Tech – for Everyone

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

Nude Surfing (And More Friday Fun)

Former White House CIO: You Are Naked Online

A former White House CIO and security consultant says people are giving away too much data and personal information online — to the point where the average American is stark naked in a digital sense.

Payton described one consulting client that actually thought its offices were bugged by competitors — but then realized that employees were spreading too much confidential information through social media. “Nobody needs to bug you,” she said. “They just follow you around on FourSquare.“” Read more..

I wonder if people are ever going to wake up? (It is the final days of Internet Safety Awareness Month Stay safe online. Stop. Think. Click.)

Friday Fun 1 (Seems appropriate to revisit)

The dark side of geo:

You know all those people who push their Foursquare and Gowalla locations out onto Twitter? Now there’s an aggregator for aspiring crooks who want to rob their houses.Read more..

Friday Fun 2

Friday Fun 3

Just for giggles, why don’t we play a game. Recognize these?

Let’s spend the day clicking completely random links/entering random search terms, bounce around all over the ‘net, and click on every one of these we see. Let’s do it for, say, an eight hour stretch. You can start with mine.

Friday Fun 4 Need some ideas for good movies to relax and watch this weekend? Check out my Top 30 Movies list, here.

Friday Fun 5 (For the Techies) Paul Vixie (a member of the heroic “Conficker Cabal“) is a very smart man. How do I know? He (seems to) think as I do, but said it long before I thought it (ha!). Here’s his noteworthy 2005 DefCon 13 lecture: The Internet’s March of Folly
(For those of you not holding a Networking cert, watching this might be .. challenging, but you’ll learn all you need to know about this Inter-web-thingy.)

Definition of FOLLY

1: lack of good sense or normal prudence and foresight
2: criminally or tragically foolish actions or conduct 
3: a foolish act or idea
4: an excessively costly or unprofitable undertaking
5: an often extravagant picturesque building erected to suit a fanciful taste

Today’s quote:The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

Copyright 2007-2012 © “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 29, 2012 Posted by | advice, Internet, tech | , , , , | 4 Comments

Some Thots & Reco’s

Today I noticed in my stats that yesterday the search engines had sent me three viewers who had searched for “rootkit for iPhone“.
(A “rootkit” is a virtually undetectable item of malware [aka “virus”]. Very, very nasty.)

I am going to speculate that these people were up to no good.

And I am going to tell you that there are a lot more than three people up to no good out there in the “world-wide” web yesterday.
A lot more. Cybercrime costs us over $100 billion (with a “B”) every year — that we know about.

And I am going to ask you, is your antivirus (or, “security suite”) expired? I sure hope not! But if it is, fix that right now. At the time of this writing (May, 2012) my recommendation for an Internet Security Suite (paid subscription) is Norton (either the “360” or “Norton Internet Security 2012”).
And my recommendation for a free antivirus is Avast! for PC’s, Lookout for smartphones and tablets, and Sophos for Macs. (If you look in my Blogroll, you can find independent security product reviews.)

Some reading 4 U:

* Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive: which one is right for you?

If you’re a Windows user looking for free online storage, three services stand out from the rest. Although Dropbox, SkyDrive, and Google Drive are superficially similar, there are some big differences. Here’s what to look for.Read more..

* Ben Franklin would say our online liberty is the same as liberty itself

It’s a fine line to walk. Rather than great thinkers like Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin, we’re stuck with the 112th U.S. Congress.Read more..

* Growing Number of Mobile Device Infections Traced Back to Social Media

Hackers increasingly are turning to social-networking applications such as Facebook and Twitter to deliver malware to mobile devices, according to AVG Technologies’ “Q1 2012 Community Powered Threat Report.” AVG said Google’s Android platform is particularly susceptible to attack, and noted that the search giant removed more than 100 malicious applications from its Google Play store last year.Read more..

Hmm.. one more reason I’m glad I don’t do that Facebook thingy. (BUSTED: Wall Street Journal Catches Facebook, Zynga Giving Your Info To Advertisers)

Today’s quote:I used to do Facebook but you get a little too wrapped up in that stuff. Its more distracting than anything so I don’t any more. I left it behind. I detoxed!” ~ Emma Stone

Copyright 2007-2012 © “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.

May 1, 2012 Posted by | advice, Android, antivirus, computers, cyber crime, hackers, Internet, mobile, News | , , , , , | 2 Comments

ShoppyBag And Other Warnings

Toto, I’ve a feeling were not in Kansas anymore..

Internet scams:

An alert reader informed me of another website, something called “ShoppyBag” (wonder who that’s aimed at?) that harvests your email contact list and then spams out “Hey! [friend’s name] tagged you in a photo.. click here to ” type recruitment emails, ala the vile method of (see Just Say “No” To

Tell your friends: if you should ever see something from ShoppyBag in your Inbox delete it unopened. I don’t care that it appears to have come from your best friend. (It probably did, if your best friend was suckered.) Do not try to “unsubscribe”.

Complaints are rampant.. here is a good sample discussion of ShoppyBag. IMHO, a certain “dignan2” said it best..

Are people really this gullible? You receive some cryptic email from a friend, you click on the link, and you sign up giving this “company” access to all of your contacts. In this day and age, how can you possibly fall for this stuff? I mean it really makes no sense to me. I received the same email under my brother’s name and didn’t even click on the link. I alerted him to this crap being sent to me (and probably many others).
If you get odd emails like this, it’s very simple DON’T SIGN UP! DON’T EVEN CLICK ON THE LINK! JUST DELETE!
Are we really becoming this dumb as a society? Scary.

Beware of Google+ Invite scams. For the millions and millions and millions of you interested in “social networking”, and “tweeting”… get a life? Sorry. That’s not what I meant to say. Facebook and Twitter are powerful tools, bringing us closer together in the One Human Family. What I meant to say is, Google is coming out with a new “service”, Google+, which is supposed to be the social networker’s bee’s knees. Trouble is, it’s currently limited release and “invite only”.. so…

Google+ Invite Scams Appear On Facebook

The search giant’s latest foray into social networking is currently in a closed “field trial,” and invitations are a hot commodity. But thanks to some unscrupulous opportunists, you must be wary of Google+ invites that appear on Facebook.Read more..

.. a “hot commodity”.. wow. I remember, as a kid, watching a Disney program about lemmings..

“Don Gunshot” is Blackmailing You

It’s a variation on the old 419 scam. The e-mail tells you that the sender is a hit man hired to knock you off, but he’ll take your money instead.Read more..

All Google Profiles will be public, private profiles deleted on July 31st

“If you don’t make your Google Profile public and searchable by Google+ users by July 31st, Google will delete it.Read more..

Folks, the Internet is not Disneyland, nor some vast public library where everyone is on their best behavior. It’s an unpoliced, fly by night freak show where cybercriminals are fleecing us rubes out of billions of dollars a year. But, hey, you can watch porn for free!

Let’s use some paranoid common sense when online.


Researchers Dissect The Underground Economy Of Fake Antivirus Software

Scareware pushers see more than 2 percent sales conversion, make millions in profit — and even offer refunds.” Read more..

Are social media and mobile app jobs just fads? (This is one to read the “Comments” on.)

Are social media and mobile app jobs fads or legitimate fields to get into?Read more..

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

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July 7, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, Google, Internet, Internet scam, News, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Added Security For Social Networking

A new version of WOT

Folks, I received a ‘heads up’ yesterday that I want to pass along to you.

“It has been a while since I updated you on what’s going on at Web of Trust. Our free website reputation rating add-on has grown to 18 million users worldwide who have rated over 31 million unique domains for trustworthiness, vendor reliability, privacy protection and child safety.

There is a new version of WOT that will benefit our users of social networking sites Facebook and Twitter. The new version of WOT offers the same protection as usual with the addition of reputation rating icons in Facebook, Twitter and with shortened URLs by most popular services, such as and
This will greatly reduce the incidence of risky URLs being passed along and opened.

A beta version of WOT for Social Media is available at (The beta is available for Firefox users only.)”

Folks, I have not had a chance to test this beta, but I am a fan of Web Of Trust (aka “WOT”) and have recommended it here many times before (see, You have received an eCard.. WOT?). If you use Firefox, and you Facebook and Tweet, you may want to give this add-on a test drive, and be safer on the web.

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

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March 15, 2011 Posted by | computers, security | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Transfer Videos to the iPhone…

I am the last guy in America who hasn’t turned his phone into a pocket movie theater.”

I have a certain kind of fun reading other tech websites, because I watch them for hype and “pack journalism”.. of which there is plenty. Part of that is due to how search engines (Google, Bing) operate, and the hopes that by using “hot keywords“, readership numbers will be better.

Movies-on-the-iPhoneHot keywords seem to be: iPad, iPhone, Android, download, smart phone, movies, videos, YouTube, and latest. So.. the “smart” tech sites will on Monday have an article “Download Movies To Your iPhone”; and on Tuesday, “iPhone Basics: How to Transfer Videos to the iPhone“, and on Wednesday, “Android And YouTube videos: Meant For Each Other”. Almost every tech site will mention the YouTube downloader app (“which supports iPhone, iPod, PSP, cell phone..!)

Now.. I look at the 1.75″ x 1.5” screen on my phone, and I think, “Don’t be ridiculous. No way am I going to try to watch Pirates of the Caribbean 4 on that.” And I wouldn’t even if my whole phone was a screen (like an iPhone)(the more you mention these “hot” keywords, the more readers you’ll get)(Android)(iPad)(iPhone).
I wondered if I was alone in this? From the sounds of the tech sites, I am the last guy in America who hasn’t turned his phone into a pocket movie theater.

A little while ago, I conducted a casual reader survey — my thanks to all who participated. Well, the survey results suggested that I wasn’t alone at all, with almost two thirds of respondents saying they had never watched a video on their phone. The other third: “a few times a month”. And one person, a “few times a week”. (To the one person who responded “everyday”, may I suggest, shouldn’t you be studying?)
To me, such a never-to-very rarely score makes me think these tech websites are hyping a non-function to sell more gadgets.. But I am a bit cynical. I could be wrong.

Now, I am sure that this website’s demographics play a significant role; and I know that the yuppie-gotta-have-the-latest-iGadget-types gravitate to other sites. There are – such as the article referenced in today’s title (above) – websites dedicated just to smart phones; and I admit, sometimes I think I should talk about smart phones more. They are becoming miniature PC’s after all. (And, camcorders..) And, WordPress (host of this site) will let me post articles, written on my phone, directly to the ‘net. Isn’t that cool?!

All I have to do is learn how to squint, and type with my thumbs.

** Software License Giveaway Drawing Ends Tonight**

Put plain and simply, Sandboxie gives me a secure feeling when traveling around the Internet, and I feel ‘naked’ without it. For the details (such as how to enter), click here.

Sandboxie’s creator, Ronen Tzur, has graciously and generously donated five licenses to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank him for that. So I am going to do a random drawing contest from folks who “enter” my drawing. The contest will end midnight Thursday, July 15th, and the winners announced Friday the 16th.
A “registration” license is “lifetime” and can be used on as many computers as you own.

Act now! Deadline nears… Midnight, tonight (Pacific).

Today’s reading: More people are losing their jobs due to online missteps
It’s the kind of story that those who use Facebook and Twitter don’t like to hear. Despite warnings from career experts around the globe, employees persist in posting personal and sometimes inappropriate information on their personal online accounts.

Today’s free download: Large Scale Giveaway of PDFtoWord
Get it while you can – AnyBizSoft PDF to Word Converter 3.0.0 (worth $29.95) for FREE.

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

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July 15, 2010 Posted by | Apple, cellular, digital Video, gadgets, hardware, mobile, Portable Computing, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 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.

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