Security and Privacy

Netflix Support Scam Brazenly Uses Bogus Call Center and Remote Control

Support scams have graduated to another level. If you use Skype, you’ve undoubtedly run across random scam messages which claimed you had a virus or  other security issue. In some instances, a Skype call would claim to be Microsoft support; in both cases the goal was to get you to pay the scammer to fix a non-existent problem.


Spear-Phishing: Is Facebook the Source of Your Spam?

Have you received an email that said it was from someone related to you, but upon closer examination you saw that it was from an unknown email address, and it contained a spam link in the email’s body? If so, you might have thought that either you or your friend had been hacked, but this is something sneakier: spear-phishing.


Amazon Basics 8-Sheet Micro-cut Shredder Review – Protect Your Personal Data!

Identity theft is a very real concern these days. We try to use common sense, like regularly monitoring our bank accounts and shredding personal documents, but I keep breaking our shredders. “You get what you pay for” is definitely a good motto when it comes to motorized paper chomping machines, so we sprang for a decently equipped Amazon Basics Shredder.


If You Get a Message About Your “Achieve Account” Being Frozen, Ignore It

Multiple news organizations, in this case all the local TV stations in my area, have reported about this mysterious text message saying your “Achieve Account” being frozen. It also has a number that you should not call because it is an attempt to steal your identity; if you get a message similar to the above message, just delete it.


Foursquare’s New ‘Passive Notification’ System in Action!

The other day I was at Target, and a notification sounded – it wasn’t email, or text, or Game Center or ESPN. In fact I didn’t recognize it at all – so I looked at my phone. It was Foursquare, as shown above. This was a surprise because I couldn’t recall the last time I’d even opened the app!


Have You Been Wondering How to Remove Yourself from the Internet?

Maybe this whole NSA debacle has you feeling a bit over-exposed, or maybe you’ve decided that no good can come from having your information “out there”; whatever. Removing yourself from the internet is a daunting task, but Gizmodo has just published a guide that will at least get you started. Can you guess what will have to go first?


Get Serious About Security with Swann’s Platinum HD Security System

The Swann: Platinum HD System is for the seriously security-minded homeowner. The full 1080p HD DVR/camera kit and the Swann View app offer live remote viewing via four HD Cameras recording at 30 FPS. A 4 Channel DVR with 2TB hard drive records 45 days of non-stop video. It even has night vision. Available now at www.Swann.com for $1599.


Whopper of the Week – Google’s Schmidt Says ‘Android More Secure Than iOS’

  This week at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt was asked a question about Android security. Rather than answer directly, he said “Not secure? It’s more secure than the iPhone.” Perhaps unsurprisingly this drew laughter from the crowd – but he was being laughed AT, not WITH. Because it comes after a report showed >1 million Android apps had…


Why the LA Schools iPad Fiasco Was Self-Inflicted

iPads are cropping up everywhere, from homes to work and even in school settings. But can an iPad truly be secured to the satisfaction of a conscientious IT department? One expert says no, and a high-profile example may prove him correct. The city of Los Angeles has been planning to roll out iPads to their students, but it backfired slightly…


Does It Bother You That the NSA Is Probably Tracking Your Social Connections?

Online privacy is an illusion; anything you wouldn’t want your boss, friends, relatives, present or future significant others (or anyone else important to you) to see should never be posted, texted, emailed, tweeted, or liked. And now it appears that our own government is the party most interested in our social connections and interactions. How bothered should we be? I began…


Impact of Android Fragmentation: Vulnerability to Malware

An interesting report from the U.S. Homeland Security Department looks at the threat of mobile malware and other malicious threats, and breaks it down by operating system. Not surprisingly Android (especially 2.x and earlier versions) was most vulnerable, but the bigger concern was the slow adoption of more secure newer OS versions left many consumers at risk. Here are more…


Use JustDelete.Me to Disconnect Yourself Totally from the Internet

Have you ever thought – what would it take for me to completely delete my online presence? Over at Wired they just highlighted a new site called ‘JustDelete.Me’. The site, pictured above, places ‘delete my account’ direct links for popular sites in one easy to use array. Just click and you are gone – simple and painless. I remember years…


10 Ways You Can Unintentionally Reveal Your Location and How to Stop It

I was reading Facebook this morning, and I saw a three-year-old video that details how posting pictures on Facebook or other social networks can reveal your location. Keep reading for 10 different ways I’ve found that you can unintentionally share your location, and how to combat it if you prefer not to be so transparent. 10. For Amateur Radio Operators Only:…


DataViz Protects and Syncs Your Passwords and Sensitive Info with Passwords Plus

  If you are an avid user of Documents to Go you probably already knew about some of DataViz, Inc.’s product offerings in the software office arena. One aspect that is critical to office integrity is security, and DataViz has  recently stepped up to the plate with their new Passwords Plus cross-platform password security software. Starting at $9.99, Passwords Plus…


Tornado – an American Red Cross App for Android Review

After reading Travis’s post on the alerts being added to iOS, I started thinking about actual apps instead of the textual messages that the federally mandated messaging being built into the handsets.  Can they do it better? I loaded another couple of apps on my phone in preparation of the last line of storms that rolled through the Columbus, Ohio area….


Wireless Emergency Alerts Coming to ATT iPhone Customers

photo courtesy of blog.chron.com 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 to life and property, amber…


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 things they were planning on…


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 iSafe Urban Crew backpack will…


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 industries, and specifically the sex…


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, because he stared vacantly at…


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 Angry Birds machines to a…