Tech – for Everyone

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

Earn 1 million $’s the Easy Way (Seriously)


I thought it’d be bigger..

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of not being a millionaire. Fortunately, two recent reader submissions have pointed me to two ideas that will put an end to my days of brown bag, peanutbutter sandwich lunches, and will have Robin Leach looking for me.

As to the “Easy Money” of today’s “Tech-for Everyone”, many, many years ago, did I say many years ago? I bought my usual Saturday morning comic book. In the back of it were interesting things one could order. Tucked into a sharp ad was an inticing promise; “Earn 1 million $’s the easy way.” Of course I wanted to know how. The clipping said that I had to send $1 to the address on the ad. I did so and waited anxiously for the golden information that would make me a millionaire…the easy way. After 2 very long weeks I received a postcard that said, “Take out an ad in a comic book ad ask for $1 for the information on how to get rich.” That was it. I immediately felt that I had been ripped off and took it to my dad so that he might take legal action. He informed me that I had just paid for a a very important lesson and he was glad that I was learning it at 7 and not at 27. I guess the more things change the more they stay the same.” ~ Ann

Method 2: if you have a new smartphone, one with near-field technology (like the Galaxy S III), you could just stroll around town for a while…

Credit card data can be stolen with a wave and an app Certain smartphones allow potential fraudsters to get sensitive info, with minimal effort

It seems like there’s a smartphone app for everything these days — including one that could be used to steal your credit card information.” Read more..

I guess the $700 it takes to buy an S III isn’t such a bad investment after all…

I sincerely thank the readers for bringing those to my attention!

Today’s quote:Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.” ~ Douglas Pagels

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

April 25, 2013 Posted by | advice, Android, cyber crime, hackers, News | , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Do You Use A Debit or Credit Card? Watch This.

The other day I received a call. The person had read about a skimmer being found at a Lucky store they shop at, and they wanted to know how they could “spot” a skimmer. (See Lucky Supermarket Chain Reveals Scope Of Card Reader Scam)

Well.. um.. I wish I had an easy answer.

What I do have is 3 videos. The first is in German, but what I want you look at is the “skimmer” devices, used on ATM machines.. could you “spot” one of those?

It doesn’t just happen in Europe.. here’s a RL story..

And, it’s worse than that. Here’s a Bob Sullivan report on “pocket skimmers”.. like the ones your waiter/waitress might have..

So.. I haven’t even touched upon (wireless) RFID skimmers, or even begun to paint the picture as black as it is. Yippee.
What can you do to protect yourself? Do you need to scratch at keypads, and try to pop off faceplates before you use an ATM..? Wrap your wallet in tinfoil, too?

Well.. I don’t know. I guess that’s up to you. But, if your bank allows you to set “activity notifications”, I would activate it, and set it to 1¢. It won’t stop the ID Thief, but you may be able to act fast, and notify the bank before your account is completely emptied…………
Perhaps hire a “credit monitoring service”, or otherwise routinely, frequently, check your credit report as well? (Hint)

I have an idea. Why don’t we do away with currency altogether. Just (only) use chips or cards! It’s so convenient, and think of the money the government will save if it doesn’t have to print bills.

… arrrgh.

Today’s quote:If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” ~ Unknown

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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January 25, 2012 Posted by | advice, cyber crime, News | , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Vacation Odds and Ends + Giveaway

The weekend is here – the last weekend of Tech Paul’s ‘vacation mode’ – and I intend to get the most out of it as I can.. by doing as little as possible. With that in mind, here are some quick bits.

1) Have you ever wished you could go back in time…and un-do something you did? Windows’ built-in recovery tool, System Restore, allows your computer to do what you and I cannot do, jump back in history to a time when everything was working properly, and that’s a pretty neat trick!
See, How To Use System Restore To Fix Windows

2) In spite of the pop-up windows that are geared to urging you to purchase, AVG can STILL be downloaded for free. (To do so now, click here.)

3) Skype CANNOT detect a problem on your computer… but that doesn’t stop a criminal from sending you a “chat” that says it has.
See, Skype — “Windows Requires Immediate Attention”.. Not!

4) Are you still using XP? Want a more “modern” and attractive look and feel?
See, Make XP Look Like Vista or Mac OS X

5) Welcome to the world of the illiterati, where ignorance is indeed bliss, where being a moron is somehow classed as being “cute” and where screaming and roaring abuse at someone for any perceived slight doesn’t mean you’re an ———-, it means you have “attitude”.
See, Welcome to the world of the illiterati, where ignorance is indeed bliss…
(Thanks to Tech-Thoughts for bringing that one to my attention,)

6) Network Solutions discovered in early June that attackers had hacked into Web servers the company uses to provide e-commerce services – a package that includes everything from Web hosting to payment processing — to at least 4,343 customers, mostly mom-and-pop online stores.
See, Network Solutions Hack Compromises 573,000 Credit, Debit Accounts (in some browsers, you may have to scroll down a bit..)

And last but not least.. (drum roll please)
Free Lifetime License for SUPERAntiSpyware Professional – 20 to Give Away

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

July 25, 2009 Posted by | computers, tech | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hacker Theft Could be the Largest Credit Card Crime in History

Hackers breach Heartland Payment credit card system

Heartland Payment Systems hpy on Tuesday disclosed that intruders hacked into the computers it uses to process 100 million payment card transactions per month for 175,000 merchants. The number of victims is still unknown.

Heartland’s disclosure coincides with reports of heightened criminal activities involving stolen payment card numbers. Security firm CardCops has been tracking a 20% year-over-year increase in Internet chat room activity where hackers test batches of payment card numbers to make sure that they’re active.

To read the full news story, click here.

My two cents: This is why, folks, you don’t want to get all excited about “cloud computing”, or allow your governments to create large “databases”.. like a “national health registry”, or “crime database”.. and why I don’t use “online backup” to store my files.
Why trust someone else’s server? The Conficker outbreak shows you how well servers get patched..

I feel bad for the folks at HPS.. the cost to “clean this up” is going to be astounding.. For more on that see, Credit card hackers find new, rich targets.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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January 22, 2009 Posted by | computers, cyber crime, News, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

International cooperation busts cyber-crime ring

In a pair of related cases, a total of 38 people with links to global organized crime—mostly working out of Romania and the U.S., but also operating in Pakistan, Portugal, and Canada—were indicted for engineering a decidedly 21st century cyber-based scheme. (From the FBI Website.)

By using the fairly routine online crime of “phishing“, the online scam also used a clever offline payoff, and ultimately swindling thousands of people and hundreds of financial institutions out of millions before being shut down.

  • Phraudsters working primarily out of Romania—known as the “suppliers”—went phishing and obtained thousands of credit and debit card accounts and related personal information by sending out masses of spam. 
  • These suppliers then sent their ill-gotten financial data to their partners in the U.S.—so-called “cashiers”—through Internet chat and e-mail messages.
  • By using some sophisticated but readily available software and technologies, the cashiers manufactured their own credit, debit, and gift cards encoded with the stolen information, giving them unfettered access to large amounts of money via ATMs and point-of-sale terminals. 
  • Before these cards were used, cashiers directed “runners” to test the cards by checking balances or withdrawing small amounts of money from ATMs. Then, these “cashable” cards were used on the most lucrative accounts. 
  • The cashiers wired a percentage of the illegal proceeds back to the suppliers. (More details of the method used, the people charged, the charges and possible sentences, can be read here.)
  • Folks– were you one of the “thousands” who responded? One phish message was made to appear as if it originated from Connecticut-based People’s Bank.  (In fact, the e-mail message directed victims to a computer in Minnesota that had been “hacked,” and used to host a counterfeit People’s Bank Internet site. {called “pharming“})  During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the individuals had engaged in similar phishing schemes against many other financial institutions and companies, including Citibank, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Comerica Bank, Wells Fargo & Co., eBay and PayPal.

    Tip of the day: I don’t care how “authentic” the e-mail, IM, or text message looks; don’t click the link!

    Today’s free link: This video quick tip on CNet TV shows you how to move your complete (including playlists and metadata) iTunes library to a new computer.

    Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix 

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    May 31, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, Internet, Internet scam, Phishing, phraud, security, spam and junk mail, tech | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments