Like many people, I've accumulated a stash of documents that are important to me and my family in some way (deeds, birth certificates, marriage certificate, passports) and some are difficult/impossible to replace (immigration paperwork, ancestral information). Right now they all sit in a plastic Tupperware box on the bottom shelf of an IKEA bookshelf. I was thinking that maybe they should be a little better secured. Is a safety deposit box the right answer or a safe? I'm having a hard time choosing. [more inside]
I'm scheduled to visit Brussels from Wed-Sun this week, and given the high alert and reports that seem to suggest shops, public places and events will be shut, I'm concerned that I've picked about the worst possible time. [more inside]
The Wordpress blog that I manage is being attacked from Tor nodes. Is there anything that I can do about it? [more inside]
My 13 year old daughter has just started boarding school. When she leaves her phone unattended for even a minute, one of her roommates snatches the phone and uses it to send lurid "sexts" to a boy my daughter likes. My daughter is now facing disciplinery action for these messages. How can she protect her phone? Passcodes she forgets, or tells someone. I've looked at fingerprint ID, facial recognition and other methods but they all come up lacking. What do you guys suggest? She has an iPhone 4s.
Comcast is offering me a deal that includes security. I can get out of my existing home security for it. It's a very basic ADT - and they're pretty scummy too to deal with. I wanted to hear (hopefully) from the people who have used them or chose not to use them. I'm looking for deal breakers; things they don't do or that they should be doing. [more inside]
I'm looking for resources/explanations of how to tell if someone is intercepting my SSL traffic. [more inside]
Small office seeks a four camera + DVR setup for security. Not hidden cameras. Best options, best values? Things to watch out for?
I downloaded gmailnotifier from gmailnotifier.com and setting it up, it requested my password. Obviously it needs this information but how can I be sure that it won't abuse it? How do you know what software to trust? [more inside]
Our PTA wants to get a Square reader for the stuff we sell at fundraisers. Are there any potential pitfalls we should be aware of? [more inside]
Should I attempt to re-key every lock in our new house, or buy new deadbolts and knobs? We're talking about two entry way doors, two external security doors, and one driveway gate with a deadbolt on it. There are a mix of different brands in the existing hardware. [more inside]
Do you know of a "lifetime" subscription or membership or purchase that you recommend or that seems interesting or a good deal? (An opportunity to pay once and reap ongoing benefits/dividends indefinitely.) In this modern era of low job security, I think I'd like knowing I'll always have a few Nice Things (or simply just reliable things) regardless of what financial turbulence the future may bring, so I'm curious what might be out there along those lines. [more inside]
Just got a huge promotion (equivalent of Partner at one of the Big Four Professional Service firms). I want to give an individual surprise gift back to each of the team of computer hackers / security gurus who I lead and who helped me get here. Ideas? [more inside]
My laptop has a smartcard reader (writer?). I'd like to use this but it seems they are the domain of government IT and corporate enterprise solutions - I can't find much info to help a curious hobbiest get started or do anything with it. Is there smartcards-for-dummies info out there? What fun (or security-related) things could I do with a smartcard reader? [more inside]
I have a new role where I will soon have to speak to IT Directors about Information Security. Good general primers out there to get me started on Infosec? [more inside]
I have a database table with sensitive (read as personal, non-financial) information inside our office locked-down network that I need to expose to users on a website. What's the best way for me to expose this data without exposing us to unnecessary risk? [more inside]
Our windows have pretty standard screens on them. We'd like to open our bedroom windows at night in the summer, but we worry about our indoor cat accidentally popping them out and escaping. Are there screens that are extremely hard to remove from inside? [more inside]
Where do you go to find the most up-to-date news on Android security issues--especially the current Stagefright problems? [more inside]
I help a nonprofit manage their WordPress.org site. I am looking for recommendations for services that backup, update, and secure WordPress sites. [more inside]
I have a laptop purchased from Costco at the end of 2013. It is dead and needs to be repaired, but I'm concerned about the theft of my data. [more inside]
An old password of mine has been compromised, and someone has been using that information in the past 30 minutes or so. What can I do? [more inside]
I didn't know I was a citizen of another country, as well as of the US, at the time I got a position of public trust clearance. I now know that I am, and I know because I asked the other country and they said "yep, sure are." Did I screw up my clearance? [more inside]
I recently bought a new laptop. I signed into Windows on the new PC with my old Microsoft account. Symbaloo seems to have been transferred from my old laptop. [more inside]
Is there a corporate grade storage device (NAS/SAN) that comes with functionality to prevent all data from being deleted and the only way to access the data is to export it and wrap it with a mandatory password security? More details inside [more inside]
Next Thursday I have a 515a flight (on American née US Air, so Terminal 1 is my point of departure) out of MSP. Assuming I'll go through security at around 400-415, it seems silly to stay at a hotel the night before. The airport is open 24 hours. What I'm curious about is if I can I go through security around midnight and try to catch a few ZZZs in the terminal? If not, can I sleep safely outside of security, or will local law enforcement tell me to move along? [more inside]
Are you a big scaredy cat? Do you live in a house with lots of vulnerabilities anyways, and manage to sleep at night? How did you do it? Please hope me. [more inside]
Have you had to prep for the arrival of a major VIP (eg a Queen? a Head of State? the head of the United Nations) to your office or factory? What did you have to do? [more inside]
I have discovered a vulnerability in an eCommerce platform which leaves sensitive and private customer data at risk. I reported this loophole to the developer, but their response has been underwhelming. What should I do? [more inside]
I have a pair of American Eagle (women's) jeans that I tend to wear while traveling because they're comfortable. I think they're setting off the TSA scanners and metal detectors -- I've been pulled aside and patted down every time I wear them, and not much when I don't. My pockets are clear, and there's no egregious metal on the jeans besides the zipper and buttons. Any idea what might be happening?
I started a new job last week, which involved registering for a bunch of different tools and services (email, internal tools, ticket tracking system, project management stuff, etc.). Since I needed access to those before I got a chance to set up a password manager, I used a couple duplicate passwords so I could remember them (they were strong passwords, but they fit a pattern that I can remember). Shortly after I signed into a site with one of the passwords I was also using on another site, I got an email from IT saying they'd noticed I'd used duplicate passwords and to change them ASAP. How did they know? [more inside]
Just gave the last 4 digits of my social to a recruiter who contacted me about an open position at a big company. I did it without thinking and now I am concerned I've done a bad thing. Recruiter said that big company uses that number to track me in their application system. Is this a normal practice on the part of recruiters or did I just screw up the safety of my SSN? If the latter, what do I do?
After upgrading to 10.10.3 I have a repeat of a problem I had months ago, and still no satisfactory solution. [more inside]
Am I wrong about feeling like my apartment building's being cased for a burglary, and what can I do about it? [more inside]
I know that password managers (LastPass, etc) are Good Things™. I know that using the same password for multiple things is terrible. And yet I can't bring myself to let go of my current habits. Help me see reason here. [more inside]
TaxFilter time! I am out-of-town and to facilitate getting my taxes done, my accountant sent me a copy of the draft and final returns via unencrypted email. Is this a standard practice these days? [more inside]
What a Dickensian nightmare the Social Security system is! What is its "administrative message" document type, cited as "AM ###[date]" -- where can I find these -- and, if you are a practitioner, what if any force does it have? I have done a fairly diligent search, but maybe I'm out of it today, or maybe it's one of those things that's just part of the lore of a practice area.
Serious advice about protecting your privacy/identity online is often monstrously impractical. Which are the tools/practices that offer the best real-world security-convenience tradeoff? [more inside]
I was informed by the CIO that an email that I sent out of OWA from Safari, OSX Mavericks had dodgy source code attached. See a text file of source code. [more inside]
What is the simplest and most effective way to protect data on a laptop - simple enough for a not tech-savvy lady in her 60s? [more inside]
Is there any way I can chat on Whatsapp anonymously with a group of my friends? [more inside]
We built a house. Builder wired the house for alarm using some buddy of his. So the doors and windows all have sensors (I think) that are wired into the house. Cheap/basic keypad is by back door and upstairs master bedroom. We haven't activated the system with a monitoring company, but now want to do that. Trying to find out what I can do with the prewired system. Can I use any of the cutting edge home security systems with smartphone and cellular stuff? [more inside]
Every year I buy a bunch of gifts, schlepp them home, and wrap them surreptitiously in a secret corner of my mom's house about 3 minutes before I have to give them over, all in the name of national security. Am I being stupid? Can I do this differently? [more inside]
I just picked up an ASUS laptop for 100 bucks at a Black Friday sale. Now I need to continue the cheapskate theme with free word processing. [more inside]
I'm going to be traveling a fair amount over the holidays which means I'll likely be on public WiFi a lot more than usual, and with all of the various security and privacy issues that have popped up in the news recently, I figure the time is ripe to figure out a VPN strategy (since not everything I do is over SSL/HTTPS). [more inside]
I ran a few luggage bags into the airport terminal for my aging grandmother and ran back out to the curb. Must have been 2 minutes. Airport security waved me away from my car and told me my car was being towed. I just stepped in my car and drove away while security insisted my car was being towed. What does the law say? Will I get a ticket if they've pulled my plates? Am I legally obligated to wait for a tow truck? Am I a fugitive of airport security?
We live in a semi-urban, rust-belt neighborhood that has too many garage burglaries and home invasions between 2am and 5am. Our police department responds to calls but does not have the staff to frequently patrol our area. We have neighborhood communication channels to report incidents after they happen and to encourage neighbors to keep things locked up. What are some effective (and cost-effective) ways to get more people to make their homes and streets undesirable targets, and to make more burglars feel that they might be caught in the act or afterwards without having vigilantes patrol?
Looking for a intercom and remote gate opener with control via the internet on a iPhone / iPad. [more inside]
Just bought a house with a older Brinks Home security system. Well the previous owners had a Land-line and had the house monitored. When they moved out they disconnected the line and now the alarm is showing "CP Trouble" and beeping once every 45 seconds or so. We dont have a land-line nor plan on getting one. We also do not plan on having the alarm monitored but we like the door chime and being able to set the alarm. Even while set the CP problem is still there and beeps. I called Brinks and they said the only way to fix this was to disconnect the whole alarm system or get it monitored. I dont want to disconnect the alarm and I dont want it monitored. Does anyone know if there is a way to bypass this to stop the beeping?
Google Authenticator. I see why it's useful where you're logging into a server that keeps some secrets. But why would it be useful to guard secrets that are stored on your own computer? [more inside]
How does VPN work? How well does VPN protect me? Should I get a paid VPN account? If so, from what provider? [more inside]
I'm taking my laptop on vacation, for the first time. What do I need to do to be sure my info stays safe? [more inside]