Don’t Be Prey, by L.H. We are rushing headlong into a new age. This age is one that offers up some very real challenges for the average American. While battling the ever growing threats of intrusive technology we will also need to be prepared to protect ourselves. In a world of iPhones you get a …
I grew up in the time when cable TV boxes were supposed to have a camera or at the very least a microphone inside so they could see (or hear) what goes on inside your home. I remember covering up the cable box at night before going to bed. I don’t know if that ever really happened or if it was one big conspiracy. Today however, nearly everyone has smartphones, tablets, computers, smart TVs, smart appliances… all of these have cameras and microphones, and with the apps on them, they DO listen to you, many silently await your command to come to life and answer your queries. Have you ever had targeted ads that happened because of something you merely TALKED out-loud about?
I have gotten used to targeted ads online, I know that Google and other websites actively track what I type and where I go online. Honestly, I don’t mind the targeted ads because if I am going to have to look at ads, they might as well be something I’m actually interested in. What does disturb me is the alleged eavesdropping on my conversations when I’m talking to a friend in person, not over the phone.
Do I have proof of this? No, not hard proof, BUT I have seen enough to satisfy my own suspicions. Let me give you two examples that have happened in the last few weeks and today.
About 2 weeks ago, I was with a few lady friends, we had been discussing women being abused, this is not a subject I search for online, once we moved on to another subject, I wanted to demonstrate how Google assistant works by saying “OK Google” to activate it without touching the phone, I did a search for something innocent, I think I asked “where am I”, it answered me, then it populated the the ads and some of the results with things related to women being abused, books, websites and the such.
Now fast forward to today, I was scrolling through Facebook, I noticed an ad for a FB page promoting handmade rustic dolls made of fabric, it really caught my eye because it was a different ad than I usually get, most of my ads have to do with Amazon products that I have looked at lately, watercolor related items and the such, I have NOT done any searches for handmade dolls in the last 2-3 years.
I had been in a dollar store on Tuesday, I was looking for colorful knee high socks, I explained to my friend who was with me that I intended to make sock creatures (dolls) with them as Christmas gifts, I find it quite curious that I suddenly get ads for handmade fabric dolls a couple of days after merely DISCUSSING this in person with a friend.
So now, what to do? I know this happens, even if “I” don’t have a digitally connected device on me, other people do, I need a phone for work, yes I could turn it off when I’m not using it, I could turn off all devices in my home, but quite frankly, that isn’t likely to happen. As far as I know, “they” are only using this to direct personalized ads to me, which I actually don’t mind so much, if I’m going to have to see ads, I’d rather it be for products/services I’m really interested in, I just wonder how else this data is being used for… is it being saved somewhere? Is it potentially going to be available for human consumption? Could it potentially be used against me at some point?
What say you? Has this happened to you?
Just for the sake of curiosity, I followed the directions in this article to see if there was aything on me. Apparently, at some point I had turned of most of the tracking stuff. But not all. My YouTube viewing history was there. (Fortunately, it was my viewing history for only Youtube… IYKWIMAITYD)
I have met some people who gently insist that, when having conversations with them in person, the phones be disabled or left elsewhere. Perhaps there’s some merit to that.
Interesting article and very much worth reading from a privacy standpoint. You’d have to be insane to think that there aren’t .gov actors who take advantage of these sorts of things.
Communication Security practicing through obscurity! Micheal Kline “Reality Check” Audio player below! Have you ever thought you were being followed? Have you ever seen that one particular vehicle everywhere you go? Are you nervous that the government is after you? Well let me set your fears to rest. You are being tracked and there is … Continue reading Communication Security practicing through obscurity!
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Are “privacy” and “anonymity” mere synonyms, at least, when placed in the context of online safety and IT security? Simply put, no. While privacy and anonymity may have similar tradecraft practices and protocols, the very heart of their differences lay in the desired objective.
Perhaps the most succinct way to tell the two apart is this: think of online privacy measures as a defensive deployment to deter attackers that operate under the stealth of anonymity. In other words …
Privacy uses an active approach to prevent the leakage of data, which is usually executed at the software level. It’s a bit like using camouflage so that the bombers can’t find your bunker.
Anonymity is what makes a stealth bomber, stealthy. Whatever that bomber decides to do next, however, is up to the bomber. Whether or not it decides to kill its target or not, it is kept safe because stealth (anonymity) means missiles can’t find it.
One such service that employs these tactics would be Protonmail. Their end-to-end encryption of your email keeps your communications private. However, their proxy-server location in Switzerland ensures that even if the NSA wanted to take a peek at who sent an email, they’d have no idea who they actually were looking at.
What Is Online Privacy?
- Privacy is seen as an objective with higher legitimacy.
- In a traditional modern democracy, government agencies aren’t usually allowed by law to invade the digital privacy of law-abiding individuals (and would only do so in secret).
- Privacy is seen as a defensive security measure.
- Privacy can be achieved through the use of firewalls, ad-blockers, anti-malware and anti-virus software, and other deterrents to data mining and individual attackers.
What Is Online Anonymity?
- Anonymity is the mode-of-operation.
- Anonymity is often used to prevent governments from tracking the individual’s online activities via the use of special networks, such as Tor and VPN services. In this sense, online anonymity is a lifeline to intelligence operatives and reporters in hostile countries.
Everyone Can Be Found. Not Everyone Wants to Try That Hard.
Whether you seek a titanium wall of privacy or total anonymity, it’s important to realize that the moment an impregnable system exists, it’s already on its deathbed. The world of IT security and Internet privacy is one that is ruled by a gargantuan arms race. Regardless of how strong and robust the defenses, any digital castle can be brought to its knees if an attacker possesses the necessary determination to do so. For this reason, the winner in this game tends to be the stealthy, swift sniper, and not the slow, massive tank.
Wired’s Andy Greenberg, in an article titled How to Be Anonymous Online, argued that by using “cryptographic anonymity tools to hide your identity,” network eavesdroppers “may not even know where to find your communications, let alone snoop on them.”
“Hide in the network,” security guru Bruce Schneier said. “The less obvious you are, the safer you are.”
However, it’s not always about the software, adding layer after layer of protections, rerouting your communications from node to node, bouncing your data packets from Beijing to Jamaica in order to access some private server in Sweden. It’s about being a needle in a field of needles. It’s about not being noticed by the people who may be looking for you. It’s about achieving the transformation into a non-obvious digital being just like the rest of them, and blending in with the billions of others in the information sea.
To trade your uniqueness is engaging in this global shell-game of titanic proportions, the Holy Grail of digital anonymity.
What are your best tips for staying anonymous online? Share your advice in the section below:
The Age Of No Privacy: The Surveillance State Shifts Into High Gear Its a concern of us all. Whether people tell you the don’t mind the surveillance or they do Is irrelevant. It is an affront to freedom. I remember listening to people use the most terrifying and phrase when it comes to their privacy. …
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Secure Your Perimeter! Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! This go around our host Forrest & Kyle will be discussing how to secure your perimeter. Choosing and knowing your terrain is imperative to proper home security. It’s time to consider what supplies and tools you will need to protect your castle. … Continue reading Secure Your Perimeter!
Technology is already confusing, but sometimes it can just get downright daunting.
Especially these days, between the little microphones in TVs and the GPS in our smartphones, it’s easy to feel like there’s just no possibility of getting a little privacy. However, I’d have to disagree on two points.
First, Hollywood’s portrayal of tech/spy agencies is bogus. (Consider those rooms that are full of intimidating computers, making it look like their in-house hacking staff has your profile on screen as we speak — and they’re sending a strike team to reprimand you for that Facebook comment). In reality, their jobs are probably quite a bit less theatrical.
Secondly, these agencies are by no means omniscient, as they depend on the very same technologies that they attempt to exploit. Sure, they might have access to supercomputers, but even those still can’t crack a good encryption or open a bitcoin wallet without the password. You can, in fact, communicate private and confidential information over email, and the NSA couldn’t even touch it if they wanted to. There are many ways to accomplish this, but in my opinion, ProtonMail is the best by far.
ProtonMail: The Swiss Email Account
To its most basic definition, ProtonMail is a service that provides a secure server which houses email inboxes that run by default on ironclad end-to-end encryption and account anonymity. Because the system was designed in such a way that the email was encrypted by the sender’s device and only decrypted by the recipient’s device, even ProtonMail couldn’t see what the email said. Why? Because it’s Greek to them. Their servers are flowing with private, secure emails consisting of encrypted mumbo-jumbo. Sure, the NSA could try to break in … but that would be pointless. And that’s not all …
Founded in 2013, ProtonMail is based in Switzerland. Yes, the country that enjoys a good belly laugh whenever they receive a subpoena from other nations to snoop around.
Features & Other Goodies
But just because ProtonMail is based in Switzerland doesn’t mean you have to be super-rich in order to open an account. It’s free (and open source). And let’s not forget …
- Protonmail offers totally anonymous accounts.
- Its security capabilities are years ahead of the NSA.
- It was created and built by an international group of scientists.
- Its servers are housed under “1,000 meters of solid rock.”
- Email accounts are easy to use with a gorgeously modern design.
On their own About page, they share their reasons behind the creation of this privacy fortress in the mountains of Europe:
“We are scientists, engineers, and developers drawn together by a shared vision of protecting civil liberties online. This is why we created ProtonMail, an easy to use secure email service with built-in end-to-end encryption and state of the art security features. Our goal is to build an internet that respects privacy and is secure against cyberattacks.”
Yeah, But Really?
February 2017 was an eventful month for the technologically savvy and privacy conscious, as Wikileaks dumped another motherlode affectionately known as Vault7. What did we learn? Well, lots. But in relation to the topic of ProtonMail, we learned that U.S. spy agencies would still have never been able to penetrate the big PM (nor other end-to-end communication services, like Whatsapp). And unless they use a keylogger — basically cheating by peeking at what buttons your fingers are pushing — they’re just plain old out of luck.
According to Warwick Ashford in Computer Weekly, “After an in-depth analysis, we can confirm that none of the [WikiLeaks] disclosures indicate any compromise of the core cryptography that underpins ProtonMail and other popular encrypted services.”
What Have I to Hide?
Services like ProtonMail are invaluable for individuals who work overseas in hostile zones with tyrant regimes — not to mention, it’s perfect for private investigators, journalists, whistleblowers and getting around monitors from within non-government organizations. It’s also good for people who don’t want Google (or any other company) marketing to them through their emails. There are actually quite a few reasons to encrypt your comms, but fortunate for us, there’s ProtonMail.
Have you ever used ProtonMail? What are your thoughts on email encryption? Share them in the section below:
There’s an old saying about good fences making good neighbors.
Until Donald Trump entered the White House, borders, which can be described as the ultimate fence of sorts, were not regarded as very important for our nation’s well-being by the progressive Obama administration. Now that old saying makes sense again.
So in today’s article, I’ll tell you a thing or two about how to build the perfect privacy fence.
Just like a nation’s border, building a privacy fence on your property is useful for a number of reasons. The most important one, which depends very much on where you live, is the fact that a properly built fence will increase your safety, security and privacy.
Of course, I am not talking about those nice white picket fences; those are mostly about aesthetics. A privacy fence will keep your children and pets safely enclosed and it will eliminate sight lines beyond your property.
According to various statistics, security and privacy are among the most common reasons for which Americans go home shopping.
The type of fence you have installed around your property limits plays a key role in both privacy and security, together with improving your home’s exterior design. Whether you’re using wood, wrought iron, or chain link, a properly installed fence will provide you with the true sense of home security and ownership we all desire.
And once you understand the basics of installation techniques and the materials required, you’ll see that DIY-ing a privacy fence can be a fun activity and fairly easy to accomplish.
Here are some important issues to consider before starting building your fence.
Why are You Building a Fence?
Decide on the height before getting knee-deep into the project.
A normal privacy fence is ~6 feet high (or more). Determining the fence height in the early stages of the project is pretty important, as it will influence various other things like post-hole depth and things of that matter.
What Type/Style of Fence are You Looking For?
Prior to DIYing your fence, make sure you have an accurate understanding of the whereabouts of your property lines. Talk to your neighbors and check your property file to make absolutely sure the fence is on your property.
Check with your local utility companies before you start excavating (if that’s the case) for underground utility mains which may be located on your property. Also check zoning laws and, if required, apply for a building permit before proceeding with the job.
Then what materials/design will blend best with the architecture/landscaping of your home?
There are different fence styles and different fence panels to choose from, which may differ in the fine details, but basically there are 3 main prefabricated fence panel styles available:
- Solid – mostly used for containment fencing as they provide complete privacy and they’re mostly used between property lines and for surrounding swimming pools and the like. These fences are usually 5-6 feet tall and they use closely spaced pickets.
- Spaced Picket – popular for keeping pets or children (some may argue that’s the same thing) in, and/or for defining boundaries.
- Shadowbox – a mix of the two
For our intents and purposes, we’ll concentrate on the solid variety, because the name of the game in today’s article is privacy.
The PVC Fence
If you’re looking for the cheapest way to fence in your property, PVC is hands down the best option.
Even if PVC is not as sturdy as wood, it will last you forever without requiring any type of “servicing” and as far as privacy goes, PVC fences are just as impenetrable as wood fences.
The Vinyl Fence
A more high-tech option is vinyl fencing. According to some manufacturers, vinyl fences are 5 times stronger than comparable wood fences and 4 times more flexible.
The caveat is that vinyl is kind of elite price-wise, but it will resist indefinitely to elements and even paint (read graffiti). All you have to do is to soap it up and put the hose to it and it will look as good as new in a jiffy.
The Bamboo Fence
And there’s bamboo, which is another type of wooden fence but with a more sophisticated touch, as bamboo is a relatively exotic type of wood. Other than being exotic, a bamboo fence is just like any other wooden fence; it just looks more interesting.
However, considering “regular” wood’s versatility and availability, most folks will go for an old-school wooden fence, due to its low-cost maintenance and building. You can also buy prefabricated wood fence panels, which will provide you with more flexibility and greater control in terms of quality (material wise), not to mention that wood is way more aesthetically pleasing compared to PVC for example.
The Wooden Fence
The most popular fencing material across America is wood. Wood fences are not very expensive compared to, let’s say, aluminum fencing. Also, wood gives you a welcoming and warm feeling, together with the sense of privacy wood fencing provides.
A wooden fence can easily be built to last forever, depending on what type of wood you choose. The quality of your fence can be compared with hardwood floors. There’s cheap stuff and more expensive stuff, woods that are better than others, and so on and so forth.
Video first seen on MyFixitUpLife show.
The most common species of wood used in privacy fences are fir, spruce, cedar, pine, cypress and redwood (always go for heartwood instead of sapwood, the former is older, has fewer knots and it will last for longer).
Keep in mind that if you’re choosing the wrong wood, your fence might only last you for 5 years before rot sets in. If you’re going for a high quality wood and you treat it well, a wood fence will last you for more than 20 years. Chemically treated woods are arguably the best option.
How to Build a Privacy Fence
First of all, you’ll have to stake the corner locations and place stakes at the corners, approximately where you wish your fence to go. In the next step, you’ll have to square the corners by tying a string around the stakes then running it between the respective stakes.
Once you’ve squared your corners, stake the middle posts, then dig the holes (step 4) at the locations you’ve staked.
As a general rule of thumb, keep in mind you’ll have to bury the posts at least 33 percent as deep as they’re tall. Then place your posts, get them aligned, then use a post leveler to make sure they’re straight and the corners are still square.
Remember to put 3-4’’ of gravel at the bottom of each hole then pour the concrete footing (instant concrete is best). Then fill in with dirt once the concrete bed has set.
You can add a mason’s line at the top of the post from one post to another at equal height above the ground, thus keeping the height of your fence equal along the way.
Now it’s time to add your support boards and, in the final step, the privacy boards. Remember to treat the boards for increasing the longevity of your fence by painting them or applying a weatherproof finish.
Video first seen on Brandon & Meredith.
If you’ll have to build a wooden fence on a slope, check out this video.
Video first seen on DIY Landscaping.
And here’s a wooden fence with metal posts that will last you forever. You may have to change the privacy boards after a number of years, but the skeleton will last you indefinitely.
Video first seen on CAmericaProjects.com.
Tips and Tricks on Building Fences
- Let your wooden fence set before you seal it, as it’s very important that you allow it to dry out. If you try to preserve the wood by staining/painting it ahead of time, the substance will probably not be absorbed by the wood if it’s not dried properly. Remember that painting is required every few years if you care about the longevity of your fence.
- A common mistake when building fences is failing to anchor down posts. A fence is only as strong as its posts – that’s an axiom – hence posts are essential for a solid fence and also pretty expensive. You must take your time and install the fence posts nice and properly.
- Another mistake is improper gate placement or size. Gates must be placed out of the path of erosion, in well drained areas. Traffic must be taken into consideration, obviously. Proper gate size is equally important. The gate gets the most wear and tear, so remember to build it using high quality materials, including solid and properly sized hinges. Also the posts supporting the gate must be set much deeper than regular ones and you must add more cement around them.
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Go Gray and Stay Out of the Fray Host: Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps “ Audio in player below! The need to go Gray is something all of us prepper’s want, however you might not have heard of going gray before. Well let’s break it down to what going gray or what a gray man … Continue reading Go Gray and Stay Out of the Fray
Though death and taxes always have been a part of the human experience, hackers now have become yet another unavoidable fact of modern life in this century.
Unfortunately, such cyber threats have become so abundant that you can almost guarantee that you’ll come under their crosshairs at some point. Just ask the CEO of LifeLock, Todd Davis, the guy who openly displayed his own Social Security number on his company ad campaigns – daring hackers to try and use it. Yep, he got hacked, too.
But does that mean we are all at the mercy of such keyboard thuggery? Well, it’s really a numbers game: If you at least mind a few common safe practices, then you will greatly reduce your chances of becoming a victim through simply presenting them with fewer vulnerabilities. If you can make yourself a harder target in comparison to the masses who are extremely vulnerable, then chances are that hackers will pass you by.
Here are a few hacker tactics – and how you can outsmart them.
By far, the most common tactic in the hacker toolbox is what is known as “phishing.” Essentially, phishing is when a hacker sends you some type of communication via email, SMS, or social media message, and embedded in the link, image or text of that communication is a sneaky way to deceive you into revealing your personal data.
Some highly invasive attacks will even include a line of code in the message itself, which extracts your IP address, MAC address, location information, etc. Most attacks, however, will simply include a link to a legitimate looking website of a well-known institution, such as Google or a government website, and then the fake site prompts you to disclose your personal and security information. These attacks are almost always mass-targeted, which means that they send a message to thousands in hopes of duping a handful.
First off, the easiest way to ward off a phishing attack is to simply use your common sense. Don’t click on suspicious-looking links! Reputable companies and institutions have policies that will never allow them to ask you for personal information via electronic means. Unless you sign in to their official website with your login credentials, you should never be prompted to disclose any private data. Also, if you have received a suspicious email or SMS from a company or institution, then you should certainly contact the Federal Trade Commission via their phishing reporting website. Lastly, it may be worth calling the company directly. If you get a questionable email from, say, DirectTV and you are a customer, then call the official DirectTV phone number and ask the company if the email is legit. Most likely, it is a scam.
2. Password attacks
Hackers also may attempt to gain access to your WiFi and/or devices by cracking your password. While it’s almost impossible for them to mass-target individuals (unless they’re running a rather ambitious phishing campaign), it’s not entirely difficult to precision-target nearby routers within broadcast range. In fact, through using WiFi antenna amplifiers, they can even snatch your WiFi signal from hundreds of yards away — and if they gain access to your router, then they can gain access to the devices connected to it. Essentially, they will use one or both types of these two particular password cracking attacks …
Dictionary attack — They connect to the router, and then drill it with potential passwords through battering the system with a giant list of possible terms and numbers (called a dictionary). Penetration takes from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the size of their dictionary and difficulty of the password.
Brute force attack – This type of attack essentially slams the router by running it through a gauntlet of character combinations. While this method is nowhere near as precise or expedient as a dictionary attack, virtually any password can be cracked with this method if given enough time. These attacks can take anywhere from five hours to a few days, requiring unbroken and undisturbed access to the router for the duration of the attack. If the router is reset, then the attack must be restarted, creating a logistical attack obstacle.
Basically, the rule of thumb here is to observe safe password creation practices. It’s important to keep your passwords long, using a variety of letters, numbers, cases and symbols. I would also recommend using products like 1Password, which automatically generates extremely strong passwords that can be unlocked with a master key password of your choosing. This also protects against other types of more sophisticated password cracking attacks that might be deployed against your online/offline accounts.
3. MIM (Man-In-the-Middle)
A man-in-the-middle attack (MIM) can be extremely devastating, as there is no end to just how much private data that can be extracted. MIMs can even result in a hacker being able to take control of your device. In order to launch an MIM, the attacker must place themselves between you and the website you have accessed. In some cases, the MIM is conducted between the Internet service provider (ISP) and the company website. Or, if you’re a private target, the attacker may place themselves between you and your router or ISP. After cutting in, they simply observe the personal data being exchanged, hijacking it in transit.
First, this is an extremely sophisticated attack, meaning that a high level of skill is required in order to pull it off. Also, due to the nature of the attack, the target must be precisely selected in the event that an MIM is launched against a private individual. However, if you believe that you may be the victim of an MIM attack, then it’s important to report this to the Department of Justice by going to the official DOJ website: Reporting Computer, Internet-Related, or Intellectual Property Crime.
There are a few other ways to protect against MIM attacks, especially if you believe you may find yourself on the receiving end of one. After assessing your target value, you might find it prudent either to install a firewall program or even purchase a firewall box, which keeps hackers from exploiting ports of entry into your system. You also may want to use email/messaging services that specifically provide end-to-end encryption for your sensitive communications. I recommend using the Swiss-based service Protonmail for this.
One More Thing…
Last, be sure that every time you provide sensitive data, such as credit card numbers and security information (i.e. making online purchases), then you always should check to make sure that the website’s payment/login portal shows “https://”. This is called a secure socket layer, which acts as a protective conduit between you and the site. Doing so would add just one more defense against all the hacker tactics mentioned above, as this makes sniffing data extremely difficult.
What tips would you add? Share your suggestions in the section below:
Early Warning Alarm! Bob Howkins “APN Report” Audio in player below! Smoky Mountain Moonshiners used to rely on Donkeys as an early warning alarm. They would alert when a Revenue man was sneaking up on their moonshine stills. The Donkeys big, tall ears were like super sensitive radar, able to pick out the sounds of quiet … Continue reading Early Warning Alarms!
Privacy with Dr. Katherine Albrecht on Off Grid Preppers Host Barbara Fix “Off Grid Preppers” Audio in player below! Most of us have heroes. Mine happens to be Dr. Katherine Albrecht who is considered one of the world’s foremost privacy advocates. If you want to know how smart phones, GPS, RFID, facial recognition, and remote … Continue reading Privacy with Dr. Katherine Albrecht on Off Grid Preppers
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WASHINGTON — Your fingerprints might be a major threat to your privacy.
That’s because the images taken by smartphone cameras are so full of detail that it is now possible to copy fingerprints from them, Professor Isao Echizen of Japan’s National Institute of Informatics told The Sankei Shimbun newspaper.
“Just by casually making a peace sign in front of a camera, fingerprints can become widely available,” Echizen said.
The problem: An increasing number of new technologies, including iPhones, use fingerprints to unlock phones. Echizen said fingerprints can be stolen from pictures taken from up to 10 feet away – in other words, ever selfie you’ve taken where your fingerprints could be seen. Many people post such pictures on social media.
“Fingerprint data can be recreated if fingerprints are in focus with strong lighting in a picture,” Echizen told Yomiuri TV.
Even worse, the professor said that advanced technology is not needed to steal fingerprints.
As Digital Trends reported, “The problem is compounded by photos being shared and stored online, creating a gallery of fingerprints for thieves to exploit. The professor points out that unlike a stolen password, which can be quickly changed, your fingerprints are with you forever.”
Echizen’s find has other privacy problems: Cops might be able to identify and locate protestors via a news photograph. All they would need to do is run the fingerprints from the picture through the database.
What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:
When Windows 10 was released, the tech world was abuzz with glee. But then, we all started to take a gander under the hood of this software sportscar, only to discover a rather horrifying sight. It seems this ride tracks every … little … thing … you … do, and then quickly reports this data to the James-Bond-villain headquarters, otherwise known as Microsoft.
“It’s for your own convenience,” they said.
“It will help us fix lots of technical issues,” they added.
Sure, you may like the convenience and simply have nothing to hide, but how far is TOO far? Let’s just say that Windows 10 pushes those bounds with gusto.
Convenience? Technical support? Well, that’s clearly not all this tracking is intended to do. First off, let’s just say that nearly every action is data-farmed into neat little aggregate packages and then sent to their network. The result is that you get to feast on all of the targeted advertising, courtesy of their personalization algorithms. Granted, you might enjoy a clever ad or two, but when Windows puts it right next to the dern start-button search bar, that clearly crosses into the in-your-face zone.
The Real Question: OK, So What Is Windows 10 NOT Tracking?
Obviously, if they track personal usage of your machine, then they’re most certainly going to track browser history and respective caches. However, what isn’t exactly obvious is the fact that they also track you by an even MORE invasive method: a keylogger.
This provides them with a sneaky data-collection vacuum that records every time you slap a key – from your letter to mother to, say, your online banking password. Makes no difference to Microsoft. They want it all.
Oh, and by the way, they’ll also be seeing if you’d give up some of YOUR bandwidth in order for them to make your machine into a peer-2-peer(esq) server. Why? You guessed correctly: It helps them move around all of that data, since it’s right up there, as one of the most ambitious and invasive data-farming operations in history. So, quite frankly, they really are tracking just about everything, and forcing you to pay for their vast surveillance operation in bandwidth.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do.
First, whatever you do, DO NOT select the option to use Express Settings when you’re first installing Windows 10. Instead, you’re going to have to scour each option and switch off all tracking permissions manually.
However, you’re not finished. Here is a video that can walk you through the entire process:
Story continues below video
For a text version of the information in the video, check out this link.
Ubuntu Dual Boot: A Subversion Strategy
At least from my own assessment, let’s just say that I was a fan of Windows 10 for a very brief period of time. Compared to previous operating systems, they really nailed the interface and capabilities — not to mention that Cortana can be an excellent feature.
But at the end of the day, I would simply never use this system to do anything that required even a small courtesy of privacy. Given the fact that there are data leaks built into data spigots, there’s just no way of knowing if you’re sending some pretty intimate details of your life to Microsoft. Whether or not they’re actively spying, they simply shouldn’t have a way to crack my online accounts or see what HIPAA-protected information that I might store on my machine. All information of which is glaringly easy to obtain via keylogger protocols.
This is why I’d recommend dual-booting your machine with the free Linux distribution, called Ubuntu. The best part about this strategy is that you can run two separate operating systems on the same machine, and Ubuntu is 100 percent free (no purchase necessary). Here’s a video tutorial on how to set up and use Ubuntu and dual-boot it alongside Windows 10.
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Prioritize for Privacy
Essentially, I just don’t trust Microsoft, which is why I would run Ubuntu if I happen to be working with important and private information (such as doctor’s appointments, online banking, day trading portfolios, etc.). For everything else, like writing this article … since that’s the kind of data I always love to share …
Under those circumstances, then yes, I’d use Windows 10 – but after I tweaked the privacy settings. Just make sure you prioritize your tasks by order of privacy needs, and then at least you won’t get that feeling someone is watching you. Hey, you may not be in the least bit surprised that Microsoft is peeking through your blinds to check out your cat video binge — but when you’d like some privacy, at least you can bet that there’s no possible way for Microsoft to see behind that sturdy Ubuntu Linux OS brick wall you had installed.
Those dern nosey Windows 10 neighbors aren’t going to like that one bit.
What advice would you add about Windows 10? Share your tips in the section below:
How is your Urban Camouflage? No, I’m not talking about a new fashion trend. Rather, I’m talking about fitting in with your surrounding community, and not drawing attention to yourself as a potential victim or as a malcontent. This is sometimes called the “gray man” disguise, but it is more than that. You don’t want to draw the attention of criminals & thugs by looking like a potential target or easy prey. You also don’t draw the attention of the government as a serious malcontent and potential trouble-maker.
|Every neighborhood has at least one Gladys Kravitz.|
Additionally, you need to be very private and guarded with your personal information and plans. The idea is to not draw unwanted attention to yourself and your family, regardless of if that attention is from identity thieves, criminals, thugs, law enforcement, government officials, or even just nosy neighbors.
Don’t paint yourself as a potential target.
Bad guys look for easy prey and rich targets. They prefer someone who is both, but most will choose easy over rich every time. Avoid looking like a rich target by not wearing expensive or flashy clothes, expensive jewellery, or driving a high-priced car. Avoid looking like easy prey by wearing practical clothes & shoes, and by walking confidently, head up, while paying attention to your surroundings. Muggers, pick-pockets, and other bad folks especially look for victims who are distracted. Try to walk, shop, and travel in groups whenever possible. Groups look less like a potential target than someone walking by alone.
Sadly, folks with obvious physical restrictions will look like easy prey to bad guys. The elderly, pregnant women, folks with mobility problems and other physical disabilities, should take extra precautions when out in public.
For more on being the “Gray Man,” please see my earlier article Results from the “Grayman” Training Exercise.
Don’t draw unwanted attention.
Don’t draw negative attention from law enforcement, government officials, or local bureaucrats. Don’t come across as a potential trouble-maker or serious malcontent. We have learned from a number of scandals in recent years that many government officials and bureaucrats can and do hold grudges, and are willing to abuse their power to “get even.”
Never make personal threats, especially against government officials or law enforcement (not even in “jest”). Remember that nothing you say or do online is truly anonymous. Don’t flout laws, even when you disagree passionately with them (speak out against them, but don’t break laws just to make a point unless you are willing to pay a price).
Stress to family members, especially school-age children, the importance of privacy. Its not just identity theft you have to worry about. Public school officials often question students about personal family information, such as parents’ political and religious affiliations, the presence of guns in the household, or even whether or not the family recycles! All to “protect the children,” of course. Many schools now routinely go so far as to spy on students through social media. Maje sure your children understand that “what happens in the family, stays in the family.”
Its not just schools that are invading people’s privacy. Employers now routinely spy on employees and applicants through social media. Its a great way for employers to get information that is otherwise illegal for them to ask about, such as whether or not a female applicant may have a baby in the near future. In the wake of the recent election, several employers have made national news by expressing a wish to “punish” employees that voted for Trump. Social media is a great way to identify an employees politics. For goodness sake, don’t overshare on social media!!!
Finally, it is now very politically correct for government and law enforcement to consider preppers, tea party conservatives, and traditional Bible-believing Christians, to be “potential domestic terrorists.” In today’s environment, its quite probable that Trump supporters are now on that list of potential threats.
We have also seen that wearing a Trump shirt or a Make America Great Again hat can make you a target for violence from the Left. I’m not saying to hide your affiliations or political support. Just to be aware of the possible consequences for doing so.
The Bottom Line
In an urban environment, whether a large city or small ton, you need to be aware of how you appear to others, and all the possible consequences that may result. The art of Urban Camouflage is to draw as little attention to yourself as possible, thereby avoiding much of the negative consequences.
The Benefits of Social Media in Prepping Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” Listen in player below! In past shows I have talked about the dangers of social media and the internet. This episode I will flip the switch and talk about the benefits of social media in prepping. We often see the dangers of the … Continue reading The Benefits of Social Media in Prepping
ProPublica reported on the change Oct. 21, noting that Google could now, if it wanted to, “build a complete portrait of a user by name, based on everything they write in email, every website they visit and the searches they conduct.”
“The move is a sea change for Google and a further blow to the online ad industry’s longstanding contention that web tracking is mostly anonymous,” ProPublica reported. “In recent years, Facebook, offline data brokers and others have increasingly sought to combine their troves of web tracking data with people’s real names. But until this summer, Google held the line.”
New Gmail users automatically agree to the policy when they sign up, while old Gmail users must opt-in.
The change means you might see an add on ESPN.com for something you wrote about in Gmail.
The good news: It is easy to opt out. Here is how to do it:
1. Go to Google’s My Account page.
2. Click on Mange Your Google Activity.
3. Click on Go to Activity Controls.
4. Uncheck the box next to “Include Chrome browsing history and activity from websites and apps that use Google services.”
6. At the same link, you also can prevent Google from tracking your Location, your YouTube viewing history and your browsing history.
What is your reaction to Google’s new policy? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Conspiracy Theory 101 Highlander “Survival and Tech Preps” This show in player below! There’s worry among the prepper community about government or others and tracking. Would you like to know the facts about conspiracy theories when it comes to tracking? You may be surprised at the capabilities to track individuals and if you think they do not exist you … Continue reading Conspiracy Theory 101
Electronic Security in shtf. Highlander “Survival and Tech Preps” On this episode we will get back to the technical aspects of prepping. Everything security in shtf or present day is discussed. I myself have security cameras at my home, monitoring 24/7 and recording. The need to have eyes and ears around you at all times … Continue reading Electronic Security in shtf.
The Best Shrubs To Grow For Privacy If you live a little too close to your neighbor and you are on a tight budget or maybe don’t want a 6 foot plain old fence, there are many other options available for you in the form of shrubs. Shrubs can grow quickly, they can get very …
Windows 10 could be a major threat to your privacy, and Microsoft is trying to force you to use it whether you want it or not.
In fact, if you use Windows 7 or 8, Microsoft could automatically update you to Windows 10 and begin tracking your every move.
“Microsoft openly stated that pervasive data collection will be present in any Windows version starting from Windows 10, and as a host of research on the Internet shows, this data collection cannot be disabled using official means,” tech expert Artem S. Tashkinov wrote at itvision.altervista.org.
The default settings for Windows 10 allow Microsoft to track every website you visit, every purchase you make, and every word you type into the search engine. It even allows Microsoft to track your physical location. Microsoft makes upgrading to the operating system tempting by making it free – at least until July 29.
Microsoft uses all of this data and interaction in several ways:
- Offering users targeted ads.
- Guiding users to its Windows Store.
- Funneling users to the search page Bing, which it owns.
None of this is done with the current versions of Windows. (Windows 10 also can drain your battery if you own an older laptop.)
Fortunately, there are some ways to block Windows 10’s data collection and even to go back to Windows 7 or Windows 8 if you want.
Don’t Use Express Settings
Many users may not realize that the version of Windows 10 that automatically installs employs the so-called Express Settings. These automatically share a wide variety of information with Microsoft, including location and browser data, TechRadar reported. You can avoid these by picking “Custom Settings” for the install.
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If you’ve already installed Windows 10 using the Express Settings, then you can reverse Microsoft actions under the Privacy Settings in the control panel. For example, one setting asks if you want to “let apps use my advertising ID, send Microsoft Info about how I write, and let websites provide locally relevant content.” If this is on, both Microsoft and advertisers can collect data from your computer.
Other Problems With Windows 10
IT Pro reported that some of the Window 10 apps can take control of your camera and microphone and collect account information unless you turn them off.
You should also make sure that Wi-Fi Sense is off. If this feature is turned on, it could share your Wi-Fi passwords with routers, PC World reported. To turn Wi-Fi Sense off, go to Settings in the start menu, click on Network & Internet, then Manage Wi-Fi Settings, and chose what Wi-Fi you want to use. Turning off the hotspot keeps the computer from broadcasting your information.
Uninstalling Windows 10
Uninstalling Windows 10 and going back to Windows 8.1 or 7 is actually fairly easy – if you do it within 30 days. Visit Settings, find the Update & Security icon and click Recovery. You should see an option to “Go to Back to Windows 7” or “go back to Windows 8.1.” Click the right icon.
If it has been over a month since you added Windows 10, you will have to do a “clean install.” That will eliminate everything on your hard drive. Make sure you have all of your files on cloud storage or an external drive first.
What advice would you add on Windows 10? Share it in the section below:
13 Attractive Ways To Create Privacy In Your Yard If you live in a city or neighborhood you know the age old issue of no privacy. In fact you probably feel like if you go outside you are being watched. I know when I lived in the city, I felt like I couldn’t even sunbath …
Opsec, Is it Important? Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” In this episode I will talk about Opsec (operational security) and if it is important. The need for this in my opinion is extremely important to preppers, and everyone else in today’s world. Today’s world is not the good place it once was, full of people who will … Continue reading Opsec, Is it Important?
April 25th, 2016
Video courtesy of Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know
When a massive leak of internal documents from a Panama-based law firm revealed a web of offshore tax-dodging outfits across the planet, millions of people began to wonder how much – or how little – trust they could put in the statements of their local elites and heads of governments. But what exactly happened, and what does this leak reveal about the state of world affairs?
Cyber security, preventing attacks!
Highlander “Survival and Prep Techs”
In the program below we revisit the need for cyber security not only on your devices but in the real world. I discuss what measures we need to take in our everyday lives that we should and must put in place if we want to maintain security within our lives.
There is so much to consider when it comes to security, every prepper preps for security in some way but most of us neglect the computer/device side of things. We will discuss what security measures you need to use on your pc such as antivirus, popup blockers, basic operating skills that will protect you from intruders that want to get your information and use it for nefarious purposes. I will discuss the absolute need for opsec (operational security) when you are online. What we want is to not share your details on social media, in emails, or in forms you fill out.
The biggest causes of identity theft and infections are caused because of poor security practices. I will give you a few tips on what to look for, what to do in case you think you are compromised and how to prevent it in the first place. With the looming threat of cyber terrorism just over the horizon our own technology can be used against us if we are not careful. Routine maintenance and common sense is what will protect you from attacks.
Hopefully I give some pointers and make your lives a bit easier and less worrisome over this, even though it is on a lot of our minds. We hear of china posing a larger threat when it comes to cyber-attacks. Don’t let your devices be used to attack another, this may sound crazy but I will explain during the show what this entails and what to do about it. So enjoy the show and as always questions are welcome!
Join us for Survival & Tech Preps “LIVE SHOW” every Monday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat
Listen to this broadcast or download “Cyber security, preventing attacks!” in player below!
6 Ideas For Creating A Garden Privacy Screen For most people who garden, it is a time of relaxation while being productive and a place to come and sit, enjoying the sight of the result of their hard work while having a cool drink and feeling the sun on their face. If you live in …
January 25th, 2016
Video courtesy of The Good Stuff
An Earthship is a home that captures its own water, recycles its own sewage, and produces all its own electricity and food. It’s meant to function completely independent of the power grid or any infrastructure at all.
A drone could hover a few above your lawn and you would have no legal right to do anything.
That’s because there is no clear doctrine on how far into the sky property rights extend. Instead, there are two conflicting and vague standards. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) contends that Uncle Sam controls all the airspace in the United States – even the space directly above your lawn — while common law infers that property owners have some rights to the air over their land.
“There is gray area in terms of how far your property rights extend,” Jeramie Scott, an attorney at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington think tank, told The Washington Post. “It’s going to need to be addressed sooner rather than later as drones are integrated into the national airspace.”
The issue is a significant one: About 700,000 drones were sold in America just last year.
William Merideth discovered the legal dilemma over drones the hard way when one flew over his home in Bullitt County, Kentucky, on July 26, 2015. Merideth called the sheriff but found there was nothing law enforcement could do, and so he blasted the drone with buckshot from his Beneli M1 Super 90 shotgun and knocked it out of the sky.
“I have a right as an American citizen to defend my property,” Merideth told NBC News. “I think — no, I know — that I was completely justified in protecting my family.”
Bullitt County Judge Rebecca Ward agreed with Merideth and dismissed felony charges against him.
“I think it’s credible testimony that his drone was hovering from anywhere, for two or three times over these people’s property, that it was an invasion of their privacy and that they had the right to shoot this drone,” Ward told TV station WAVE.
The drone’s owner John Boggs; who is also Merideth’s neighbor, disagreed. He filed a lawsuit against Merideth that could have important legal implications for all Americans in federal court. Boggs is arguing that Merideth had no right to shoot down the drone because the air over the home was not his property.
The problem is that courts have never ruled on the question: How far do property rights extend above your land? For example, you have the right to cut limbs off your neighbor’s trees if they grow over your property line, The Post noted.
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Another problem is that the courts have never ruled on how low aircraft can fly. The US Supreme Court has not ruled on the issue since 1946 in a case called United States v. Causby. Back then, the court ruled that the federal government violated a farmer’s property rights when low flying military aircraft passed over his barn and disturbed his chickens. The airport near his farm drove him out of the chicken business, and he won compensation.
In Causby, the Supremes ruled that an owner’s property’s rights extend to “at least as much of the space above the ground as he can occupy or use in connection with the land.”
“This industry is growing quickly — and it’s to some extent being stifled by the legal uncertainty surrounding these issues,” James Mackler, an attorney who represents Boggs, told the newspaper.
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The problem with the Supreme Court’s standard is that it seems to give drones the right to fly through empty air over a property as long as they do not interfere with the use of the property. That means it may be legal to shoot down a drone that flew in front of your window – which seemingly would be an invasion of privacy — but not legal to blast one flying a few feet over the perimeter of your property.
Merideth and Boggs disagree over how close the drone was to Merideth’s land. Boggs says it was about 200 feet above the land, while Merideth says it was much closer. Even though the judge dismissed criminal charges against Merideth, the civil case is ongoing. It is one that could lead to an important legal precedent, affecting all Americans.
If a drone flew over your property, would you shoot it down? Share your opinion in the section below:
Before I throw my two cents in, here’s a few other articles worth reading:
4 Good Reasons To Get an Emergency Burner Phone
Sick of the NSA Tracking You? Burn Them with a Burner Phone
How NSA breakthrough may allow tracking of “burner” cell phones
Burner phone? There’s an app for that, and it’s earning millions of dollars
It’s not that I’m doing anything wrong, it’s just that I really value my privacy. Sometimes, you really don’t want some stranger knowing your ‘real’ phone number. For example, if you were posting a car for sale on Craigslist, you really don’t want people calling you at 2am for the next six months after the ad runs. Or getting the slew of robocalls and unsolicited sales calls that come with it. So..the solution is a disposable ‘burner’ phone.
These things are normally associated with criminal activities, and there is some merit to that, but if you think about it, it makes sense…who has the most to lose by having their privacy and relative anonymity compromised? People who are facing jail if they get caught. And since I’m the kind of guy who feels that who I communicate with is no ones business but me, I want to be able to keep my privacy and the best way to do that so far are those stupid ‘pay-as-you-go’ overpriced phones. But, hey, what’s your privacy worth?
So, first step, you go into a WalMart or other venue and buy a phone. At the moment, no ID is required to buy one of these things so your name isn’t attached to it. (Although I fully expect this to change pretty soon.) Pay cash..don’t be an idiot. Where’s the liability in this exchange? I suppose if The Powers That Be really want to, they could come into the WalMart (or wherever) and demand video surveillance of all purchases during a particular time frame. Lets say you buy your phone on February 1. You activate the phone on May 2. The feds track the phone by the manufacturer to the wholesaler to a particular store, and then they ask for the weeks worth of video prior to that activation. So..you can either shop where you don’t think there’ll be a video record, or, do your activation so far after the purchase date that the surveillance video is long overwritten. It might also be a good idea not to buy your phone at the store thats three blocks from where you live. Think about that.
Next up, you have to activate the phone. This usually requires you to call from another phone. Obviously you don’t want to use your own phone, nor do you want to get any of your friends involved, so you need an ‘arms reach’ phone. Fortunately many places (banks, hotels, etc.) have a phone sitting on their counter for customers to use. The same cautions about surveillance video apply. And, again, try to do it far from where you sleep. If someone wants to tie you to a particular phone number, it’s gonna look pretty bad if the activation call came from a bank four blocks from your house, and the phone was purchased at the Walmart five blocks from your house. Think.
Next up, you have to power up the phone. If you’re smart, you’ll never power this thing up anywhere near where you sleep. The idea is that if the phone sends signals to the towers, you don’t want that signal giving away your location. In short, charging up your phone by your bedside will compromise your privacy. If you really want to be cautious, buy a battery phone charger, charge the charger up at home (or get a disposable-battery-powered one), take it and your phone somewhere on the other side of town, plug the phone into your battery-powered charger, and hide it somewhere secure until its fully charged. After that, pop the battery out of the phone and only put the battery in when you are actually making/taking a call and when you are nowhere near anyplace you’d feel uncomfortable with people tracking your location to. In other words, don’t call from your bathroom.
Eventually, your time on the card expires. Renew it? You could, but realistically you’re better off, from a privacy standpoint, to toss it and start a new one. The longer you use the same phone, the more likely noticeable patterns will emerge and the people digging into the phone records will notice those patterns.
This article ( The Right Way To Destroy An Old Hard Drive) got me thinking……
I’m a huge fan of privacy. And any sod that tells me that I don’t need crypto because ‘if you’re not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to hide’ is a short-sighted statist who will be one of the first ones up against the wall when the revolution gets here.
Will snoop-proof cryptography and secure phones/computers make law enforcement and governments job more difficult? Absolutely. Is that a good enough reason to prevent it’s availability? Absolutely not. Yes, terrorists, murderers, kid diddlers, and all sorts of scum are going to use it. The fact that bad guys use it is not reason enough to keep me from using it.
By and large, I’m a pretty law-abiding guy..in the Heinlein way (“I will accept the rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.“) But that doesn’t mean I feel anyone…spouses, government, church, my mom….should be able to just go spelunking through my hard drive when they have an itch.
Government is a shoddy creature when it comes to respecting your privacy, but it’s an Einstein-level genius when it comes to violating it. And thats why when you decide it’s time to upgrade your computer, it takes more than a simple wipe to make sure your German dungeon porn, Picard/Riker slash fiction, Katy Perry bootlegs, and .jpgs of that really, really, ill-advised waitress from Buffalo Wild Wings don’t wind up on someone elses computer.
Lots of people say that all you have to do is degausee your drive. Look, I’m not the trusting type. If I degause a drive how do I know it really worked? I’m not cracking my computer open, putting the degaussed drive back in , and then trying to read it. No..the best way is utter destruction. And, fortunately, for guys like you and me, there’s a very convenient method that is just a range trip away.
But you have to remember – you would think that punching a couple holes in a drives platter would be enough. I would too. But I am virtually positive that someone, somewhere, has the technology to ‘skip around’ those damaged parts of the disk and get information. Sure, not all of it, but perhaps enough to be a problem. So…a couple holes ain’t gonna do the trick.
Don’t spare the FMJ. What you want is enough metal-shredding terminal ballistics to remove great gouts of material.
I usually take the drive to the range, stand a few yards back from it, and hammer it with half a mag of .223 or .308 until it looks like some sort of shredded-metal sculpture. Then I twist and break it into a couple different pieces and toss ’em in the dumpster.
I saw on the news that the FBI is looking for the hard drive the San Bernadino shooters used. The feds had sent divers into a pond looking for the drive, which means that they fully expect to be able to recover data from a waterlogged drive…which is reasonable, since water won’t really affect magnetic disks. But you just know those guys have all sortsa technology for recovering data from disks people ‘thought theyd erased’.
I mention this not because you or I are engaged in criminal activities that we need to hide, (Well, I’m not..I dont know what youve been up to), but rather because it’s too easy to take the simple way out, whack the ol’ Western Digital with a hammer a few times, call it good, and toss a drive into the trash that could potentially come back and bite you in the butt.
So…if you got a new computer for Christmas, and youre tossing out that old drive to make new for the new shiny one, do the smart thing and head to the range with it.
January 4th, 2016
Video courtesy of Tim Pool
Windows 10 is tracking you and reading your content and soon windows will roll out the same updates for Windows 7 and 8.
5 Cheap Privacy Fencing Ideas Early last year we found an article on The Best Shrubs To Grow For Privacy which are an affordable and sustainable way to gain a bit of privacy from the world. If you love the idea of adding a wooden privacy fence to your property, but dread the expense of having it …
Simply using certain encryption services or investigating alternatives to Microsoft Windows could get you placed under surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence organizations, according to a new report.
Utilizing encryption solutions such as TOR could result in monitoring by the NSA and its allies, including Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), according to the report in the German media outlet Tagesschau.
The NSA tracks people with a surveillance tool called XKeyscore.
“Anyone who is determined to be using Tor is also targeted for long-term surveillance and retention,” Corey Doctorow wrote at the BoingBoing.net blog.
The German outlet said computer experts watched the XKeyscore code and found that the NSA was constantly monitoring TOR users on servers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the National Journal reported.
TOR is a program that lets a person stay private by routing communications through computers and servers all over the world. It makes it much harder for the NSA and other agencies to track.
Other Behaviors the NSA Regards as Dangerous
The German report listed a number of seemingly innocent and harmless behaviors that can trigger NSA surveillance, the National Journal said. They include:
- Going to Linux Journal, a popular forum for the open-sourced operating system Linux. The NSA apparently regards Linux Journal as an extremist forum.
- Searching for information about Tails, a popular operating system used by human rights advocates.
- Searching for information about any Windows alternative.
- Searching for information about online privacy.
“The better able you are at protecting your privacy online, the more suspicious you become,” National Journal’s Paul Tucker wrote.
“Tor and Tails have been part of the mainstream discussion of online security, surveillance and privacy for years,” Doctorow wrote. “It’s nothing short of bizarre to place people under suspicion for searching for these terms.”
The NSA, he added, isn’t being honest about its surveillance.
“It’s a dead certainty that people who heard the NSA’s reassurances about ‘targeting’ its surveillance on people who were doing something suspicious didn’t understand that the NSA meant people who’d looked up technical details about systems that are routinely discussed on the front page of every newspaper in the world,” Doctorow wrote.
One expert Doctorow spoke with “suggested that the NSA’s intention here was to separate the sheep from the goats” – that is, to separate people who don’t care about their privacy from people “who have the technical know-how to be private.”
XKeyscore apparently tracks individuals online by using fingerprint triggers that activate whenever certain information is detected.
Do you believe the NSA is constantly monitoring our Internet behavior? Do you support NSA surveillance? Share your thoughts in the section below:
The federal government is using an 18th century law to force manufacturers to unlock smartphones and other mobile devices, and it has done so without congressional approval, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is alleging.
The law, the All Writs Act, was part of the Judiciary Act of 1789 and was passed when George Washington was president. It gives federal judges the power to compel individuals to comply with laws.
The ACLU this month alleged that the Justice Department is using the Act to do an end-run around Congress and constitutionally protected rights.
“The All Writs Act permits a court to issue an order to give effect to a prior lawful order or an existing grant of authority, and has been used for such things as ordering a prisoner be brought before a court,” ACLU staff attorneys Eliza Sweren-Becker and Esha Bhandari wrote of the Justice Department’s efforts to force Apple and other tech companies to unlock devices. “The Act does not allow a court to invest law enforcement with investigative tools that Congress has not authorized — like the extraordinary and unconstitutional conscription of a third party into obtaining information the third party does not possess or control.”
In 2014, an assistant US attorney used the All Writs Act to argue courts had the power to force smartphone manufactures to comply in criminal cases. “This Court has the authority to order Apple, Inc., to use any capabilities it may have to unlock the iPhone,” the attorney wrote in a request for a court order uncovered by Ars Technica.
“The government is aware, and can represent, that in other cases, courts have ordered the unlocking of an iPhone under this authority,” the attorney wrote. “Additionally, Apple has routinely complied with such orders.”
Apple is fighting the request in court.
That case is one of at least 70 in which the Justice Department has forced or tried to force companies like Apple to unlock customers’ phones, the ACLU alleges.
The ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request Dec. 10, asking for more documents about the program.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) also has sided with smartphone manufacturers.
“The All Writs Act does not authorize an order allowing the government to compel Apple to unlock, and potentially to decrypt data stored on, private devices seized by the government,” an amicus curiae (friend-of-the court) brief from the ACLU and EFF read.
It was filed on behalf of Apple in a case in US District Court in New York State.
In that case, Apple is trying to keep a federal judge from forcing it to unlock iPhones so law enforcement can see what’s on them. Apple is also trying to stop the government from forcing it to reveal customers’ encrypted information.
“It would be unconstitutional to conscript Apple into governmental service to assist in gaining access to information that Apple does not possess or control,” the ACLU/EFF brief charges.
The same brief says, “As this Court and others have recognized, an order compelling third-party conduct pursuant to the All Writs Act necessarily implicates the third party’s due process rights under the Fifth Amendment.”
Incredibly, it looks as if some very old laws, passed when the Founders were alive, could be a threat to our constitutional rights today.
Do you believe the government should be able to force Apple to cooperate? Share your thoughts in the section below:
OPSEC The Quiet Life!
D J Cooper “Surviving Dystopia”
So, you just bought a shiny new WonderMill grain mill. You ordered it online and it finally arrived in the mail today. Hastily you open the package and excited with your new prepper gadget you swiftly break out the grain and whip up a lovely loaf of bread. Thrilled you immediately begin snapping photos with your phone and plaster them all over your Facebook and Twitter.
These are the things we all love to share with one another and without even thinking we could have just shared exactly how the “Other” kind of prepper will find their preps. By seeking out YOU. The thing I want to talk about today is OPSEC. OPSEC? What is that?
Many know the meaning but for those who don’t, OPSEC is short for OPerational SECurity. This is important because of the guy who thinks that when TSHTF he is going to take the road most closely related to Mad Max and just seek to take the preparations you collected, worked and paid for.
Your phone is constantly asking to know your location, maybe you’re using the GPS or looking for a restaurant, no matter how it is on if it is then there is likely a little tidbit of information attached to your photo of that brand new grain mill you just plastered all over the internet. This information is called geotagging, it attaches the GPS location of where the photo was taken and a tech savvy Mad Maxer might just find out where you keep your precious new prep.
Operational security is an important part of our preparedness plan and should be something we consider as such.
Visit Surviving Dystopia Blog: www.survivingdystopia.com
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This is not the first time I get to talk about guns, that’s true. Every time I’ve covered the subject I’ve tried to be as pragmatic as possible when it comes to the usage of firearms in a survival situation. I’m talking a different approach this time. Not that carrying a largest handguns caliber could not serve you well in a SHTF scenario; if it’s one thing they do well, is to obliterate everything that stands in your way. A single shot fired is more than enough to stop even large animals in their tracks. They might not be as easily concealable or maneuverable, but there’s something really intriguing (almost poetic) about owning your very own hand cannon. Maybe it has something to do with the “bigger is better” mentality, who knows? All I know is that there is no such thing as “too big” when it comes to firepower. And I’m sure that many of you share the same exact belief. Let’s have a look at some of the best of the best in the field of “heavy artillery”.
The Desert Eagle .50 Caliber Handgun
The Desert Eagle .50 is one of the most notorious handguns in the world. Commonly known as “the 50 caliber”, it was developed by the Israeli military with the aid of Magnum Research in 1972. It’s the largest magazine-fed handgun in the world and despite its age, this old timer is considered (still) to be one of the best looking handguns on the market; especially the versions that come in chrome or titanium gold plating. When it comes to firepower, only one word comes to mind: annihilation. The .50 projectile packs such a heavy punch that made it feared and respected across the map, and won fans from both sides of the law. It’s just as lethal as it is beautiful. It has a capacity of 7 rounds and it measures a total length of 10.75 inches (with a barrel length of 6 inches).
The Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum Revolver
This particular handgun was firstly introduced to the world by Clint Eastwood and his infamous character by the name of Dirty Harry. This revolver gained so much in popularity that Smith and Wesson was not only able to sell this particular model, but hat to release “improved” version to meet the demand. It’s not a large enough of a gun to cause your body spinning in the air several times before you hit the ground, as seen in the movies, but it’s powerful enough to end a life instantly. It’s 11.63 inches in total length (the barrel measures 6 inches) and it’s about 49ozs heavy. Not the most practical gun in the world, but nothing compares to shooting a .44 Magnum.
The Smith & Wesson’s 460XVR Revolver
You might look at this particular Smith and Wesson model and think “overkill”. When I look at it I see “beauty”. This handgun was introduced in 2005 and the XVR stands for “Extreme Velocity Revolver”. It shoots fairly well, especially at a distance bellow 125 yards; when this distance is exceeded, the trajectory of the projectile tends to get curbed, thus losing accuracy. It’s really noisy, so for those of you that do not enjoy the “music” made by the 460XVR, I recommend you bring along muffs or ear plugs. It has a capacity of 5 bullets, weighs about 75ozs and the barrel length comes in various sizes: 83/8 (standard), 35/8 inches, 6 inches, 7½ inches and 10½ inches. The finish is stainless, which makes it one of the most beautiful handguns in the world.
The WTS .50 BMG Pistol
This is a fully German product. And once again, when it comes to technology, Germany seems to push the barrier just a bit further. Although the WTS .50 BMG (the BMG stands for “Browning Machine gun Cartridge”) is technically a pistol, it weighs about 15.87lbs, which is as heavy as an ordinary riffle. Not to mention that the ammo in question, the .50 Browning Machinegun cartridge, was primarily used to pierce heavy armor and take down tanks and airplanes. Imagine how ridiculously power drunk you would feel to unleash all this power from a “pistol”. Shooting flesh with a WTS .50 BMG can make it disintegrate into thin air… literally! This monster measures 24.21 inches in length (16.92 inches in barrel length), it has an adjustable trigger mechanism and grip safety. Is it practical? Probably not. Is it glorious? Yes.
Getting a big handgun for survival purposes would not be practical for so many reasons that would take forever to explain. There are way better options for a TEOTWAWKI scenario, that’s true. There are lighter, faster and more maneuverable options on the market for preppers and survivalist. But nothing feels quite like shooting a powerful handgun, even if it’s just for target practice. It will be heavy to carry, almost impossible to conceal and the recoil and the noise might sometimes feel like it’s just too much. But if you’re ever in trouble, a big caliber handgun will do its job and stop anybody or anything that threatens your life.
By Alec Deacon
December 7th, 2015
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Let’s have a look at some of the best shotguns that money can buy because there’s no survival or home invasion scenario that a shotgun can’t get you out of. Maybe you won’t even get to use it, as the sound of pumping your shotgun would be enough in sending chills down the spine of whomever means you harm. But if this fails, know that the large caliber ammo in use is more than enough to even stop an elephant in its tracks; what it’s capable of doing to a human assailant is not even worth mentioning. But shotguns come in a great variety of shapes and sizes and you’ll need to be aware of the differences before getting your own. Maybe the most important criteria to consider is the firing
method, as you can get a pump action or a semi-automatic. Length is also important, as it makes for greater maneuverability in certain situations, not to mention that a more compact one would be easier to carry
around all day as it will most probably be lighter.
The number of rounds that it can hold is a big deal, especially for those of you who aren’t good shots. It deals a world of hurt, it’s true, but you’ll need to hit your target; so the more chances you can take at gunning down your target, the better. The grip shouldn’t be overlooked either. Most shotguns come with a standard rifle-like grip, but some have a grip similar to pistols.
Remington 870 Express Tactical
This is not state of the art when it comes to shotguns, but it’s still one of the most used shotguns out there. It’s made a name for itself, and its capabilities are undisputable. This is a 12 gauge destroyer that has a capacity of 6 + 1. Its reloading system is based on pump action and it measure 18.5″ barrel. For precise aiming (as precise as aiming can be) it comes equipped with a fully adjustable XS Ghost ring and a removable front sight. It uses a SuperCell pad which can reduce recoil by about 40%-50%, depending on the situation. The whole body is covered in a weather resistant Carakote coating, which makes it perfect for those that are used to wandering outside in all sorts of weather conditions. It’s not a cheap shotgun, as it costs around $500, but it doesn’t cut corners in quality and precision.
Beretta AL391 Teknys Gold Target
This is a 12 gauge shotgun that is very well built and it’s fairly easy to shoot. It weighs at about 8lbs 11oz and when it comes to autoloaders, it’s simply one of the best (if not the best) you can find on the market. It has a 30” barrel and it might seem a bit heavy considering its weight, but it doesn’t feel heavy at all while you’re shooting. It has a removable recoil reducer in the buttstock, and if you’re eager of making it lighter, you can simply take the recoil down and drop about 0.5lbs from the overall weight. The self-compensating gas system it’s equipped with runs very smoothly and it reacts very fast, making the shooting process feel incredibly comfortable. It costs $1,200, and in my own personal opinion, you can’t get anything better in this price range.
This particular 12 gauge shotgun produced by Winchester has the latest and greatest when it comes to pump technologies, meaning that the SXP pump systems are extremely diverse and reliable. It has aluminum oil receivers, which are lighter and cheaper than steel ones; and despite popular believes they work perfectly. You can get a barrel length of maximum 30” and as far as looks go, there’s a great variety of models to choose from: camo, wood-stocked and synthetic black with chromed elements. It comes equipped with cross-bolt safeties, an Inflex pad that mitigates a great deal of recoil and a rotating bolt head with four locking lugs. This should cost you about $470, and if you ask me, it’d be money well spent.
Mossberg 930 SPX
Moosberg are well known for the quality of their products, and they’ve certainly made no exception to the rule when it comes to the 930 SPX. It’s a 12 gauge shotgun that has an 18.5″ barrel and a capacity of 7 (+ 1). It’s not exactly a cheap shotgun (considering you’ll need to throw away about $700 to get one), which won’t seem that much if you take into account that it’s a semi-automatic we’re talking about. The top of the gun is equipped with a rail that allows you to fit any sort of aiming system you find compatible; you can install a red dot, a scope or even a holographic site. Loading the magazine is very simple and It can be done very quickly: open the bolt lock, place a shell in the ejection port and push the bolt release.
There’s nothing more to be said about shotguns. We all know them, and we all love them. All you have to do now is find the one that works best for you. Usually prices vary from a couple of hundred $ to many thousands. It’s up to you on how much you’re willing to spend. But just know that if there’s ever the need for it, a shotgun will save the day.
By Alec Deacon
Owning a pair of binoculars for survival in a TEOTWAWKI scenario is not only meant to make every day life easier for you, but it could also save your life. Most binoculars are very precise and will let you spot from afar all sorts of dangers that might be coming your way, leaving you with enough time to react. It could also be used for hunting (spotting wild game), guarding your property or simply scouting new territory. So no matter the scenario, binoculars would be always welcome. A good pair of binoculars (and a bit more expensive one) will work fine even in low light or moon light. There are plenty of companies on the market that have specialized in making quality products and are well-known for it, like Olympus, Pentax, Steiner, Brunton, Carson, Zeiss, Leica, Nikon and more. There are plenty of counterfeit products (coming mostly from China) that cost far less but are worth less than the plastic they’re made up from, so stay away from such devices.
To fully understand the importance of such a device we must comprehend what it is and how it works. There various types of binoculars for survival on the market and they come in a great variation of shape and size, but in principle they are all the same: they’re comprised of two telescopes that are linked together by an adjustable mechanism. The most important factor you have to consider when buying your own binoculars is a sequence similar to, for example, 9×35. These numbers are giving you a lot of information on the capacity of the product, as the number before X (9 in this case) is the magnification factor. A 9X binoculars means that the image will appear to be 9 times closer than it actually is. The number following X (35 in our case) is a specification of the front lens, which is responsible for the light intake capacity. The greater the light intake capacity, the clearer the image is going to be. So the bigger the number following X is, the more suited the binocular will be for lower light conditions. The RBI (the relative brightness index) is responsible for image brightness. It’s determined by a simple mathematical equation. First we need to figure out the exit pupil in our case, for the 9X35 mode we used as an example. The exit pupil is 35 / 9 = 4 (roughly). The RBI is the square of the exit pupil: 4 x 4 = 16. It’s commonly known that the best binoculars for low lighting conditions are those that hold an RBI bigger than 25, so our example wouldn’t do so well outside proper lighting conditions.
Lens coatings are responsible for light transmission; they’re purposes is to prevent hazardous light reflection and to deliver a clear and focused image. There’s single coating, or a single layer of antireflective coating (Coated), the whole lens to lens surface is coated (Fully Coated), some surfaces have multiple layers of coating (Multi-Coated) and last but not least, all surfaces are covered in multiple antireflective coating layers (Fully Multi-Coated). Now that we covered the basics, let’s see some of the best binoculars for survival scenario.
The Olympus Outback 10×21 RC 1
This particular model by Olympus is one of the best binoculars you can find if you consider the quality / price ratio. It’s only about $125, and it’s not much if you consider its capabilities. Its field performance is simply outstanding, as it can produce superior imagines to those of binoculars that are twice as big or pricy. It has great sharpness and definition thanks to its high quality roof prism, which is made out of a very high quality optical glass. But like most 10x devices, it requires a steady hand for maximum efficiency, because it also magnifies movement. If you’re interested in buying or finding out more, you can click here.
The Carson Raven RV-826
The Raven RV-826 is real bargain and possibly the best deal for budget preppers. It’s an 8×26 binocular that despite its tiny size, (4.5 x 4.25 inches and 10oz) it delivers quite a clear and steady image. It’s perfect for hikers who simply want to observe their distant surrounding or for people that are out nature watching. It will allow a steady and focused image without making your presence known to the animals you’re watching. These tiny binoculars are really tough and resistant; they come with a waterproof housing that is just impenetrable. And as a bonus, you also get a microfiber cloth for lens cleaning. If the Raven RV-826 is the right tool for you, know that it’s no more expensive than $79 and that you can find it here.
The Brunton Eterna Compact 10×25
The Eterna Compact 10×25 by Brunto is worth mentioning because of its image clarity and focus despite its tiny frame. Despite its small carcass, it’s pretty heavy, weighing in at 1lb 1oz. The excessive weight seems to justify if you consider the toughnes of the Eterna Compact 10×25. It has neoprene lens covers that are easily removed (even if you’re wearing gloves), it has a padded neck strap and a very efficient and functional focusing dial. What sets it apart from regular, cheaper binoculars is the adjustable diopter setting for each eye that allows precision focusing for maximum clarity. It’s not a cheap device (it costs about $360), but it’s precise, well built and durable. Those that are interested, click here.
There are many options, and the prices vary from tens to hundreds of dollars. What you ultimately buy is entirely up to you. Just know that for survival purposes you don’t need the latest and greatest, so you don’t have to necessarily spend a lot of money. You can find good binoculars even on a tight budget that, if need be, we’ll undoubtedly provide you with an advantage in a SHTF scenario.
By Alec Deacon
Believe it or not, no serious prepper should go without one of the best radios in his personal survival kit. And this is because when modern society fails and crumbles (and our means of communications will be amongst the first to go) or if you simply find yourself stranded, you’ll need to keep in touch with the latest news. Information will be vital for your very existence in such a scenario, and you very own survival radio device will get the job done. So whether hostile armed forces are marching in towards your location or whether a natural disaster is heading your way, you’ll hear it all and have enough time to take whatever precautions are necessary. Choosing a radio for a SHTF situation won’t be as easy as choosing one for everyday life.
These tiny gadgets can be very complex, but their complexity is a plus if anything. You can have radios that are set to pick up certain wavelengths that transmit the status of natural disasters. Some support multiple power sources, some can charge your small appliances (phones, etc.) and others have a crank system that will allow them to work when there is no energy left. Here are some of the best choices that are available on the market.
The American Red Cross FRX3 is a radio made to work indefinitely, despite the fact that there might be no electrical power running through the plugs anymore. Of course, it does have the capability to stay plugged in, but when the plugs fail to deliver, you can use the crank shaft to power up its internal NiMH battery. And if your hand gets tired, you can just point it towards a strong enough light source and the solar panel will do the rest. It’s not just a radio, it’s an intricate device that gets AM / FM bands, all the NOAA (National Weather Service) bands, has a flashlight attached and a USB port to charge up other devices. If you’re the type of person that often losses things, you’ll be happy to know that the Red Cross FRX3 is very hard to misplace, as it has a glow-in-the-dark locator and a flashing red beacon.
American Red Cross FRX3
The Kaito Electronics Inc. KA500BLK Voyager is a radio that is very light, well built and comes with many gadgets that can prove very useful in all sorts of situations. It has many choices when it comes to power sources (AC, Battery, computer, hand crank and solar), ensuring its autonomy in all sorts of environments. The solar panel is situated at the top of the device and it’s adjustable at a 180° angle. This feature is very convenient, as you won’t have to turn the whole device towards light sources. But its strongest feature by far is the array of lightning options you get with this radio device: a flashlight, a red strobe and if these weren’t enough, it also has 5 LEDs for reading light. It gets all sorts of wavelengths (even shortwave broadcasts). And for those of you for whom esthetics matter just as much as anything else, the radio comes in black, red, blue, green or yellow.
Kaito Electronics Inc. KA500BLK Voyager
The Grundig S450DLX is an excellent digital radio device, very strong and reliable. It’s very good especially when it comes to shortwave signals. It has a preset channel function that will allow you to preset you favorite radio channels and to access them with the push of the button; you get 50 slots for preset channels (10 per each band). The large LCD display is clear and easy to read and the knobs work perfectly (both the normal tuning and fine-tuning). It receives a high quality signal, with very little background noise, mainly thanks to its excellent anti-interference. And if somehow you’re still having trouble getting a clear signal, you can attach an external antenna. Aa a power source, it uses DC IN (9V) or 6 D batteries.
The Epica Emergency Solar Hand Crank Digital Radio is a radio similar to the model used by the Red Cross, except theirs is smaller. Personally, I’m having doubts whether this is a radio or a flashlight first, as the 3 LED lights fitted on this device are very powerful. As power sources, the internal batteries can be charged by USB, hand crank or through the solar panel. The display is easy to read and the radio picks both AM / FM bands, as well as all 7 NOAA weather bands. Most of the device is incased in a rubber-like housing, which acts as a shock absorbent and also waterproofs the circuits.
Epica Emergency Solar Hand Crank Digital Radio
The Swiss+Tec ST84500 BodyGard Platinum is one of the most versatile tiny radios on the market. It’s small, very light and you can carry it around everywhere by either throwing it in your backpack or a pocket, or simply by keeping it tied to your wrist. It has an incredibly large number of features such a small device: it has LED lights (low beam / high beam), emergency flash (bright red), 144mm diameter compass (oil based), crank charger, USB charger, security alarm (that’s motion activated) and state-of-the-art Li-ion batteries. As you can plainly see, it has EVERYTHING except the kitchen sink. But that’ll hopefully be included in the next model.
Swiss+Tec ST84500 BodyGard Platinum
Staying in touch with the world is a must for all of us. But a simple radio just won’t do. As you can see, there are plenty of choices out there for preppers when it comes to survival radios. And there are plenty more models to check out in order to find the “perfect fit” for you. But get your very own radio, and fast. You’ll never know what’s going to happen next.
By Alec Deacon
The post 5 Of The Best Radios To Stay Connected In A Survival Situation appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
Food! We all do it, we all eat. Not only because we have to in order to survive, but also because we like it. Most cultures are unique when it comes to culinary treats, with at least a couple of dishes to set them easily aside from the rest of the world. Cooking may come in different shapes and sizes, but the raw material is (more or less) the same everywhere. We need organic material as fuel. But the organic material we ingurgitate may sometimes be infected by pathogens that will cause us harm. The food of beverages that contain certain bacteria, viruses, parasites or even chemicals will cause great distress and irritation to the gastrointestinal tract. Most of the gastrointestinal afflictions are acute; they manifest themselves rapidly, with fever diarrhea and vomiting and won’t last more than a few days, even without medical treatment. Others, on the other hand, will manifest themselves way more severely, and will cause a rapid death if left untreated.
This tiny bacterium (Salmonella enterica) is one of the most common and wildly spread foodborne pathogens on the face of the Earth. It lives in the intestinal tracts of animals and it’s transmitted to humans through food that hasn’t been properly washed and that previously came in contact with animal waste. What makes it dangerous and so wildly spread is the fact that it’s practically impossible to detect. Diseased animals manifest no exact symptoms; nor will the food products that get tainted. It’s not resistant to high temperatures, so cooking the food properly will destroy the proteins that make up the bacteria. If not, hell will soon follow. Within 12 to 72 hours from infection, the pathogen will make itself “visible” through acute abdominal pain and cramp, fever and diarrhea. The diarrhea is severe in this case, so drinking plenty of fluids is a must, in order to avoid dehydration. In a strong and healthy individual, the disease shouldn’t last more than 5 – 7 days. Medication is necessary only if the infection has already spread to the intestines; also if the infected person has a compromised immune system or is an elderly citizen, that will have problems fighting the disease on his own. It can sometimes lead to a complication known as Reiter’s syndrome or reactive arthritis, which causes painful joints, painful urination, eye soreness and chronic arthritis. The best way to avoid salmonella infection is it to cook your food carefully, especially meat and eggs.
Also known as trichinellosis, is a disease that’s easily contracted by humans that consume meat infected with the larvae of the trichinella worm (Trichinella spiralis), be it from domesticated pigs or other wild animals. The larvae are incased in a cyst in animal meat. After ingestion, it gets in a human host, where the digestive acids found in our stomachs dissolve the cyst and release the worm. They mature in a couple of days in the small intestine. They will mate, lay eggs and from these eggs small worm will result that will make their way to muscle tissue (through the arteries), where they’ll incase themselves in cystic form again. In an attempt to fight the invasive creatures, you’ll body will suffer nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, acute stomachaches in the first 2 – 3 days after eating the tainted meat. After the worms have matured and start reproducing (2 – 8 weeks), you’ll also experience fever, chills, coughing, eye-sealing, headaches, itchy skin, joint pain and irregularities of the digestive system (constipation or diarrhea). It’s a disease that should not be left untreated. The best way to avoid getting trichinosis is to cook meat at about 160°F, temperature that will destroy the cysts. You can also freeze you pork for 20 days in order to kill the worms, however this might not work when it comes to game animals.
Trichinella spiralis cysts in muscle mass
The Escherichia coli is a large group of bacteria, out of which most are harmless. The one that’s able to cause havoc is called the O157:H7, and is part of the STEC group (the E. coli that produce the Shiga toxin). They’re mostly found in the intestines and stomachs of ruminant animals (cattle) but also in sheep, goats, elk, deer etc. When the animal is eviscerated, the intestines might get cut and spill out on the meat, immediately infecting it. The most common method of spreading the bacteria is through ground meat, but it was also found in milk and other dairy products. Vegetables or fruits that come in contact with infected animal waste will also get tainted. Although it doesn’t manifest itself in any way in the animal hosts, in humans it can cause fever, nausea, vomiting, cramps and even bloody diarrhea. The infection spreads rapidly, so that about a third of the people infected will get hospitalized; about 10% of those that get hospitalized will die. It’s most dangerous when it comes to children ages 5 – 10. They risk of developing hemolytic-uremic syndrome as a result of the E. coli infection, which can lead to kidney failure. You can avoid E. coli infection by regularly washing your hands, washing vegetables and cooking your meat at a temperature of at least 160°F.
The O157:H7 E. coli
To avoid getting dangerous foodborne diseases, hygiene is a must. Always wash your hands, your food and avoid eating from unreliable sources. If you manifest any of the symptoms that I’ve listed above, check with your doctor immediately and don’t leave anything to chance. Most of the incipient symptoms are common in most type of food related infections, so it’s hard to tell on your own whether you’ve contracted something that’s life-threatening or not.
By Alec Deacon
The post 3 Of The Most Common And Dangerous Foodborne Diseases appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
If you happen to find yourself stranded in the woods, for whatever reason, know that making it out in one piece will require more than patience and dumb luck. Whether you find yourself stranded due to an unfortunate event while you’re out bird watching, whether you’re the survivor of a plane crash or you’ve ventured knowingly into the woods in order to escape a SHTF situation, the outcome is pretty much the same: it’s man vs. nature, and conquering nature is not easy task.
Before finding yourself in such an ingrate spot, do a little research on what wilderness survival actually means. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: information is power and you’re greatest survival asset. If you hit the bottom of a weal and you’re still alive, there’s no other way to go but up. Same here, if you’re stranded in the woods, don’t panic; keeping calm and focused is the first step of making it out alive. Once you have that covered, here’s what else you’ll need to do:
Pick your spot and build a shelter
Your campsite should be the closest thing you have to a sanctuary, so pick your spot wisely because it must be as safe as possible. For example, try not to get too comfortable in a place that’s crawling with insects. This means stay away from zones that are abundant in plants. Also, the vicinity of large water beds should be avoided at all costs. The waters can be an attraction to all sorts of animals, even dangerous predators. If you must take shelter under trees and rock formations, study your surroundings very carefully. If the trees are dry or the rock formation unstable, there’s always the danger of being crushed over night, be it by tree branches or rocks.
Ones you have picked the best camp spot available, you’ll need to build yourself a shelter; a well insulated one, that’s bound to keep you out of the cold and prevent hypothermia. The easiest way to go at it is to find a leaning tree (or set a branch securely against a standing tree) and stack smaller branches together on one side. The angled wall should be covered in leaves, moss and all sorts of debris you can get your hands on. Using the same materials (leaves and moss) make yourself a carpet to stand on (about a 6 inch layer of debris), so that you remain insulated from the cold ground.
This is a fairly easy task if you have dry wood lying around (tinder), smaller pieces of wood (toothpick, Q-tips and pencil size) and fibrous material (Vaseline-covered cotton balls or lip balm would be great if you have some on you). Lighting the fire should be done progressively and with care. You can use a log (no bigger than a forearm) as base and windscreen for the tinder. The tinder should be lit first and once this is accomplished, stack the small kindling against the large log so that the oxygen can circulate in order to feed the fire. Once the flame starts building up, add larger and larger pieces of wood. If you don’t happen to have a lighter on you or the necessary means to starts a fire, you could generate a spark with a simple battery. If you short-circuit the battery by connecting the + and – with a wire, foil (like a gum wrapper) or steel wool, you’ll get a spark that’s potent enough to light up the tinder you prepared.
Procuring clean water
Thirst can settle in pretty fast and it can become a nuisance. The human body can go for days without food, but nowhere near that close without water. So what you need to do is act fast and make sure you never go without a potable source of water. Drinking directly from puddles or streams is a bad idea, as these waters are infested with all sorts of bacteria and pathogens that can prove fatal in no time. Boiling the water is the safest solution, but not always 100% effective. Precipitation water (the one resulted from rain and snow) is safe to drink and it can be easily harvested. But if nature doesn’t land you a hand in forthcoming rain or snow, don’t worry, as there are other options available. Clean drinking water can also be procured by squeezing vines and certain cacti. During the day, you can find yourself some leafy branches and cover the in plastic bags. The process of perspiration (present in plants as well) will fill the bags by night time with clean potable water, ready for the taking.
You’ll need to resort to hunting if you plan on having meat on the menu. If you don’t happen to be a skilled hunter, don’t worry. Gigging is a method devised for the unskilled hunters and it’s basically hunting with a multiple pronged spear; very effective in catching small critters and fish. Making this type of spear is real easy if you happen to have a knife on you: cut down a sapling (about 1 – 2 inches in diameter) and split the stronger end with the knife in four equal parts. Shove some sticks in order to spread the sections apart and simply sharpen the ends. But if hunting seems like too much of a headache, you keen simply feed on all sorts of fruit and plants from your surrounding areas. But only do so if you’ve documented yourself in the field, because many of the fruit and plants you stumble upon could be fatal.
If you’ve lost all means of communication with the civilized world, it still doesn’t mean you’re completely lost. The best way to survive in the woods is to determine the cardinal points is by observing the suns motion from sunrise to sundown, as it always rises approximately in the East and sets approximately in the West. You can also look for mossy formations on trees and rocks. These always grow facing the north and can give a clear hint as to where you should be heading. Navigating by night is a bit trickier, as you’ll have to find Polaris, the North Start (located in the Little Dipper’s handle).
In order to assure and ease your survival in unfriendly territory, it’s a must you bring the necessary tools along. No matter the reason for being stranded, you should never leave for any sort of expedition without these on you:
- a survival knife
- regular matches or fire steel (metal match)
- first aid kit
- a compass
- a space blanket (thin sheet of reflective Mylar)
- a SPOT Messenger
- some 550 paracord
- a signaling mirror
- water purifying tablets
Before leaving, double check the list and make sure nothing is forgotten. All these items are crucial and at the end of the day, they could simply save your life.
By Alec Deacon
Remember the days when you only had to worry if someone was physically tailing you? You could use some creative evasion to disappear into a crowd or around a corner. Well those days are over. Here are a few ways on how you are tracked.
How You Are Tracked
In today’s world of modern technology, you have to take extreme measures to hide and to remain anonymous. The Nazi’s and Secret police would have loved to have had this type of technological tracking to keep it citizens in line. Here in the USA, we even pay the bills for our collars (cell phone, internet access), which they use against us.
What does it take to hide?
First you need to know how you are tracked, then you might be able to do something about it.
There is no privacy on the internet. Encryption may give you some cover, but the best defense now is to use Tails (which uses Tor) from a public or open wifi access point, from a laptop that has never been connected to your network. Add to this some MAC address spoofing and you may just obfuscate and bounce around enough to be anonymous. Unless you still have your cell phone on you. Then they know you were in the proximity of that wireless network, and all bets are off.
Good luck going anywhere or having any private conversations on your cell phone. It’s impossible. Your cell phone is tracked and triangulated via the cell phone towers and then top it off with your even more accurate built in GPS.
Add to this that every cell phone call is intercepted, regardless of what the news media tells you.
Want to a big wake up call? Google knows where you’ve been, almost everywhere you’ve been. See your location history (use your browser that’s logged into a google account – gmail, etc).
More information – Cell Phone: The Tracking Device in Your Pocket
Radio, so far seems to be the most anonymous. Except that on the Amateur bands you must use your amateur radio callsign.
The bad news is, they can still find you, using a method lovingly labeled “Fox Hunting”.
Fox hunting is the method used to track rogue transmitters. It utilizes directional antenna. A directional antenna is more sensitive to received signals in some directions than others. When a directional antenna is rotated, a received signal will either increase or decrease in signal strength, information from which a skilled hunter can determine the likely direction to the transmitter.
If they start hunting you, you have a very limited amount of time to stop transmitting and get the heck out of there.
I speculate that the powers that be have antennas deployed just for this type of tracking, so transmit and move.
You might have the best luck using HF and bouncing that signal, or skipping it off the atmosphere, but nothing is foolproof.
This is just a few ways describing how you are tracked, remember this and you might be able to avoid some of it.
Today’s Post is a Guest Article, Or I should say Guest Graphic from Jasmine Henriques from Securitydegreehub.com
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For those of us who have the forethought to take the necessary precautions to make our passwords extremely secure we have the tradeoff of them being…difficult to remember. The most secure passwords are those that do not incorporate personal information into them say for instance if I made my passwords ALL “Morgan1234!”.
Now this would satisfy most if not all commercial password requirements, however it is very easily guessed and not very secure. The best passwords are random, using upper/lowercase letters, numbers and characters, If you need a resource go to www.random.org and scroll down to the passwords, use a 24+ key password, I know of some people that use 1000+ for their encrypted files to make sure that there is no way in this lifetime they can every be broken.
The hard part is remembering them, I often change mine every 3-6 months depending just to make sure that they remain secure, somewhat unnecessary, but I layer all of my security and I never use one password for all of the sites, emails, etc. I use a separate one for each. So how do I remember all of them? I don’t, I have them written down and hidden in a very secure location. Now for security reasons I will not show you the exact way that I hide my passwords, but this IS one way I have done it in the past and you can use this form or use your imagination to come with other inventive ways. The key is to make it not noticeable, not conspicuous and easily looked over.
The example I will be showing you will be using chapstick, so for this I would not keep it right next to the computer, keep it in a junk drawer or in a old camping pack, etc. Granted it would not be easily accessible, but more secure, and security is our goal. All you will need for this is a chapstick (preferable an old ratty one but with a decent amount of chapstick left, a knife and your passwords on small roll or paper (you can experiment with size).
First remove the stick from the tube
Once its in there then take your knife and cut off where it meets the top
Like I said at the beginning of the article, you don’t have to use this exactly, but use this as an idea, a jumping off point to come up with your own idea. Keep it secure.
CHECK OUT AND JOIN THE GREAT NORTHERN PREPPER FORUM, LEARN, DISCUSS AND SHARE! Want to help support the site? find out more here! Or just click the amazon link below, bookmark it and go there every time you shop on Amazon, it costs you nothing more, but they will kick back a portion of your purchase to the site to help run things smoothly and keep you informed!