Two-factor authentication: What you need to know (FAQ) | Security & Privacy - CNET News.
Let's begin with the truism; there is no such thing as absolute security in a digital world. However, like adding a deadbolt lock to your front door, and then adding a security system that has a battery backup so a burglar can't gain entry without setting an alarm, adding a second login security feature makes you more secure than you were previously. So, while two factor authentication requires a second step to gain access to your cloud services, it eliminates a lot of hackers from the group that is willing to work hard to get your stuff. Why would a burglar try to gain entry to your house when an active alarm system is working? He will merely go down the street to the next guy who doesn't have one. Adding a third level of security is next,with biometric scanning requiring access to something like your fingerprint or eye scan. There are gruesome alternatives to breaking biometric security; but, if a hacker wants my stuff that badly, all he has to do is ask.
Twitter Adds Verification Feature - WSJ.com. If you use cloud apps like GMail and Twitter (and who doesn't these days?), you absolutely, positively have to enable two step verification as one of your security measures. It is next to impossible (nothing is impossible) to hack cloud services that require a secondary password for access. When I log in to GMail or any Google cloud service, even after I enter my password (which is a strong more than 8 character string that only I know and which I never write down) the services that have two step authentication send a text to my smart phone with another code that must be entered to gain access to the service. It is a royal pain sometimes; however, in these times, security is paramount, especially for lawyers handling sensitive client data. So, if you haven't enable two step authentication for Google, and now Twitter, do it now. You may someday be glad you did.
BillyJim47: My Life With Technology - Chapter 2.1.
Bill Holmes continues his quest to learn everything there was to know about early computers; but, he has to do it in Valdosta, Georgia, in the early seventies, and while driving an Opel. Apparently, the life of a computer geek hasn't changed much over the past 30 to 40 years. In computer years, 1970 seems like a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. However, the details of what it took to process simple check data in the early days of computing is instructive for our future. Is it better that human minds and hands were required back then, or that today we are dealing with billions of electronic bytes stored in a far away data center that runs itself, except for a few humans at computer consoles? This all makes me think of the rise of the machines in the Terminator series.
The news that some lawyers are accepting fee payments in bitcoin transactions caused me to investigate this peer-to-peer currency that seems to be popular on the Internet. This encrypted public network verifies payment transactions from anywhere in the world, and is free or low cost. Compared to the other payment networks, which are commercially based it is very inexpensive, and is free from manipulation by any government. Call it the people's currency. This wiki will tell you all you need to know. I am not using it yet, as I need to do some further research. Anyone out there want to share their experiences?
PC Cleaning Apps are a Scam: Here%u2019s Why (and How to Speed Up Your PC).
You've seen the ads. A cute blond is talking to her dad, and complaining about her old, slow PC. Dad suggests a product that will scan and clean the PC registry and other detritus that slow down the system. The free scan finds thousands of problem entries, and offers to "clean" the PC for only $39.95. Hey, I'm a dad. Forty bucks sounds a lot better to me than buying the girl a new computer, right? Well, how about free? Windows comes with plenty of options to clean up old files, and a free utility, CCCleaner will do the rest. So, don't fall for the hype. Clean your own PC. And, teach your daughter how to clean hers.
DOJ: We don't need warrants for e-mail, Facebook chats | Politics and Law - CNET News.
The Department of Justice, and other Government agencies, will always take the default position that they do not need a valid search warrant to look at digital data such as email, Facebook or other social media posts or anything placed online by the author. There is a conflict between this position and privacy advocates who argue that the new emphasis on cloud computing has put much information in which the user has a "reasonable expectation of privacy" in the ether where it can be discovered and claimed by anyone. Of course, the sticking point is what we consider "reasonable". The Fourth Amendment states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Social media, and other Internet based methods of communication were certainly not contemplated by the founders. However, the principle is the same. Citizens have the right to maintain private information. The question becomes whether, in the modern era, it is reasonable to protect information that we voluntarily place in the cloud. I always will default to the position that my private information, wherever I choose to store it, belongs to me until a Judge, after a probable cause hearing, says it doesn't.
Privacy's benefits are exaggerated, Posner says in op-ed - ABA Journal.
Appellate Judge Posner is in a unique position to see the battles over privacy in our tech society. He thinks that the benefits of privacy are overrated, and that sometimes a lack of privacy is a desirable thing. For instance, surveillance cameras in Boston probably saved lives by allowing for the capture of the bombers earlier. My take on this is that it is clear that technology has made privacy a pipe dream; but, there are ways to protect ourselves. My preferred solution is to make the penalties for violating someone's privacy so severe that, even though a hacker or other bad guy can get at my private information, he will, when caught by the same technology, be punished severely. I do not believe that we should allow privacy violations solely because some persons try to hide information about themselves that puts them in a bad light. The more of this stuff that goes on, the more we, as a people, should realize that all of us have things in our lives that we don't want disseminated on the Internet. Be careful out there.
I am traveling this weekend and using my Verizon Wireless connection in mobile hotspot mode to keep up. However there is a really fast DSL connection here and it got me thinking about using a VPN connection to save data and stay safe. However, it is complicated to set up a VPN on the fly even with my favorite VPN Witopia. Of more importance is that I am traveling only with my Note 2 and my Nexus 7 tablet. Look ma no notebook! I feel naked.
Report: Amazon Is Building the CIA's New Cloud Computing System.
News is breaking that the CIA has hired Amazon to build its new cloud computing system. I am trying to decide whether I have more or less confidence in my country's spy secrets being safe now. On the one hand, Amazon already knows too much about me. On the other hand, I want the CIA to know everything. We live in a dangerous world. I want my spy agency to have all the information in the world. Of course, once you have all that information, and you pay billions to analysts to organize and make sense of it, where do you keep it? On Amazon? Hmmm... I hope Amazon gives the CIA employees a discount on their Christmas shopping.