Now Powered by WP Engine!

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Feature-FastIf you’re reading this, it means you’re now seeing my site being hosted by WP Engine! It’s a move I’ve been meaning to make for a while now (especially since meeting all of you fantastic people at WordCamp Phoenix) and this weekend seemed like a good time to do it. So why did I move from Dreamhost and why did I choose WP Engine? Good questions!

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What to do When Your Credit Card Info is Stolen

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Recently I woke up to an alarming email, possibly from my credit card company, saying there were several unauthorized attempts to use my credit card on various websites. As a general rule I don’t click on links from emails when I’m not 100% sure about them (and maybe I was a little in denial) so I logged into my credit card account and saw that there were some fraudulent charges, including one big one that made it through. I immediately took action and decided to put together this guide of both what to do and some general security advice.

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Pango USA Lacks Security, and It’s Scary

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Many of you may not know what Pango USA is; here in Scranton, the parking authority has implemented this service to let us pay for meters through an app, without the need for quarters. It’s been a while since it was implemented, but over the weekend I decided to sign up. I was very annoyed at what I found.

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Web Based Password Manager

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I would love a web based password manager that’s completely accessible on all of my devices. I know that there are a lot of tools out there already, and I know there are some inherent security risks with this approach, but here is what I’m thinking:

  • It simply stores Title, URL, Username, Password, and maybe a notes section
  • It’s web-based
  • It’s secure
  • It’s responsive so you can easily add information for any device you own*

I’m wondering if there is something out there already, if it’s a good idea, and if people think it’s worthwhile. What do you think?’

*This one is important. I have 3 computers, 2 tablets, and between 2-3 phones depending on what I need to test. I don’t want to buy or download an app every time.

Quick Tip: Download an Archive of your Facebook Data

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There’s a lot going on on the Internet right now. Websites getting hacked (Blizzard being the most recent), companies doing presumably whatever they want with our data, and the cultivation of a group of people who over-share (this includes yours truly). I’ve written a bit on Facebook and other social media and how I think it’s affecting our culture. What I haven’t seen a lot of is writing on what’s called, “Data Liberation.” This is, retrieving your data from the social networks you use so often.

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Do We Trust 3rd Party Apps Too Much?

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Photo by iowa_spirit_walker

The other day I installed Sparrow, a GMail desktop client for Mac (review on that soon). Without thinking anything of it, I put in my username and password. When it told me I had the wrong username and password, even though I did not, I started to get a little worried (turns out it’s because I didn’t have IMAP enabled in GMail). You see, I was willing to give this brand new software a try without knowing anything about the developers or the software, except that it looked cool, and I willingly gave the username and password to my primary email account of the last 6 years. That got me thinking about how many of us just trust 3rd party applications.

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Facebook Photo Virus

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Over the last couple of days, a Facebook virus has been going around, cropping up in user’s notifications that someone has, “commented on a photo of you” or “posted a photo of you.” Upon clicking the link, however, you’re taken to a blank 3rd party app page that is automatically installed on your profile.

From what I’ve gathered so far, there are 2 types of links (but could be more). The link includes “beta-dislike” or “photo-comments” in the URL. Simply mousing over the link in the notification will show the URL in the bottom left corner of your browser. If you see either one of those, DON”T CLICK ON IT. Photo links on Facebook are in this format: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=<ID>&subj=<ID>&id=<ID>. There could also be more info after the ?, but no other slashes in the URL. If you see any other slashes, err on the side of caution.

If You Have Been Duped:

Don’t fret. So far, I haven’t seen any password stealing, profile changing, or other malicious actions. However, I have read that some of the code found in the app may be storing information and sending it to a 3rd party website. This leads me to believe the writer of the app is probably storing the information to sell it to spammers. Here’s how you can fix it.

First, uninstall the application. Go to Applications->Edit Applications in the bottom left  of the chat bar. Make sure “Show: Recently Used” is selected in the drop down box in the top right on the Edit Applications page. Check those apps, look for an app called “Tagged?,” and uninstall it. If you don’t see “Tagged?,” check for other apps that you did not install and get rid of them. Next, it would be worthwhile to change your Facebook password for good measure.

Finally, report the link. In your Notifications, right click the link and copy it from  the notification in question. Go to this page, fill out the form, and submit.  If you have any more information on this little Facebook pandemic, make sure to leave them in the comments! I will post updates here as well (so if you’re reading this on Facebook, you might want to click through to my blog).