Tech Friday: Another security breach along with a price increase triggered my reevaluation of Lastpass, SmallPDF and Evernote

| October 6, 2017

As a free user and then paying Premium LastPass customer for years, the 2017 price increase inched out of my comfort zone this week. It is not that the password managing product with added features is bad, it is just that the significant price bump ($12 to $24/yr) leaves a sour taste in my mouth. […]

TechFriday: What is new with the Apple iPhone X (ten)?

| September 15, 2017

So you want the new iPhoneX? Wouldn’t that be nice, but can you handle the new features? A BIG sharp OLED screen = 5.8 inch. Glass front and back. Stainless steel. Wireless charging. Home-button-less swipe gestures. Animoji expressions. iMessage ApplyPay Four-core CPU 70% faster than the A10 A11 capable of 600B operations/sec. Three-core GPU that […]

Passwords and protecting your digital data

| March 29, 2017

We all struggle with ease of use and security when using a computer and online services … what’s the best way? That’s likely a debatable question since we want easy access, but don’t want our data compromised – "how easy is too easy?" What we do know is that a simple or "no" password is […]

Robocalls are on the rise, even on the Do Not Call Registry

| March 22, 2017

Well the FTC has some simple advice for those "still" receiving robocalls even when on the Do Not Call List or Registry. Most of us continue to receive unwanted calls on landlines and cellphones, even we are on the registry (and have renewed). It is illegal unless you have giving the caller written permission. Many […]

Denial of Services impacting Internet access for much of the U.S.

| October 21, 2016

Twitter status above illustrating second attack shutting down services. The cyber threat continues … as  a second wave cripples some of the biggest domain names through Dyn (Manchester, NH), a company that provide DNS services for connecting domain names to IP addresses. Dyn said it had resolved one attack, which disrupted operations for about two […]

Raspberry Pi security video and nearing the end for the Rav4

| April 12, 2016

We found out a couple things Monday … first, the Raspberry Pi garage camera seems to be working just fine after tweaking a few thing while experimenting in the house, albeit the video is a bit delayed (15 seconds maybe ???). So far so good with video … next to get some motion detection so […]

Testing my old Raspberry Pi as a home security camera

| April 10, 2016

It is pretty easy for me to get distracted when I’m suppose to be working on taxes … especially when my Raspberry Pi2 has given up webserver duties to the Raspberry Pi3. There were a couple glitches in imaging the new 64GB micro SD card but all is as it should be now. With the […]

Setting up the Raspberry Pi as a security monitor

| January 15, 2016

We’ve had a professional security system in the house for years, but I’ve always thought it would be nice to make a homemade version for the detached garage/pool house – might be a perfect Raspberry Pi project? The first step was to see just what kind of wifi signal was there, considering the tiny $10 […]

From my personal perspective, the TSA did their job well

| November 21, 2015

What a duffus! I don’t want to admit, but I made a MAJOR airport security mistake on Friday morning … and am thankfully a free man to tell the tale. KUDOS to the much maligned Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for doing their job and doing it well. Neglectful Rich left an extended round full 9mm […]

TechFriday: If you use the Firefox browser, be sure to update

| August 7, 2015

If you are a Firefox browser user, be sure to select the “About” menu and apply the latest update. Yesterday morning, August 5, a Firefox user informed us that an advertisement on a news site in Russia was serving a Firefox exploit that searched for sensitive files and uploaded them to a server that appears […]

Simple security is often overlooked on WordPress

| May 15, 2015

Check out these five security points if you use a WordPress website: Don't Use “Admin” or “Administrator” as a Login Name Use a Highly Secure Password Keep WP and Its Plug-ins Up-to-Date Backup Your Site Install Security Plug-ins Source: Envisionitsolutions  

How would you like to be sitting behind the wheel?

| November 16, 2014

I’m not sure how essential this kind of added security is in the U.S. unless you are an “at risk” person … but I wouldn’t mind owning an SUV like this if I were living in a questionable overseas country. Great job by Texas Armoring in adding protection to a Mercedes, although not sure I’d […]

TechFriday: Dashlane gets high marks as a password manager

| May 9, 2014

I’ve mentioned LastPass a few times in the past as a way to manage the many passwords that our online presence requires and it still looks like a good option. Over the years things change, so I was interested to read “The Best Way To Manage All Your Passwords” article in the WSJ by Geoffrey […]

Tech Friday: Checking for Heartbleed safe sites

| April 18, 2014

No doubt you’ve heard about the latest vulnerability on the Internet known as the Heartbleed bug, but like most web users are pretty much helpless to do anything about it. You can change your passwords, run protection and antivirus software, but until the HTTPS sites correct their SSL sites … you’re spinning your wheels. For […]

TechFriday: Use a VPN on Internet wifi hotspots

| March 21, 2014

Before I renew my current VPN service it is time to keep them honest when it comes to their subscription pricing. I’m testing the lower cost AnchorFree’s Hotspot Shield Elite using their trial program before renewing my more expensive, but easy to use VPN service just to see if there is any difference. So far […]

Tech Friday: ‘;–have i been pwned?

| February 7, 2014

With data breaches in the news recently (Obamacare website, Target, Neiman Marcus) it was just a matter of time before someone archived the list of sites and collected a list of email addresses so that users could check their own. Check your email address with haveibeenpwned.com and see if your information has potentially been compromised. […]

Managing online passwords and Lastpass Premium

| November 5, 2013

Keeping track of the ever-changing and growing complexity of passwords got the best of me back in 2010 and I finally committed to Lastpass for “most” of my online log ins and passwords. I’ve been satisfied with the “free” version, but over time I’ve found value and a level of comfort (misplaced?) in cloud-based secure […]

Testing the Avast VPN wifi option while traveling

| June 20, 2013

Looking at using the paid Avast VPN option while connecting to unsecured wifi connections. So far it works just fine and seems transparent … except LastPass does not like the overseas routing. Speeds are good, at least at McDonald’s; not so sure about busy hotels or the marinas?

TechFriday: Health check your online settings with PrivacyFix

| February 15, 2013

A friend of mine recommended adding the PrivacyFix plug-in to Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome browsers. The install was simple on both and checks a variety of user adjustable privacy setting on Facebook and Google. After completing the 3 minute multi-step check, there is a option to install a small monitor icon on the browser […]

Using retired police officers as substitute teachers

| January 28, 2013

Butler County Ohio’s high profile local Sheriff Richard Jones is addressing the recent hot button topic school security with a “two for one” idea by putting trained retired police officers in school buildings as substitute teachers. Many of our local schools once had resource officers in the schools, but budget constraints due to the slow […]

Security: Switching passwords to passphrases and beyond

| November 27, 2012

The topic of computer and Internet security came up this past holiday weekend as several family members wanted access to our home Wi-Fi. My son, having an “open attitude” when in rental houses on his college campus, complained about my “passphrase” security method when trying to help each of his cousins connect their computers and […]

How secure are your online accounts … really?

| August 5, 2012

Internet security was again in the news last week with Gizmodo’s Twitter account getting hacked and although we are all vulnerable, many of us figure it will happen to someone else. I use to be concerned that “one” of my accounts or logins would be hacked, but after realizing just how interconnected things have become, […]

Internet privacy and security

| June 26, 2011

Although I’ve not been overly concerned with “my personal” Internet browsing and how my habits are being watched, I am conscious that more and more of online habits are being tracked and marketed to interested parties. It does seem a bit intrusive. After reading a few more articles on the subject the use of https […]

Belated Tech Friday Google account and Gmail security advice

| June 11, 2011

Planned on making this a Tech Friday post, but Saturday will have to do. I’ve been talking with a few people who have adopted Gmail as their primary email and semi-forget about security issues. It is increasingly a problem as evident by the concern over government officials email accounts possibly being accessed. Although most of […]

Important end of the year WordPress 3.0.4 update

| December 30, 2010

The gurus at WordPress.org have tweaked their programming code and issued an Important Security Update. Take note if you are self-hosted WordPress user and update your install as soon as possible.

Lastpass.com – a tech Friday tip on a Monday

| September 27, 2010

How do you keep all of your online passwords safe and secure? I’ll admit, I wasn’t all that smart about managing mine. About a month or so ago, a technology friend of mine shared his method of using the stand alone KeyPass Password Safe on his PC and explained how he then plop the encrypted […]

American Express marketing USB gadget – Safe?

| May 3, 2010

American Express continues their rich and creative advertising using USB technology  computer technology to entice card members and ‘would be’ card members to apply for one of their credit cards. I started to ponder the safety of popping the little fold out USB plug into a waiting computer … wondering just who made the card […]

Lock Bumping: How secure is your home?

| November 28, 2006

One advantage of a “desultory” blog is that there are very few topics too far out to blog on. Last night I caught a ‘news teaser’ from local Cincinnati television station WXIX talking about “Lock Bumping” and have included the short segment at the bottom of this post. (or check it out on YouTube) Hmm, […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.