Security

It’s About the Lock

It's About the LockJust two weeks after changing web hosts, I changed hosts yet again.  Though this time it wasn’t because I was unhappy per se.  It was because of a couple of reasons both relating to security.  Not only for myself, but everyone who breezes by here.  The gator offered me full functionality of my security software, but wanted to charge me serious cash for a SSL certificate.  Even if I had my own, they wanted a fee to allow me to install it.  I wasn’t having that.

You see, recently Google Chrome started… I’m not going to say “shaming” but alerting visitors to sites like mine that they were unsecured simply because they don’t have a SSL certificate and use https to encrypt any data the visitor may share.  Still that’s like going to the neighbors house and seeing a red light on outside their door because they don’t have a video surveillance system installed.  You know the neighbors and you trust them.  But somehow now you have an uneasy feeling going over there just because someone else says boo.  However, I get it.  Plus, it’s only a matter of time that all other top browsers follow that example.

However, when I read this, I was shocked at the insane prices of a SSL cert.  A decent one was between $30 and $100 per year.  Anything free was only good for 1 – 3 months as a trial version.  As I mentioned before, this site makes me no money.  Sure I have donate buttons.  I think they last donation I got was 5 years ago to put towards a Ventrilo server I was renting for voice chat.  That’s fine, I don’t expect anyone to donate unless I do something for them first.  Lately I haven’t felt like fixing anyone’s computer.  Frankly I work too much and am spread too thin.  I try to enjoy my life outside of work.  Not work more.

Anyway, Bob alerted me to an organization who was out to help secure the web by offering free (and donation backed) SSL certificates.  However, you really need a web host that supports the system automatically as they renew every 60-90 days.  They’re called Let’s Encrypt.  So two nights of research and review scouring.  I settled on a web host here in Michigan.  Spent the weekend moving files and fixing non-secure links.  I have most of my websites they way I want them.

However, I’ve had CastleRain since 1999.  This iteration of CastleRain has been around since 2006 and contains over 500 posts.  That’s a lot of my life documented 🤔  It’s going to take me a few weeks to tweak each post and page to make sure they all get that nifty lock.  So if you see anything I miss, copy the URL link and send it to me please 🙂

So now if you use my contact forms, or click my donate links.  You can feel secure that the things you do here are encrypted so only I get what you share with me.

Sadly it kills all my social media share counters.  Nothing I can do about that but suck it up 😕

Personal Protection is Expensive

PistolAs many of you know, I recently became a gun owner.  I’m by no means an enthusiast.  I don’t plan to own a bunch of guns and go shooting every weekend.  Though, I have no issues with people owning or using guns for self protection and hunting.  So long as safety is always observed.  I have for a very long time wanted to buy a handgun.  It’s just never been within my top ten things to get next for my life.  That is, not until very recently.

While I would like to think of Northern Lower Michigan as a safe and family friendly corner of the world.  Crime is everywhere.  That and what I have chosen to do for a living has made me a target to be robbed while at work in the evening.  So among some changes I’ve made at work to help cut down on the risk of not only being robbed, but if so; I won’t be held responsible for lost income.

Every major chain I’ve ever worked for has a drop-box system.  After every delivery, the driver is to drop any large bills and credit card slips into a locked box so they are not carrying large amounts of money during their shift.  A drop-box is simply a wall mounted locked box that only the manager can access with a slot to insert bills and slips quickly between delivery runs.  The chain I work for now, has no such device.  That is until today.  I ordered one and will have it installed.  However, that doesn’t help me while I’m still on the road before coming back to the store.

This is where the handgun has become one of the items on top of my list lately.  Sadly these things are not cheap.  Even a budget priced gun has set me back several hundred dollars.  While I would love to have a Glock or other high end brand gun.  I have to start where I can afford.  So after much research and conversations with the folks at Jay’s Sporting Goods, I’ve settled on a Glock-like conceal carry gun.  A Taurus 709 9mm.  It’s not top of the line, but it’s got good reviews for the most part.

Costs so far:

  • Gun – $280
  • Ammo for Sighting and Practice – $14
  • Ammo for CPL Class – $28
  • Ammo for Critical Defense – $19
  • CPL Class – $120
  • CPL License – $105
  • Cleaning Supplies – $26
  • Gun Case (Rug) – $9
  • Safety Glasses and Hearing Protection for Practice – $25
  • Holster – $15

So all in all, I’ve spent $641 dollars.  That’s a lot of money for me.  That’s $31 more than my rent per month.  So yeah, I’m not taking this lightly by any means.  I haven’t even fired it yet.  I need a place to go and get it sighted in before I take the class later this month.  At some point, I’m sure I’ll have to tack on a membership to a shooting range.  Unless I make a friend who also owns guns and lives in the great outdoors.  It’s a shame I don’t live near Amber anymore.  I know she’d want to go shooting with me.

This will not only help protect me while working, but at home as well.  My home has been robbed in the past.  While I was home no less.  Then I had a .22 rifle my step-dad gave me and couldn’t get to it.  A handgun will be much easier to put that kind of nonsense to rest.  Down the road I’ll want to get a nicer conceal carry gun.  Maybe next year.

Fighting Spam

Fighting Spam

I wrote this article for the company I work for several years ago.  Though I still use the practices today and they still work incredibly well in keeping my email spam next to nil.

Spam, it’s a loosing battle….

Unfortunately, if you think spam just “magically appears” you would be wrong.  The spammer has to get your email somehow.  If you are making it easy for them to do so, then there is nothing your email provider can do to help you.  Just how do spammers get your email address?  Well, here is a few of the most popular ways.

1. Forwarding jokes.  You are thinking, “but I only send them to my friends”.  Let’s say, you send a joke to 10 friends.  Each of them forward to 10 of their friends.  That’s 100 more.  Now there are a total of 111 email addresses in the TO block.  Easily read by anyone who receives the email.  Now you can see that you don’t know all 111 people, but they have your email address.  Well what if one of them IS a spammer?  Or worse, what if they sell email addresses to a spammer.  For say $5 per email address.  That $555.00!!  Easy money.  You have no idea how tempting this is when I get such joke emails sent to me from a bunch of folks.  It also will get used if one of these people have a virus infecting their computer that sends spam.

2. Signing up with websites with memberships.  Such as a community website, shopping site or auction site.  Many of these sites will either have some sort of privacy clause that states they will send you advertising or sometime publish your info on their site for others to view.

3. Signing up for mailing lists.  Read the fine print, a lot of times they will state that you are not only going to be getting their newsletter, but info from other sites as well. Whether you like it or not.

4. Having your email address listed on a website (personal or business).  You want folks to email you for your services or help, yet you are advertising it to the world.  Even if you encrypt it, web bots and spiders are getting wise to these encryption methods.  Hundreds of thousands of these bots and spiders crawl webpages vigorously 24/7.  Harvesting your email addresses and sending the info back to their home server for the spammer to use.

5. Having an easy to guess email address.  Such as john@myisp.net, etc…  If you make it easy for the spammer to simply guess or use a name generator, you are certainly doomed to get spam. Sure it’s nice when you own your own domain and have the nice ability to have whatever email address you want.  But it’s better to not make it so easy.

6. Auto-Responders / Vacation Responders.  Sure it’s nice that when you go out of town or on vacation to have any one who sends you an email to get an auto-reply from you saying you’ll be out of town and will return on a set date.  However, this has very bad repercussions.  Sure, your friends, family, co-workers or customers will be notified that you are not at your desk.  However, any spam that slips in, will also get a validation to your email address.  Then when the spammer realizes this, they will quickly abuse and sell your email address to other lists.  By the time you get back to your desk, you’ll have a virtually unusable email address packed with spam!

Finally, there is the all time no-no of spam.  Once you start getting spam, people make the greatest mistake of clicking the link in the spam that states “Opt Out” or “remove me”.  THIS IS A HUGE NO-NO!!!  DO NOT CLICK THAT!  By clicking that link, you’ve just told the spammer they have a good email address.  Even IF they do take you off of their list, they will more than likely sell your email to hundreds of others and you’ll see a sudden increase in spam emails.  The ONLY exception to this rule is if the email message came from a legitimate company with whom you have an existing business relationship.

Anti-Spam Tools:

Today most email providers have their own spam filter system.  This will block “blacklisted” emails from coming at all.  Other emails that “may be considered spam” are simply marked with a SPAM in the subject line or are sent directly to a spam folder for your review.  Because even though you consider ads from someone spam, there are others out there who want that type of email.  So, it will only be marked or moved.  This will allow you to use your judgement to setup further spam filtering if needed.  Or if spam slips into your inbox, you can setup custom rules.  However, it’s best to set this up so that it moves the spam to a folder.  This way you can check it out and make sure it didn’t accidentally mistake an email from your friend or business contact as SPAM.  Which can be done just when your someone titles their email to you with words like “great deal” or “finance help”.  So you don’t just want to have it automatically deleted or you may miss some of your legitimate emails.

If your provider uses a use a non-web based email address (POP3) and has poor spam filtering.  Or you use web based email via an email client.  There are a number of anti-spam tools available.  Example being software such as MailWasher.  You can use this to preview your email first then mark the spam and delete it before downloading the rest of your email.  Nice tool, but there are drawbacks.  First of all, most of these tools rely on a main list that is hosted on a different server.  Thus it has to call home to update itself.  If you don’t, it will get out of date and spammers will find way to get spam to you anyway.  Secondly, most of these anti-spam tools may cause other folks spam.  Using a feature they call “bounce”.  This rejects the spam, but sends it back to the originating email address.  Most of the time, this is a false email address not belonging to the spammer.  Otherwise known as a spoofed email address.  Now you might be spamming some innocent person, or worst of all your provider’s server, and most likely violating the terms of service with them.  This could get your internet account suspended and/or terminated with your provider.  Bad idea.  If you use such a tool, you should disable the bounce feature.

There are good email programs available now that can help you fight spam as well.  The best free ones on the market at this time are Mozilla Thunderbird and Windows Live Mail.  These are stand alone email clients.  They have built in spam controls that actually you can teach. Most spam will come in and immediately be moved to the “junk” folder. Others you can tag as junk and the program learns from your marking these e-mails.  If you use web based email such as Gmail, Yahoo or similar, the spam filtering is built in.  All you may have to do is tweak them a little based on simply reporting spam or reporting what was marked spam as legitimate.  I actually recommend Gmail over other email services and not use an email client such as Thunderbird or WLM.

Though the all time best way to not get spam is to prevent it from the start.

These are time tested and true ways to avoid spam. No measure is fool proof, but this is the best suggested way to go if you do not want spam.

1. Get a new email address.  Don’t make it super easy to guess.  If your name is Brian, make your e-mail briankw (middle and last initial) or bkwilliams (first and middle initials) or brian11243 (add a number of sorts to the end).  This will make it harder for a spammer to guess it by using a name generator to find you.

2. Only give your email address out to trusted friends, family and co-workers.  If you are smart, you’ll have them follow these same practices.  This way it will really help cut down on the spam factor.

3. Do not forward jokes or stupid stuff.  Though if you are addicted to this sort of email fun, then at least do yourself a favor.  Use the BCC field and not the TO field to send it out to your friends.  This will hide the other email addresses and make it so the recipients can’t see the emails you want to protect.  It will not show the other email addresses and comes as “Undisclosed Recipient”.

4. If you want to sign up for a newsletter or do some sort of online shopping or join an online community…..  Use a free webmail for this.  Such as Yahoo, Hotmail or Google Mail (Gmail).  There are a lot of free webmails you can sign up for.  Find one and use it for all your online activities that involve a 3rd party websites.  This will allow you to login periodically and remove the spam.  As well as allow you to get the content you seek.  If it’s important, you can forward that to your real email address for safe keeping.

5. If you do own your own website or want to accept e-mail from a website, DO NOT PROVIDE A LINK.  Such as mailto:fred1454@whateverdomain.com or fred1454 at whateverdomain dot com.  Bots and spiders will get you for sure.  Instead, use a form.  This will allow you to hide and encrypt your e-mail address from the bots.  I suggest to have it done in PHP or java-scripting.  Then you can have your email address called from database well away from the bots reach.  At the very least, find a way to encrypt your email address.  Talk to your web designer, they can do this for you very simply.  The use of UNICODE is helpful and there are online generators out there that can aide you in doing this.

6. If you are in fact, going to be away for an extended period of time, do not use an auto-reply or vacation response system.  Instead, use your address book to find your important contacts.  Gather them up in your BCC field (as stated in rule 3), and send them a blanket message letting them know you’ll be away and that their emails will have to wait for your return.  This way, you aren’t letting spammers fill up your inbox, or selling your email address to other spammers.

If you keep true to these practices, you will be good.  Granted, no system is fool proof.  But this will keep your spam intake down to a minimum if at all.  This practice has been in use by our team for years and has worked very well.  Just remember, if you do start getting spam, move it to a new folder using rules and DO NOT CLICK the “opt out”, or you will be certainly doomed to have to start all over.

Why do I want a handgun?

HandgunPeople who see a handgun on my wishlist, almost always ask that question.  It’s fairly obvious from their tone why they ask it too.  I sometimes talk down about myself.  Mostly jokingly.  Sometimes yes, I do feel that life has just gone the wrong way for me.  Yes, I do have anxiety and depression.  Though not enough to feel I need to be medicated for it.  On top of that, I do have heart disease and struggle with medications and doctor bills.

Let me make this abundantly clear.  It’s not for suicide.  Some folks know how I feel about suicide.  I’ll make it public here.  I have absolutely no sympathy for folks who commit or even ponder the option of suicide.  This is from watching people my age when I was in high school do it over bad grades and home stress.  You want to take the easy way out of this world?  Fine.  As far as I’m concerned, get off my planet.  As screwed up as the world is, suicide is not the answer in my opinion.  If you can’t find help, it’s because you aren’t looking hard enough.  Some people have it all and take that method.  Some have nothing and do it.  As a teenager facing the real world knowing that I’d grow apart from my friends, I too was scared.  I wanted the easy way out to not have to face it.  I quickly realized how idiotic it was and came to how I feel now about it.  We all have problems, some way worse than others.  But there are billions of people on this rock, someone is out there for you.  Find them.  Hey, I’m still looking and I’m 45.  So, it might take a while.  Plus, if I’m not mistaken, God kind of frowns on the whole taking your own life.  Although I’m not an expert on that.

The reason I want a handgun is purely for self protection.  This world is nuts sometimes.  You risk your life everyday.  Sniper in Virginia randomly killing folks.  Mass shooting while watching Batman at a theater.  To name two of thousands of incidents from shooting in malls, schools and drive-by killings in America.  Although I don’t plan on carrying a gun everywhere I go just yet.  I personally have been robbed four different times.  I should have owned a gun years ago.  Just they are so damned expensive.  Never been lucky enough to have a relative or friend give me one of their extended collection.

Grayling Michigan in 1990.  Man was high on cocaine and managed to break into our home and spend some time moving things into the yard and trying to hot wire our car.  The wife and I woke up to find him cowering at the foot of our bed.  We managed to jump over him and run out the open front door to the neighbors across the street to call the police.  Needless to say, I don’t sleep naked anymore.  (Although I was much sexier then 🙂 )

Williamsburg Virginia 2008 and 2009.  The first time was someone simply stole my wife’s purse through the kitchen window that was cracked open.  Chase tried to warn us, but we just thought he was barking at the neighbors walking by like he did so often.  The second time we were robbed at that house, we had just left to go somewhere.  When we got back the house had been ransacked and things like jewelry and small, easy to carry things were stolen.  We installed an alarm system, that went off several times after that in other attempts to rob our house.  It was a bad neighborhood.  There’s a reason some folks get stereotyped.

The last time I was robbed was at a mini storage unit.  Which is why I have the wish list in the first place.  I own next to nothing.  What I do own I have insured.  But I want to protect myself and my personal belongings.  As in every single case, the police did little to nothing about it.  Reports were filed, but in the majority of it all.  Very little was recovered and next to nothing was done about it in the way of investigating or punishment.

Job Hunting on Craigslist

Job Hunting on CraigslistAs if trying to find a job in the computer tech field around here isn’t hard enough.  Craigslist doesn’t make it any easier.  One of my many resources I try to use is Craigslist.  I’ve used it extensively in Virginia.  I’ve sold things.  I’ve bought things. I’ve found all sorts of stuff on it.  Though Craigslist isn’t without it’s incredibly dark side.  Porn, scams, prostitution and more.  It can be an incredibly scary place for the uninformed.

Although until now, I’ve never used it to find a job.  Though this area of Michigan doesn’t have a big population and Craigslist isn’t nearly as useful to me as it once was.  Even more so with job hunting.

For one, almost none of the Jobs identify who they are.  They say things like “Fortune 500 Company”, or “Established many years ago”.  As well as other terms clearly meant to make you feel like the company in question has a lot to offer.  Rarely do they say “Home Depot” or “Applebees”.  It’s like, “please apply for a job and we’ll drop the bomb on you like we’re a job no one would ever really want”.

A lot of the time, they do not tell you the location or phone number either.  The ad just asks you to send your resume in and they’ll let you know.

Here’s one of the ads:

Light Manufacturing – Bonus for Tech / Computer Skills

compensation: negotiable entry level

About Us:

We are a small footprint company (20+ people) located in Gaylord focused on the manufacturing of the liquid that goes into Electronic Cigarettes… We currently serve over 400 shops around the world, and have been featured in both the new york Times and Wall Street Journal (kinda cool) . . .

What We’re Looking For:

We are seeking a few new people to add to our production facility. There is a lot of space to move around inside the company depending on your interests and skills. At this time we are seeking a few new people to join the manufacturing arm of the company. You will be hands on, involved in the production of the products in an ISO Clean Room environment. it’s actually pretty fun, you get to where shoecovers (we provide)…

Hours and Compensation:

This is an entry-level position, with entry level pay. Shifts are normal daytime hours 8:30am to 5pm, but sometimes there is overtime shifts available to sign-up for…

Extra Considerations:

COMPUTER SKILLS! In normal production, you don’t have to use a computer, but if you’ve got computer skills, there are a few extra jobs you can train for, so if you’ve got strong computer skills, we’ll consider that a bonus.

How to Apply: Just send us an email, resume, or simply tell us about you in the email. include your contact information and we’ll schedule a time for you to come and apply! That’s it…

Yeah… That’s it.  No number, no location and no name.  Oh sure, let me give you all my personal information as I have no idea if you are a reputable company.  Could be 2 guys lurking in a warehouse smoking pot.  Looking for another sucker.

If your company is so damn great, why not boast about it?  Give us a name, and at least a location.  You can put in the ad, no walk-ins or calls.  If folks are stupid enough to ignore the instructions, simply deny them the job.  This black van with candy tactic is for chumps.

Granted being who I am.  I can control what information I give them as well.  So I made up a disposable email address, cut vital info from my resume and sent it in.  I want to see if this is a scam or not.

Hell, might be a good job.

Though if I suspect fowl play, I’ll be sure to let the proper authorities know (and everyone else 😉 )

Browsers and Passwords

Browsers and PasswordsI’m gonna go all techie on you for a bit here.  Though it’s for your own good and online safety.

I just spent the last two weeks dealing with infected computers, compromised email accounts, as well as victims of online banking fraud.  The first thing I noticed in every single case, is that people in general, take so little care of their own security.  Mainly their weak passwords and the fact they never update their browsers.  Two very simple things they could do that would likely have saved them all the headaches and panic attacks that is an infected computer or having their credit card or bank account compromised.

We all use our computers for everything from playing games, to paying bills and ordering services.  Yet, a frightening number of folks don’t seem to think twice that their information is so readily available to others who are just looking for an easy opportunity to make a quick buck of off our negligence.  I really mean it’s scary how simplistic folks make their passwords and how they never think to update their browsers to keep secure.  While I do think that many of us who run our own websites can help with that.  I actually do, if your browser is out of date, my website will actually tell you and suggest you update it.  If you try to use a non-secure password when signing up for an account, my website won’t allow it.  Now only if all website owners would do the same, it would help folks across the board.

Browsers

It almost amazes me when I ask anyone to “Open a Browser”, that they haven’t the foggiest clue what I’m talking about.  A browser is the software package installed on your computer that allows you to see and interact with websites.  That is pretty much all they do, but it’s very important to keep them up to date.  It helps keep them secure from any known issues, as well as allow you to be able to fully enjoy the newer content websites have to offer.  Without these updates, you may be just handing your information over to someone just looking to make a quick buck. Also, you could be frustrated in wondering why a website isn’t behaving the way you think it should.  This would be because your old browser can’t handle the newer fancy code that makes the website you’re trying to view work properly.  Many of today’s browsers check for updates automatically, if they find one, they normally will install it.  It may or may not prompt you to restart your browser.  It’s as simple is closing the browser and re-opening it.  For more information on keeping your browser up to date can be found at these websites:  WhatBrowser.org or Browser-Update.org (my favorite) and this video:

Passwords

This is so important and it’s so sad that folks don’t take a few minutes to create a half-decent password.  What’s worse, is they use the same simple password for everything.  This is saying a thief only needs to find the key under the front door mat to steal the house, the car, the family business and clean out all bank accounts.  Making your password the name of a pet, friend or loved one is not a good idea.  Neither is using important dates or phone numbers.  They are too easily guessed.

It’s not actually hard at all to make a simple password a heck of a lot more secure by simply changing things like making it upper and lower case lettering.  Also, change a vowel to a number and use a special character.

Example: password –> P@55W0rd

I changed the letter “o” to the number zero, the “a” to an @ symbol and the “s’s” to the number 55 and capitalized the P and W.  While I would never recommend using the word password as your actual password, you should get the idea behind it.

Also, use a different password for different websites.  You don’t have to commit them to memory, you can write them down.  Just don’t store them in plain site is all.

Even this security expert in the video tells you this.

More information on making Secure Passwords by clicking HERE.

So in short, keep your browsers up to date and make your passwords secure (and keep your security software up to date as well), and you’ll only need me once in a while.  I mean sure, I like making money off anyone who isn’t a friend or relative 🙂  But for my friends and relatives (and my awesome site visitors), keep yourselves safe 🙂

Hackers and Stalkers….

Hacking an AccountOne of my biggest annoyances with social networking, is how we simply degrade the meaning of terms.  Terms that once held, in what I would call, a higher standard before as opposed to the way it’s used today.

Hacker

It’s funny how the term hacking has really lost most of its meaning.  Hacking used to require skill to obtain the previously thought unobtainable.  Now all one has to do to “hack” is wait for someone to forget to log out of their account and simply mess with openly available settings…  I’m so very disappointed that just about anyone can be considered a hacker now.  Back in the day, you wouldn’t even get called a hacker if you used a known exploit to obtain your objective.  You were looked down upon as less than a hacker, and given names like “script-kiddies” or something along those lines.

To me, what is happening in most cases, should simply be referred to as a “prank”.  The target person or so-called victim, didn’t pay enough attention to the fact that they forgot to log out of their account before walking away.  Someone else simply took advantage of this situation to be mischievous.  In the case of my nephew doing this very thing yesterday, he’s now being punished for hacking the account.  He hasn’t discovered the password, he didn’t bypass any security measures and he is certainly not posing any threat to any other users on Facebook.  He merely took advantage some someone’s carelessness in order to have a little harmless fun.  I am certainly not against him being punished.  However, punish a person for their crimes, not for the victims ignorance, and then label the perpetrator something they are really not.

Stalker

I’m sure when his mom figures out why I wrote this post, she will likely refer to me as a stalker.  It seems everyone is a “stalker” now.  All one has to do to earn this label today, is merely read what is publicly available to them.  It used to be that this term, was a gross and disgusting label that was once given to only people, who literally had some mental issue that would instill fear in to their targets.  I cringe every time I get called a stalker.  It makes my skin crawl and turns my stomach, as I would never ever want to be labeled a stalker.  I don’t think it’s remotely funny, I do not find it a cute term of endearment, or even think it should be referred to as someone who reads.  That’s all it amounts too these days.  What the hell happened to society.   I mean, if you don’t want my opinion, reaction or want me to know something.  Then don’t post it where I’m likely to see it.  The object of social networking, as far as I know, is for community involvement in one means or other.  The first and foremost is through commenting.  This post actually started out as a comment to my nephew’s incarceration as it were.  However, it turned into the straw that broke the camels back of my frustration with the flagrant misuse of these two terms, and has evolved into one of my “I hate how the world has become more ignorant and stupid”, rants.

I realize this is my own personal pet peeves with society in general these days.  I also realize that the majority rules.  So many people do this kind of nonsense thanks to the wonderful world of the internet and social networks.  Everyone has to do something in order to make themselves feel cool now.

The question is, what’s next?  Will I soon be considered a rapist because I “friended” (there’s another idiotic term…) the daughter of a close friend of mine, who just happens to be under the age of 18?  Honestly, that would be a seriously sick accusation.  Then again, I don’t think being called a stalker is much better.

Infected Apples

Just as I predicted, Apples across the globe are becoming infected by malware at an alarming rate because of the mass mindset that is the Apple owner.  The “My Mac does not need antivirus, it’s a Mac!” syndrome.

As I’ve said, “Security is still something most Mac users take for granted.  They don’t understand that prevention is better than patching a known problem.”.

I also said, “As I’ve said before, Macs have viruses too.  And with the current growth rate, the bullseye is only getting bigger on Apple’s flagship product.  My personal opinion is if you have a Mac and don’t think you need an antivirus software, you’re an idiot.”.

If you think that your Mac laptop/desktop is safe, think again! The (misplaced) confidence of Mac users, about the security of its operating system may backfire, as happened again, recently in the case of the  BackDoor.Flashback.39, also known simply as Flashback Trojan. More than 600,000 Mac machines have been affected and with no appropriate guidelines from Apple on how to counter that or stay safe, the count may be on the rise. It is said that the infection rates are comparable to the Conficker botnet, which infected many Windows machines.

Source and read more @ The Windows Club

This is one of those times when “I told ya so!”, makes me feel so evil and good at the same time 🙂

The mindset Mac owners have will be their undoing {evil laugh}

This is not by far the first virus for Macs and it certainly won’t be the last.  However, I wonder what this will do for Apple’s growth rate on the market.  I’m also curious when the iPads and iPhones will be struck next.  Even though my phone is a Droid, I use antivirus.  Not because there are known issues, but to prevent having issues.  It’s called thinking ahead.

Mini-Storage Part II

So, I’ve learned a few things the hard way about my recent situation at the mini-storage I chose to go with.  The first is, make sure you have Renters Insurance.  It’s cheap and not very hard to work with when trying to get your belongings back.  Although, at first I had thought outside of the Windows 7 disc, I really had no reason to make a claim.

This leads me to the second thing I learned.  When placing things in storage, make sure you take inventory of all the items you put in.  Sure, it’s a pain in the ass.  However this will save you from what I discovered yesterday.  See, when I was standing there with the police officer who was making out the report, I was listing things off that I could recall that immediately come to mind.  That’s because those items were the things important to me at the moment.

Turns out, I’m missing a whole lot more than I realized.  Last night I decided to go pull out a few things and put them in the house for safer keeping, as well as it was about time to grab that extra pair of new shoes I bought a few months ago.  Gone.  Along with all the things I had bought and put away for when I get my own place to live.  Like that nice matching set of silverware.  The nice canvas dog house/kennel for Chase’s bed.  These and an entire box of things that are probably now at the local pawn shop.  And because I have no record of these items and I didn’t have renters insurance, I get the fine pleasure of replacing all these items again out of pocket.  So as I remember them, I’m adding them back to my list.  Of course, the more I think about it, the more I get pissed off as the S.O.B’s that did this to me.  Wishing them a world of hurt and pain.  Perhaps they were feeding a drug habit that will eventually leave them cold and dying in a ditch one day.

Robbed at the Mini Storage

I am absolutely sick to death of this kind of thing happening to me.  There are just enough useless losers in the world that always happen to be around me.  First, my home got ransacked in 1990 in Grayling Michigan.  Then the restaurant I had worked for in 1992 got robbed at gun point.  (thankfully I had just clocked out and left prior)  Then my home in Williamsburg got ransacked in 2009.  Today I go to my Mini Storage here in Redneckville to find my lock was cut off, and some of my stuff moved, and stolen.  Granted, it’s all been mostly small quick to move stuff.  So, likely it was kids in this case.  Or so the officer who wrote up the report thinks.  They took all my video games (World of Warcraft, Grand Theft Auto IV, my Thief Series…).  But what pissed me off the most was they took my Windows OS disc (which still has a good key on it).  Plus they took some computer hardware that I had as spare parts.  I’m so angry…  But I’ll stop here and just let the steam roll before I say something that some overly sensitive little prick will decide to whine and cry about.  Sure it’s not a lot, but it’s the principal of it all.  Besides, I’ve got huge medical bills to prepare for, so having to replace shit right now is really the last thing I need on my plate.

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