Tech – for Everyone

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

So What’s New In The World?

For the past several days, I have been noticing that my Spyware Doctor has been downloading new “definitions”.

Nothing unusual there. You want your protection to keep itself updated. But what did strike me as unusual was that there has been two or three large downloads each day. That is a lot of activity. Which (probably) means the hackers¹ are active. Due to that, I have been keeping a closer eye on my InfoSec news headlines. Here’s a few that might interest you…

* Cyber crime ringleader sentenced to five years in prison

One of the masterminds behind the infamous “Operation Phish Phry” was sentenced by a district judge to five years in prison for her part in the international ring.Read more..

So.. by miracle, they actually catch one of these *people*…
And give them a 5 year sentence (out in 3?).
Hmmm…
Crime pays?

Do you remember MySpace? Some people used it, I have heard.

* MySpace settles with FTC after misleading users

After being charged by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with sharing its users’ personal information, including browsing habits, with advertisers, social networking service MySpace has agreed to settle…Read more..

As part of the settlement, MySpace must undergo biennial audits for the next 20 years and is blocked from making future privacy misrepresentations of its users’ information.

Ewww… scary punishment. (And this is when you get caught.)
Hmmm.. Graft pays? (“Graft” is not the right word.. um.. hmmm.. “deception”?)

* MySpace employee fired for stealing info

An employee of the social networking site MySpace was recently fired after collecting the sensitive data of co-workers.

How many victims? Unknown.

What type of personal information? Names, Social Security numbers and compensation information.Read more..

Fired? Hmmm… do we need to bring back tar and feathered?

And closer to home..

* Data on 700K California home care workers, recipients lost

The personal information of home care workers and their elderly and disabled recipients may have been compromised when the storage device on which it was contained was lost in the mail.

How many victims? 700,000

What type of personal information? Full names, Social Security numbers, wages, and state identification numbers.Read more..

(Paul bangs forehead on desk.) (Can you say “encryption”?)

Keeping a sharp eye out: You can barely notice Google’s warning – in fact, you have to be actively looking for it, it is so obscure – but it seems the popular Urban Dictionary website has may have been “hacked” (aka “compromised”, aka “poisoned”)…

click on me

To find out what it means when you see that on a Search result, click here.

Be nice if Google made those warnings a little more NOTICEABLE wouldn’t it? (But doing so might erode Consumer Confidence.)

*     *     *

Watching these headlines for years… I think I am becoming a wee bit discouraged. Most discouraging? Nobody seems to care.

¹ You do know the media term “hacker” means “cyber criminal”.. right?

Be careful online folks. Use good healthy paranoid common sense. Keep your anti-malware up-to-date (even you Mac owners). And try not to give too much of your PII (personally identifiable information) away.. clowns will just lose it in the mail. Or store it on a server running unpatched Win2K..

Happy Monday.

“… it would be wise to proceed with caution.” ~ Google

Related: Report says cyber security still takes a backseat for major companies

While they are some of the most distinguished enterprises in the world, and considered big targets for cyber attacks, the report indicates that top-level management at the firms still neglect suitable governance over the “security of their digital assets.Read more..

*     *     *

Today’s quote:If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” ~ George S. Patton

Copyright 2007-2012 © “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.

May 21, 2012 Posted by | computers, cyber crime, hackers, Internet, News | , , , , | 2 Comments

How To Remove Your Name From Search Engines and Social Networking Sites

Your Private Information Made Public

Folks, sometimes it is best to not reinvent the wheel; so today I am going to refer you to three excellent resources for the methods you need to know about if you are concerned about your personal information, and how websites (and the Gov’t) are collecting – and posting – it on the Internet.

If you are serious about protecting your identity and personal security, you should take actions now to block your personal information from public viewing.

Remove Your information from People Search Databases, Social Networks, and Search Engine ResultsJessicaM

Do you know what kind of personal information about you can be found from Internet? Do you know how to remove your name, address, phone number, pictures, bad comments and negative reviews from Google and other search engine results? Do you know how to delete your personal information from online people search database records?

I am putting this one first as it is comprehensive and well researched. It is four pages long, and packed with good info.


How To Permanently Delete Your Account on Popular Websites — Cameron Chapman

What we often don’t realize when signing up for all these accounts, though, is how difficult it can be to permanently delete our accounts when we’ve had enough. Some require complicated, multi-step processes that can stretch over the course of days (or weeks). Others take less time, but still require multiple steps by the user.

This article outlines the steps for removing your account/profile on:
Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, Google, Ebay, Wikipedia, Flickr/Yahoo!, Windows Live, StumbleUpon, WordPress, Amazon, YouTube, and PayPal.


If you want to stay inconspicuous while online, here are some products, services, and best practices to put to use.
How to Stay Anonymous Online — Erik Griffith

Some might say that the Internet was built on anonymity. Without it, the Internet might not have become what it is today—a place where free speech reigns supreme (maybe to a fault). However, as social networks prevail—and über-companies like Google do all they can to market to you more effectively—your privacy on the Web comes into question. The good news is that you can take back control of what others see and know of you online. Here’s how.

Subtopics: Safe Surfing, Anonymous E-mail, Social (Network) Security

The article contains links to programs and tools you may be interested in.. if your privacy is a concern to you.


Update: Here is another resource, brought to my attention by Rick Robinette:

I came across a really cool site that, if anything, is a real education about online accounts and profiling. The site is called AccountKiller.

AccountKiller – Do you care about your personal data? We provide instructions to remove your account or public profile on most popular websites, including Skype, Facebook, Windows Live, Hotmail / Live, Twitter, MSN / Messenger, Google and many more. Want to create an account somewhere? Check our Blacklist first to see if it’s even possible to remove your profile!

What AccountKiller specializes in is collecting direct links and deleting instructions to make account termination an easier process.Read more..

*     *     *

Bonus: additional recommended reading: Does a Blogger’s Opinion Really Matter?

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


>> 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. <<


Share this post :

June 15, 2010 Posted by | computers, how to, Internet, privacy, security | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

The new Generation Gap

These kids today! They’re illiterate (how else do you explain ‘texting’?). They have no sense of shame (they post their diary, and their phone numbers, for the world to see). They all want to be famous.. just like Paris Hilton. They “hook up” by answering anonymous, texted come-ons, blue-toothed from across the room. Everyone under the age of 25 has at least one online “profile” — an All About Me webpage — and are proud of the number of their virtual friends. They aren’t in the slightest bit bothered by the fact that there’s surveillance cameras everywhere, but seem to relish the idea of “being on TV”.
And these kids have the attention span of a flea.

Ah! Don’t you just love blanket-statement generalizations?!
But seriously– there is a difference between those of us ‘older’ folks (say.. older than 27) and the younger set (the “kids today”).. a true Generation Gap.

Sure, us ‘older’ folks are on the Web, and we spend a fair amount of time there. But we (generally speaking) use it like a public library, and because e-mail is a lot cheaper than snail-mail, we use the Internet to send letters. Here’s a test:
* Do you have a Profile on Facebook and do you update it several times a week? If you answered “no”, the odds are good you’re 26 or older (or, you’re younger, but Facebook is so ‘yesterday’ that you’ve moved on to a trendier site).
* Have you ever shunned a website because it was getting flamed on all the right blogs? (There’s a hidden test in there.. don’t know what ‘flamed’ is?)
* Did you have to stop and think what ROTFLOL means?
* Are you concerned about your privacy? (or, more accurately, do you still think it exists?)
* Do you enjoy “reality” television?

I think the defining factor that determines which side of the gap you’re on is– how old were you when you  first used a computer.
I am an absolute dinosaur. I was already out of High School when the first truly popular personal computer (Apple’s Macintosh, 1984) hit the scene. When I was in my formative years, there simply weren’t traffic cams on every corner (or anywhere else); girls guarded their diaries with their lives; people wrote in complete sentences, and looked upon those of us with poor grammar skills as “low-bred”; Authority had no idea who I was unless they talked to me (or me to them); if you called someone a friend, you (probably) had been inside their home…
It was a different world… a pre-Internet world.

For those born after 1984, you have probably always had a computer in your home; and by the time you were old enough to appreciate telephones, you could carry one in your pocket. About that same time, everyone had the Internet, and Yahoo had made it simple. You were probably typing before you made your first letter with a crayon.
You realize privacy is an illusion, so you’ve taken control. All the world’s your stage.

…I don’t really know where I’m going with all this: to say, “the Internet has changed everything” is, well, um, stating the obvious. I guess, maybe, I’m just puzzled by some of what I see (and, maybe, I just woke up feeling “old” today…). I lament the erosion of privacy that technology has wrought (hey, I admitted I was a dinosaur!), and cameras everywhere bothers me; the chips (digital snitches) in my car bothers me; the fact that someone can use the information posted on the Web to assume someone else’s identity bothers me..
Sigh.
Enough.
Sorry. I’ll feel better soon.

Today’s free link: There’s an article by Emily Nussbaum; Kids, the Internet, and the End of Privacy (subtitled “Say Everything”) that I came across that takes a real look at this.. phenomenon. An excellent example of real reporting, and a good read. Take a look-see, and let me know what you think.

***Folks, the little Search window on this site is not how you ask me questions (it searches past articles for the keywords you enter). Use the the Comments link at the bottom of this page. It is found next to the “Categories” and “Tags” (and usually says, “No comments”).

[Update 3/22: Newsweek just published a good article on this that is worth a read– The Look at Me Generation.]

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

Share this post :

 

March 3, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, kids and the Internet, PC, privacy, tech, Web 2.0 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments