TSA to Require “Enhanced Screening” at Airports

The Transportation Security Administration announced new security procedures at all airports in the United States today. Travelers must remove electronics larger than a mobile phone from their carry-on bags and “place them in a bin with nothing on top or below, similar to how laptops have been screened for years.”

This means that tablet computers, handheld game consoles, Kindles and other ebook readers, and anything else larger than a cell phone will now be treated in the same manner as laptop computers have been treated in the past few years.

Luckily, there is one exception that has been in place for years that will be continued: anyone registered with TSA PreCheck does not have to go through this inspection.

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Use Send Anywhere for Secure Sending of Files

sendanywhere_logoIf there’s one thing you should keep both anonymous and disposable, it’s any file that you share with friends or family on the web. Sending an attached file from your email account is risky. First, normal email is non-secure; hackers can easily intercept it. Once intercepted, the same hackers can easily retrieve the attached file. Sending something private? It’s best to not use email!

A better method is to use a disposable file transfer service for privacy’s sake. You can find a dozen or more file transfer services. I prefer Send Anywhere because (1.) the service is free and (2.) the recipient can only retrieve the file(s) if he or she knows the 6-digit key used when you sent it and (3.) Send Anywhere deletes the file(s) immediately from the company’s servers as soon as the recipient finishes retrieving the file(s). Use of the 6-digit key locks out most hackers. However, don’t send the key via email!

Many Send Anywhere users regularly send files up to 100 gigabytes in size through the mobile app and up to 300 gigabytes by using the desktop apps.

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New Privacy International Database Reveals Technology Solutions that Spy on Citizens

Human rights advocacy group Privacy International (PI) has launched a new searchable database that aims to map and highlights all the creepy technology solutions being sold around the world to enable surveillance on citizens, the companies that sell these solutions and the agencies they are selling them to.

The Surveillance Industry Index database, co-developed with pro-transparency software group Transparency Toolkit, features information on over 520 surveillance companies in the world, together with more than 1,500 brochures on surveillance technology solutions.

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Secure Your Web Browser with HTTPS Everywhere

HTTPS Everywhere is an extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure. It is a free and open source web browser extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera, created by a collaboration by The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). It automatically makes websites use the more secure HTTPS connection instead of HTTP, if they support it.


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A Perfect Example Why Businesses Should Not Be Gathering Your Private Information

Want to read a modern-day horror story? Massachusetts-based digital mapping company called MaxMind started decoding the EXACT location of Internet IP addresses. That by itself is an obvious invasion of privacy. However, to make matters even worse, the company’s accuracy is less than perfect. Innocent people have suffered as a result.

One example of technology gone amuck can be found at How an internet mapping glitch turned a random Kansas farm into a digital hell by Kashmir Hill at http://goo.gl/gED9Wh.

This could happen to you, all without your knowledge.

Got an Old Phone? Convert It into a Home Security Camera.

I did this last year and it works well. Want to add a security camera to your home? You can either buy a new one for $150 to $200 or you can use that old cell phone that is gathering dust in your sock drawer. The advantage of using the old cell phone is that it is available either free of charge or for a very low price by adding one app.

I found that the old cell phone no longer works on the cell company’s network but it still works great on my in-home wi-fi network. I simply downloaded a free app that looks for motion in anyplace where I place the phone. I also added a cheap holder for the cell phone that includes a charging cable. I simply plugged the phone into the holder, plugged the cable into a charger and inserted that charger into a nearby power outlet. The cell phone now monitors the room, looking for motion. If motion is detected, it sends a text message to my (new) cell phone that I will receive wherever I am located.

Cheap. Effective. That’s a good combination.

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