Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tips For Minimizing Security Risks on Social Media

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In my blog post entitled Privacy Vs. Networking, published on What on Earth are We Doing Here, we discussed the issue of privacy while networking socially on the Internet and how much of the problem sits with the user, not specifically the network we're on.
All of this is quickly changing as more and more of us become far too comfortable with sharing far too much on the social media channels we frequent. The following short video, entitled "Social Media & Privacy - Be aware of what you share," on Mohammad A. Itani's YouTube channel, features a number of common sense dos and donts that act as a reminder of how little privacy we really have on Facebook, as one example.

Summary
First, read the condition and terms before signing on the dotted line. Secondly, Be frugal with what and how much personal information you offer when signing up for these services. And third, don't spill your guts out there and expect to keep your life private.
Do you have other ideas on how to stay safe in the world of cyber-life? Please share it with me!
Al Colombo

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Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
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Monday, October 26, 2015

Video: The Contrast Between Worlds

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I, and likely you, come from a nation where life is fairly good, jobs are available, and no one--or almost no one--starves for lack of food. Most of us have become use to living in a safe, secure environment where we almost feel as though we are safe and that we, alone, control our own destiny.

This morning, during a coffee break, I am doing what I usually do, and that is to listen to an informative Ted Talks video. This one, entitled "Two nameless bodies washed up on the beach. Here are their stories," narrated by Anders Fjellberg, involves two Syrian refugees that evidently died in an attempt to swim across the channel to enter the UK. Neither of them made it there, but instead washed ashore--one in a small Norwegian town.

"When two bodies wearing identical wetsuits washed ashore in Norway and the Netherlands, journalist Anders Fjellberg and photographer Tomm Christiansen started a search to answer the question: who were these people? What they found and reported in Norway’s “Dagbladet” is that everybody has a name, everybody has a story and everybody is someone."

Fjellberg's research showed that both individuals, in an attempt to make a better life, had been desperately trying to make it to the UK. The one young man (left, below) came from a middle-income family. It was this young man that had first gone to Turkey in an attempt to get an education. However, he was not accepted by the college and was prevented from returning to Jordan, so he found himself in an impossible situation.

Fjellberg says that police had found another deceased swimmer along the shore who wore an identical wet suit. And amazingly enough, they were able to determine where both of the wet suits came from. They were able to do that through an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip buried inside both of them.

Fjellberg says, "Many may think that this story about [these two young men] is a story about death, but I don't agree. To me this is a story about two questions that we all share, what is a better life, what am I willing to do to achieve it?"

From here, Fjellberg talks about some of the things that equate to "a better life." Among those things cited are, the right and ability to come and go as we please, and the right to do so without fear of death.

Please take a few moments to watch and listen to Anders Fjellberg, who incidentally works as an investigative reporter with the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, as he provides the details concerning the cause of these young men's situation in the remaining months, weeks, and days before their untimely deaths: please click here.

Note: For more interesting sources of interesting videos, please click here.


For the serious researcher:
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Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Why Alarm Systems and Crime Prevention Go Hand in Hand

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Preventing crime is what security is all about. It does little good to install an alarm system if your intent is merely to catch criminals already in the act of aggression.

The primary purpose of a video surveillance or electronic security alarm isn't any different than that of a quality deadbolt lock on all the doors--it's all about stopping a criminal before he/she commits the crime.

According to the Crime Prevention Website, "During research interviews by criminologists and post arrest interviews by me and many of my colleagues over the years most burglars (who expressed a preference) said that they were definitely put off by alarms!" (click here)

Right from the beginning, UL (Underwriters Laboratory) burglar alarm standards called for overt bell boxes, foil tape on windows, and other visible devices. This overt policy has not changed even though the tools of the trade have.

Even more importantly, the mere placement of yard signs and other visible means of protection without the actual functioning alarm system to go with it is not necessarily a wise idea either. When a crook decides to take the risk, he will enter the home or business without hesitation, in which case a working and monitored alarm system is invaluable.

If you're a home or business owner and you need advice on the type of alarm system to use, I recommend that you first talk with friends and colleagues who have an alarm system. Find out how they feel about the alarm company that did the initial installation. Did they do a good job of installing the components? Are they doing an equally good job of monitoring the system? Do they respond in a timely manner when there are problems?

Contact at least three alarm firms and have them come to your home or business for an on-sight evaluation. Don't accept a quote over the phone, and if one of them is unwilling to come to your home/business to visually evaluate the situation, say thank you and do not go any further with them--there is no one-size-fits-all alarm system.

Once you have three quotes under your belt, sit down and evaluate them.

Remember, bigger is not better. Look for longevity, quality, and long-term costs. Just because an alarm system is "free" when you get it is no indicator that you'll pay a respectable price in the long term. Weigh the entire package of each firm to assure that it's the right company, right system, and right dollars in the short as well as long term.

If you have questions, send them to me at allan@tpromo.com.


For the serious researcher:
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Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

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