XenonClash

If you are surfing the net from home, your office, or a coffee shop your web activity is being monitored, logged, and possibly stored for later. As I mentioned in my previous post, the websites you visit are storing your IP address for their records. If you are a college student, and are using Chegg for “Research,” they are logging your IP number and will gladly give your institution your email address and IP information. In some cases your IP address can be geolocated to your home residence. Scary stuff.

Still not worried about Chegg knowing the exact location of where you are coming from? Listen up, college student with a fancy Macbook, you may be accessing naughty websites in a crowded library at your University, but your laptop has a unique identifier (nerds call is a MAC address) and it is associated with you every time you sign into the campus wireless network. Your college knows where you are and what sites you are visiting.

Stop. Letting. People. Track. You.

Go to Mullvad, pay $5 a month, and hide your internet traffic from wireless internet providers. Download the software to your desktop or laptop, download the free mobile phone app, and connect to a location nearest you. Mullvad is a VPN provider, which stands for a Virtual Private Network.

Typical people don't care how a VPN works. I've watched eyes roll in the back of their head when I explain it to them. As soon as I tell people it hides their internet traffic, they wake up and pay attention.

Once you install Mullvad on your device, when you visit an online website, they only get the IP number of the server you are connecting to, not your actual IP number. You could be living in Bakersfield, California, but if you connect to Los Angeles in your Mullvad software, your home internet service provider, your school, your coffee shop, and your family's home wireless provider only see you accessing a Los Angeles IP number. And those retail sites see you accessing their webpage from a Los Angeles geolocated IP address.

Five bucks a month for a solid layer of privacy and anonymity online.

#Tech #Blogging #Thoughts

For the past five years, AshleyD1007@gmail.com has been your personal email address. It's been easy for you to remember, easy to share with your friends and family, and easy sign up for websites with.

If you are a college student, and you use your personal email on a “study service” like Chegg, you are an absolute dumbass. You deserve to get caught, fail your course, and risk suspension or expulsion from your college. It's no secret that Chegg contains illegally-uploaded screenshots of content your professors are grading you on: online quiz questions, assignment questions, and other graded material. You know Chegg's a cheating site, your teachers are gradually becoming aware of it, your college or university is aware of it, and best of all Chegg knows it.

The only reason Chegg isn't obliterated by lawsuits from every college across the land is they willingly provide institutions the email addresses and IP numbers of uploaders and viewers of its content. And when you use AshleyD1007@gmail.com to sign up for their site, you are taking the bulleye and placing it directly in front of you.

If you haven't gotten pinched yet by the Academic Dishonesty police, consider yourself lucky. Delete your account.

Go to www.tutanota.com and sign up for a free, encrypted email account. Choose a random username that has nothing to do with you. And don't use your real name in the personal info field. You're not sending personal emails with this account. This is now your alias email account, your new silent partner. Download the Tutanota app on your mobile device. Use this alias account when you sign up for that online takeout food delivery or coffee app. Use this alias account for everything online that isn't personal in nature. While you're at it, delete all online retail accounts that you signed up with your personal email. Sign up with these vulture retail businesses again with your alias account.

If you haven't figured it out by now, those online companies are harvesting your data, selling your email address to other companies who are creating connections to your web activity, targeting you with ads, and making your online dossier available to the highest bidder.

Never give your personal email address to any online account. Only give it to real people you trust.

Don't think you've made it out of the boiling frog pot yet. Your web activity is being tracked by your ISP, your school's wireless network, and public wireless wifi via your IP number... will discuss this later.

#tech #blogging #thoughts

For the past five years, AshleyD1007@gmail.com has been your personal email address. It's been easy for you to remember, easy to share with your friends and family, and easy sign up for websites with.

If you are a college student, and you use your personal email on a “study service” like Chegg, you are an absolute dumbass. You deserve to get caught, fail your course, and risk suspension or expulsion from your college. It's no secret that Chegg contains illegally-uploaded screenshots of content your professors are grading you on: online quiz questions, assignment questions, and other graded material. You know Chegg's a cheating site, your teachers are gradually becoming aware of it, your college or university is aware of it, and best of all Chegg knows it.

The only reason Chegg isn't obliterated by lawsuits from every college across the land is they willingly provide institutions the email addresses and IP numbers of uploaders and viewers of its content. And when you use AshleyD1007@gmail.com to sign up for their site, you are taking the bulleye and placing it directly in front of you.

If you haven't gotten pinched yet by the Academic Dishonesty police, consider yourself lucky. Delete your account.

Go to www.tutanota.com and sign up for a free, encrypted email account. Choose a random username that has nothing to do with you. And don't use your real name in the personal info field. You're not sending personal emails with this account. This is now your alias email account, your new silent partner. Download the Tutanota app on your mobile device. Use this alias account when you sign up for that online takeout food delivery or coffee app. Use this alias account for everything online that isn't personal in nature. While you're at it, delete all online retail accounts that you signed up with your personal email. Sign up with these vulture retail businesses again with your alias account.

If you haven't figured it out by now, those online companies are harvesting your data, selling your email address to other companies who are creating connections to your web activity, targeting you with ads, and making your online dossier available to the highest bidder.

Never give your personal email address to any online account. Only give it to real people you trust.

Don't think you've made it out of the boiling frog pot yet. Your web activity is being tracked by your ISP, your school's wireless network, and public wireless wifi via your IP number... will discuss this later.

I'm a professional tech. I work in higher education. My customers are students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

Students are unaware of just how much information they are giving their college or university, but they know the right websites to use to ace their quizzes without having to study for them.

Faculty are unwilling to spend time making their assignments and exams cheat-proof. They just want to publish another paper in an academic journal to maintain their tenure.

Staff only do the minimum amount needed at their job, then go have a pint at the microbrewery after work with friends. They don't want to learn how to protect all the information they have access to online.

Administrators have no idea just how easy it is for students to cheat on their online courses. They only receive polished, talking-point summaries from their inept middle-management personnel about how great things are going.

They are all unaware of the brick wall that they're running full speed into.

My customers are overworked, overwhelmed, and don't care about protecting their online accounts. No one pays attention to a computer tech until they get hacked. Then they send an email with “Urgent” or “ASAP” in the subject line and expect the tech to wave a magic wand and fix everything.

You probably don't care about preventing the bad guys from hacking your email. You probably don't want to dedicate time to protecting your online life. Welcome to the Boiling Frog Society. Follow the waitress, your table is ready.

If you want to learn how to protect yourself online, stay tuned. I'm just pissed off enough to share all my secrets.