Prepaid debit cards are sold as gift cards at many stores and offered by Visa, Mastercard and American Express. These cards are purchasable with cash, which enables them to be used for anonymous, cash-like digital payments.
Once purchased the cards can be used like normal debit or credit cards, but to be used online, they must be registered on a Website. Purchasing goods with these cards doesn’t make much sense, since any physical item will require a real shipping address, but it’s an attractive option for paying for services. One could use an anonymous debit card to purchase VPN and prepaid cell phone services, both of which will contribute to preserving the privacy of your electronic communications. [Read More…]
My phone started to ring. Was it really who I thought it was? The display said that the connection was secure but I had to be certain. We verbally verified that we were seeing the same two random words (secure authentication string) on our phones.
The green “Secure” text appeared so we knew there was no one listening. This technology isn’t just for spooks. This is a $20 a month service you can sign up for today.
I wanted to bring everyone’s attention to something I’ve just signed up for. The prestigious Stanford University has recently released a free online cryptography course taught by Professor Dan Boneh of the Stanford Computer Science Department.
This cryptography course is part of Stanford’s new and completely free online Coursera courses. I first heard about the Cryptography course when it was announced back in November of last year and after a few delays, it’s finally available for registration. Actually it was available back on March 6th, but for some reason an email letting me know this was delayed reaching me until today. They state on the registration page that registration closed yesterday, but I was just able to sign up and wanted to pass this info along to anyone who might want to still get enrolled.
Here’s Stanford’s description of the Introduction to Cryptography course: [Read More…]
A copy of your personal information should always be included as part of a bug-out bag or evactuation kit. I have often been asked why we need this information and have had people say that they have this information secured in a safe in their home.
Is that information actually safe? Are you certain that your safe will survive a major fire? What if a tornado destroys or removes you house and it just can’t be found? A nuclear emergency, such as the one in Japan, might mandate an evacuation where you are not allowed to return.
There are many reason to carry important personal information when you evacuate. I like to carry a backup of my personal information on me at all times, as well as in my bug-out bag. The real problem is securing that information. I have seen it often recommended that all your personal information be placed in a file folder and kept in a large zip-lock bag. Obviously, if this file is found or stolen, you have a real potential identity theft problem. So what do you do? [Read More…]
In today’s society, our devices are constantly connecting to one another through multiple formats. These devices contain a multitude of different methods to ensure that we’re able to connect whenever and wherever we are.
Most smart phones contain connection abilities for X, EV and 3G/4G Cellular Networks, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. A simple device like a cell phone can have the ability to connect using all these six different methods!
These public connections are great for sharing and receiving information on the go, but unfortunately this means our devices are open to even more threats than ever before. For example, your cell phone may be connecting to different devices and networks in public without your knowledge. It’s very important to understand how to secure your devices against unwanted intrusion in order to keep your information safe while in public. [Read More…]
In today’s world, we rely on electronic devices more than ever before. These devices allow us to connect and share information throughout the world at a speed that was never thought possible. We can now share our ideas instantly through laptops, smartphones, tablets and other devices.
In a world where information moves at the speed of light, the need for security has never been higher. Our devices and identities are subject to a variety of attacks both physical and electronic. There are many methods and practices for securing your information. Today, we’ll start with the basics.
Having a network in your home is a great way to share information between your devices without physically transferring it. The most common way people network their devices in the home is through the use of a wireless router. Wireless routers are great because they allow us to access the Internet anywhere in the house. However, if not secured properly, routers can be a great point of attack for someone looking for your information.
Most good quality home networking equipment provides certain settings that can help to secure the wireless network. In this article we won’t cover any specific hardware, but we will discuss common settings and best practices. Remember, network security is no different than security in other areas. We advocate a multi-layered approach that doesn’t rely on just one point of failure. [Read More…]
Data Scientists Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden have just released new research detailing how Apple is keeping track of your every move in an unencrypted file that resides on the computer you use for backing up your iPhone and iPad 3G.
While there’s no evidence this data is being transmitted to Apple, we strongly feel this is a security risk, as this tracking information is located in a file called location.db in your backup files and records every cell tower you’ve accessed.
Allan and Warden notice that the first instance of location tracking started with the install of iOS4 in both the iPhone and iPad, which was released almost a year ago. This means there’s nearly a year’s worth of locations stored in this consolidated.db file. This is thousands of data points! [Read More…]
The last two weeks has seen a buzz of cyber security problems. First, RSA announced a very sophisticated breach. Anyone who has ever had to use an RSA SecurID two-factor authentication product has or will be affected by the breach. Two-factor authentication consists of something you know and something you have.
The know part refers to a user’s password, or PIN code. The have part refers to the one-time pad generator found on the SecurID token. The theory is simple, even if a hacker obtains your password, they lack possession of your token and cannot break into the system. [Read More…]
Some of our readers are full time operators and contractors that fight for us and our way of life. Some of our readers are also parents and Imminent Threats come in all shapes in sizes; from physical to electronic.
What I want to touch on today and bring awareness to, are Imminent Threats to your family’s finances. Threats so underhanded they make my blood boil.
Before we jump into the specifics of what Spokeo.com is and what personal information it’s making available to the world wide web, let’s first talk about why your personal information is available in the first place.
There’s a little term called public record in the United States, where anyone has the First Amendment/common law right “to access court records to inspect and to copy.” At the federal level this is governed by the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) which has been known to be rife with exemptions and that little word called redaction.
The point here is that the right to access these documents is central to liberty and there’s nothing governing what’s done with this public information once it’s retrieved. This is where Spokeo comes in… [Read More…]