Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Social Network Mining

The news is rife of posts of people who are getting in trouble on Facebook and twitter for posting images/stories that in a pre 9/11 mindset would have not have same consequences. But as some people are finding out Big Brother is watching and data mining sites like Facebook, twitter, MySpace and blogs (here, here and here). In some cases people are being reported as this person was.

I would caution anyone about posting questionable material on social networking sites, to include blogs, as they are putting themselves at risk for a visit from men in cheap suits. I am seriously considering divorcing myself from all social media sites as Rural Revolution did due to their tracking issues.

OpSec is a key component on what preppers do, please do not let yours be compromised by a joke or a post in anger. They do not have a sense of humor.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Pursuing through the many news topics today I came across this one. Symantec has lost code for PC anywhere and offers a few tidbits of helpful information to keep your PC safe. I would say they needed to go farther with this.

As a someone who as been in the IT field for a long time nothing is more time consuming than passwords. You have to change them at least every 6 months and monitor access to critical systems to make sure they are not being used when you are not there. I however discovered that having a layer of passwords is much less painful, time consuming, and ultimately more secure since a compromised password would only get access to one layer.

Layer 1 are simple passwords (such as qwerty01) to sites that I have little or no worries of any personal information being compromised. Fire arm blogs, news sites, computer sites ect ect.

Layer 2 get a slightly more complicated password one that uses the 8 charater minimum with Upper and lower case and a special character (H0t@0N3!). This is for more personal sites like job sites or web applications that require SSN# or mailing addresses.

Layer 3 is for financial sites; Those that have any bank information and credit card information. In fact if you have more than 4 credit cards I would say that you split them on a different layer like Layer 3a and Layer 3b. This is the type of information that if hacked would keep you up at nights worrying.  I would go to a full 16 character random password on these if at all possible. (Kt6#l0sdT4$l1f&)

Layer 4 is the last layer typical assigned to email accounts and admin passwords. Also called you are going to have to write this one down password. I go to the 32 character range on this one. You can also make this your login, but really windows logins (for home anyways) are to prevent someone to remotely log into you machine. You can use a level 2 for a windows login.

So if any area is compromised/hacked you only have to change one level and not the whole structure. You are going to have a compromised password period. It is only a matter of time unless you don't use anything online (if you are reading this you are). Typical caveats apply here do not give any passwords to anyone, even if they "claim" to be of that particular institution/organization. System administrators know what your passwords are, or they can find out really fast. They have no need to ask you what they are. Also keep your passwords fresh; change then at least once every six months. This will ensure that even an old password has been stored they can not use it later on.

Online presence has become even more important in the digital age make sure that yours continues to belong to the right person.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Troublesome Times: Fascism Alert !

In case any have missed post on Troublesome Times this it is worth the read. This could setup a power grab come election time to supersede any voting outcomes.

Troublesome Times: Fascism Alert !

So, once again, did you catch it last night when Obama said it in his speech? Here's his quote:
The executive branch also needs to change. Too often, it’s inefficient, outdated and remote. That’s why I’ve asked this Congress to grant me the authority to consolidate the federal bureaucracy so that our Government is leaner, quicker, and more responsive to the needs of the American people.
Pretty slick, eh? It "sounds" almost patriotic what with that quip about the needs of the American people. But what does he need more power for? With the passage of the Patriot Act and the NDAA (and don't worry, SOPA will also eventually get passed if he gets another presidential term) he already has more power than any other president in history.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Back in the Saddle

So I am back with a renewed sense of accomplishment. My sister and I have settled most of my father's affairs (with my Mom's approval of course) and I am back at my home. I can't say how much people surprise me during a family crisis. Our neighbors bought food over, my wife's boss also bent backward for us and the outpouring on the web as well as locally was amazing.

The major thing I took away from all of this is that I am focusing more of my energy towards personal fitness. My father was taken down by an disease that could have been avoided if he had taken better care of his health. So I am sure to make the wife mad by throwing away some of the garbage we have in our house and replacing it with more healthy fare.

A minor footnote is that I can without a doubt say that I severely dislike California. I hate going to any State that disarms its citizenry and makes them dependent on them for security. Not to mention the whole recycling racket that they have going on down there. Plastic in one container, metal in another, paper products in another its enough to drive one crazy. Don't even try to get rid of a computer which only can be taken in every third Saturday. I was also acquainted with the term section 8 housing as LA is forcing most of their section 8 housing rejects (gangs) to the surrounding counties. Which of course has done wonders to the property values of those communities.

I was contemplating about writing a brief memorial about my father but that is still an emotional charged topic for me for a number of reasons, perhaps in the future...