Tech – for Everyone

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

This is important (and sign the petition)

Folks, one to read, and take action on … NOW.

* STOP Rule 41 — FBI should not get Legal Power to Hack Computers Worldwide

“We have been hearing a lot about Rule 41 after the US Department of Justice has pushed an update to the rule. The change to the Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure grants the FBI much greater powers to hack legally into any computer across the country, and perhaps anywhere in the … ” Read more..

* * *

Today’s quote:I truly believe that everything that we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we’re all teachers – if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.” ~ Marla Gibbs

Copyright 2007-2015 © “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.

June 24, 2016 Posted by | advice, computers, consumer electronics, Internet, News, privacy, security | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to the New Cold War

Folks, this article not only should be read by everyone, but ‘forwarded’ to all your friends and family. The news is that big. This is definitely something to be aware of, and to pay attention to.


* U.S. charges Chinese military group with cyber espionage

The U.S. made a rare move to pursue foreign government employees by charging five Chinese nationals with committing economic espionage against Westinghouse, Alcoa , the U.S. Steelworkers’ Union and other large U.S. companies and organizations, in a move that serves as a warning and a wakeup call for both state-sponsored hackers and the companies that they attack.Read more..

This is a monumental change. It has been patently obvious – to those who pay attention to such things – that for years China has not been “playing nice” (some would say, has been waging cyber war, if not mere cyber espionage/theft), but that they’ve enjoyed a kind of tacit immunity, because they own all our money, and build all our devices.. and we (think we) want access to that vast market.

Why is this so important? “It’s possible this could cause a Virtual Cold War between the world’s biggest economies, with wide-ranging impact on the entire planet.

Again, read the article, here.

Maybe… we’ll have to start making our own stuff again…

A wee bit of good news: Historic global cyber crime bust takes down ‘BlackShades’ users

An FBI-led investigation involving law enforcement agencies in 17 countries has led to one of the biggest cyber crime busts in recent history.Read more..

Yes. History is being made …

Today’s quote:The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch.” ~ Jim Rohn

Copyright 2007-2014 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<

All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.
And please, never forget – one person can make a difference.
Find a way to make someone’s day today.
(Best advice I ever heard? Don’t sweat the small stuff.)

May 21, 2014 Posted by | cyber crime, Cyberwarfare, hackers, News, security, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Brief Check-in

Howdy folks.

Here are a few items for your consideration.

Red Flags: there are a couple…


I pity the fool who opens that attachment..

In the news:
Government Passwords Are Incredibly Easy to Hack

Some of the federal government’s most sensitive data are protected by passwords that wouldn’t pass muster for even the most basic civilian email account, according to a new congressional report.Read more..

Body odor passes smell test as biometric

Researchers at the Polytechnic University of Madrid are exploring a new form of biometric authentication – body odor.

Turns out your smell – which may be just as offensive as the next guy’s – is at least unique.Read more..

Are you ready to live in a connected home?

The notions of “smart appliances” and “home automation” have been bandied about for years, but they always seemed to be just over the horizon, a “Jetsons” fantasy that would never come true. Technology has a funny way of catching up with fantasy; the connected home may finally become a real thing. Check out some hot new products that are paving the way for a more connected lifestyle of the future.Read more..

Progress marches on..

* I see we’re up to Firefox v27 now…

* Six challenges for Microsoft as the Satya Nadella era begins

Congratulations, Satya Nadella. You’re the new CEO of Microsoft! What are you going to do next? I don’t have any advice, but I think I have a pretty good idea of what’s on the new boss’s to-do list.Read more..

* There were many articles posted inre the fact Facebook turned 10.
But it’s impossible for me to care less.

Apple: We didn’t pass iPhone, iPad device IDs to FBI

Both the FBI and now Apple have come forward to state that they had no involvement the ongoing ‘UDID-gate,’ which led to more than 1 million iOS device codes leaking to the Web.Read more..

A pretty picture:


Click on image to see more by this artist (reco’d)

“a sunday ride” by rosmary, courtesy of Flickr Commons

Today’s quote: ““A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe’ —a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ~ Albert Einstein

Copyright 2007-2014 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<

All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.
And please, never forget – one person can make a difference.

February 6, 2014 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, consumer electronics, hackers, Internet, Internet scam, Microsoft, News, tech | , , , , | Leave a comment

Is That Email Legitimate?

Folks, a reader sent in a question I really think you should see…

Q: “Tech Paul;
For several weeks I’ve been keeping-up with your blog. Recently, I have been given some ‘devastating’ news and I turn to you for help. For many months I have been corresponding with business-people by emails. The incoming emails arrive directly to my ‘inbox’ not spam. The emails sent to me have ‘official’ government and bank ‘logos and tradmarks’. The emails also have ‘official’ government ‘seals’ and pictures of prominent leaders. Also received are ‘signatures’ and business ‘duty stamped seals of approval’. To say the least those emails look very sophisticated. The corresponce went on for months with the exchange of emails and telephone calls. Then all of a sudden the communication suddenly stopped. Without warning. Now, and most recently, when telephoning the other party; their phones are ‘disconnected’. When sending emails, my emails are returned to me ‘unanswered’. Needless to say I did send monetary payments (within a ‘time-limit’). Can you please tell me how one can ‘verify’ the legitimacy of an email? Is there any way to determine the ligitimacy of an email-address? I do enjoy reading your blog. However, the emails I receive leave me baffled, bewildered and perplexed. You have to see the emails for yourself. They look very professional and very sophisticated. They look genuine and authentic. And yet, when it comes to money payments; how can you tell if they are ‘fake’ or ‘real’? Your response is appreciated

A: Dear Reader,
It is rather easy to obtain, and paste in, official looking images…

But, without getting into your particular situation, and focusing in on what I understand your particular question to be — Is there any way to determine the legitimacy of an email?

The short version is: “sort of” but, no not really. You can look at the header (by viewing details) and see a more accurate picture of the Sender, but those can be faked (“spoofed“) or proxies used. Your real and true friends can have their machines get infected and used as spam bots, and mail from them (their machines) can be sent by criminals, and so on and so forth. Email without stringent controls in place (such as in a corporate setting) is a very insecure medium.

While we have invented “filters” which try to catch scams and spam, it is incumbent upon us – ourselves – to determine if an email is “legit”. Since the earliest days of the Internet, people have been told the basic Email rules:

1) Do not open mail from strangers
2) If they ask for personal information and/or money, it’s a scam
3) Write as if the whole world can read your words (or, “write like your mother will read it.”)
4) Don’t click links, open attachments, or “trust” email.

If you unsure about the legitimacy of an email, what you can do is look up the phone number elsewhere. Like, in the phone book. And call that number, not the number in the email, and you ask the supposed sender, “did you send me a email?

(But.. if you follow Rule #1, you don’t [usually] ever get that far..)

These scammers sometimes set up websites, phones, mailboxes, print up stationary, and more, to help pull off their cons.

… Since the FBI was nice enough to let me *borrow* their logo, I’m going to refer you to an excellent webpage they have; New E-Scams & Warnings, as well as a link to the FBI’s IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Center, (which, as you can imagine, is swamped..)

Here’s some tips on avoiding becoming a victim, (The Internet is literally filled with such advice..)

If you believe you have been scammed out of money, and therefore are the victim of fraud, there are many resources available to you.. (such as the one I discuss here, The World’s Largest Online Safety and Help Group) but I would start by talking with the local police. They can guide you as to your best immediate course of action.

I’ll say it yet again: you really do need to exercise Paranoid Common Sense on the Internet.

It ain’t Disneyland. (Please see, The Internet Is Not Disneyland)

We know about $105 billion per year in cybercrime ‘losses’, and we know that’s just the tip of the iceberg.. most go unreported. You listening, Cyber Czar?

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

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December 13, 2010 Posted by | computers, e-mail, Internet, Internet scam, Phishing, security, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The FBI’s ATM Card

Good thing I’m not dumb as a box of rocks, or I might think the Director of the FBI wants me to send him $110.

Folks, for years now I sometimes play a game here on T4E called Let’s Count The Typos! where I post samples of 419 scam e-mails, various phishing scam e-mails, and other cybercrime ‘attack’ e-mails (such as emails with a virus attached). I do this for two reasons: one, to educate readers about online fraud; and, two, the Engrish is often hilarious.

An alert reader (thank you Larry C.) sent me this 419 scam e-mail, and when I read it, all I could say was “wow”. It is insulting on many levels, but it does have this going for it —> I think it just may be the All Time Winner of the game, and I think you are going to say “wow” too…

Once Again It’s Time To Play Let’s Count The Typos!

> From:

> Subject: Beneficiary
> Date: Tue, 18 May 2010 22:42:50 +0700
> To:
> Attn: Beneficiary,
> This is to Officially inform you that it has come to our notice and we have thoroughly Investigated with the help of our Intelligence Monitoring Network System that you are having an illegal Transaction with Impostors claiming to be Prof. Charles C. Soludo of the Central Bank Of Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Aziza, MrFrank Nweke, none officials of Oceanic Bank, Zenith Banks, kelvin Young of HSBC,Ben of Fedex,Ibrahim Sule,Larry Christopher, Puppy Scammers are impostors claiming to be the Federal Bureau Of Investigation. During our Investigation, we noticed that the reason why you have not received your payment is because you have not fulfilled your Financial Obligation given to you in respect of your Contract/Inheritance Payment.
> Therefore, we have contacted the Federal Ministry Of Finance on your behalf and they have brought a solution to your problem by cordinating your payment in total USD$11,000.000.00 in an ATM CARD which you can use to withdraw money from any ATM MACHINE CENTER anywhere in the world with a maximum of $4,000 to $5,000 United States Dollars daily. You now have the lawful right to claim your fund in an ATM CARD.
> Since the Federal Bureau of Investigation is involved in this transaction, you have to be rest assured for this is 100% risk free it is our duty to protect the American Citizens. All I want you to do is to contact the ATM CARD CENTER via email for their requirements to proceed and procure your Approval Slip on your behalf which will cost you $110.00 only and note that your Approval Slip which contains details of the agent who will process your transaction.
> NAME: Mike Williams
> ¹
> Telephone Number: +234-803-357-0260
> You are adviced to contact Mr mike williams with the informations as stated below:
> Your full Name..
> Your Address:…………..
> Home/Cell Phone:…………..
> Age
> Current occupation:
> So your files would be updated after which he will send the payment informations which you’ll use in making payment of $110.00 via Western Union Money Transfer or Money Gram Transfer for the procurement of your Approval Slip after which the delivery of your ATM CARD will be effected to your designated home address without any further delay.
> We order you get back to this office after you have contacted the ATM SWIFT CARD CENTER and we do await your response so we can move on with our Investigation and make sure your ATM SWIFT CARD gets to you.
> Thanks and hope to read from you soon.
> FBI Director Robert S.Mueller III.
> Note: Do disregard any email you get from any impostors or offices claiming to

¹ .cn = China

… “Federal Ministry Of Finance”… “Intelligence Monitoring Network System”..
Wow. Good thing I’m not dumb as a box of rocks, or I might think the Director of the FBI wants me to send him $110.

Hey, Cyber Czar. I am fed up with this *stuff*. Can you do something about this please? Pretty please with sugar on top?

The following is not scam-related (nor Engrish)…

*** A Chance To Win A Valuable Prize! ***

The folks at SYNCING.NET have generously donated six Professional Edition licenses to me, to award to my readers. SYNCING.NET is a Business Class program which enables users to sync their Microsoft Outlook data on multiple computers.

To enter the drawing, please see: Software License Giveaway: SYNCING.NET
Enter my current giveaway and (possibly) win a pair of licenses!

Entries must be received before midnight (Pacific) tonight (Thurs. May 20th) so act now.

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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May 20, 2010 Posted by | cyber crime, e-mail, Internet scam, spam and junk mail | , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

2008 — A Watershed Year For Cybercrime

Experts say 2008 was watershed year, as cybercriminals perfected their techniques, building automated “SQL Injection” programs (to poison websites) and running massive botnet networks.

2008 cybercrime report

Hmmm... seems to me I was just saying..

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), which began operation on May 8, 2000, as the Internet Fraud Complaint Center was established as a partnership between the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to serve as a vehicle to receive, process, and refer criminal complaints regarding the rapidly expanding arena of cyber crime.

Complaints are up 33%.. to view this report, click here.

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

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March 31, 2009 Posted by | computers, cyber crime | , , , , , , , , , | 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