iPhone Tracking? It’s A Non-Issue.

Yesterday it was announced that your iPhone was tracking everywhere you’ve been and saving it to a file that’s copied to your computer when you synch your device.

Data Presented From Finders of iPhone Tracking

In case you haven’t seen the story someplace on the web, here’s an article about it on Mashable. It’s also now on the CNN home page – HERE

There are a lot of alarmists up in the air about this and Senator Al Franken has asked Apple to explain why it’s doing this.

I was going to write a wonderfully detailed blog post about it and why I thought it really wasn’t a big deal, but the incredibly smart and funny David Pogue beat me to it. Thanks for saving me some typing David!

In the end the only way someone can use this data and figure out where you’ve been is to download special software (which only shows some details) and pull this file off of your computer. As David Pogue put it “If your computer is that accessible, you’ve got much bigger problems.” He also makes a great point of saying only those that have something to hide, may have something to fear.

While you can’t change any setting to stop the tracking, you can (and I encourage you to) encrypt your iPhone back-ups. It’s incredibly easy to do and I’ve found some simple steps right HERE. Honestly everyone should be doing this from the get-go if they’re that worried about the security of their data.

If you’re really worried about the security of what’s on your iPhone you should have it lock and require a password to get into the device. Instructions on that are on the bottom of THIS PAGE.

I know some people feel like this is an invasion of privacy.
They have every right to feel that way.

To that I say in this day and age of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube along with all the “check-ins” being done your information and location is out there already.

There’s  nothing to hide!

For those that are still incredibly fearful I’ll recommend as do with everyone else –
DON’T PUT YOUR INFORMATION ON OR GET CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET. Despite any password you have or protection you think you have on it, there’s no 100% security when it comes to computers. If someone really wants to get to your data, they’ll figure out a way and will be able to get around anything you put in the way.

That’s just my opinion, as has occasionally happened, I could be wrong. 🙂

Twitter Security Breach…A Reminder About Keeping Passwords Secure

Yesterday it was announced that a Twitter employees e-mail account was hacked into.

The person who hacked into it was able to get a lot of information about the company, including its long range plans and estimated revenue growth.

This brings up a few things that I always like to remind those I teach…

1. Install  anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer. Make sure that it’s being updated on a daily basis and is running a full system scan at least once a week. Yes, even if you have a MAC…they’re not 100% secure. Spend that $19-$30 a year for the update subscriptions, it’s chump change compared to the time and money you’ll spend getting your  computer made virus free.

2. Your data is not 100% secure on the internet, or even on your computer. If there’s something you would never want the whole world to see, then don’t keep it on your computer.

3. Use unique passwords that include numbers and varying characters.

4. Don’t use the same password for online shopping, as you would for financial accounts such as e-trade, online banking, online credit card account. While I know that the online merchants have a good deal of security they’re not required to be as secure as the online sites for financial institutions. The financial institutions have to implement more security thanks to the many regulations imposed by the federal government. Although that hasn’t kept them from being hit either.

5. If you’re not sure about something that was sent to you, don’t click or open it. Check with the person its supposed to be from to make sure they sent it. Most of the viruses and re-directs to websites that will infect your computer with a virus have language that is often misspelled or just sounds odd. This goes for text messages you get on your phone as well. Remember…your phone is a mini-computer.

You can read articles on the incident:

Here – http://technologizer.com/2009/07/15/with-online-passwords-dishonesty-can-be-the-best-policy/

and here – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/16/technology/internet/16twitter.html

Let’s be safe out there folks!

Facebook Scam

There’s a new scam out there, this one involving Facebook and I wanted to get the word out.

As I’ve mentioned in my classes, be careful with the information you put out there.

While the CNN video below says it, I wanted to highlight the best advice when it comes to this scam.

Call the person. Make sure that things are legit. Then if you’re so inclined to help then help them.

While it’s great to be in virtual contact with friends, families and co-workers, nothing ever beats face-to-face, or voice-to-voice contact.

It’s great to hear too that Facebook is already working on implementing security controls to help combat problems like this. That’s the sign of a good tech company…being pro-active and acknowledging things instead of trying to silently address them. Bravo Facebook!

http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/crime/2009/02/05/am.carroll.facebook.cnn