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Our Latest Posts About: Security

Hacking in the 21st Century

Here's what you need to know to protect yourself from today's hackers.


When most people think of "Hacking", they envision a genius programmer hammering away at the keyboard in a attempt to break into your computer. The truth is, most hackers aren't like that at all. In fact, many hackers today aren't even computer savvy. They're just good at tricking people into giving away their passwords and other personal information.

That's because today's hackers know that it's much easier to trick somebody into GIVING them their password than it is to try to hack it. All it takes is a few cut and paste skills to put together realistic looking emails and web sites that fool people into thinking they're the real thing. Then it becomes a numbers game. If they send a realistic looking... [More]

Continue...Hacking in the 21st Century...

The Problem With Browser Home Pages

It's time we got rid of Browser Home Pages.


If you're reading this from a desktop computer, chances are there's a little "Home" icon somewhere in your browser that takes you to your default "Home Page". Just about every desktop browser has one, and they've been there since the first browsers were developed in the early 90s. Meanwhile, have you ever noticed that the browsers on your mobile devices don't have one? There's a good reason for this. They suck.

For what its worth, there's absolutely no reason for todays browsers to have a Home Page anymore. Desktop browsers should do exactly what mobile browsers do... take you to the last page you opened, nothing more, nothing less.

The problem with Home Pages is that web sites and software programs often exploit browser Home... [More]

Continue...The Problem With Browser Home Pages...

How to PREVENT Viruses

Most computer viruses don't come from surfing the web.


I've seen a lot of viruses over the years, and almost all of them share one thing in common, they came from an email, not from surfing the web. This may sound surprising to some people who think they're safe because they "don't go to risky sites". The simple truth is, if you want to prevent viruses, you need to know how to spot them, and that's in your InBox.

Email is, by far, the most common way to get a virus, simply because it's the easiest way for somebody to let their guard down. That's because more often than not, the virus comes from a fake email that looks like its from somebody you know.

For example, if a total stranger sent you an email that said "Here's something I thought you would like..." followed by a... [More]

Continue...How to PREVENT Viruses...

Why Trial Anti-Virus Programs Suck

Free anti-virus programs cause more viruses than they prevent.


Contrary to what most people think, you are far more likely to get a virus on your new Windows PC if it comes with a "Free Trial" anti-virus, than one that doesn't come with one, because sooner or later, the trial will end, and you'll be completely unprotected.

The trouble is that when the trial ends, the computer doesn't automatically remove the trial version and enable Microsoft's built-in protection program, "Windows Defender". More often than not, what happens is the trial simply ends, and protection is turned off, with an occasional reminder to pay for a renewal.

My advice is simple. As soon as you get a new Windows PC, go to the control panel and remove every trial program, including the free anti-virus... [More]

Continue...Why Trial Anti-Virus Programs Suck...

Why We Need Real Email Signatures

Just about every major security breach starts with a fake email.


We've all been told that we shouldn't click links in emails from people we don't trust. The trouble is, most viruses are sent in emails that look like they came from somebody you already know and trust. This is because it's nearly impossible to confirm who actually sent the email.

At the root of the problem is the fact that you don't have to hack somebody's email account to send an email that looks like it came from them. In fact, all you need to do is change the name and address in the "From" part of your email program and it will look like it came from them. This means you can sit in a coffee shop anywhere in the world and send an email that looks like it comes from anyone else in the world, without needing... [More]

Continue...Why We Need Real Email Signatures...

A Hidden Windows Security Problem

One of the default settings in Windows is pretty dangerous.


Microsoft's default setting in their File Manager is to "HIDE the file extension of known types". While this sounds harmless, it's actually one of the most common sources of computer viruses, because it makes it hard to tell what kind of file you are actually opening.

Every file has an extension, and by now, most of us recognize the most common ones, such as:

.JPG for pictures
.PDF for printable documents
XLS and .XLSX for Microsoft Excel spreadsheets
.DOC and .DOCX for Microsoft Word files
.EXE for executable programs

Since those are "known types", Microsoft's default behavior is to "Hide" the extension. So a file called "FunnyCat.JPG" is shown simply as "FunnyCat". While that sounds harmless on the surf... [More]

Continue...A Hidden Windows Security Problem...

Lockable iPad Apps

Whenever you allow your friends and family to use your iPad, you are also inviting them to read your email.


We all know Apple's iPhone and iPad are very secure. In fact, even law enforcement have a hard time unlocking them. There is, however one small problem. A lot of people unlock their iPads to let friends and family members play games, surf the Web or watch movies, and that means they also gain access to most of your private information such as email, photos, shopping and social media accounts.

The solution to this is pretty simple. Apple needs to create an option to assign a second Passcode to grant access to Apps that need an additional layer of security. This will allow people give friends and family access to less secure Apps without giving them access to more sen... [More]

Continue...Lockable iPad Apps...

Self-Destructing Email.

Some emails have a tendency to haunt you for years. Here's how a system can be designed to make some of them go away right after reading them.


After all the buzz over Hillary Clinton's email server in the 2016 election, I think we all know the value of securing sensitive emails. One way this could be done is to create a system where emails that need to be secure are stored as encrypted text on the server, and can only be read by looking up the encryption key when you receive it.

To make it even more secure, it would be great if your email system could put an expiration date on the encryption key, and deleting the key as soon as it expires, effectively rendering the original email unreadable.

Like SnapChat, the system isn't foolproof, because people can still copy or print... [More]

Continue...Self-Destructing Email....

Beware of Phone Scammers

Now that it's virtually free to make calls from around the world, there are more phone scammers than ever before.


Yesterday, I talked a bit about "ScareWare", the fake messages you see on your computer screen warning you that you have a computer problem such as a virus. As a followup, I'd like to draw attention to a similar problem, that doesn't involve your computer, but it can be just as dangerous, phone scammers.

Unlike telemarketers, who are just pests trying to make a sale, today's phone scammers are truly evil people trying to steal as much from you as they can, because they know they will never get caught.

While there are literally hundreds of scams out there, the three most common are:

1. Fake IRS or Law Enforcement Agent.


This one is one of the most wid... [More]

Continue...Beware of Phone Scammers...

What is ScareWare?

ScareWare is one of the biggest problems in the computer industry, but so many people have no idea what it is... or what to do about it.


If you're surfing the web, and all of a sudden a window pops up telling you that you've got some sort of problem or a virus on your computer, and it suggests that you click a button to remove it right away, what do you do?

When many people see a message like that, they immediately click the button to "remove" the problem. Unfortunately, they don't realize that the message is a complete fake. You don't actually have a virus. It's just "ScareWare", but if you are fooled into thinking it's real, and actually click the button to "fix" the problem, you are actually installing the real virus.

In some cases, they claim to be giving you a free... [More]

Continue...What is ScareWare?...

I HATE Captchas!

Don't you hate when websites use Captchas?


One of my favorite quotes from the original Star Wars is from Ben Kenobi who said "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.". He was talking about the Mos Eisley Spaceport, but you can say the same thing about the Internet. There has never been a place with more con artists, scammers and thieves on the face of the earth.

In an effort to slow down the millions of people who try to abuse the Internet, a lot of sites need to create roadblocks that make it harder for a scammer to access their sites. Unfortunately, this led to the creation of "Captchas", the distorted text you see whenever a site needs to confirm that you are actually a real person sitting at your computer.

For what it's worth, I have a hard eno... [More]

Continue...I HATE Captchas!...

Why Paying Bills With a Check is Not Secure.

People go out of their way to shred anything with their account number, but they forget about the most obvious document, a check.


I know a lot of people who refuse to use the Internet to pay their bills. To them, there's no substitute for the "Security" of hand writing their checks, and putting them into an envelope. After all, everyone knows how insecure the "InterWeb" can be... Right?

The truth is, every time you hand somebody a check, you are not only giving them your bank account, but everything they need to take advantage of it, including your name, address, and even the routing number.

All an identity thief needs to access your account is right there in black and white. An identity thief who takes a job processing checks can simply write down, or even take a photo... [More]

Continue...Why Paying Bills With a Check is Not Secure....

Don't you hate keeping track of dozens of passwords?


One of my favorite things about Gmail is the search box. That one feature was revolutionary when it came out because it gives you the freedom to archive virtually unlimited emails and find them in a fraction of a second.

With that in mind, I decided to use Gmail to store things like passwords, account numbers, lock combinations, serial numbers and a ton of private information. The key is making sure the information remains private by securing your account by using Gmail's 2-step verification, which secures your account by sending you a code via text message any time you use a different device to log in, and by hiding the information itself by making it difficult for anyone but you to search for.

In my case, I place secr... [More]

Continue...How To Use Gmail to Store Private Information...

Sometimes "Complex Passwords" are essential. Sometimes they're not.


Strong Passwords are the kinds of passwords that are designed to be harder to guess because they're longer, and require you to use a mixture of capital letters, numbers and even punctuation characters.

Since Strong Passwords are designed to protect you from bad guys, you may be wondering why I'm telling you how dangerous they can be. For this that hold personal or financial information, a Strong Password is essential. In fact, I think those kinds of sites not only should have Strong Passwords, they should also require a 2-step verification that sends validation codes via your phone.

My problem isn't with those kinds of sites. I have a big problem with sites that don't hold private information that ask y... [More]

Continue...Sometimes "Complex Passwords" Can Be Dangerous...

Read Only Boot Mode

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For people who only surf the web and read mail.


As a tech guy, people come to me all the time with all sorts of viruses and other problems that could've been avoided if they had a way for them to surf the web and read their mail without it saving anything to the hard drive when it's done. By booting in a read only mode, there's zero chance of getting a virus because nothing you do or download is actually saved to the local hard drive.

Technically, the computer would still need to save some things, but the Operating System can save those changes to a temporary folder that is deleted automatically when you shut down, so for all intents and purposes, the original files are completely protected from change or deletion, which guarantees that when you reboot, everything will be exa... [More]

Continue...Read Only Boot Mode...

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Shredding credit card statements can't protect you from stolen mail.


It's always struck me as odd that anyone who gets their hands on your mail has access to your actual account numbers Credit card statements normally show the entire card number, and checking account statements show your bank account numbers. If a thief steals your checking account statement from your mailbox, they have everything they need to print checks in your name.

Since it's not easy securing your mailbox, banks and credit card companies need to use an alternate account number on statements. Instead of putting the entire account number, just the last 4 digits would be sufficient. In fact, for checking accounts, there's no reason to even put any of the actual account numbers on the statement. They ca... [More]

Continue...Statements Shouldn't Show Card Numbers or Bank Account Numbers...

Fake ATM PINs

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Prevent Forced Access to Your Accounts.


From time to time, I hear stories on the news about people who were robbed at an ATM. I often wondered if some of those thefts could've been avoided by using a fake ATM PIN.

If a thief followed you to the bank and demanded you take out a large sum, wouldn't it be great if you had a secret second PIN that could prevent them from getting away with it?

Instead of entering your real PIN, you enter the fake one, and it displays a random balance less than $40, allowing you to only take out $20... and silently calls the police.


The fake PIN gives the thief the appearance that you are cooperating. Taking it to the next level, it could trigger the ATM to take high resolution pictures of the area surrounding the ATM, and even dispens... [More]

Continue...Fake ATM PINs...

Windows Should Always Show Filename Extensions

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One of the biggest security flaws in Microsoft Windows is the caused by hiding file extensions.


Viruses spread when people accidentally run malicious programs that they thought were harmless non-executable media files, such as photos, videos, or music files.

Normally you can tell what a file is by it's extension, for example:

Most photo file names end with .JPG or .PNG.
Most video file names end with .MOV, .MP4, .M4V, or .AVI
Most music file names end with .MP3, .AAC, or .WAV

Unfortunately the default setting in Windows is configured to HIDE file extensions for known file types. This means you don't actually see the file extension, so you won't know if the file you're about to click is an executable program.


It's vital that people know WHAT a file is before t... [More]

Continue...Windows Should Always Show Filename Extensions...

Apple Photos App Guest Mode with View Only Access.

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Is it safe to share your computer or iPad with friends or family members?


The cloud is a wonderful thing. Every time you add a photo to your library using your computer, iPad or iPhone, it's sent to the cloud and magically appears on every device you own, and can even be accessed from the web. How cool is that?

Conversely, if you delete a photo from one of your devices, it magically deletes itself form all your other devices, so if you pass around your iPad to friends and family at a party, and they accidentally delete some of your photos... they can vanish from your computer, and everywhere else and you might not notice it until it's too late.

That's why Apple should have a "Guest Mode", that only allows people to view your photo library, and not make any changes or de

... [More]

Continue...Apple Photos App Guest Mode with View Only Access....

Authenticated Email Senders

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The first step towards preventing fraud.


If you open your inbox, and see an email from a stranger with the heading "Check this out", would you trust it?

What if you saw the same email email from somebody you knew. Would you trust it? The problem is, many people would say yes, and that's exactly why scammers spend a lot of time trying to figure out the relationships between email addresses. Once they find a connection, they've got all they need to exploit it, and they don't need to hack your account to do it.

As it stands today, whenever you send an email, there isn't any system in place to authenticate who the sender is.


This means that anyone can send an email to any email address in the world, and configure their software to say that it came from you, and the... [More]

Continue...Authenticated Email Senders...

Google Should Ban Fake Download Ads

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The web is full of sleaze. Google is no exception.


I hate when I see fraud on the Internet, especially when it comes from trusted sources. At least when you see something suspicious on an obscure site, you think twice before clicking, but I've noticed a growing trend of "Fake Links" and "Fake Download" buttons on some very well known sites, and worst thing is that it's Google's fault for allowing it.

Case in point, I often recommend Open Office to clients who need to create occasional documents and spreadsheets. It's a popular Open Source alternative to Microsoft Office. As soon as you click the download link, it takes you to a page on another well known site that hosts Open Source projects.

The trouble is, the download page has a tiny sentence that says the download w... [More]

Continue...Google Should Ban Fake Download Ads...
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For your eyes only.


If you wrote an email that you absolutely, positively want to be read by one person... how could you do it?

If you put it in a regular email, there's no guarantee it will remain private. First of all, Google's server can read it. Although it's just a search engine, it does mean that their server will potentially use some of that information to determine what kinds of ads you'll see on millions of websites, which could indirectly reveal the nature of your messages. For example, a friend once sent me an email asking me my opinion about a cordless electric lawnmower, and I started to see a ton of ads on dozens of websites even before I read the email.

Second, if somebody gains access to your cellphone, or your computer after you've already logged on, they... [More]

Continue...Gmail Encryption. Encrypt Email Before Sending... Passwords Shared Verbally....

A DropBox InBox. A One Way Link To Drop Files.

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DropBox is an amazing concept. Here's how to make it even better.


DropBox was one of the first cloud storage systems that actually worked, because they found a way to make it easy. All you have to do is install their software, then everything you place into your DropBox folder on your own computer is automatically backed up to the cloud.

If you install the software on multiple computers, every file you put into your DropBox also gets copies to every computer linked to your account. They also lets you create links to individual files or folder, so you can share with friends, family, or collaborate with coworkers.

Taking it one step further, it would be great if you could share links that limit people to just "Dropping" files into your account, without letting them see or

... [More]

Continue...A DropBox InBox. A One Way Link To Drop Files....

Google Public DNS, With Filters

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I've been using Google's Public DNS for years because it's faster. Why not make it... BETTER?


DNS Servers make it possible for people to connect to services without memorizing cryptic IP numbers, as they did in the early days of the Internet. Each DNS server has a list of every domain, along with the addresses of the IPs they point to. So every time you enter a domain, your computer asks a DNS server where to find it.

Normally, your Internet provider handles all your domain lookups by using their DNS servers, but savvy tech guys like me normally change the default to Google's Public DNS, because it's faster and somewhat more reliable.

Then I heard about OpenDNS, which is a commerc... [More]

Continue...Google Public DNS, With Filters...

Single Use Credit Card Numbers

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Welcome to Billy Ray Valentine's Half Price Persian Rug Site. Please enter your credit card here.


Let's face it, we all love to hunt for bargains online, but it's hard to tell which sites you can trust enough to give your credit card number to. Not only do you risk paying for something that never arrives, but there's a good chance the site itself could be a complete hoax designed to steal credit card numbers.

One easy solution would be to have Single Use Credit Card Numbers. The concept is simple. Rather than read the numbers off your own card, the card company can issue a single use card number on their web site, or through an App. When you need to make a purchase, instead of entering your regular account number, you can just pop in the Single Use Card Number and a even... [More]

Continue...Single Use Credit Card Numbers...
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When people drop off their computer for repair, it's crazy that they often have to give them their password too.


It's standard practice that when you drop off a computer for repair, you need to remove the password first. But what if the computer is having trouble booting? That means you have to give the technician your password too.

For newer systems that password is often their Microsoft or Apple ID and password, which not only unlocks the computer, but it's also used for private things like email, or even making purchases. That's pretty messed up.

The solution to this is for the system to have a second password, with limited access, specifically to give to a technician so they can unlock the computer and make backups, adjust settings, etc. This way, they can gain acce... [More]

Continue...Valet Passwords - Limited Access Passwords... For Technicans...

Security Cameras Should All Be HD

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Every now and then you see a story on the news where they show you a horribly fuzzy security camera photo. Why bother?


30 years ago, it was considered state of the art to install security cameras in high profile places. The cameras were crude, but they were better than nothing.

Now that camera technology has improved, you would think that most of the older cameras would be replaced by higher resolution cameras with better lenses and recording technology, but oddly... a lot cameras in use today are still pathetically useless.

What good is a camera if nobody can make out any details, such as license numbers, weapons or even faces?

While I'm on the subject, have you noticed that whenever they show most of these fuzzy security camera videos on the news, not only are they b... [More]

Continue...Security Cameras Should All Be HD...

All Banks Should Use Cash Dispensers

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Once you see a teller use a cash dispenser, you've got to wonder why every bank doesn't use them.


TD Bank recently opened a branch near me. My first impression was that it reminded me of what banks were like when I grew up, before tellers were placed inside a cage made of 2 inch bulletproof glass.

Back then, banking was simpler. The teller could literally count your money as she placed it into your hand. I guess you can't blame them, those glass cages were their only defense against bank robbers.

If those glass cages are there to prevent bank robberies, why would TD Bank open branches without them? The trouble is, cages didn't stop bank robbers from holding a gun to the nearest customer's head unless the teller unloads all the cash in their drawer.

The key to pro

... [More]

Continue...All Banks Should Use Cash Dispensers...

2 Step Credit Cards

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You're on your way back from Walmart. You dropped your credit card. That's okay. Nobody can use it but you.


Two Step Credit Cards could eliminate almost all fraudulent credit card transactions. Really.

The key to protecting credit cards from fraudulent transactions is to somehow guarantee that the card owner is the only person who can use the card. So how can we do that, especially now that many stores don't even require a signature for small transactions?

One way us to use 2 Step Credit Cards, which are cards that are linked to a cell phone or some other wireless device. Once the card is registered, every time you make a purchase, it sends an alert to your device asking for approval. Assuming you link it to a cell phone, which is always with you, you simply approve... [More]

Continue...2 Step Credit Cards...

Location Sensitive Passwords.

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Sometimes you need a strong password. Sometimes you don't.


Wouldn't it be great it you didn't have to enter a password to unlock your devices whenever you were home... but still had the security of a complex password whenever you were away from home? That's what a location sensitive password would do.

Let's face it. If you share your tablet at home, you don't need a complex password. In fact, if you have a small child, you may not want to create a password in the first place.

However, if you leave your home, a good password is essential.

So, you need to decide... do I want to make to make this device easy enough for a todler to use, or secure enough for the real world? I guess you can't have it both ways. Maybe you can.

A location sensitive password could allo

... [More]

Continue...Location Sensitive Passwords. ...
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Don't you hate having to type in your passwords every 5 minutes?


A lot of cars today have a new feature that basically makes keys obsolete. All you need to do is walk up to your car, and the door unlocks. Then you don't even need to insert the key, just hit a button and off you go.

What makes this possible is a small device that you carry with your in your pocket or your purse. As long as you have the device, the doors unlock, without hitting any buttons, and you can drive it without even taking it out of your pocket.

There's no reason why cell phones and other devices can't do likewise. Basically, you would purchase a "Key", then simply link it to your device(s), and whenever you are within a few feet of the device, it bypasses the password.

A Firewall... for SOFTWARE.

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Why are there no firewalls for software on regular computers?


I've had a computer since the 70s, and I've seen so many people lose all their family photos, videos and other important files because they were too inexperienced to know when they were installing a malicious program.

I can't blame them. As doctors, lawyers, and business executives, they were all very intelligent people, but time and time again, they would come to me to help them get their files back. The reason they were victims of these kinds of software attacks was because they never imagined that the programs they were running were specifically designed to destroy their files, and in some cases steal information or money.

Don't most computers already have a Firewall?


No. What most computers have is... [More]

Continue...A Firewall... for SOFTWARE....

Block Emails With One Click

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When unsubscribe doesn't work, why not just block the sender?


Everyone hates spam. But every day, we seem to get more spam in our InBoxes than anything else. Time after time, we hit the "Spam" button, or look for "Unsubscribe" links, but somehow they keep coming. As I wrote about recently, sometimes even after using an Unsubscribe button, we get a message telling us it will take at least 30 days to stop receiving emails.

Wouldn't it be easier if we just clicked a button that said "Block Sender"? Then viola! From that second on, any emails from that sender go right into the Trash.

Sometimes I wonder if the reason they don't have a button like that right now is because that would immediately become the most popular button on the planet and the volume of email would dro... [More]

Continue...Block Emails With One Click...
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A while back, I dig a blog post about avoiding bad passwords, security questions and PIN numbers. Today's post is about an alternative to all three, Two-Step Login Security


As a recap, many people are using passwords, PIN numbers and security questions that are easily guessed. Some of the are so bad, it makes you wonder why so many major corporations use them.

If you were a hacker trying to break into somebody's account and were given one of these security questions... do you think you could hack the account?

"What was the brand of your first car?"

"What's your favorite sports team?"

For "What was the brand of your first car?", even if you don't know, there are truly only a small number of brands. So, after a dozen attempts, at the most, you would clearly find it,... [More]

Continue...Enable Two-Step Login Security on Every Important Account...

Session Undo. Groundhog Day For Your Computer.

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Can I use your computer?


For many people, that's one of the scariest questions since cavemen first asked... "Does that tiger bite?"

Put it this way, even if you restrict access to your private files, there's a strong chance that giving access to your computer to a stranger, or even a close friend or family member can lead to more trouble than it's worth.

An inexperienced user may accidentally change settings, install unwanted programs, and even completely crash your system by moving or deleting system files.

Apple has a great "Guest Login" option, that pretty much gives your guest access to the Internet and not much else. I applaud them for that, because for many guests, that's all they need. However, some guests may require access to other programs and features. That... [More]

Continue...Session Undo. Groundhog Day For Your Computer....

5 Great Reasons for a WiFi Safe

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Yes. I know. There's no such thing, but here are 5 reasons somebody should build one.


Some of the best ideas start off sounding pretty strange until you find at least one practical reason for them. Here's five.

5. Show me your homework. I'll unlock your PlayStation Controllers


Here's the scenario. You're at work. You kids call you up in a panic...

Kids: "Where's my PlayStation controllers?"

Mom: "I put them in the safe."

Kids: "How do I get them out?"

Mom: "Did you do your homework?"

Kids: "Yes."

Mom: "Send me a picture of it and I'll unlock it."

4. Put a WebCam inside so you can always see Your Precious.



Give yourself piece of mind by triggering a lighted WebCam view of Your Precious, whenever you fear that some... [More]

Continue...5 Great Reasons for a WiFi Safe...
LARGE-95 It's great that iOS devices have passwords that protect your information from strangers. However, they don't offer a way to control access by friends or family to individual Apps like Mail.

Have you ever handed your iPad to a toddler?


There's a great joy that comes from handing a toddler your iPad so they can learn the alphabet, draw some pictures or play a game. The only trouble is you just hope they don't accidentally open your eMail App and start deleting your mail.

There's an easy solution... give people the ability to put Mail and other private Apps into a folder that has a separate password, so they can't accidentally access your sensitive information.

Another bonus... it'll keep your teens from reading your emails too.


How Microsoft can stop viruses forever.

LARGE-86 Every computer I've been asked to clean up has one of the mainstream Anti-Viruses installed. It doesn't seem to matter if it's McAfee, Norton, Kaspersky, AVG, Avast, Microsoft, MalwareBytes, or anything else. People still get viruses, regardless of the brand of Anti-Virus they use.

What bothers me most is that there are some very easy things Microsoft can do to virtually eliminate the need for an Anti-Virus.

Time and time again, Microsoft has used the wrong strategy to combat the threats. Here's what they need to do:

1. Follow Apple's lead by preventing programs from being installed by untrusted publishers by default.


Apple completely controls 100% of the programs that could be installed on iPhones and iPads. Simply stated, unless a program is installed from the App S... [More]

Continue...How Microsoft can stop viruses forever....

How banks can make checking accounts safe again.

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The problem with today's checking account system


We've been trained over the past 20 years to think that we must hide our account numbers at any cost. Which is why most of us now have shredders in our houses... just to mutilate our bank statements and receipts.

We do everything we can to keep people crawling in our trash from getting our bank account numbers.

But wait!... Every time we write a check, we are actually giving somebody our entire account number!


Huh? How the heck is that safe? Basically, any stranger who handles a check we write, from a clerk in a supermarket to the people in the back offices at the utility companies has our entire account number in their hands.

I guess we all have to assume that 100% of the people who will have access to our ac

... [More]

Continue...How banks can make checking accounts safe again....

Another Security Tip... BETTER PIN numbers

LARGE-79 Quick question, how many times would it take to crack the typical 4 digit PIN number?

Did you guess 9999? Believe it or not, there are less than 565 VERY common PIN numbers.

Why are there less than 565 popular PIN numbers?



Here's why.

A lot of people pick a birthday. That's 365 possible combinations, 12 possible combinations for the first two digits 01-12, and 31 possible combinations for the second 2 digits. Even worse, some use the year of their birth.

What are the other 200?

A lot of people who don't use dates, use repeating 2 digit numbers, like their birth day, such as 0505, or year such as 7575.

The final 100 are years. Since there aren't many people over 100, that's only another 100 possible choices.

Picking a better PIN



Mix things... [More]

Continue...Another Security Tip... BETTER PIN numbers...
LARGE-78 With all the buzz lately about celebrities having their private photos hacked, everyone seems to be focusing on potential hacks into Apple's iCloud by some kind of sophisticated hacking technique or security flaw.

I have news for you, most hackers aren't that sophisticated. It doesn't take a Rocket Scientist to hack any online account. It just takes a few educated guesses to make it past just about every major online site, but here's a quick tip that can protect you....

STOP USING DEFAULT SECURITY QUESTIONS!



That's it?.... WHY?

Before I get into details, let's do some role playing. Let's assume YOU are a hacker. Now, I want you to try to hack into the fictional account of "Mr. John Q. Public". Let's say you know the login ID, such as the email address, but not the... [More]

Continue...Stop using default Security Questions... here's why....

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* Note: The ideas on "Idea of the Day" were posted without any formal research into existing inventions.

In some cases, patents may already exist for these ideas, in other cases, there may not be any existing patents and you are free to develop and explore the viability of developing and patenting the ideas.

The authors make no claim that any of the ideas are safe, practical, or suitable for any particular purpose. You are responsible for the results of trying, developing, patenting or using any of the ideas on this site.

For some people, our ideas are just an interesting read, but our goal is to encourage you to take action. If you see an idea that you like, do something with it... Take action.


- Joe
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