Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on your cell phone?

For the answer to that question, check out “Top cell threats to your phone.” Here’s an excerpt:

“Some hackers set up free Wi-Fi access in public places such as libraries, cafes and airports. Unsuspecting users who log onto the hot spot are then monitored for passwords, credit card numbers and account information. Those apps you download can be harmful too …”

And while we’re on the subject …


“The person sitting next to you at a cafĂ© could be a hacker, and you could be his next victim. But that may depend on where you live. A recent study has ranked cities nationwide with the highest risk to cybercrime. Washington, D.C tops the list of riskiest online cities in the U.S, followed by Seattle and San Francisco."

Here is the complete list.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Drones now cleared to check out U.S. citizens

Businesses having to do with aerial photography—not to mention law enforcement agencies!—are extremely happy with the latest news— the skies are being opened up to private unmanned aerial vehicles, i.e., drones. How much detail will these drones capture about your life down below? And what will be done with that information? Might two drones collide and crash in your back yard?

Time will tell. Here are two links to additional information:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cell Phone Jammers and GPS Jammers For Sale, as Low as $50

If you’ve been listening to the news lately, you’ve probably heard about the dangers of jammers used by criminals and terrorists. Trucks can be highjacked, ships can be veered off course, and the stock market can be manipulated. And since they are both cheap and easy to use, you may be tempted to buy one. My advice: Don’t do it.

True, they are advertised in the UK for as low as £40, and in America for as low as $50, but you’ll not find them on or on any of the major electronic sites. Why not? Because it is illegal to sell them, illegal to buy them, and illegal to use them.

Further, when you go to an unfamiliar site, how do you know you will actually receive what you ordered? It may actually be a new website set up for just one purpose: to steal your credit card number.

Monday, February 20, 2012

“Defendant Ordered to Decrypt Laptop May Have Forgotten Password”

That is the heading on a recent article from It goes on to say:

A Colorado woman ordered to decrypt her laptop so prosecutors may use the files against her in a criminal case might have forgotten the password, the defendant’s attorney said Monday. The authorities seized the Toshiba laptop from defendant Ramona Fricosu in 2010 with a court warrant while investigating alleged mortgage fraud. Ruling that the woman’s Fifth Amendment rights against compelled self-incrimination would not be breached, U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn ordered the woman in January to decrypt the laptop.

“It’s very possible to forget passwords,” the woman’s attorney, Philip Dubois, said in a telephone interview. “It’s not clear to me she was the one who set up the encryption on this drive. I don’t know if she will be able to decrypt it.” The decryption case is a complicated one, even if solely analyzed on the underlying Fifth Amendment issue. Such decryption orders are rare, and they have never squarely been addressed by the Supreme Court.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

”Fake delivery man robs woman at home”

That was the headline on one of today’s CNN videos. The woman opened her door to get the flowers, at which point the man pulled a gun, pushed his way into the house and demanded money. This is a common ploy used by criminals. They continue to use it because it works.

For example, last September 12th, a wealthy 71-year-old woman in Plantation, Florida opened the door to her home. The “flower” man pulled a gun and entered the home, along with two confederates. They knocked the woman down, bound her wrists, and apparently forced her to reveal the combination of her safe. They left with $130,000 in cash and jewelry, according to the Plantation police. (This home had several surveillance cameras but the thieves stole the equipment containing the images,)

As I constantly preach and teach, never allow deliveries of any kind to be made to your home address. Therefore, no matter if it’s a fake UPS man, pizza guy, or a clown with balloons, do not open the door. For further information on home safety and protection, see Chapter 2, How to Avoid Danger From a Stranger at the Door, in my e-book Dirty Tricks for Savvy Chicks (ages 15 to 85).

Friday, February 3, 2012

Email encryption, anonymous surfing?

A flyer designed by the FBI and the Department of Justice to promote suspicious activity reporting in internet cafes lists basic tools used for online privacy as potential signs of terrorist activity.

The document, part of a program called “Communities Against Terrorism”, lists the use of “anonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP address” as a sign that a person could be engaged in or supporting terrorist activity. The use of encryption is also listed as a suspicious activity along with steganography, the practice of using “software to hide encrypted data in digital photos” or other media. In fact, the flyer recommends that anyone “overly concerned about privacy” or attempting to “shield the screen from view of others” should be considered suspicious and potentially engaged in terrorist activities.

The above quote comes from:

This is just one more reason why I do not encrypt emails or surf anonymously. Either can sometimes raise a red flag.