Thursday, May 17, 2012

Would you know how to look for clues?

Notes Taken By: Theresa Payton, Fortalice, LLC. Content also covered on WBTV's segment, Protecting Your Cyberturf, featuring Kristen Miranda and Theresa Payton.  Segment airs Wednesday at 10 past 5pm.
It’s one for the record books of stupid wannabe thieves!  Two men robbed an Internet cafe at gunpoint and hopped on their motorcycles to get away.  The problem is, one of them had logged into their Facebook account at the same cafe before doing the robbery … and forgot to log out!  

It is an example of how crime doesn’t pay!  The police looked at their Facebook account, figured out their home address and took one of the suspects to jail.  It’s almost funny, isn’t it?  But WBTV’s cyber expert, Theresa Payton, asks if you were a victim or witness to a crime, would you think to check the digital devices around you for clues?  

Many people don’t realize that thieves are leaving digital clues all around us!

Some quick thinking on your part can make a huge difference.

1.  If your home has been broken into, check all your devices. Thieves have been known to check their email, Facebook, and other accounts at the actual crime scene.

2.  If a crime is in progress, only if you are safe, try sending a text with info or turn on your video camera to catch audio.

3.  Search the internet for clues about the perpetrator if you just witnessed a crime.

4.  If they leave evidence behind such as their personal phone or digital device, do not touch it - you might disturb evidence.  Take a picture of the screen or the device and turn that over to law enforcement.


Bitcoinica:  This is the actual bank and trading platform for bitcoins.  A bitcoin is a play on words - bit as in digital bit and coin - as in currency.  This is digital money traded online that is sometimes cashed in for real currency.  


A Report from the Department of Justice:

FBI Digital Forensics Site:

NC SBI Digital Evidence Guide:

Have You Read the New Facebook Privacy Rules…Again??

Notes taken by: Theresa Payton, Fortalice, LLC. Content also featured on WBTV's Protecting Your Cyberturf segment featuring Kristen Miranda and Theresa Payton.  Segment airs Wednesdays at ten past 5pm.

It feels like Groundhog day!  I think it wasn’t that long ago that Facebook updated their privacy settings and we encourage you to read them.  Well, after a review with the Irish privacy board, Facebook has completed another round of changes.  Are they good changes for us or Facebook?  That’s what you really want to know!

Well, it’s a little bit of both and a lot of people find the timing very interesting.  The Irish Privacy board did a review, Facebook has their IPO coming up, so what does all this mean?  Cyber expert, Theresa Payton, isn’t impressed.  In fact, she thinks we should all speak up about our privacy concerns to Facebook.    

Read the Privacy Statement:
1.  Caution:  There is a lot to read
2.  YOUR Data Storage:  No commitment as to how short or long they keep your data on file:  "as long as it is necessary to provide services."
3.  Your Data is Public:  Your cover photo and gender are considered PUBLIC information - it does not matter how tight your privacy settings are.  You can “hide” your gender in timeline but it will be passed to advertisers.  Great quote from the policy:  “If you’re uncomfortable with making your profile pictures or cover photos public, you can always delete them.”
4.  They know your location:  And they confirm what they grab whenever you connect to Facebook:  “We receive data from the computer, mobile phone or other device you use to access Facebook. This may include your IP address, location, the type of browser you use, or the pages you visit.”

NOTCOM malware.  This is a piece of malware that is downloading on Droid phones when they visit compromised sites.  Be careful!  It may end up prompting you to install a “security update” which could be a red flag.  When in doubt, contact your phone provider.


Facebook Memo to Members from Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer, Policy:

Explanation of Changes:


Data Use Policy:

Facebook is accepting feedback until May 18, 2012.  You can submit comments by following these links.  Additional languages are available on the Facebook site:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Protecting Your Internet Identity Book Signing! May 31, 2012

Protecting Your Internet Identity: Are You NAKED Online? authors,Theresa Payton and Ted Claypoole will be holding their official book launch party Thursday May 31, 2012 at 7pm in Charlotte NC!

Come out to pick up your copy of this fabulous book as well as join the authors for book signings and refreshments! Ted and Theresa will also be on hand to answer any questions you might have about internet safety and privacy.
The event will be held at Park Road Book store.
Stay safe and don’t let your identity run around naked online!
Event details:
5/31/12, 7pm
Park Road Books:
Park Road Shopping Center at the intersection of Park Rd and Woodlawn Rd.
4139 Park Road
Charlotte, NC 28209

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Beyond Good Virus Protection

Content also featured May 7, 2012 on North Carolina Military Business Center's blog:

Many of you already have great virus protection in place, but that only catches about 1/3 of all the bad stuff out there.
Here are some tips we recommend beyond good virus protection:
The good news is, today's internet browsers can help you fight back the bad guys from infecting your computer.  Remember, no internet security solution is 100% secure.  You still need to be aware and alert when you click on links or give out information.

Your favorite web browser may be able to help you achieve safer surfing.

1.  Settings:  While instructions and features vary, go to your browser's security and privacy settings and tweak those to insure your privacy and safety.
2.  Stay up to date:  Make sure you download software updates for your browser.  When in doubt, download a new version from the company's legitimate web site to make sure you have the latest.
3.  Safe Sites:  Some browsers let you set up the browser so it alerts you when you are visiting a site that is known for suspicious traffic.  McAfee has a tool that you can add into your browser called the "SiteAdvisor" to help you as you surf the net.  You can find the tool at: . 

SKYPE privacy flaw? What happened?

We talk to you every week about ways to protect your privacy but sometimes online services providers just don’t see to care.  We just learned that Skype has known about a security bug that shows your IP address, which can let someone track you and your account down to the city level.  How long have they known about it?  According to one group- 18 months!  

What we know so far is that with this hole, someone can see your information and pull the city, country, internet provider and IP address connected to you.  That’s just shy of your GPS coordinates and downright creepy!  Luckily, cyber expert, Theresa Payton, found out about this issue and she has some pointers for us.


1.  A research team from Inria in France and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University tested Skype in November 2010 and found they could track users down to the city they lived in for two weeks.  The reported it to Skype.

2.  They tested the same issue again and the hole was still wide open.

3.  The researchers masked a call to Skype users and hid it from call histories as if they were never there.  The account never had to answer the hidden call for the team to get a packet back of information

4.  The “hidden call” allowed the team to pull information back about the person they called


1.  You can track a person down to within 700 yards based on an IP address

2.  Someone could use this to track you and your whereabouts

3.  For businesses that use this, someone can track your employees’ whereabouts

4.  An IP address is a handy piece to a cybercriminal’s puzzle if they want to hack into your computer or device


1.  Complain to Skype, via it’s new owner, Microsoft

2.  Use a Skype alternative such as  iChat or FaceTime, Google Voice and Video Chat, AOL chat and video, Yahoo chat and video, ooVoo, and VoxOx

3.  Keep in mind that these services will have glitches from time to time to track warnings for the product on their site as well as checking in at


BO.LT/  Bolt is a new site.  It’s currently invitation only!  Write to WBTV and everyone that responds will get an invitation from Theresa to Bolt.  It’s a new place for you to organize and share things that you like by “bolt”-ing them onto your special bolt page.  You can actually mark and save a page, and according to the site you can save them “forever”.


Apple Products for Chat and Video:

Google Products for Chat and Video:



AOL Chat and Video:

Yahoo Chat and Video:

Making Sense of Data in the Cloud

 Notes taken by: Theresa Payton, Fortalice, LLC. Content also covered during WBTV's Protecting Your Cyberturf segment featuring Kristen Miranda and Theresa Payton.  These segments air at ten past five on Wednesdays.

It seems as if we have a scrapbook of our life trapped on our phones, tablets and computers.  Messages from loved ones, important projects, pictures, and videos.  Those moments are irreplaceable.   So, how do you keep a copy of your precious digital files?  

It used to be that we had to remember to do a back up to an external drive or flash drive...but what if you didn’t remember to back up those wedding photos that your friends took and BAM! Computer crashes?  Heartbreaking.  Well now, you almost don’t have to remember.  Cyber Expert, Theresa Payton is here to demystify storing your data on the cloud and offer you tips to keep your data safe and maintain your privacy!

There are several services that start off free and then you pay when you go over a certain amount.  They hope to get you hooked so you’ll use more.  

1.  File types:  Check the terms for the service.  Make sure they can handle photos, videos, documents, songs, and other files that you might have
2.  Privacy settings:  Make sure you read the privacy agreement carefully to see if the reason why it is “free” or “low cost” is because they can scan the information you store so they can market to you
3.  Sharing:  Most allow you to log into your files just using a web browser.  Some of the services also let you password protect files, encrypt them, and share them with people based on the settings that you choose

1.  If some of these companies fold up or are bought, it is unclear what might happen to your data so make sure you read the user agreements carefully
2.  If you feel Google already follows you around too much, a product like Google Drive might not be a good choice for you.
3.  These services have had glitches in the past.  Dropbox, for example, had a software glitch last year that allowed people to log into any account without a password for roughly 4 hours before it was fixed

A mashup of “bros” + “programming” it is used to describe high tech programmers.  Usually those in the mobile app or social media space creating cool and new technologies.  

PC Magazine did a survey of 12 products and you can read their review here:,2817,2288745,00.asp

The good news is -- There are many services to choose from.  Here is just a short list to review so you can pick what is best for you based on storage options, privacy and security features, and budget.  

Apple Cloud:

Google Drive:


Microsoft SkyDrive:

Jungle Disk:

Amazon Cloud Drive: