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If you need:
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AndroPedia Tech Library
As part of our service, it is important to keep our client-partners well informed on IT developments, news, and best practices. Here is just a sampling of typical items from our AndroPediaSM library archive:
Holy Big Brother! Google Location History: An All Knowing Function You Probably Didn’t Know You’ve Enabled Jul 31, 2017
Technology has changed our world forever. What’s the first thing you do before you get out of bed in the morning? Chances are it has something to do with your smartphone. These items open up worlds of possibilities but they can also bring issues and privacy conflicts with them. For this month’s IT article we bring you an article from our President and CEO Jeff Borello on the intersection of instant access (google) and user privacy (location sharing) – focusing on something called: Google Location History. Without further ado . . .
Holy Big Brother
Have you ever heard of Google Location History?
Yeah, me neither.
Let me start by saying I am not a guy that cares about intrusions on my privacy. I don’t care if the government is listening to my phone calls or reading my Emails. I figure I am not doing anything wrong – so if they are interested in my boring life – so be it. Especially if it helps them catch some bad guys.
Now, with that said, even I was a little freaked out when I discovered how much Google and my Google App know about my daily movements.
These days, almost everyone has a Google login and is quite often signed into their account – especially from a mobile device.
So, let’s play a little game. Where were you on January 17th at 4pm? You probably don’t remember, but if you have location services enabled on your device . . . Google does.
Google Location History is a comprehensive (and by that I mean every detail imaginable) history of places you have visited as tracked and logged by your smartphone’s GPS function. Besides being comprehensive, it also has a very long memory – like years.
Give this a try to see if Google Location History is enabled on your phone.
- From a desktop browser, go to Maps.google.com (from your phone you need to open the Google Maps App)
- Sign in to your Google account (if you aren’t already). Top right-hand corner will either show a Letter (first letter of your login) or a Sign In button.
- Click the 3-bar menu in the top left corner and select “Your Timeline”
- If you see some bar graph data there, click the bar for a given day shown from the last month.
- How long did it take you to get to work that day?
- Where did you have lunch?
- Did you walk anywhere during the day?
- Did you take any pictures? (Yes, those might be logged in there as well)
See a screenshot below of my recent trip to Nashville. Yep, lunch at Monell’s (great place BTW) from 12:25 to 2:06 and dinner at 9:14 at the Peg Leg Porker BBQ
Walking, driving, flying. It knows and records those differently.
So, the obvious question is why on earth would you want something this invasive turned on? The answer is convenience. As often is the case, to gain some convenience you need to give up some privacy.
It is this information that Google uses to help you throughout your day. It will inform you of traffic issues based on your travel habits and places you may visit often. The more information the system has on you, the more helpful an AI-powered app (Google Assistant) can be.
Okay, I have Google Location History turned on. Now what?
The good news is you do have control over this. If you aren’t comfortable being tracked, you can turn this feature off. From the Timeline there is an option to Pause that feature, which in effect disables it until you turn it back on. You can also delete your entire location history as well, or just delete individual entries if you wish.
Of course, as long as the GPS is enabled on your phone, there are still plenty of apps out there that could be tracking you. Only truly private solution is to disable the GPS completely (which probably causes you more issues than you think) or just leave your phone at home (yeah, right).
Is Google Location History too much an invasion on your privacy? That is for you to decide but at least now you’re aware you are under the microscope.
The post Holy Big Brother! Google Location History: An All Knowing Function You Probably Didn’t Know You’ve Enabled appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Why Good Camera Systems Need Great IT Pros May 15, 2017
Would you be OK with a criminal or competitor watching you and your office via your own CCTV security cameras . . . ?
Didn’t think so.
Security and camera systems, like many other technologies, are becoming more and more integrated within IT networks and infrastructure. This is great for ease of use, capabilities and increased protections. However, it can also open up additional avenues and risks for your company if managed incorrectly.
Imagine all the information someone could snag with limited access to your CCTV system.
You wouldn’t trust your IT to “some guy” (at least we hope not). You should give the same respect to your security systems. It may be a good idea to buy a system from Costco or Amazon. But those off brand systems are easily hacked and they may carry pre-installed malware. Just last year a slew of security camera systems purchased on Amazon were found to be infected and could be hijacked by hackers to access data and camera footage illegally.
In almost all cases, some part of your security camera system needs an IT professional involved to finish the job and configured correctly. You can either trust the camera guy as he fumbles his way around your network, potentially leaving easily accessed holes in your protection, or try to get the camera guy and your IT guy to coordinate and work together (what we call a scheduling nightmare). Or, you can hire a professional technology services firm that does both.
Why Chose Andromeda’s Security Cameras?
Andromeda understands the intricate relationships security technologies have with your IT. We have specialized technicians in each area. They work together with a vast understanding of the security that both your CCTV system and your network need. Also, because we sell only professional grade hardware and software (Honeywell) the chance of a hack on these pieces is much less than the cheaper no-name brands.
Security threats are everywhere these days. You don’t need to make yourself more vulnerable. Do not create a gaping hole in your enterprise via the very thing that is there to help protect you. Reach out to our team today if you are considering any security projects. We ensure that the solution you choose is right for your business needs, but most importantly, we make sure it is installed correctly and you are protected.
The post Why Good Camera Systems Need Great IT Pros appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Lifelock Customers At Risk Of Email Information Exposure Aug 08, 2018
A dark day for Lifelock, the Identity Theft Protection company.� It has recently come to light that the company may have accidentally exposed their customers to additional attacks.
They recently fixed a vulnerability on their website that allowed anyone with a browser to index email addresses associated with their entire customer database. The vulnerability can even unsubscribe users from company communications designed to keep them safe and keep them apprised of changes they need to be aware of.
In addition to that, the vulnerability made it possible for hackers to initiate highly targeted phishing campaigns and create a convincing spoof of the Lifelock brand.
Symantec, which purchased Lifelock in late 2016, took the company's website offline not long after being contacted by KrebsOnSecurity, which is how they became aware of the vulnerability.
Krebs was made aware of it by Nathan Reese, a freelance security consultant based out of Atlanta.� Nathan put together a proof of concept script that was capable of downloading the email addresses of all 4.5 million of Lifelock's customers and then presented it to Krebs.
Reece aborted his script after downloading 70 emails so as not to set off alarm bells at Lifelock, and had this to say about his discovery:
"If I were a bad guy, I would definitely target your customers with a phishing attack because I know two things about them.� That they're a LifeLock customer and that I have those customers' email addresses.� That's a pretty sharp spear for my spear phishing right there.� Plus, I definitely think the target market of LifeLock is someone who is easily spooked by the specter of cybercrime."
He's not wrong, so it's good that Reece isn't a bad guy.
There's no evidence that any hackers were aware of the issue, or made off with any of Lifelock's customer emails. However, given the existence of the now-patched flaw, it pays to be suspicious of any email that appears to be coming from Lifelock for the short to medium term, at least.