Sony emails hacks just show how email isn’t secure!

Computer Security by The Intel Free Press

Computer Security by The Intel Free Press

Email and You!

Since the Sony Hack that started Nov 24, 2014. We’ve seen some many different perspectives of what Sony did to the press of late.  I’ve heard  some reports that people are saying we shouldn’t be talking about the hacks or the leaks from the hack itself.   I have a different opinion on the subject.   The more we know the better we can understand how this happened and hep fix some of the problems of having a big business or even just communicating through email.   Let’s face it email is never going to be a secure.   It is like you talking in a big room with others around you to your email pal and people being able to overhear your conversation.

Email Breakdown

When yo hit Send, there is a multitude of things that happen has you email message goes to the intended email address.   The first thing that happens is whatever DNS server you use will tell you where the mail server is for that domain.   The is the first place a Man in the Middle attack could happen and you would never know.   If the DNS server is compromised then the email might be sent to another Internet Protocol than intended and thus they could just copy the email and send it on to the right IP.   No one would be none the wiser because who here checks your email headers every time you receive an email.   I surely do not, I rarely check them.  So it could be months or even years before you find out the truth.  Another way is if your Domain server is compromised and you do not know it, then it could just be a email copy and send to another email address.   Just like when NSA did a fiber optic splice and copied all data and there would be no evidence of this because you didn’t see them copy the email and send it to an unknown email address.  Then the next place that could be compromised in the MTA Server (Message Transfer Agent) which is an internal server that is controlled by the company.   I suspect this is where they got all their emails from the Sony Hack.   I can’t be certain but this is the most overlooked part of the process.   I however can’t be certain of anything.

Truth of it all!

Less face it, the non geek people will not even know how to secure their email address and clients because they do not talk geek or talk about security.  The problem is the most important.   How can I easily teach someone to encrypt their emails before it is even sent.   I recommend CryptoBrowser (VPN4ALL) (Affiliate Link).  Which is a Chrome only extension that allows you to encrypt and decrypt it.   For example:

If you don’t use Cryptobrowser, you aren’t secure!   This is how I do it, just click and chose!

Looks Like this

————— VPN4ALL CryptoBrowser Encrypted Message —————-
———— End of VPN4ALL CyrptoBrowser Encrypted Message ————

Even if someone overheard this email it would just be gibberish and thus they couldn’t know what was said unless they know the key.   So this is one way to protect your private conversations in email.   It however just depends on your situation.


The key that I used (paulstechtal)  to encrypt this was a simple one because this was just for demonstration.   When I need to send sensitive emails or emails that I want to keep private.   I use Cryptobrowser by VPN4ALL (Affiliate Link).   They are a sponsor of this blog and I do get a commission every time you use the link to buy a service through them.   If you want to save even more money then don’t forget to use coupon code “15offnow” and save 15 percent when buying this service or other services.   You never know when you might need a VPN Service or even to send out some sensitive emails.   Please tell the person in advance the password through some other service besides email.   Phone, SMS, or even in person would be the best possible solution for them to decode the message.   

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The Geek that just needs to work out!

Exercise calisthenics #2 by Ed Yourdon

Exercise calisthenics #2 by Ed Yourdon

My new routine!

When I started this journey of getting exercise at a club. So I joined Planet Fitness and starting my exercise regiment. It wasn’t like I needed a guide to show me what to do.   I knew I need to get more exercise and I did it.   There are some problems with just running in place to keep in your motivated.   I thought it was time to at least talk about some of the problems that I have had with my new routine!


We all had this happen to us at any given time.   We just do not have the motivation to keep walking, running, Bicycling, or even Lift weights.  The problem for me is that simple what can I do to build momentum for me while I am on the treadmill or even on some other machine for cardio.   I figure, if I can get my mind out off the fact that I’m walking I am far better to do that.  So here are a few ideas for those who might want help someone get what they need to keep going.

  • Audible  —  Great way to keep the mind active is to listen to a really good book that draws you in as you are doing your daily exercises and this has helped many people but remember if your know someone who might want to be given this, they have an excellent gift options for just that occasion.
  • Pandora Radio — Another Good option is listening to their favorite songs as they work out.   Just like Planet Fitness has a free wifi hotspot, you never need to use your data from your mobile phone to stream music to your phone.  You can even give the gift of one year membership for those love ones to enjoy!
  • Amazon Music Prime (Affiliate Link) — Which is another great way to listen to any music on the go and listen to what you want when you want it.   I haven’t tried this option but it is a good deal for those who might want to try it.   If you already have a Prime Membership you should also have the Music Prime membership, so it is a good deal for you anyways!


No geek will want to go to the gym without his tech gadgets in hand.   I’m going to recommend a few options for that also.   It however is just a suggestion and you can take it anyway you like.  It however is something to consider when going to the gym.

  • Headphones [Wireless] (Amazon Affiliate Link) —  Let’s face it, if you are going to be doing stuff while lifting weights or even if your running in place.  You’re going to need something that has no wires.   There are a multitude different headphones that you can buy to use while exercising so your best bet is to not skimp out on the money and buy a relatively decent pair of headphones.   Does make a great gift idea though!
  • Ear Buds [Wireless] (Amazon Affiliate Link)  — If your can’t stand having something over your ears and still want wireless this is a great option for you but remember you will have a wire going from one ear bud to the other but at least that is less cumbersome than having it go to your device.  These really only last 2 or 3 hours at any given time.   I’ve not seen them last any longer that but that isn’t bad to use while going to the Gym.
  • Tablets (Amazon Affiliate Link) —  I am using my Acer Aconia A200 series when I go to the gym, but you should at least get a big enough screen size to watch your favorite movie or show on Netflix, Amazon, or even Hulu.   This way you get to do something you enjoy while you are working out.
  • Wearable Tech (Amazon Affiliate Link) — Let’s face it, if your going to be running, sleeping, exercising of any kind.   You will want to know how your heart rate, and keep track of many variables your body is doing while your active or asleep.   There are different wearable for different types of people but that is an area where you can experiment with and get the most out of your gym routine.


Now since I’ve talked about some ways you can enjoy going to the gym, maybe it is time to start the routine yourself.   Please don’t be afraid to share with your family or love ones.   These are all good gift ideas for Christmas/Birthdays to help them.

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A Netflix Jamboree. What are some shows to watch!

NXE-Netflix by Gamerscore Blog

NXE-Netflix by Gamerscore Blog

My Binge-ing!

You shouldn’t be surprised because of how sparse my post have been of late.   I’ve found some really good shows.   It isn’t like I do not want to blog but it seems even I am vulnerable to have a binge or two on Netflix.   I must say that it isn’t like I do it to avoid writing or I do not know what to write about.   I thought it was time to talk about the shows that I recommend to watch on Netflix.  It is all due to having a Chromecast.

VPN4ALL best privacy&encryption


The Shows  or movies that I’m going to mention are available on many sources so I am going to recommend some of the shows or movies that I’ve watched of lately.

The Arrow


Oliver Queen and his father are lost at sea when their luxury yacht sinks, apparently in a storm. His father dies, but Oliver survives for five years on an uncharted island and eventually returns home. But he wasn’t alone on the island where he learned not only how to fight and survive but also of his father’s corruption and unscrupulous business dealings. He returns to civilization a changed man, determined to put things right. He disguises himself with the hood of one of his mysterious island mentors, arms himself with a bow and sets about hunting down the men and women who have corrupted his city (VIA IMDB)

I am sure most people are looking for reviews of the show that is question in hand.  I’ve always loved the Batman series, especially the movies and Batman in the 1960’s.  I basically love the ones that were non animated because they were more real to me than the animate series but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like the animated series.  So I’ve watched seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix.  You can watch the series on:

Agents of S.h.i.e.l.d.

Shield(Marvel)After the Battle of New York, the world has changed. It now knows not only about the Avengers, but also the powerful menaces that need those superheroes and more to face them. In response, Phil Coulson of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division assembles an élite covert team to find and deal with these threats wherever they are found. With a world rapidly becoming more bizarre and dangerous than ever before as the supervillains arise, these agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are ready to take them on. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (Via IMDB)

So I have watch Iron Man movies (Amazon Affiliate Link) all of them and when Coulson supposedly died in the last movie, I was saddened but I find him back in the series and love everything about all the characters.  There is only Season 1 on Netflix and now they are showing season 2 everywhere else.   Love this series and it has some really good areas in the show that keeps you wanting to come back to find out what happens next.  Character Development is progressive and I like several characters on the show.

So far

I’ve had enough time to binge on these series and they are ones you should at least check out.  I’ve recommend even more shows in the near future when I find ones that really keep me captivated and keeps me wanting to return.   I can’t wait for the new Doctor Who Christmas special to come out in the near future.  I can’t wait to see it and buy it.   I am sure it is as good as the previous specials.  Have a safe Christmas!   I will try to write more before the time but you never know!

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The Blog Writers Potential is nullified!

Blogging by Alessio Baù

VPN4ALL best privacy&encryption

Blogging by Alessio Baù

The Difficulties of Creating a Blog!

So I’ve done a series on blogging in 2009, and I thought it was done for a while.   So my sister finally read the book How To Make Money Blogging: How I Replaced My Day Job With My Blog [Amazon Affiliate Link].   So the book is one year younger than my blog post series but my sister said the author made it look so simple to setting up her own blog.   I was baffled how she could think this because I know better.   When I started blogging in 2007, I didn’t know anything about this until I finally did it.   It wasn’t simple to me and I know about computers and operating systems, she isn’t a computer geek to say the least.

What You Need to know!

Each book or series isn’t always going to be exact and they will leave out steps or even not be as detailed as it needs to be.   So I am going to at least recommend a few different services that you could use to help you make blogging more enjoyable.  First off, Not all Domain name management is ever going to be exactly the same from service to service but I do highly recommend Hover and have not had Any problem since I started using them for my domain name hosting!  I’ve tried Godaddy, and Hostgator, and I still love Hover for their customer service and always being their to help me when I have a question or need help.

Web Hosting

I’ve tried many web hosting providers, such as Justhost, Godaddy, Hostgator, and Squarespace, each one has an advantage and disadvantage but I’m not going to talk about that to much because each hosting provider has unique qualities that can help you.   I am using Bluehost [Affiliate Link] for my web hosting and I can’t complain too much about them.

Making Money

I’ve even talked about Making money with your blog but I was not detailed enough about it because you have places like Skimlinks, or even Adsense to make money without even trying.   Now if you are looking for Affiliate Networks, you have several options available to you but I must say I’ve had my share of disappointments and there isn’t really any good ones since Google Advertising Network (GAN) closed shop.   It was something even I didn’t like to hear.   I can only recommend the networks that are good like Amazon, Shareasale, and Linkshare but that is because Iv’e used these networks.   I however recommend you start small and figure out your niche and then branch out from there.   You never know who will approach once your get a foothold of your audience!

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The Advertisement Malfunction!!!

Not everyday I see this!

I used to do this from time and loved to show just how these scare tactics are used in everything we do.   This week while browsing Facebook and I know I shouldn’t be clicking links in Facebook.   I however came across these two pop ups at two different times,  I wasn’t worried because I was using my Chromebook and I’m not in the habit of downloading any new apps but it was a site to see nonetheless.

The breakdown

This seems to be used more and more to call these people and then they will tell you what is wrong.   I almost want to call them and say stop with these deceptive advertising practices.   I know my system better than your ever know and I know when I am compromised or have a virus on my computer.   This however wasn’t going to be one of those that I would have won.   So I’ve decided to show people these types of scare advertising so you know that these are just pop-ups or pop under where they are trying to elicit a certain emotion from you and get you to buy their services or product so they can make money.

Are you worried?

If your worried, I recommend a product like MalwareBytes Pro (Affiliate Link) to help decide if your actually infected with a virus or scareware.  This is one of those times where I will say, I recommend it to my family and friends when it comes to knowing if you have a virus or not.   You can also try AVG, SuperAntiSpyware, and Nortons if you want to add another layer of protection onto your system.   I wouldn’t recommend more than two Antivirus programs on a system but two isn’t a bad idea for any Windows Machine.   Other than that I wouldn’t call or talk to these guys and I’d steer clear from other such websites or advertising that says something similar!

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5 Lessons I’ve learned from Scammers!

Looking more closely!

When I started this blog and when I started talking about scams.   I never really knew I was ever going to be something that I’m passionate about but this is something that has caused me great pain and disappointment.   I am going to try to help those who might want answers and have questions about the questions that I had for so long!

Each lesson that I’ve learned was from a scam and these are common for most people around the world, so it isn’t like you can prevent this from happening but you can prevent yourself from getting scammed.

Dating scams….

If anything when I was on those sites, I have found one or two that areas that you need to worry about.   While on the dating sites, you will see all kinds of profiles and each profile should be scrutinized for the possibility that it isn’t a real profile but a fake profile and ultimately a scammer on the other end of the profile trying to scam you.

  1. Money Scam — This scam is most prevalent and can be any sort of reason from having the menopausal problems to need food because they are broke.  They build upon the fact that you are looking for that mate and you have put so much effort online to find that special someone.
  2. Package Scam — Another scam that is common when it comes to online dating is that they may ask you to receive and ship packages or money to another destination.   This could cause a lot of legal problems for you because the packages or money could be stolen and you could end up in jail.

I won’t go into details about other because these too are the most used and unless things changes these will always be used.   Other blog posts that I’ve talked about this are:

Collections scams!

Debt collections people can go from a range scams but the one that sticks out in my mind is the one that I was foolish to even consider.   So I will only talk about this scam and how it works.   The debt collector says you owe money because you borrowed or got a loan money from a website.   Then you can’t pay it, which in turns brings out these guys.   They will threaten to send you jail or even call you up and ask for your address so they can send the police to arrest because they have a warrant for your arrest.    They use fear to make you make worse decisions than you do when you are thinking logically.   The good news that once your know some of this, you will be in better shape.   The collector that I got scammed with was for a loan and that if I didn’t pay he would send the police.   Again this is against the law according to Michigan State!  Debt Collectors can not threaten something like that and it is against the law.   So I learned that lesson the hard way!

Not all checks are valid!

When I got my first unexpected check from Nationwide Market, I thought we hit the jackpot per say.   I found all my worries gone and I was hopeful that we could actually use the money for a good purpose!   So I got home and saw the check but something wasn’t quite right, we were supposed to send a money order through western union which I found was a fake check after calling the bank.  Some of the other checks that I received are:

Not everything is as it seems!

This one I have to keep looking closely with but if it looks to good to be true than you probably need to turn the other way.   I’ve found so many scams and problems in my lifetime that I am sure there are even more tactics out there that I’ve not talked about but you can always use that idiom to help you start searching for the clues that they do not want you to see.

Scare tactics

Lastly this one is common with scams and scareware.   They want you to be so scared that you aren’t thinking logically.  They think if they can scare you then you are more likely to do what they say or suggestions and they will get a strong hold on your computer or your personal information.   This one is a suggestion, stop and think about what they are asking you to do then think about what the consequences are.   You may be giving out some valuable information that identifies you easier and makes it easier for them to use your identity somewhere else.   Other scareware I’ve seen are on my website and you can simply search for them.


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Screenshot 2014-11-17 at 2.06.36 PM

You don’t have Rounds? Bummer… Add me:

The App SMS spam!

It seems like it is always something new startup companies are doing to get the word out about their app or their product.  I do get it sometimes but this time it seems like I have to tell people not to send me this stuff.   I really hate when companies think we want to send out a multitude of messages to friends and families on your contact list.

Unintended SMS

When I get SMS, I usually tell the person that I got it from that they are sending out spam.  It however isn’t the only app that is sending out unsolicited SMS like Tango, Glide, and Some other apps.

To all App who send SMS

I will not download you or even think of visiting your website.   I do not consider SMS a valid way to promote your product or application.  You need to worry about what I and other users will do once we get that message.   Some will install it but more and more we get those messages and tell the person who sent it that we do not approve of the spam.   They will un-install you and complain to Google or Apple and that could create a mess of trouble for your company.  So remember that!


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Technology gifts for Christmas like no other for 2014!

Peanuts Christmas Panorama By Kevin Dooley

Peanuts Christmas Panorama By Kevin Dooley

Christmas is Upon us!

In the past, I’ve done Christmas Gift List for 2012 : How to Shop for the Geek in all of Us!How to find the right Tech gift your significant other (Christmas Tips) [2011], and last years post Gadgets that look promising for Christmas! (2013).  I’ve always like doing these types of post because I feel most people do not have a clue what a geek wants or understand just how fun technology is for them to explore.   So in this post we will discuss some cool things for the Geek and nerd in all our lives who we care about.   As each year we get older we see more tech gadgets that we would love a chance to play with and this post will go into depth on some of the more interesting products for this year.

For the Kids

I have thought long and hard about what my kids might want for Christmas and I’ve got a list of things that they will be getting from me this year and I’ll go through some of the highlights of what my kids might be opening up on Christmas day:

  • Acer Iconia Series —  They have tablets that are under 100$ that my kids could enjoy and play with.   I’ve had my Acer Iconia Tablet for over 2 years and still use it when I am home but it works just like it did when I bought it.  My kids are always bothering me to us my tablet so this might be a good option for me so I can use it more!
  • Ear Buds — Let’s face it, if they are going to have their own tablet then they need to stay quiet while they use the tablet.   This will help.   You really do not need to pay over 20$ for ear buds but it depends on how serious you want them to use it and the durability of the buds them self.
  • Minecraft Redstone Ore by Think Geek — Since my kids love Minecraft and playing it on my Android device. This would be a cool gift for under 25$, they can have fun with this item.They even have Diamond Ore that lights up for under 25$!
  • App Controls Bots — Since my Son loves robotics, this might be an option for me with him getting something he can use with his Android devices and control them.   It looks like a good idea and kind of fun!

For the Men

It can be quite difficult to find the right thing for the men in your life.   Each geek is different in what they want but I try to give a variety of things.

  • Hisense TV  — I’ve used the 32 inch and love this tv.   It has a good android app that acts like a remote!  I simply love this television set and if I lose my remote.  I can always use the app.
  • LifeView Blu (unlocked)– I love this phone and it has so much screen space to view anything I want without much problem.   Even my kids love to use to play Minecraft on it!
  • Chromecast – Another good selection for people who like to watch Netflix or even who has been buying TV shows on Google Play stores.
  • ChromeBook —  This recommendation people who are constantly on the Go.   The battery life on it is extraordinary and yet I can do a lot with it.   Although you must have internet connections for most of the things you might need to do with it.   I recommend the newer versions of Chromebooks for 2014 choice.

For the Females:

Finally, I could try to suggest things for women but this blog post is long enough.  It is something that I do not feel comfortable to discuss.   I am sure that it can be difficult for some men to come up with that elusive perfect gift.   However it isn’t the gift but the idea of giving that is the most important.


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How to Backup your Contacts in Android (Jelly Bean style)

Contact: For Carl Sagan 10 by the Justified Sinner

Contact: For Carl Sagan 10 by the Justified Sinner

Backing Up Essentials!

I’ve heard so many people say they didn’t back up their contact list for their phone and it gets stolen or the phone stops working because of water damage, or breakage.  I know some of your think Google is Evil or Not, it is how you consider it to be actually is.   A service for me to not have to worry about such things as where are my pictures or where are my contacts when I get a new phone.   This is the easiest step for me, even though I know Google knows everything they want to know about or could know about me from Gmail, Google Photos, Google Movies + TV’s, and let’s not forget the Google Plus.   I’m sure somewhere someone is calling for privacy and not wanting to give all the power to Google.   If you’re not wanting to allow Google to keep your contacts this will be a discussion on how to get your contacts offline or sent to Dropbox or some other cloud service.

Paid Apps VS Free Apps

I’m going to give out a few paid and unpaid apps that would work for your purpose and then I will discuss your options on how you want to keep the backup.  In any case, while talking about paid apps, I will remind you that in the end each of these apps are your decision and I do not recommend any of them but I am just giving your options.   The option to buy an app compared to free apps are simple but most of the time it is advertising that you are avoid and thus you sometimes just want to buy the app to not have to deal with the advertising part on the screen as you backup or restore.

Paid Apps:

Free Apps:

Preference on App

I haven’t use these apps or tried these apps, but they do look promising for backing up your contacts.   You will need to try these and others to find out which app you prefer the most.   I allow google to sync with my Google contacts so I do not need these apps to back up my contacts.   Do you have another way to backup your contacts, I’d like to hear!!

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The Beginner’s Guide to NFC!

NFC stickers, wristband & key fob to experiment with! By Rain Rabbit

NFC stickers, wristband & key fob to experiment with! By Rain Rabbit

Near Field Communications

Near-field (or nearfield) communication (NFC) is a form of short-range wireless communication where the antenna used is much smaller than the wavelength of the carrier signal (thus preventing a standing wave from developing within the antenna).


When it comes to NFC, it isn’t always easy to figure it out. I’m going to try make it easy to understand it and how you can use it to better protect yourself from credit card theft.

What is NFC used for?

Some people do not know what it is used for many different ways.   There are so many thing you can do with it but I’ve found 20 different uses for using NFC.   It was really creative on making the best use for the technology.  There is even a Ring you could use with your Cell phone.  If you have a smart phone that you bought from Straight Talk, Virgin Mobile, or even T-Mobile.  You could use this ring for almost any purpose imaginable.

Tokenization of Payments

This method is good for using with your smart phone or tablet, because you get a different PAN Number for  each transaction.   No one will ever get the real PAN (Primary Account Number), instead you will have given out a fake PAN to the vendor which in turns verifies it with the bank and the bank which knows how to figure out the real PAN tells the vendor which knows nothing but that it is a valid PAN.   So this will prevent infect credit card machines from using the card anywhere but that one time.   It will prevent hackers from being able to use your card at any local business.   What it will not do is prevent the Card not present transaction from being used.   You’ll still have to share your real PAN when purchasing online and this in turn will be where the hackers will start getting the information.   So you will not totally be able to prevent credit card theft, but you will slow it down and make it that much harder.  This in turn will make Cell Phone providers such as:  “Sprint, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Straight Talk, and Virgin Mobile” start selling NFC capable smartphones for you to use around as you please when you need to pay for something.

Apple Pay VS CurrentC

Apple Pay is a mobile payment and digital wallet service by Apple Inc. that lets users make payments using the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Watch-compatible devices (iPhone 5 and later models), iPad Air 2, and iPad Mini 3. Apple Pay does not require Apple-specific contactless payment terminals and will work with Visa’s PayWave, MasterCard’s PayPass, and American Express’s ExpressPay terminals.


This technology will use NFC to communicate with POS.   This is almost like Tokenization and has features similar to them.   Apple has just made their own version of it.   I do not know how it works or anything other than what I’ve read so it isn’t like it is any better than the rest in my book.


While I will say that I’ve only know what I’ve read from their website.   This seems to have so many flaws on many levels.   I wouldn’t begin to speculate about what they do with your information and how they secure it.   I have heard of them getting hacked in the past and that will tend to make their business start look less than professional.   I’ve not heard of anything else about these guys but Your supposed to be able to pay with a QR Code and not just with NFC.   I do not know if this will help protect your security or not.

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