mtony75

40 something geeky dad

My kids think I have a super power. They think the minute the Internet speed goes below Xbox or Netflix speeds that the hair on my arms stands up and I get a tingle in my spine.

I have to honestly say I'm down. It is embarrassing to admit that at my age the passing of someone I don't know and have never met would affect me so much. And I'm really trying to crystallize what has thrown me for such a loop. Initially I thought it was his daughter passing with him. The horror and helpless feelings he must have had gone though. Being a parent that really to be honest scared me.

But again the idea of Kobe dying feels like it threw me hard when I think about it more. To say Mr. Bryant was a work in progress is an understatement. By no means do I think he was perfect. But seeing his journey over this adult life was an experience. How a young man with more world experience than most American's can dream of went from being so tunnel visioned and to a degree conservative to a open minded and wise father of four who was probably more hungry for success at age 41 than he was at age 21. Again he had more than a few bumps in his maturation process. But he seemed always able to learn and auto-correct.

Kobe had attributes I so want to emulate in my life. Tenacity, focus, fearlessness to name a few. He was seemingly incapable of being defeated mentally. Feels like a shame that we won't be able to see how much further Kobe could go in life.

Mom: Should we by some medical masks?

Me: Blah blah statistics about how more people are surviving than dying and population densities compared to proportion of people actually getting sick.

Mom: Why the hell I even as you!?!

If you want the Outbreak answer why you gonna ask the person that isn't gonna give you the Outbreak answer? She knows who I am.

Saw what you want but I am never using 4GB of RAM if I can ever help it again. I've been using a matching with 16 GB of RAM for work and let me tell you something... It's awesome. I mean it is sad that a web browser needs so much memory in order to run “comfortably”. But that's the reality we live in today. And yeah I'm probably crazy for wanting to leave so many browsers and tabs open at once. But it feels so good to have that option.

Anthony Cousins post via @kdbowe on Instagram sums it all up for me beautifully.

This has to be the brightest rainbow I've ever seen. Felt like it was landing right on somebody's house.

Welcome again to another Cyber Security Awareness Month tech tip. All October long digital citizens all over the Internet will share tips and best practices they use to help protect their digital lives. For most people online cyber security is not a top priority. Not always because they don't care. Mostly it is because they have never thought about the implications of their actions online. Actions like pressing “Reply All” to a mass email or checking in at a location on a social network can leave data about ourselves open for people we don't intend to see and use against us. That is why great thought and care must be used when doing anything online.

Be Careful With Your Location

Never before in history have human beings been able to record their lives in such detail as they do now. With the modern smartphone anyone can catch the most mundane to life defining events in high definition. Be it with a simple image, video, algorithmically generated filter, or augmented reality moments can never be forgotten. With the help of a GPS radio though locations can be remembered forever as well. Don't get me wrong. Location data on photos can be a very useful feature. But in the wrong hands and with enough data someone can map out your entire routine. Enough photos during the day when you should be working and your job location can be figured out. Same at night and now your home address is exposed. So location should be a very private and secure part of your digital identity.

Strip Location From Public Posts

When sharing details about your life publicly you should try to remove location data from your photos and video. Especially if your are sharing around areas you are at everyday (i.e. home, work, regular restaurants, post office, etc.). Directions are different for each platform you use so you should become familiar with them all.

  1. When emailing photos to people you are not completely familiar with use an app or the operating system your are using to strip location data from the images.
  2. When sharing photos though a social network (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) or a photo storage service (Google Photos, Flickr) make sure photos shared though the service removes or blocks location data.
  3. If possible use photo editing tools to create a soft focus effect that will obscure landmarks and street signs in your photos.

Location information in the wrong hands can compromise the digital and real world safety of not just your but your friends and family. So it is important to take the proper precautions when sharing information online. Remember that all October long is Cyber Security Awareness Month #cybersecuritymonth. So please share any and all tips you either see or can think of that will help other digital citizens appreciate how important protecting their data and identities online is.

References

Cyber Security Awareness Month Tip #1

Previous Cyber Security Tech Tip

Remove EXIF Data in Windows

Remove EXIF Data in MacOS

Photo EXIF Editor Android

Photo GPS Location Remover iOS

Welcome digital citizens to another Cyber Security Tech Tip. As a reminder throughout the month of October in observance of Cyber Security Awareness Month I will try share a tech tip each day that have helped me how to keep my digital security in mind. Cyber Security is a topic that far too many Internet and computer users do not pay enough attention to. Not that it is completely their fault. In the process of learning how to save Word documents, watch streaming video, and updating social network statuses we aren't taught or told how to protect our data. And because we are all so connected if my systems and accounts are compromised I increase the risk for the same happening to all the people I correspond with via email, instant messaging, and social networking because personal information I have collected about those people is apart of my data footprint. Data that can be mined and weaponized.

Keep Your Web Browsers Up-To-Date

Be it on your mobile phone, tablet or computer your portal into the Internet is usually a web browser. Pretty much the letters “http” and “.com” are apart of the global lexicon. So a large portion of a person's digital footprint goes though their web browser of choice. That makes a web browser a very advantageous means to target and collect data. When a vulnerability to a web browser is found it is a very serious matter. Updates must be installed immediately. If not every piece of data that your push through or receive from your web browser of choice can be intercepted by a third party. So at least once a week check your browser to make sure it is running the most current updates.

Google Chrome

In Google Chrome you want to click on the triple dot button in the upper right hand part of the browser menu. From there go to Help –> About Google Chrome. You will see a window pop up that gives you current information about the version of Chrome you are using. If there is an update it will download it and give you and button to restart the browser to apple the update.

Firefox

The update method for Mozilla Firefox is quite similar. You will want to chick on the Hamburger Menu (triple dashes) in the upper right hand part of the browser window. From there click on “Help” –> “About Firefox”. As with Chrome a window will pop up with current Firefox information. If an update is needed it will update and give you a button to restart the browser once it is ready.

Edge

Edge is a Microsoft product. As long as you have Windows Updates enabled patches for Edge will run in the background when available.

It is important to make sure you are running up-to-date software. With web browsers being most digital citizens primary entry point to the Internet they should be the first software applications you check updates for. Remember to pass on any tips you see or think up all October. And have a safe #cybersecuritymonth.

References

Cyber Security Awareness Month Tech Tip #1

Previous Cyber Security Tip

Homeland Security Securing Your Web Browser

Welcome again digital citizens to my digital security tips. October is recognized at Cyber Security Awareness Month #cybersecuritymonth. As such you will see different organizations and individuals share ideas and best practices online for people online. This is so people who do not think about securing their digital identity think about using the Internet and their computing devices in a way that protects themselves, friends and family in a more cyber security focused way.

Safe Power

Personally I am a heavy phone user. I read news, check my social networks and messengers, play the occasional game here or there. As a result my phone battery hates me. That is why I think my phone waits for me to away from home before it alerts me that I am about to be cut off from the rest of the world... digitally. Which is a huge pain because like it or not we are all dependent on our mobile devices for more than just entertainment. They are our communications and navigation devices. Seeing this need many organizations have put out mobile charging stations for public use. They usually consist of a surface the multiple types of charging cables that allow for multiple types of devices to be connected to them. This is a big help one the surface. It is not however always wise to use.

Mobile phones are computers. Because of this fact they can be hacked into like any other computer. The most obvious and least thought about way to hack into a phone is though the charger port. Just like you can connect your cable to your home computer to sync data and music with your phone or table is the same way your phone can be attached by a malicious party. And a common way this is done is to setup-up fake phone charging stations with hidden computing devices attached to them so when you connect your phone to them they are attached using multiple known methods. So to protect yourself here are a few things to keep in mind:

Always Bring A Phone Charger

Most places you go you can find a power outlet. Its is always better to buy a spare data cable and charger brick from your phone manufacturer and keep in your bag than to use a power station. Most time its is even better than to use a friends cable due to differences in how different phones accept power and cable build quality.

USB Charge-Only Adapter

In case you do not have a cable of your own there are devices called USB Charge-Only Adapters you can use in a pinch. These dongles block the data pins so that only power is transmitted to your phone. It is worth noting that data pins are used for fast charging. So you won't see fast speeds due to the lower current available.

Invest In A Portable Battery

It is wise to buy a portable battery in case of an emergency. You can find solutions from even your local discount store that will give you at least two power refills from a single battery charge. You will have to get in the habit of recharging yet another device every night. But the security of knowing that you can just plug your phone in to your own power supply that goes with you anywhere is worth it.

Cyber security isn't a single minded approach to protecting yourself. In today's world you have to think of any possible way you or your computing devices and digital information can come into contact with resources you do not control. That is why Cyber Security Month is so important to participate in. Not to show off how much you know. But to be open to learning a new tip that will help secure your own data even better. Remember to pass along any tip you find helpful during the entire month of October.

References

Cyber Security Awareness Tip #1

Previous Cyber Security Awareness Tip

How To Protect Yourself From Public USB Charging Ports

Homeland Security Tips on Traveling with Mobile Devices