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Why buying USPS insurance on your packages is probably a really bad idea

As with most insurance deals, the odds are greatly stacked against you. I know this. You probably knew it. And yet, we've probably both agreed to buy insurance on shipped items at least once or twice… and why not? The insurance prices are fairly cheap are presented as being so straightforward: "Would you like to buy insurance?" they ask. "How much coverage do you want?" they ask. "Here's your receipt" .... [Click here to read the rest of this post]

How to Get Easter Egg Dye off Your Hands

Why are there so many top ranked answers for how to get the dye out of your or your kids' hands that just don't help? Dishsoap? Baking soda or toothpaste plus lots of scrubbing? Feh. Well, consider that baking soda does provide great cleaning power and abasion, but vinegar is what they use to disolve the dye packs in the first place. I figured, why not use both?

I put .... [Click here to read the rest of this post]

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Add context option to open file in administrator level Notepad

One of the more irritating oversights in Windows 7 is that when you open configuration files from Windows Explorer (txt, ini, etc), they open in Notepad as expected, but when you go to save, only then do you realize that you didn’t have admin rights and your work is wasted.

Sick of wasting my time this way, I found a little hack that adds a context option to the right-click .... [Click here to read the rest of this post]

What Does Lexis Nexis Know About Me?

LexisNexis (which acquired ChoicePoint) is the largest data-broker in the world. They create vast profiles on people and use that information to create various reports that they sell to companies of all kinds. These reports are used to make decisions about renting, insurance and more. In the past these reports have been purchased by law enforcement and criminal organizations; all to find out more information .... [Click here to read the rest of this post]

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Sequoia Voting Machines Hacked to Play Pac-Man

Sequoia, Diebold... e-voting has a long way to go.
Sequoia, Diebold... e-voting has a long way to go.
This is your Sequoia touch-screen voting machine with Pac-Man hacked onto it without disturbing any of the "tamper-evident" seals supposedly meant to protect it from hackers…

Apparently, they put tamper seals on the ports and plugins, but NOT the case itself. Therefore, the university was able to just dismantle the machine and connect on the inside instead. Pathetic .... [Click here to read the rest of this post]

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Man Hunts and Beats Teen for Mocking Him Online

For anyone who's participated in forums, online games, or any other system where you can communicate with random strangers, you've probably encountered people who make you angry. Some are just people who you don't get along with legitimately, and some are "trolls"; people who toy with others for their amusement.

What makes people trolls is generally the anonymous nature of the Internet. Sadly, this is .... [Click here to read the rest of this post]

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Facebook Tracks You Even When Logged Out

So yesterday, we learned that OnStar tracks you even if you're not a customer and today, we learn that Facebook will track and monitor your web usage without your knowledge or permission… even if you're not logged in.

The social network is quietly retracting a cookie that continued to report your Facebook user ID even after you "logged out" of the site. But it's .... [Click here to read the rest of this post]

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OnStar To Spy On People

OnStar was recently admonished by several senators for its plan to spy on people (even non-customers).

OnStar is apparently hoping to create a new revenue stream by collecting data about the movements of OnStar-equipped cars. Obviously, this data set will be more comprehensive—and, therefore, more lucrative—if it includes data from former OnStar subscribers as well as current ones. In an announcement e-mailed .... [Click here to read the rest of this post]

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4th Amendment Summary by the EFF

Searching...(<a href=http://www.flickr.com/photos/europedistrict/3947140949/sizes/s/in/photostream/>source</a>)
Searching...(source)

You can't use rights you don't know about or don't understand. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has posted a summary of your 4th amendment rights to deny the government permission to search you or your belongings (digital or otherwise).

It's good to know what you can and can't do since you should know that even when you've done nothing wrong, you may still get yourself into a .... [Click here to read the rest of this post]

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Citibank Unable to Afford Secure Web Design

Really Citibank?
Really Citibank?

When I teach, I explain how most of the breaches and problems you hear in the world aren't about clever hackers or sophisticated attackers, but instead about weak security. This has just become my new go-to example.

Basically after you logged into your account as a Citi customer, the URL contained a code identifying your account. All you had to do was change around the .... [Click here to read the rest of this post]

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IDENTITY THEFT
How to Steal Identities - Why It's So Easy
Credit Freeze
Data Defense
Credit Monitoring
Id Theft Insurance
The Identity Theft Victim's Mini-Guide to Recovery
PRIVACY
The Geek Privacy Principle
Nothing to Hide
Data Abuse
RFID - Radio Frequency IDentification
Privacy Alias/Persona
Data Defense
INTERNET SAFETY
Online Addiction
The Consequences of Posting Online
Photo Safety
Tricks and Scams
Account Hijacking
Trusting Companies
PASSWORDS
Bad Passwords
Password Tips and Tricks
Password Protection
Password Mugging
Computer Security
E-mail Safety
Kids and Computers
Shopping Online
Retailers
All About Warranties

Data Abuse

Learn how your data is taken from you and used against you by large companies for their own benefit.

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How to Steal Identities - Why It's So Easy

Just why is it so easy to steal identities? Where is all this information coming from!?

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