Password Management

What's that yellow sticky note poking out from under your keyboard? Is that your password? If you're like many people this may be the case. While this may be practical and convenient, it's not a good idea. It might be ok in the privacy of your own home, but it can still be risky. Privacy and security (online safety) is all about managing your risks and deciding what is right for you. If you would like suggestions on how to better handle your passwords (yes, I used the plural form) and manage your risk read on for my thoughts and experience. I'll start with the risks of poor password management then provide a couple of solutions and resources to check your password strength. Risks Obviously, your passwords are your virtual keys. Unlike traditional keys, though, they aren't safely tucked in your pocket. They are either in your head, written down, or saved electronically. There advantages and disadvantages to each of those methods...
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Can the SPAM – Use Email Aliases

Can the SPAM – Use Email Aliases

Everyone has that junk email account from an old mail service they don't use anymore (ehem...AOL). They give it to salesmen, questionable websites, contests, fake accounts, etc. That way the majority of SPAM goes to the secondary account and fewer personal details are provided. While is a great solution, it's time to upgrade to junk mail 2.0. I know you're thinking, "Why? That just sounds like putting lipstick on a pig." I'm glad you asked. Imagine actually being able to reduce SPAM. Now picture having control over the email address(es) you provide no longer locked down by a single account. What if the addresses you provided had a sole purpose, so you could remember who you gave your email to and why? These are just a few of the benefits of email masking. If that sounds too"techy," don't worry, it's simple and quick to get started. Here are a few options to keep people from dumping on your virtual property. 1. Gmail...
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Backup Your Stuff

Backup Your Stuff

It doesn't matter if you just have a couple of word documents and pictures, or if you run a personal small business with important financial records; data backups are important. I'm sure we have all lost files we would do anything to get back. If not, you know someone who has. The world today is even more aggressive than before. Not only do we have to worry about hard drive failures, data corruption, and accidental deletions, but now we have ransomware and other malicious attacks attempting to access, control, and hold our data hostage. Fortunately, we have a data insurance policy known as a backup copy. Hopefully reading this post and getting started on your backup strategy will save you a lot of money on data insurance. There are many backup strategies and technologies. In fact, the sheer number of solutions can be overwhelming. There are many books, blogs, articles, ads, videos, white papers and more that go into exhaustive detail....
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Everyday Carry (EDC)

You may have heard the term "Every Day Carry (EDC)" from self-defense or survival circles. That is where I first heard it. As a tech guy, I think this same term can be applied to the gear we techies carry on a daily basis. So, I wanted to provide a quick list of the things I carry daily to/from work and elsewhere. These may not help you survive a zombie apocalypse (whatever that is), nuclear fallout, or a foreign invasion, but they should help make your day-to-day life a little easier. Feel free to comment on this post with things you carry, suggestions, alternatives, etc. I intend to make this list a little more fluid that will update as I change gear and as technology changes, so check back now and then.  ...
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No More Ads

No More Ads

Do you ever wish you could control what appears on your screen at all times when surfing the net? Do you ever get distracted or pulled to another site, article, or game only to forget what you intended to do in the first place? Well, you can take back some of the control and your productivity in one easy step: by installing an ad blocker. Some of the best ad blockers go beyond just ads, but actually block other elements of web pages designed to pull your information or run extra scripts and more. All of which can lead to negative consequences. Installing an ad blocker gives you greater privacy, no tracking, fewer distractions, fewer embarrassing moments due to risque ads, is more family-friendly, among others. It will even help pages load faster due to ignoring all of the "bloat." *Note: Some ads are actually legit, and do help site or content owners make money for their time and costs of hosting...
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Online Privacy

A couple of years ago I had the privilege of attending a seminar about electronic privacy and security led by former FBI computer crimes investigator Michael Bazzell. If this is your first time hearing that name or digging into this topic I highly encourage you to visit his websites, listen to his podcasts, and/or read his book. His blog is a great place to start. You can find it here: https://computercrimeinfo.com/wp/. During his presentation he explained the many ways our private information is obtained without our consent; either through social engineering, data mining, or outright hacking. At the end of the presentation, he even gave a live demonstration showing a wifi pineapple device that he setup earlier in the day to spoof the guest wifi of the facility. In doing so, he collected personal information from a handful of smartphones in the room (including pictures, web sites visited during the presentation, and more). Needless to say, I was impressed with his...
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