1, 2013 • Gear Bits

NBC Promotes Smarter Passwords in “The More You Know” Spot

A few weeks ago, there was a lot of buzz about vulnerabilities in Apple’s security — and as a result they rolled out two-step password verification — I tried to encourage my dad to enroll his Apple ID in it as well as my mom’s. I might as well have been speaking a foreign language, …

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January 16, 2013 • Events, News

iSmartAlarm Puts Your iPhone in Charge of Security

One of the really cool parts of being at CES was the chance to check out accessories and products that are up and coming. Of those, there were more than a few that hooked into the ubiquitous iOS ecosystem. We carry our iPhones and iPads everywhere, and companies are taking them beyond just email and …

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January 4, 2013 • Gear Bits, Rants and Raves

The Outcome of My ‘Unsubscribe’ Adventure

Back in mid-November, I wrote a post asking if those ‘unsubscribe’ links in emails of reputable companies actually meant anything. Carly wrote a follow-up post about how companies used junk mail blasts as targeted marketing, because it was surprisingly effective. So now it is about six weeks since I wrote my original post, making it nearly two months …

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December 26, 2012 • Editorials

Randi Zuckerberg Learns the Hard Lesson of Facebook Privacy First-Hand

Over the Christmas holiday, Randi Zuckerberg (Mark Zuckerberg’s sister and former director of Marketing at Facebook) posted a picture of her family around the kitchen island having fun, and someone else shared the image on Twitter. This was picked up on Buzzfeed and more thoroughly explained on GigaOm amongst other places. Zuckerberg called the person …

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December 20, 2012 • Editorials, Gear Bits

Parents, Check Out These 12 Myths of Protecting Your Kids Online

This holiday season millions of kids will be getting an iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet, Kindle Fire, Nook and so on … and maybe a few will get a traditional PC or Mac. One of the first things they will do with it is get online. Maybe just for email, but if they are …

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November 28, 2012 • News

SwannSmart Remote Camera Gives You Piece of Mind

We spend summers and many vacation breaks up in Pennsylvania. Much of the year, however, the house is unoccupied. And while we have neighbors who keep an eye on it for us, there’s nothing like seeing for ourselves that everything is okay. The SwannSmart camera should let us do that and a whole lot more. …

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November 27, 2012 • Reviews

Flipside STRATA Wallet Review

I’ve been a fan of Flipside Wallet’s products since I first saw, and later reviewed, the Flipside 2X Wallet. (Read the post.) Sure, the Flipside Wallet 2X looks a bit unusual, but I really like it. I like the fact that it keeps my wallet organized; I like the fact that my credit cards are …

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October 24, 2012 • News

AhnLab Introduces the V3 Click, the First-to-Market Personal Security Device for PCs

Viruses, trojans and spyware. These are the perennial pests of modern computing and the bane of system administrators and IT personnel everywhere, not to mention the end users themselves! When I first heard about USB flash drives being used to infect PCs a few years back, I wondered: if a USB device can infect a …

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September 13, 2012 • Rants and Raves

A Sad Milestone as Report Shows Post 9/11 Torture by Americans Much Worse Than Reported or Admitted

On September 11th, we remember all of the tragic loss of life from the 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Flight 93. We also celebrate and mourn all of those who responded to the tragedy and many who lost their lives trying to save others and still more who have lingering …

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August 2, 2012 • Editorials

Watch for Kids in School Zones, Even in Summer Months

My son was hit by a pickup truck a couple of weeks ago, crossing the street when coming home from a school ‘enrichment’ program. He is doing fine – thanks for asking – but it has raised many questions in our area, and it has prompted a look at how we deal with school zones …

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August 1, 2012 • Editorials

Washington DC Police Chief Issues Reasonable Citizen Cell-Camera Guidelines

If you keep an eye on the news, you probably have heard that the ubiquity of smartphones with capable video cameras in recent years has drastically changed how we view many things. Go to a concert and you will see hundreds (if not thousands) of people videotaping the proceedings; no longer are the aisles at …

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July 23, 2012 • News, Rants and Raves, Travel

Full Body Scans, the TSA and the Law: The Legal Maneuvers Continue

I used to travel a lot — basically once a week.  I had a job in California, but my family lives in Austin.  (it was 2008–I took whatever I could find.)  So I spent a lot of time in airports, eating, pulling luggage, searching for power outlets, unlacing and relacing my shoes, and getting scanned. …

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June 30, 2012 • eBooks

Should eBooks and Privacy Be a Concern for Us?

Here’s another reason for eBook haters to complain about the digitization of the written word — your reading habits are no longer secret. While it is not surprising to assume Amazon, B&N and Kobo are watching what you read, the Wall Street Journal has a very detailed account of just how much is being watched. …

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June 11, 2012 • Gear Bits

The FBI Serves Warrants Through Email Now?

Well, of course not. So if you get an email with the return address of FBI OFFICE, and the ALL CAPS subject line reading “WE THE FBI HAVE WARRANT TO ARREST YOU GET BACK TO US FOR YOUR OWN GOOD”, please hit delete. Don’t forward it to a relative or friend asking if they think …

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June 6, 2012 • Gear Bits, News

Protect Your Gear with iSafeBags Urban Crew Backpacks

Have you ever had something valuable stolen out of a laptop case or backpack? Most people have. Whether it was an ipod, cell phone, or wallet, this type of thing tends to happen to everyone – especially in urban environments and public areas. Fewer people, I’d imagine, would consider arming their backpack with a full-fledged …

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May 20, 2012 • Reviews

Stem Innovation iZON Remote Room Monitor Review

Two years ago we installed a wireless security system in our home as part of a review. (Read it here.) One element of the system is a remote camera that lets you keep an eye on one part of your home when you are away. But what if you want to have a remote camera …

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May 1, 2012 • Rants and Raves

Unintended Consequences of ‘Play’-ing Around!

Early this week I saw link to a couple of new music making apps for Android and wanted to check them out, so I clicked and … BLOCKED! That is right – suddenly I couldn’t access Google Play. I went ahead and asked one of our local IT folks and he said that in general …

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