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Lets face it. Security is like a fire insurance policy. You pay up front and: if there is a fire, the loss will likely be less if you pay too much (money, effort, productivity) up front it’s a bad deal If you buy the wrong insurance it won’t help at all Here are some computer security things that are a BAD investment Long legal sounding signatures on emails … they irritate recipients and apparently don’t

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Not long ago I talked to an attorney client. We worked with him on a case which involved a federal suit by a public employee. Our part was recovering details of activity on a work computer but it went beyond the usual hard drive imaging and analysis. We were asked to provide an opinion on the individual computer components. Had hard drives been switched, etc.? As an electrical engineer I really enjoy investigating interesting questions

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This is a story about passwords. When you see something in the news about “compromised credentials at Target” it usually means that a password was used to break in. If someone can guess that my used-everywhere password is “Fido” they don’t have to mount a sophisticated attack to own my bank account. Passwords are still important. For a very light computer user I recommend unique long passwords like “23DogsAreChasingTheCatAgain!” written on a piece of paper.

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Check out the metadata using your favorite picture viewer or IrfanView. Metadata in photos has allowed us to demonstrate that some photos of stolen goods were taken AFTER the theft was reported to an insurance company. Interesting situation! After the receipt of our report it is not unusual to get a call from law enforcement in the beginning of their fraud investigation. Metadata is important when we do forensic investigations of computers and phones. Often

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It’s nice to have help with software. I can remember in the mid ’80s trying to figure out how to use Supercalc and WordStar with no support. A bit later Microsoft did something revolutionary. They began answering the phone when customers called. Wow! that was great. Today there’s something new happening. I got an unsolicited phone call from a kind person who offered to help me. The call was from the “Windows Corporation support line”

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