Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Albert Gonzalez | Spokeo | Giffords + Social Media | Passwords

A “grab bag” of interesting stuff for you today.

* Three reasons to dump your cable provider: Boxee, Roku and Apple TV (updated)

“I don’t know of anyone that doesn’t want to cut the cord with their cable provider — at least the television part, that is. Now it’s possible thanks to several inexpensive solutions for Internet and streaming TV that are worth looking at including: Boxee, Roku and Apple TV.”

* See, The Day of the Password Is Done

“When the popular Website Gawker was hacked into recently, more than a million user IDs and passwords were released. If you were one of the people compromised, that’s annoying — very annoying.

People never have, and never will, use good security practices. After more than 30 years of working with networks and security, I’m ready to give up on trying to get the general public to do the right things to keep themselves safe. In a company, it’s a different matter. It’s a pain, but if you keep at it and enforce the rules, eventually you’ll get most of the people to do the right things most of the time. But people at home? It’s not going to happen.”

* An alert reader (you know who you are) wrote in informing me about the alarming amount of personal information they discovered to be revealed on a website called… and what they did about it. Anyone concerned with their privacy should read (IMHO), and follow the steps suggested too.

* Have you ever wondered about hackers (really “cybercriminals”)? Who they are, and what makes them tick? This (lengthy) NY Times Magazine article looks at perhaps the most significant “security event” to date, and tells us about “mastermind” Albert Hernandez — his remarkably successful criminal ‘career’, his arrest, his working with the Secret Service, his re-arrest, and 20 year prison sentence. (You might remember the TJMaxx “identy theft” incident?)
It is the most comprehensive and informative article on cybercriminals (and our vulnerabilities) I have seen — I highly recommend it folks read it.
See, The Great Cyberheist

* The Giffords Tragedy and Social Media

“The shooter’s media manifestos are online in lurid detail. Getting to know Loughner is so easy, it feels surreal. Loughner’s social media footprints are easy to find – yet shared almost like social media gluttony.”

Today’s free download: Netcraft toolbar This anti-phishing protection is highly recommended, and works with both IE and Firefox. It clearly indicates “safe” websites (with a green indicator bar), suspicious sites, and blocks access to known Phishing sites.

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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January 12, 2011 - Posted by | computers, cyber crime, Internet | , , , , , , ,


  1. Hi Paul,
    Good evening.
    Thanks for introducing Netcraft toolbar. Pretty useful.

    I have a request if you could link all such useful “Today’s free download” in a separate page. It would be great.



    Comment by Grr | January 12, 2011 | Reply

  2. Interesting… (All of the links). I especially like the article on passwords. I recall going through password security measures at work, and I did learn to change them every quarter plus use strong models.

    Remembering them is a different story altogether. The applications listed in the article are a good way to do that.

    Years ago I used Word and password protected the file, until it became one of the most hacked applications I owned. More recently I printed them out and kept the document in a “safe” place. Still not the most desirable option.

    Thanks for the great recommendations…


    Comment by KsTinMan | January 13, 2011 | Reply

    • KsTinMan,
      Password Managers are popular items for the very reason you mentioned. Currently, KeePass is very popular, but I prefer the tried and trusty RoboForm.

      I, too, keep a “hard copy” of my 3,892 username+password (OK. A slight exaggeration) and I reco doing so — with the caveat that it not be kept in plain site near the computer (or.. taped to the bottom of the keyboard.. ahem).


      Comment by techpaul | January 13, 2011 | Reply

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