Thursday, March 22, 2018

How to report suspicious activity on social media?

We are all familiar with the” if you see something you say something” program which provide guidance on being aware of who and what’s going on in our daily activities. The Parkland and other shooting there were many warning signs from the alleged shooter prior to the deviation which took place in Parkland. Some of us may be unaware of how to report strange or suspicious post we see on the many social media applications. I wanted to provide an overview on a more direct way to report any activity which could be a threat to our safety.  This does not replace contacting your local law enforcement agency on activity you see on social media as always please rely on the experts to determine the level of the possible threat and remember for any emergencies call 911.

I am happy to find in my research on this subject all social media application have taken the appropriate measures to allow the public to file a report on any social media activity which could be consider a threat or suspicious.

We begin with Facebook, Facebook has an arrow pointing down when you click the arrow you can select report post or report photo. You can file a report on any portion on Facebook either on your feed or a photo. Just follow the arrow. Twitter uses the same method you will see an arrow pointing down on each post when you select this arrow the last option will be to report this post.  After you will be ask to provide some information about the post. When complete the information you will be provided with other options on how you can report this post as well.

On Instagram you will see the three dots on the upper right corner of the picture. The first selection is report. You would select this option then Instagram provides you with two options either it’s spam or inappropriate. You would select inappropriate once you have selected this option then you will be given a few additional options such as this phot puts people at risk or this photo should not be in Instagram.

On snapchat it’s a little more involved as you have to go to their snapchat support in order to make a report. Once you get to the support site then you have to select policies and Safety. Then you would select report a safety concern. Then finally select report a safety concern.

This is one measure of how to make a report on suspicious activity. After you have made a report through one of the many social media site you should follow up with your local law enforcement and provide the following information:

Who or what did you see?
When did you see it?
Where did it happen?

I hope this information is helpful remember for all emergency situation please contact 911
Mark Carbajal

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Hi you won a Sweepstake

Hello, you won a trip to the Bahamas to hear about this please press one. Have you ever received a call like this? This is one of the popular methods scammers will use to get your personal information. Unfortunately using a VoIP service allows scammer to make many calls at once at a very low cost. So the telephone is the most preferred way to try and get access to your personal information.  When you get this call always proceed with caution especially if you did not sign up for any type of sweepstake.
So the important thing is to take the proper actions to identify a sweepstake scam.

You do not want to fall victim to identity theft. When you get this call if the caller is asking you too many personal questions right from the start of the conversation this is would be an indicator this could be a scammer. When you enter in a contest the company will have all your personal information from the entry form so there should not be many questions to ask if you are truly a winner.  If you are being pressured to answer personal questions over the phone you should hang up. Contact the company through legitimate and verified sources.

You can ask the caller who or what company is sponsoring the sweepstakes if by chance you entered into a sweepstakes you would remember the company. On the other hand If did not enter any sweepstake then you should hang up immediately.  You should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or the FTC. There is a 6 step process you can fill out online to file a complaint. If you haven’t done so please register for the National Do Not Call registry. On the form you fill out with the FTC this is the first question they ask on the form.

I hope this is helpful as always please leave comment

Mark Carbajal

Thursday, March 8, 2018

What is cloud security?

Cloud computing security is interesting to me because most of us decide to stay away from this type of protection. We normally have small amounts of data for home use but what if you have a small business or you are responsible for record keeping of customer personal information. This is where you might consider using cloud security as an option to secure information you collect and store. 

When you are securing limited data then you have much easier options available such as external storage devices which could address your needs for home use. However if you are responsible for storing a large amounts of information then here are things to think about when selecting a cloud service provider.

So cloud security is defined as collecting, storing or protecting information from theft, loss editing or deletion. The servers in the cloud computing system are heavily protected by firewalls, virtual private networks (VPN) etc.  They are often test their system with penetration testing to ensure the servers are secured from DDoS attacks, data breaches, traffic hijacking and other host of possible ways information could be compromised.  So with all this protection available on the cloud system this is a much more secure method to secure collected data.

Some concerns with securing your collected data through a cloud service are the storage space on the servers. The servers are not physically control by you or the data stored is not controlled or managed by you.  So many prefer to have cloud storage devices at home somewhat off the network which is a simple set up.
What you need to look for is any cloud service provider is there employee policies and procedures.  When a breach occurs it is often due to the lack of procedures in place for their employees. They should have strict background checks in place to identify fraud but most of the breaches are because of employee error such as using an unprotected personal device to complete duties as an example.

I hope this was helpful as always please leave a comment

Mark Carbajal

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Emergency contact list

Since the recent events it has brought to mind how important it is to establish an emergency contact list prior to any major storm which could have a major impact on a city or region. We know there are resources available such as the Red Cross and FEMA but they will take time to set up and get resources out to an area which has been impacted by a disastrous event. I have previously stated on here the need to have an emergency kit in place and a plan. An emergency contact list should be updated and added to your plan.

It is important to know how to shut off your utilities in case of an emergency. This would be your gas, electric and water. However you need to know your limitations as some of the ways you need to shut off these utilities may require more advanced knowledge or tools. You should have the emergency contacts for all the utilities in case of an emergency. You should have your local doctor’s contact information and what medicines you need to have on hand. Prior to any major event you should fill your prescriptions for at least thirty days. In your communities you may have centers which may have local resources available you must add their information to your contact list as well. These are the essentials contact you need to have in your contact list.

Lastly you want to have a contact list of family or friends who must be immediately contacted after a major storm event. This is to let everyone know that they are safe I have noticed that facebook has an application which allows everyone to mark themselves safe but if you lose access to facebook or the internet this may not be possible. What I would recommend is a trusted person or family member outside of the impact area who would be the person who would be called to make everyone safe. This would alleviate  multiple calls to numerous people depending on the circumstances a phone call may be difficult to make but making one call might be easier to make.

I hope this is helpful as always please leave a comment

Mark Carbajal

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Passwords Security

This is one of the most important things you need when you open an account online. You must remember your user name and password we tend to want them to be easy to access but if the password is too easy then it can be accessed by anyone. So here a few tips on creating a password.

Avoid using passwords such as “123456” or “password” there is reports of leaked password which state some are still using this as a password for accounts. Avoid using passwords from pop culture like “starwars” or sports as hackers are aware many of us would use a password related to those areas. Other would consider using a password with the name of their pets or the city they were born in again I would avoid this as well as someone who knows you well would think of this as a way to access your account.

Your password should be a combination of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters with a symbol if you choose to continue using passwords. A new concept is passphrase which in my opinion is much better. Example: Ilikefordmustangs2016# this would be easy to remember and very hard to access by a hacker. It could be any phase but again I would not choose any phrase that would be directly related to you for example if I was a mustang fan I would not select this phrase.

I would highly recommend using a two factor authentication as a layer of security for any of your important accounts and request a text message confirmation option as well. You should check if this is available to use for your account.

I hope this is helpful as always please leave a comment

Mark Carbajal

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Facebook Marketplace security

This would apply to all online selling such as craigslist and Letgo as well. When using these sites this is an easy way to get rid of things you no longer use or need. Of course there is the added benefit of making some money which is great.  All you have to do is take a picture of the item you wish to sell put in some basic information about the item and post it. When you sell an item in this manner in some cases you may have to make arrangements to meet to complete the transaction. This is where you want to be careful and plan properly for your safety.

If you are considering making a purchase through the use of any of these online market places you must plan ahead on how you want to make the transaction. In the cases when you have to meet in person you must plan this meeting carefully for your protection. So it must be a public place to meet to make the exchange of payment and items. You can use many locations like a mall, coffee shop supermarket somewhere that has many cameras or CCTV. I would check with your local law enforcement many have exchange locations in their parking area which are normally well illuminated with CCTV coverage. Should the item be large such as furniture then you would have to travel to seller home of vice versa.  Whenever that transaction takes place make sure you have someone with you for the duration of the transaction.

The Facebook Market place affords you’re the opportunity to do some investigation on the seller. Since you must have a Facebook profile in order to post your items you may be able to check out the seller. A few concerns you want to check would be does the seller live in your area? Do they have many friends or is it a recently opened account? A profile picture is preferred I would be leery of a profile picture of an inanimate object.

The item for sale the payment method and price should be clearly posted in the item description. If the seller is unable to answer your questions to your satisfaction about the item or how the transaction will be arranged then I would not deal with this seller.

I hope this helps as always please leave a comment

Mark Carbajal 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Phone porting scam

So how often do you use your cell phone to recover your username or password? I am sure most of us use this method to recovery such information. What if I told you there is a way that fraudsters could access your information through this recovery process as well. Well there is the method is called porting or port out scamming.  This is a new type of scam which has currently taking place across the nation. We have seen that the ultimate protectors of our personal information must be us. Some carriers are taking the necessary steps to protect our personal information from scams such as this one. We utilize the safe guards provided by cell phone carriers so we can protect our information from this type of scam.

The porting or out of porting scam works like this. A scammer has certain information about you such as your name, phone number, address social security number and date of birth any one of these pieces of information can be used or combination of this type of information. The scammer will then contact your carrier pretending to be you they will claim your cell phone was damage or lost. The cell phone company will then transfer your number to the new phone that’s when the real damage occurs.

The scammer will then log in to your banking or credit cards accounts online and use the call my cell phone verification method to gain access to your accounts by requesting reset codes to your user name and passwords.  You will not be aware of the theft until it’s too late in most cases.

Since this type of theft has been in the news lately cell phone carriers are providing more security steps in the cell phone porting process. You can check with your cell phone company on what safe guards are available. Some will offer you a PIN or verification question to be answered correctly before porting the phone number to the new phone. When you attempt to make a call and the call could be made in the emergency call status chances are your phone has been compromised. You should contact your carrier immediately. 

I hope this post was helpful as always please leave a comment

Mark Carbajal