There’s no doubt about it, we live in a world where companies have A LOT of information about us, whether we like it or not. And sometimes data is being collected about us that we don’t even know about.
One example is Google Photos, which many people use to take snapshots and make memories. But what a lot of folks don’t realize is that there is a location tracking device within the app that shows exactly where each photo in your phone was taken.
If you open your Google Photos app and click “Search” and “Places” you’ll find a map of all the locations where you’ve taken photos.
If you’re logged into your Google account, your Google Maps app will also give you this information. You can select “Your Timeline” and then choose from “Day” to sort by date or “Places” and you’ll see maps of what kinds of businesses you’ve been to.
If you’re not comfortable with this information being tracked, you can always disable this feature. To do this in the Google Maps app, you can click on “Manage Location History” when you are in “Timeline”. You can then turn it off.
In the Google Photos app, you can turn this off by going to “Settings”, then “Sharing”, and you can turn on “Hide Photo Location Data.”
First it was Facebook, and then it was Twitter. In 2019, Twitter admitted that it allowed marketers to access the phone numbers that users had registered with the site. Many had given their numbers to enable two-factor authentication (2FA)—that process where a website sends you a text message to verify it’s really you who’s logging in. Users didn’t realize they were also allowing marketers to verify who they are in order to build better advertising profiles incorporating Twitter user data. (Twitter says this was an inadvertent mistake and that it has closed the hole.)
That’s especially scary because our phone numbers have become powerful tools to identify and track us, not just for companies but for anyone who wants to look up our personal information stored in a myriad of public records such as court filings, voter registration, real estate transactions, and marriage records.
Twitter’s admission is a nasty case of déjà vu, since Facebook admitted to misusing phone numbers for ad targeting about a year before this article was written in 2019. “For a lot of people, [text-message authentication] is a totally reasonable protection that you should feel comfortable using,” says Gennie Gebhart, a researcher on consumer privacy and security at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “But Facebook was irresponsible, and now we can’t have nice things.”
In many ways, it may be too late to prevent these big social networks from using your phone number how they see fit. Facebook told me that they will only delete your phone number from their records if you delete your entire account. (And much as I’ve been tempted to, I’ve been unable to take that drastic step.) Twitter requires a phone number for 2FA, even if you use an app, although it says that may be changing.
Fortunately, there are other ways to secure your online accounts without handing over a phone number. Facebook, Twitter, and most major sites allow a second 2FA method that uses a free app to generate short-term codes you can enter into the site to verify your identity, just as you would with a code that is texted to you.
Authentication apps remain the best way to secure your online accounts, particularly Authy, a free app for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS that’s intuitive to use. After you register your Authy account with the websites you use, the app backs up your 2FA setup registration to the cloud and syncs it across multiple devices, making it easy to log in even if your phone breaks or is lost. (Though that makes it a tad less secure.)
Free apps like Authy allow you to generate codes for all the sites you use.
Some sites and apps make it even easier by replacing codes with push notifications. When you log in to a website, you get an alert on the authenticator app and press a button to confirm your identity. A site called Two Factor Auth provides an extensive list of whether major sites offer authentication based on your phone number or if they’ll also accept app-based 2FA.
What if you still need a phone number?
While most major sites allow authenticator apps, some are still stuck on phone numbers. But you have an option here too: Instead of your cellphone number, give them a Google Voice number.
For years, Google has allowed people to get free virtual phone numbers that can receive calls and texts just like a real number. (You can access it online or have messages forwarded to another phone.) Using them when you sign up for services is a great way to cut down on spam phone calls and also ensure that the company doesn’t have your real phone number forever. (A dedicated Gmail for spam is another good idea.)
One catch: Google requires you to provide a real phone number when you sign up for Google Voice. But you can delete the number in your settings after you’ve set up the service, though that means you won’t be able to have messages or calls forwarded to that number. Unlike Facebook, Google at least claims that it will honor user requests to delete their data. Even if it’s lying, you’re giving your real number to just one site instead of every site that requires a phone number for 2FA.
Still, there are times when you may want a company to have your real number. Banks may support authenticator apps for 2FA, or work with a Google Voice number. But if a crook has been messing with your bank account, you might want to get an alert about that ASAP.
Illegal Aliens Who Killed Americans Removed from DHS ‘Most Wanted’ List
By John Binder June 18,2021
Six illegal aliens accused of killing Americans have been removed from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “Most Wanted” list.
This week, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that ICE’s Victim Of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office, which served Angel Families in navigating their cases, would be disbanded in order to create the Victims Engagement and Services Line (VESL) which will expand to include providing benefits to illegal aliens who claim to be crime victims.
Following the announcement, as the Center for Immigration Studies’ Jon Feere first noted, top DHS officials removed six criminal illegal aliens accused of killing American citizens from ICE’s Most Wanted list — that is illegal alien fugitives who have yet to be captured by the agents.
In April 2019, ICE placed illegal aliens Saul Chavez, Jesus Maltos-Chacon, Alan Jacob Mogollon-Anaya, Edwin Mejia, Gonzalo Harrell-Gonzalez, and Luis Alberto Rodriguez-Castro on its Most Wanted list after each was charged with killing an American citizen and subsequently was evading arrest and criminal charges.
ICE detailed each case, at the time, and named each American victim:
Saul Chavez, a Mexican national charged in Cook County, Illinois, with vehicular homicide resulting in the death of William Dennis McCann, 66. Despite a detainer lodged by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in November 2011 following his arrest, Chavez was released from Cook County custody. Chavez, who entered the country without inspection at an unknown place and unknown time, is wanted by ICE as an illegal alien in addition to being a criminal fugitive. [Emphasis added]
Jesus Maltos-Chacon, a Mexican national, charged in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with homicide and vehicular manslaughter for the death of 20-year-old Blake Zieto. Maltos-Chacon also had previous convictions for DUI and assault. Maltos-Chacon, who entered the country without inspection at an unknown place and unknown time, was ordered removed in October 2006. He is an ICE immigration fugitive in addition to being a criminal fugitive. [Emphasis added]
Alan Jacob Mogollon-Anaya, a Mexican national, charged April 2017 for aggravated vehicular homicide, DUI and aggravated assault following the crash that resulted in the death of Shirra Branum, 37, in Washington County, Tennessee. Mogollon-Anaya, who had two prior DUI convictions, entered the country without inspection at an unknown place in 2003. He was ordered removed in October 2017. He is an ICE immigration fugitive in addition to being a criminal fugitive. [Emphasis added]
Edwin Mejia, a Honduran national, charged in Omaha, Nebraska with motor vehicular homicide in the death of Sarah Root, 21 in January 2016. Mejia, who entered the country unlawfully as an unaccompanied minor in 2013, was ordered removed in April 2016. He is an ICE immigration fugitive and criminal fugitive. [Emphasis added]
Gonzalo Harrell-Gonzalez, a Mexican national, indicted by a Gilmer County, Georgia grand jury on charges of homicide by vehicle in the first degree, two counts of serious injury by vehicle, and reckless driving in the death of Dustin Inman, 16, in January 2001. He is wanted by ICE as an illegal alien in addition to being a criminal fugitive. [Emphasis added]
Luis Alberto Rodriguez-Castro, as Honduran national, charged in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina in October 2011 with negligent homicide and vehicular manslaughter linked to the death of Joseph Storie, 51. Rodriguez-Castro, who entered the country without inspection at an unknown place in 1998, is wanted by ICE as an illegal alien in addition to being a criminal fugitive. [Emphasis added]
Michelle Root, the mother of 21-year-old Sarah Root who was allegedly killed by illegal alien Edwin Mejia in January 2016 on her graduation day, alerted Senators this week to the DHS’s erasing criminal illegal aliens from ICE’s Most Wanted list.
“The administration also removed the VOICE office’s most wanted list from their website — including my daughter’s killer, Edwin Mejia,” Root said before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “They want to abolish ICE and get rid of any law enforcement whose mission it is to carry out our immigration laws and protect the homeland.”
Searches for each of the criminal illegal aliens removed from ICE’s Most Wanted list result in a message that reads “Page Not Found,” indicating that the previous web pages for the fugitives have been wiped clean off the agency’s website.
(Screenshot via ICE.gov)
It is unclear if ICE has changed its metrics for how it identifies criminal illegal aliens as “Most Wanted” fugitives. ICE officials did not respond to a request for comment when contacted by Breitbart News.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.
#AceNewsReport – July.06: Two boats attempting to enter the U.S. illegally along the San Diego coast failed to yield to CBP Air and Marine Operations and the U.S. Coast Guard, leading to CBP marine interdiction agents shooting out one engine at sea, and U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehending 14 others after their boat landed at Dog Beach early Friday morning: “We had multiple agencies involved in bringing this dangerous smuggling attempt to a safe conclusion,” said Christopher Hunter, Director of Marine Operations for CBP in San Diego. “Smugglers have no regard for the lives and safety of everyone on board when they make reckless maritime manoeuvres.”
At about 1 a.m. on July 3, a CBP multi-role enforcement aircraft tracked two pangas as they crossed from Mexican territorial waters towards the U.S. The aircraft directed a CBP coastal interceptor boat to the location of one panga, and a U.S. Coast Guard small boat to the other panga: At about 3:30 a.m., the CBP coastal interceptor boat reached the first panga with lights and sirens going, directing the panga to stop: However, the panga failed to yield and instead fled from the CBP marine interdiction agents: The marine interdiction agents fired two marine warning shots, and the panga still failed to yield: Finally, the marine interdiction agents fired a disabling round into the panga’s engine, which stopped the boat about five miles from Point Loma. On board, marine interdiction agents found seven people.
The USCG small boat reached the second panga, which also failed to yield. The second panga was able to land on Ocean Beach in San Diego, near the area known as Dog Beach: U.S. Border Patrol agents in place along the beach immediately apprehended four individuals on the beach who attempted to climb out of the boat and flee: Agents apprehended nine others in a nearby park with assistance from the crew of the multi-role enforcement aircraft: One additional person fled by trying to swim away from agents on the beach: Thanks to a citizen calling in with information, U.S. Border Patrol agents were able to apprehend him on the jetty at Dog Beach.
The marine interdiction agents brought the seven individuals from the first boat safely to the dock, and turned them over to U.S. Border Patrol agents for processing: Border Patrol agents determined that all seven, six men, ages 19-50, and one woman, age 29, were Mexican nationals with no legal ability to enter the U.S: U.S. Border Patrol agents also processed the 14 individuals they apprehended from the second boat: The group included: three women, ages 27-40; ten men, ages 18-45, and one unaccompanied male teenager. All were Mexican nationals with no legal ability to enter the U.S………………….In both cases, CBP Air and Marine Operations seized the panga boats:
If you have information about maritime smuggling or suspicious activity along the coast of California, please call the San Diego Joint Harbor Operations Center at 1-800-854-9834 extension 1, or notify local law enforcement by dialing 9-1-1.
TSA will allow those with driver’s licenses that expired beginning March 1, and who are not able to renew their license, to use it as acceptable ID at checkpoints for 1 year after expiration date, plus 60 days after the #COVID19 national emergency: https://t.co/wn6dItY9zBpic.twitter.com/4MP04hQhma
Twitter Privacy Center
February 03, 2020
An Incident Impacting your Account Identity
On December 24, 2019 we became aware that someone was using a large network of fake accounts to exploit our API and match usernames to phone numbers. We immediately suspended these accounts and are disclosing the details of our investigation to you today because we believe it’s important that you are aware of what happened, and how we fixed it.
During our investigation, we discovered additional accounts that we believe may have been exploiting this same API endpoint beyond its intended use case. While we identified accounts located in a wide range of countries engaging in these behaviors, we observed a particularly high volume of requests coming from individual IP addresses located within Iran, Israel, and Malaysia. It is possible that some of these IP addresses may have ties to state-sponsored actors. We are disclosing this out of an abundance of caution and as a matter of principle.
When used as intended, this endpoint makes it easier for new account holders to find people they may already know on Twitter. The endpoint matches phone numbers to Twitter accounts for those people who have enabled the “Let people who have your phone number find you on Twitter” option and who have a phone number associated with their Twitter account. People who did not have this setting enabled or do not have a phone number associated with their account were not exposed by this vulnerability.
After our investigation, we immediately made a number of changes to this endpoint so that it could no longer return specific account names in response to queries. Additionally, we suspended any account we believe to have been exploiting this endpoint.
Protecting the privacy and safety of the people who use Twitter is our number one priority and we remain focused on stopping abuse of Twitter’s API as quickly as possible. You can learn more about our efforts to protect Twitter from platform manipulation and state-backed activity in the Twitter Transparency Report.
Electrical safety must be a priority as families decorate for the holidays, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International.
“Decorations account for one-in-four holiday fires,” explains ESFI President Brett Brenner. “Taking simple precautions such as not overloading outlets and watering the Christmas tree daily could help minimize the risk of tragedy.”
Brenner notes that ESFI offers free educational resources including helpful safety videos, infographics, checklists and other resources to keep families safe during the holidays. He points to one example, an infographic titled “Prevention: It’s the Gift that Keeps on Giving,” which provides tips on avoiding electrical hazards while decorating the home during the holiday season.
Follow these basic safety guidelines to help prevent serious electrical and fire hazards as you decorate your home this season:
Decorating Safety Tips
When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard than a dry tree. Water your Christmas tree daily.
When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “fire-resistant.”
Use only electrical decorations and lights that have been approved for safe use by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
Carefully inspect each electrical decoration before use. Cracked or frayed sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire.
Keep all decorations 3 feet away from heat sources, including space heaters and fireplaces.
Turn off all indoor and outdoor electrical decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
Avoid using candles when possible. Consider using battery-operated candles in place of traditional candles.
Never connect more than three strands of incandescent lights together, and consider purchasing LED lights, which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights.
Match power needs (amperage) of electrical products with an amperage rating of extension cords.
Follow the use and care instructions that accompany electrical decorations, and always unplug electrical decorations before replacing bulbs or fuses.
Keep young children away from holiday lights, electrical decorations, and extension cords to prevent electrical shock and burn injuries.
Avoid plugging too many holiday lights and decorations into a single outlet. Overloaded outlets can overheat and cause a fire.
Make sure that cords are not pinched in doors, windows, or under heavy furniture, which could damage the cord’s insulation.
Keep these post-holiday tips in mind as you wrap up the holiday season:
Post-Holiday Safety Tips:
With time, Christmas trees continue to dry out making them increasingly flammable. Trees decorated with holiday lights have an increased risk because they’re in direct contact with an electrical source. Check with your local community to find a recycling program through which to dispose of your tree early in the new year.
Always unplug decorations by using the gripping area. Pulling on the cord could damage the wire and present a shock or fire hazard.
As you take down holiday lights, inspect the wiring and discard any that have cracked, frayed, or appear to have damaged wire insulation.
Make sure to label or store indoor decorations separate from those intended for outdoor use.
Store electrical decorations in a dry area that is not accessible by children or pets.
LANCASTER COUNTY — The Manheim Township Police Department is reminding Central Pennsylvania residents to beware: with the approaching holidays, Porch Pirate Season is upon us once again.
As holiday shoppers begin having online purchases shipped to their homes, this time of year is traditionally when police departments see an increase in activity from “porch pirates” — nefarious suspects who troll neighborhoods looking for unattended packages left on front porches. They then steal the items, leaving the victims with no gifts.
Manheim Township Police have created the following tips for residents to protect themselves from porch pirates:
Have packages delivered to where you are, not to where you aren’t. Consider having packages delivered to your place of employment instead of your home.
Use tracking numbers and delivery notifications. Most major shipping companies offer this service for free, and may also send you a text or email when your package arrives.
Ask family members, trusted neighbors, and/or friends to accept deliveries on your behalf or ask them to pick up your packages for you.
Request packages to be placed in a less conspicuous spot, such as a side door, or behind a planter or garbage can.
Many shipping companies now allow you to request a delivery time or time-frame. Schedule packages for when someone is home.
Install a smart security camera or doorbell camera, like Ring® or Nest®, at your front door. Our police agency has solved numerous residential property crimes using these systems and collaborating with our citizens.
Request signature on delivery of packages, if possible. Some companies and shippers offer locker services for packages to be held at the distribution center for pick up by the customer. Similarly, you can have an item shipped directly to an area store where you can safely pick it up.
Keep an eye out for suspicious vehicles and people in your neighborhood. Be sure to report suspicious activity to your local police department as it is occurring. Calling after the fact makes it much harder to thwart potential criminal activity.
Additionally, residents should be aware of a secondary scam where thieves will order items and have them shipped to unaware third parties and use their front door as a drop location. If you received a package you did not order, please call the shipping company and your local police department to file a report.
But while online shopping helps you skip the crowds at the mall, it can be a cybersecurity minefield. “The holidays are a bonanza for cybercriminals,” Dave Baggett, co-founder and CEO of anti-phishing start-up Inky tells CNBC Make It. “People are buying a lot of things over a short period of time, and they are hurried about it. This presents opportunities for crooks.”
Here’s a one-stop guide on how to best protect yourself while shopping this holiday season.
1. Don’t click links in emails
Emails are a particularly common way for fraudsters to gain access to your credit card information or identity. Hackers send what’s called a phishing email, in which they copy…
Following in the spirit of Britain's Queen Boudica, Queen of the Iceni. A boudica.us site. I am an opinionator, do your own research, verification. Reposts, reblogs do not neccessarily reflect our views.
There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true. —Soren Kierkegaard. "...truth is true even if nobody believes it, and falsehood is false even if everybody believes it. That is why truth does not yield to opinion, fashion, numbers, office, or sincerity--it is simply true and that is the end of it" - Os Guinness, Time for Truth, pg.39. “He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” - Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard