Episodi

  • Most of us would not consider ourselves to be an easy target for a predator. But we may be communicating signs that we’re unaware of. Today’s guest is Mike Mandel.

    Mike’s career has covered many different fields from stage performer, trainer, psycho-therapist, martial arts instructor, writer, and corporate speaker. Mike is a renowned hypnotist with 18 nominations and 6 awards for excellence in entertainment and is also considered an expert in the unique martial art of British Jiu Jitsu. He has trained both law enforcement and security personnel and boasts a diverse client list that includes Microsoft, Scotia Bank, and the Department of Defense. He has been featured on both British and Australian television, profiled in numerous publications including Martial Arts Illustrated, I Spy Magazine, and Toronto Star.

    Show Notes: [1:07] - Mike shares his background as a hypnotist and training in British Jiu Jitsu. He is a forensic hypnotist that works on murder cases and has spoken at colleges and universities. [2:03] - When he was younger, Mike admits that he was far too trusting. He went into business with a business partner who turned out to be a psychopath. [3:09] - Before the issues with his business partner were revealed, Mike had an experience on a plane with him getting suddenly angry about his handwriting. Now, as a graphologist, Mike knows now that his writing was a clue. [4:51] - After dealing with overwhelming stress, Mike reached out to a friend and former colleague who is a forensic psychiatrist who said that he was taken in by a highly functioning psychopath. [5:46] - This experience led Mike to studying psychopathy and he now does lectures on the topic, specifically signs in handwriting. [6:30] - The terms psychopath and sociopath are used synonymously. [7:01] - Mike shares that there are many psychopaths who are immensely successful and some are in the armed forces. Generally speaking, they can rise to the top with ease because they don’t have the same fears as an average person. [7:52] - Mike describes psychopaths as grandiose and good at luring people into their presentation. [8:23] - There was a study done on psychopaths in the prison system where they were shown the same video of random people walking on the street and asked who they would target. They all chose the same person. [9:18] - Psychopaths are very good at hiding their true selves and are extremely patient in waiting for their opportunity. [10:27] - Psychopaths are so good at what they do. Mike shares that he has known detectives and psychiatrists who have been fooled. [11:30] - Mike doesn’t think that psychopathy can be “fixed” as their brains simply do not process things the same way. [13:02] - Almost every scam that Chris has heard of has some sort of emotional connection. [14:19] - We need close friends in our lives, but the scary thing for Mike was that the psychopath that tricked Mike was a close friend. [15:45] - The first tip Mike has is to be aware of your surroundings at all times. This awareness is also important in your online surroundings. [17:18] - Mike shares a story about what he calls his “spider sense.” [18:02] - Mike describes a color system he has that illustrates a way to condition yourself in being cautious and aware of your surroundings. [20:31] - The Witching Hour is a window of time between 11:00pm and 3:00am that your chances of being in a violent encounter are higher than other times of the day and night. [22:50] - We don’t want to be paranoid, because if our spider senses are set too high then real problems are indistinguishable from the background. [25:11] - Mike describes self defense versus self protection. [27:40] - While in public, Mike is always assessing situations and never putting himself into a position that someone could surprise him. [29:14] - You want to make it that it is an unconscious response. [30:07] - Mike describes the different proximities and how safety comes through distance. [32:17] - When asked about the prisoner study where psychopaths would pick the same people to target, Mike shares that one of the things they picked up on was an asymmetrical walk. [33:51] - Mike describes how our level of confidence is apparent in our body language and many people seem to have a target on them because of, what Mike calls, a “victim signal.” [34:45] - Avoid everything and every place if it doesn’t feel right. [35:52] - Chris and Mike make the connection between real-life and online targeting. [37:01] - They use the psychological trick of appealing to scarcity and urgency. We are all vulnerable to these things even if we know about them. [40:20] - Mike shares a story about an experience with his online business being harassed by a client. [41:12] - The way you disconnect from someone is to ignore and disconnect them. If you tell them over and over again that you’re not going to communicate, you are in fact communicating with them. [42:44] - Get toxic people out of your life. When you see signs of someone in your life that you feel are “off,” you need to be prepared to fire people out of your life. [43:47] - Mike explains how the traits in the writing of the psychopath that was in his life stood out to him and shares how specific features look. [45:08] - The “Felon’s Claw” is a trait of handwriting that indicates that someone feels guilty. [47:37] - Mike’s final piece of advice is that you can’t change a psychopath and you will likely come across one in your life. The revenge that we have as healthy, functional people is to not obsess over them.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Mike Mandel Hypnosis Web Page Mike Mandel Hypnosis on Facebook
  • Data privacy has often been an after-thought in software and platform development. Data breaches have increased consumer awareness and laws such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) have been enacted. Programmers and engineers need to think about what data they are collecting, how it is being stored and accessed, and how it is shared to protect their end users.

    Today’s guest is Nishant Bhajaria. Nishant leads the technical privacy and strategy teams for Uber that include data scientists, engineers, privacy experts, and others as they seek to improve data privacy for the consumers and the company. Previously, he worked in compliance, data protection and privacy at Google. He was also the head of privacy engineering at Netflix. He is a well-known expert in the field of data privacy, has developed numerous courses on the topic, and has spoken extensively at conferences and on podcasts.

    Show Notes: [1:09] - Nishant shares his background and how he got started in the field of data privacy. He started at Intel and explains the changes in data collection in the early 2010s. [2:47] - Nishant started in the field “before it was cool,” because of his strengths as an engineer and writer. [3:33] - GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and Nishant describes what this law means and how it came about in Europe. [4:47] - CCPA is the US’s approach and first step into data privacy laws. [5:53] - Consent is going to be a big topic in 2021. Nishant describes how the events of the last decade have led to data privacy laws. [6:56] - Nishant points out that a problem with data privacy laws as they stand right now is that they are not written by people who have the technological and engineering background. [8:39] - The data privacy issues that have arisen in recent years did not happen all of a sudden. Nishant explains that many mistakes across the board have led to them. [9:00] - Nishant lists some of the conundrums and ethical questions that come up when discussing data privacy. [10:23] - One of the biggest problems with data privacy is the different understanding of what that means. European countries and the United States do not have the same understanding of what privacy is. [11:46] - Security features exist for very good reasons, but people are generally very impatient with them. [12:12] - Nishant gives an example of microdecisions that come in to play when data gets into the hands of the wrong person. [14:17] - Nishant gives an example of how some decisions, made by companies in response to GDPR, are making sure they are in compliance but are not always consumer friendly due to a lack of understanding of the law. [15:56] - The internet was not designed with privacy in mind. Privacy was an afterthought. [17:06] - Nishant describes the challenges that we face when consumers want to access apps and sites quickly and the domino effect that takes place. [18:29] - There was a huge systemic change in the workforce in the field of data privacy and data collection that Nishant describes was due to most people joining this career after 2009. [19:43] - A problem arose when engineers would think that they were always the ethical ones because they were collecting data or designing apps and platforms to collect data for the right reasons. But that isn’t always how that data is used. More to Nishant’s point that data collection needs to be regulated from the get go. [21:03] - Privacy is all about not accessing or using data without the owner’s consent, but people don’t realize how much can be known about someone just with combining easily accessible data online. [22:10] - We have built the internet for fast access and use. Customers sign up for a lot of access to sites and apps and don’t think about the use of their data when they do. [24:31] - For companies that are small and don’t have the legal teams to handle a privacy problem, Nishant says the first thing to do is to make sure you really need the information you are asking for from your customers. [25:27] - It is much easier to look at what you’re collecting, the necessity of it all, and how that data could be compromised in the early stages because there’s not a lot of data to dig into. [26:06] - Another tip from Nishant is to lean on tooling to build privacy at scale. He describes what this means with examples. [27:36] - Nishant also explains to make sure that the wall between the legal team and the engineering/privacy team is broken down. Those teams need to work in harmony. [29:10] - Chris and Nishant discuss the pitfalls of deleting data and the importance of consistency. [31:07] - Many companies cannot afford to go through a data breach or legal problem with data privacy. [32:10] - There is an economical factor to consider when collecting too much data or duplicate data that Nishant describes. [34:18] - When signing up for services, sites, or apps, consider why they are asking for the data they say they need. A social security number, for example, is not needed for a grocery delivery. [36:01] - As a result of the GDPR, companies are starting to be required to disclose the information of what consumers’ data is used for. [36:28] - Nishant says that the biggest piece of advice he has for consumers is to always ask questions. At the end of the day, it is your data and you need to know what’s happening with it. [37:56] - Apple specifically has built a really strong privacy standard for other companies to live up to. [40:01] - This time of Covid and the US’s political events have changed the landscape of privacy and data collection and through this crisis, Nishant is confident that great ideas and positive change come through times of unrest. [41:37] - Regulators and lawmakers need the engineering support and need to be a part of our conversations regarding data privacy. [43:24] - Nishant hasn’t met anyone that has thought that privacy is unimportant, but communicating the details and the prioritization is a different challenge. [45:16] - Privacy by Design is Nishant’s book written to educate business owners, engineers, and CEOs that privacy is taken care of at the start instead of as an afterthought as a response to a problem. [47:31] - Regardless of your current understanding of technology, Nishant’s book is a great read to better understand privacy and data collection.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Nishant Bhajaria on LinkedIn Privacy by Design by Nishant Bhajaria Nishant Bhajaria on Twitter
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  • Catfishing is when a person creates a fake identity often with corresponding social media accounts, phone numbers, photos, and addresses targeting a specific victim for abuse or fraud. These catfishers are organized, patient, and have a playbook that they follow to gain the trust of their target over the course of weeks, months, or even years. Effective deceviers even get advice from other scammers on how to proceed for their own success.

    Today’s guest is David McClellan. David was an internet marketer and website builder for over ten years. He ran and executed SEO strategies for CNET where he added 1.4 billion visitors to the portfolio. He branched out as a visionary and entrepreneur 6 years ago when he created SocialCatfish.com. His website became the fastest growing company in Riverside, California and is an Inc 500 company.

    Show Notes: [1:10] - David shares his background as an internet marketer turned entrepreneur and the start of SocialCatfish.com. [2:01] - He and his business partner used to build websites and then flip them but discovered that there was no resource out there regarding catfishing. So they started the website and it was an immediate success. [3:34] - Once David and his business partner figured out how to monetize their site, they were speaking directly with their customers and hearing their stories. [4:21] - David also began a YouTube channel that shares real stories, interviews with scammers, and David even got his hands on a playbook used by scammers. [4:50] - There is also a Facebook watch group where people can upload pictures of “scammers” to look out for. [5:22] - Romance scams are part of catfishing. David explains the similarities. [6:19] - David shares one of the most upsetting client stories regarding a lawyer sending cash to Nigeria. But through it all, she was able to send a tracking device and use SocialCatfish.com to meet the real person behind the stolen photo. [8:47] - David shares another story of a client who lost her husband and survived cancer herself being scammed through online dating. [10:38] - Romance scammers, especially those overseas, will spend hours talking to someone everyday because if it results in thousands of dollars, that is a lot of money where they live. [11:35] - Another story of a client building a relationship with a scammer and who she thought was his daughter. She had been secluded from her friends and family and the scammer even told her to commit suicide. [13:29] - Effective scammers will seclude a victim from their friends and family using a convincing story and are very emotionally manipulative. [14:50] - A newer trend in romance scams is that scammers are now starting to send inexpensive gifts to victims such as balloons, flowers, and cheap jewelry to build trust. [15:51] - When interviewing scammers, David asks them what happens if they don’t get money and the answer is that they always get money. They even refer to victims as clients. [16:40] - Another new trend is when scammers reveal themselves and convince the victim that they really did fall in love and need money to get out of their very poor country. [18:09] - David shares the noticeable differences between men and women who are victims of catfishing and romance scams. [21:01] - Although victims who are lonely, depressed, widowed, or divorced are the prime targets for scammers, David shares that even married people are being sucked into scams. [23:09] - Chris shares a story about a previous podcast guest using other people’s videos in video chat is not always a reliable method of confirming identity. [24:19] - David explains that there is open source software available where he could record anything and make the people in the video say whatever he wants them to say. [25:25] - People whose images are stolen to use by scammers are victims, too. David also tries to help these people as well. [26:19] - David shares a story about a man who was catfished, convinced of their real identity, and killed the woman he thought the scammer was. [27:09] - If you are contacted randomly by a stranger, including games with chat features like Words with Friends, and someone ever asks you for some form of money, that is a big sign of a scammer. [28:05] - Scammers will also tend to try to get a victim to chat outside of the dating app so their profile does not get reported and taken down. [29:00] - Most of the time, scammers tend to start asking for money after about 90 days, but David says that sometimes they’ll wait less time or more time before asking. [31:21] - Financial crimes seem not to have the same level of consequences when caught than in-person crimes. Many crimes like this are sometimes not even reported. [33:06] - It is not illegal to give somebody money. When it is reported to law enforcement, there’s not much police can do. You should still report it, but it is a civil issue. [35:18] - David also shares that sometimes there are people in the United States that are helping scammers overseas. [37:39] - There’s not enough education surrounding internet safety. Education is empowering. [38:51] - Chris shares an experience with his bank and how they are starting to be trained on making sure people are wiring money to someone they’ve actually met. [39:54] - We are seeing it more and more that bank employees are noticing and advising clients that they are likely being scammed. [41:22] - Social media sites and companies are getting better with helping educate people and prevent scams, but scammers are also getting better and more convincing. [44:05] - David has a private Facebook group called SCF Seekers which is all about information without judgment.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest SocialCatfish.com Social Catfish on Facebook SCF Seekers Facebook Group Social Catfish on Twitter Social Catfish on YouTube Social Catfish on Instagram
  • Many are resigned to stay silent about the pain of being scammed, but today’s guest helps empower others by vulnerably communicating her experience and sharing specific warning signs.

    Today’s guest is Debby Montgomery Johnson. Debby is founder of The Woman Behind the Smile, Inc. She is a best-selling author, international speaker, entrepreneur, podcast host, former Air Force officer who served at the Pentagon, and is a woman on a mission. In her book The Woman Behind the Smile, she shares her personal experience with a love that turned to betrayal and financial disaster. She removes the mask of shame and shows others how to do the same.

    Show Notes: [1:07] - Debby shares the person she was before she was scammed. Her husband of 26 years had unexpectedly passed away, she had a varied career background, and is a mother and grandmother. [2:08] - After her husband passed away, she had to step up and run his business without a lot of training or knowledge. [3:05] - Debby had very little time to grieve as she would work her job and then go straight into managing her late husband’s business. [3:59] - When her friends noticed that she was staying home so much to work on the business, they told her she needed to get out and “have a life.” A friend recommended online dating. [4:56] - Debby was very transparent in her online dating profile. She stepped into it very carefully. [5:46] - Although Debby was very particular, she did eventually meet someone who caught her attention and that’s how everything started. [6:43] - Debby explains that something that scammers do is try to take you off the dating sites to talk and Debby would talk to him on Yahoo Chat instead. [8:39] - After speaking with a psychologist later on, Debby was told that she likely never felt listened to based on her behaviors and she admits that Eric, the man she met online, did listen to her. [9:47] - Over two years of communicating with Eric, Debby felt listened to and shares that she had wonderful conversations through writing with him. [11:22] - At this point in time, Debby was familiar with online dating scams and never felt like anything sinister was going on. [12:23] - Debby began lending money to Eric as a way to help him through his jobs until he would get paid. He always promised to pay her back. The energy came from the sooner he finished a job, the sooner he would come home. [14:01] - The first red flag for Debby was when he asked her to set up a power of attorney and use Western Union to send him money. [15:43] - In addition to asking for money, Eric also was successful in further isolating Debby from her friends and family. Debby shares how her sons warned her against a relationship with Eric. [17:50] - After being married for so long, Debby wasn’t ready for a physical relationship, but she was ready for a friendship. Eric turned into a confidante. [18:59] - Debby explains how she wanted to video chat with Eric but that he always had an excuse as to why he couldn’t get online to do that. [20:13] - Eric continued to ask Debby for money for his issues with his international business. Looking back, she shares that it all seems so ridiculous but the urgency was overpowering. [21:01] - Debby admits that she did not have the large sums of money Eric needed and she dipped into retirement funds, sold jewelry, and even borrowed a very large sum from her parents. [23:47] - When asked if she would go back and change things if she could, Debby says she would actually let things happen the way they happened. She learned so much about herself during this time and is now able to help others. [25:36] - Chris shares a story that illustrates the lack of knowledge surrounding scams and security. [27:28] - When you think of an online romance scam, you’ll think ‘oh that will never happen to me.’ That’s not the point. It could happen to your mother, your daughter, or your best friend. [28:31] - Other victims that have been scammed reach out to Debby after reading her book and Debby has noticed that everyone’s story is exactly the same. These scammers are very well trained. [29:59] - Debby’s sons were very upset after the scam was revealed, but they also felt that they had not done their job to protect their mother as well. [30:54] - Eric and Debby had a lengthy conversation about forgiveness and he confessed that it all had been a scam. [32:13] - Initially Debby didn’t believe Eric and asked for proof that it was a scam. They finally conducted a video chat and she saw the real person behind it all. [33:09] - Eric admitted that throughout the scam, he had started to feel real feelings for Debby and had to come clean. [34:30] - Debby went to the FBI and they told her that there was nothing they could do because he was not in the country. [36:04] - She told a new friend her story and through their conversation she discovered that the other woman’s mother was also scammed. That was the moment Debby realized that she had a mission now. [38:14] - Debby was put in contact with an organization called Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams that has been working with victims and survivors all over the world. [41:08] - Chris and Debby discuss other popular scams that are happening that drain a lot of money from individuals and businesses. [43:02] - Chris references a past episode that also proved that many victims and survivors don’t report things because of the embarrassment of being scammed. [45:01] - A friend of Debby’s is now dating online and Debby shares that she can spot a scammer very quickly now and objectively helps her friend navigate different profiles. [47:36] - Many men have had their pictures used by scammers. And sometimes they are able to contact people who have been communicating with a scammer through their likeness and convince them that it is a scam. [49:03] - Debby and Chris discuss why many scammers use the likeness of people in the military. [51:10] - The first people you need to tell if you’ve been scammed this way is your family so you can have support and be surrounded by people who love you. [53:45] - Something more recent that is happening with the onset of more available video chat platforms is now scammers can steal videos and voice over to provide more convincing communication. [56:01] - All different age groups are hit by romance scams in different ways. Older generations are more reliant on Skype and Facetime but the younger generations are using different mobile apps like Snapchat and Instagram. [56:32] - When making a dating profile, do not list that you are widowed or divorced. It may make you a target. [57:35] - Don’t put your business or any way to look up your finances on your dating profile. [58:21] - Pictures used in profiles can also be red flags. You can reverse Google the image and sometimes find that they’re photos of a model or stock photo. [59:24] - If someone you are talking to is constantly international and can’t get home, that is a romance scam red flag. [60:11] - Currently, money is being sent to scammers through cryptocurrency, gift cards, or even gaming platform credit. [61:45] - If you think you might be involved in a scam or know someone who is, Debby recommends you check out Anyscam.com or AgainstScam.org. [62:47] - Debby says you need to report everything and take the time to write down your story to get it out. Find someone who you trust and can help you move forward. [64:09] - Another sad reality of romance scams is that victims shut themselves off from love and dating again and isolate themselves from potential positive relationships.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest The Woman Behind the Smile Web Page The Woman Behind the Smile: Triumph Over the Ultimate Online Dating Betrayal by Debby Montgomery Johnson EMAIL: debby@thewomanbehindthesmile.com Stand Up and Speak Up Show
  • Keeping children safe online is a concern for every parent. Children can have a technical skill that is far more advanced than their cognitive development and it is not easy to know how and what boundaries to set.

    Today’s guest is Susan McLean. Susan is Australia’s foremost expert in the area of cyber safety and was a member of Victoria Police for 27 years. Widely known as The Cyber Cop, she was the first Victoria police officer appointed to a position involving cyber safety and young people. In 2003, she was a Victoria Police Region 4 Youth Officer of the Year. She has also been awarded the National Medal and Victoria Police Service Medal. Susan established a consulting firm in March 2007 called Cyber Safety Solutions and has grown to be the most highly respected and in demand cyber safety consultancy in Australia.

    Show Notes:

    [1:21] - Susan shares her background in law enforcement and her first online appointment was in 1994. [2:17] - She was led to America in her quest to learn as much as she could about cyber safety. The training she was a part of was The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Team training and more trainings in Texas. [3:35] - When Susan returned to Australia, she outlined a plan of action for law enforcement in Australia. [4:14] - When Susan’s support retired, she lost all internal support at that time. Others claimed she was making things up to create a job opportunity and that because she was a woman, she couldn’t do this job. [5:07] - Susan quit her job because she became passionate about this concern and took a risk in developing her own consultant agency. She works extensively with schools, parents, and teachers. [6:46] - Now, law enforcement takes cyber crime more seriously. [7:51] - Susan says that although there is acknowledgement of cyberbullying and online safety issues, there is still a lack of training of front line police officers. [8:50] - Susan describes JACKET teams in Australia and how it works in her country. [9:30] - The amount of arrests is phenomenal, but Susan would much rather there were no arrests because we can educate young people to not fall victim to these types of crimes. [10:27] - Susan shares that most arrests are made within Australia but that there are international crime gangs specifically in sex trafficking and sexual exploitation that are elsewhere. [12:08] - The statistics in Australia show that a quarter of all teens have been cyber bullied at some point. This can mean a lot of different things. It's almost always an extension of schoolyard bullying. [12:47] - Nude photos are also prominent and fit the definition of child exploitation offenses. [13:58] - To be an effective parent in the 21st century, you have to parent in the digital space. [14:43] - The internet is 100% an adult world that you are putting your child into. Risks cannot be removed but you can identify and limit the risk with boundaries for your child. [15:18] - Young people’s technical skill far outweighs their cognitive and brain development. There is a massive gap between what they can actually do and what they can understand. [16:29] - Susan explains that if your child is under 13, you should be in complete control over everything your child does online. [17:33] - Start with one platform that you can manage when you feel they are ready for it. Constant monitoring and parent judgement on maturity is necessary. [19:01] - Susan recommends having a rule in place that you will check all accounts and devices a certain number of random days per month. [20:33] - Checking lists of friends and contacts, the child has to explain who they are to the parent’s expectations. If you can’t invite them over for dinner, they don’t belong on their list. [21:55] - Susan shares how the majority of in-person sexual abuse or exploitation are with people the victim knows. But online, the majority are people who are unknown to the child or teen. [23:02] - If you are familiar with the person and are unsure if it is their real account, ask them. [24:27] - Parents also need to have conversations prior to online use to make sure their children are not being the ones doing the bullying. [25:45] - If you are the caretaker of any child or minor, you have to be aware that they are targets. [26:03] - Susan explains that the majority of inappropriate photos are taken in bedrooms and bathrooms with the doors closed. She shares examples of ways a parent can prohibit devices with cameras in those rooms. [27:48] - Especially during Covid, the limitation of devices and children online became difficult. [28:28] - One of the biggest mistakes parents make is giving their child or teen a phone thinking it will keep them safe. They are handy, but they are not safety devices. [30:18] - Susan also lists the other issues that come with extensive use of electronic devices, including posture, muscular and skeletal problems, and eye strain. [32:27] - Every adult has a responsibility to keep children safe on and offline. [34:34] - Susan recommends several websites for parent and child education on cyber safety that include games and kid friendly language. [37:59] - Susan is also the author of Sexts, Texts, and Selfies which is an internationally available book. The only changes based on the country are the laws and legislation. [40:12] - It is everywhere no matter the crime. Cyber safety is absolutely crucial.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

    Links and Resources:

    Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest CyberSafety Solutions Web Page Susan McLean on Twitter Susan McLean on Facebook Sexts, Texts, and Selfies: How to Keep Your Children Safe in the Digital Space by Susan McLean
  • If you’ve got student loans, you feel the pressure of that financial obligation, but watch out. There are scammers looking to take advantage of your situation, offering student loan consolidation or elimination for a fee. Our guest today is Robert Farrington.

    Robert is founder of The College Investor. He has been featured in many media outlets such as The New York Times, Washington Post, ABC and NBC News. As America’s millennial money expert and America’s student loan debt expert, he is on a mission to help people escape student loan debt and start building wealth for their future.

    Show Notes:

    [0:54] - Robert founded The College Investor website when he was a college student. He shares his background as a blogger and his experience when a post about student loan debt went viral. [2:33] - College is a great investment for a lot of people, but like any investment, if you spend too much it might not be worth it. [3:01] - You don’t go to college to learn because you find everything you need online for free. College is a signal to potential employers that you have a degree. [4:02] - Robert points out that trade schools and “dirty jobs” are a fantastic opportunity to make a lot of money without going to college but that many young adults don’t know enough about them. [5:29] - There are three main types of schools: state school, non-profit, and for-profit. Robert gives examples of each kind. [6:39] - One type of student loan is federal student loans through the government with the requirement that you attend an accredited school. [7:23] - The other type of student loan is a private student loan that comes from a bank, credit card company, or other private lender. These are similar to a mortgage. [8:15] - Robert shares that there are so many student loan scams out there but they all have the same theme: to either lower the monthly payment or lower the total amount somehow. [9:32] - There are many programs that are legitimate and that will lower your monthly payment. The red flag is the fee that you pay. Robert explains how this works. [10:01] - The most popular loan forgiveness program that is fully legitimate is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that there is no fee for. [11:11] - There is loan consolidation which takes all your loans and puts them into one loan. Robert doesn’t recommend this and explains why. [12:13] - If you call your lender and let them know that you can’t pay, there is something they can do. It is a scam if you pay a third party and they can fill out your paperwork incorrectly. [13:26] - Robert describes another type of scammers that pose as a pseudo law firm that tells people to stop paying their loans and then go to court for them to represent you to get you lower payments. But this trashes your credit and doesn’t get you ahead. [15:03] - Robert recommends to always start with caller your lender and talk to them about your options. Communicate your needs. [16:51] - There are also really great apps available that will help you manage your finances and Robert points out that there are valid and legitimate paid programs. [17:16] - The legitimate paid financial advisors won’t do anything for you. They will give you a plan and you will need to take the steps to follow the plan. [19:39] - Robert admits that most loan service providers make errors and there are definitely problems. However, they manage loans for millions of people. [20:51] - All paperwork done on your behalf needs to be looked over. A lot of companies that have been shut down were because of falsified information. [21:38] - Robert explains how some scam companies will take your fees and not do any work at all. They’ll send you email updates as if things are being done and then you default. [22:28] - Even if you are going to work with someone, you still need to log in to your loan provider account and check things every month. Ultimately, you are responsible. [24:09] - Congress wants government loan servicers to promote these programs but they never do. [26:01] - If you feel that you have been scammed, you need to lock down all of your information. Change all passwords and check all of your accounts to make sure your information has not been changed. [27:20] - No legitimate company will ever ask you for your password or log in on your behalf. It is a literal federal crime. [27:58] - Robert shares the most incredible dollar amounts that some scam companies have collected. [28:51] - Robert also explains that some people pay companies to do this work for them because they don’t take the time to do the research. [30:01] - Student loans are challenging because it seems like there’s no way out. People know that there’s not a lot of options. Scammers are preying on. [32:36] - There are 100 Americans with over 100 million dollars in student loans. They got there because of graduate schools. [33:00] - There are two types of people who benefit the most from student loans. The first are low-income who plan to make between $30-$50k a year. The other one are the ones who borrow over $100k per year for graduate school. [35:34] - It always starts with getting organized. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, get it organized and look at it all.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

    Links and Resources:

    Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest The College Investor Site The College Investor Audio Site (Podcast) The College Investor on YouTube The College Investor on Instagram The College Investor on Twitter The College Investor on Facebook
  • In this episode, we deviate a bit from our traditional topics to incorporate the growing diversity in the Infosec world. In the past, this has been a male dominated field, but the culture is changing.

    Our guest today is Eleanor Dallway. Eleanor is the Editorial Director at Infosecurity Magazine, and she is at the front of the security industry. She has more than 15 years of online job experience and knows more about information security than most English Literature graduates should. She spends her working days interviewing industry professionals, keeping the website updated with news on a regular basis, editing the magazine, and attending industry events.

    Show Notes: [1:03] - Eleanor’s experience in Infosec began in 2006 when she started working for Infosecurity Magazine. She also has experience editing for a wine and spirits magazine as well as one for retail. [2:03] - Eleanor admits that information security is her favorite, because she’s worked in it the longest and it is constantly changing. [2:51] - Her favorite part of her job is interviewing industry professionals. She shares several famous individuals who she has been able to interview. [4:18] - Eleanor admits that she was very nervous to interview Kevin Mitnick and describes the experience. [5:57] - Kevin Mitnick did magic tricks for Eleanor for fun, but demonstrated how con artists are very much like magicians. [9:55] - Chris and Eleanor chat about their different interviews with previous podcast guest John McAfee. [11:14] - John McAfee spoke an unscripted rant at an event that Eleanor was able to be present for. [12:30] - Infosec trends are compared to fashion trends because they are cyclical and come back again. [13:38] - Some trends that Eleanor discusses are the Cloud, artificial intelligence, and the focus on the human side of security. [15:13] - Awareness now is much different than it was 15 years ago when Eleanor began working for Infosecurity Magazine. Now, they are major headlines and mainstream news. [16:48] - Eleanor’s company puts in software that randomly tests people. [19:31] - We start to distrust people who are actually trustworthy and tend to become cynical. [20:18] - The types of scams that trend ebb and flow. Sometimes the trend is text scams, emails, or phone calls, generally speaking. [21:40] - There are clever scammers who use the current climate to change their approach. Eleanor shares that she has seen a lot of scams with packages delivered because more people are shopping online. [23:56] - When someone targets Eleanor, she knows she can handle it, but she gets very angry when scammers target her parents and grandmother. [25:52] - Eleanor discusses various conferences and events. She doesn’t tend to worry about heavy security for some of them, but for several of them, she takes every precaution. [28:10] - For the most part, Eleanor tends to go to more of the businessy conferences. [30:42] - Eleanor admits that most of the things on her phone or computer are not that interesting so she feels comfortable taking her devices with her to other countries when traveling. [31:28] - In regards to women in the industry, Eleanor says that it is still male dominated but it is moving in the right direction. [32:48] - Eleanor has worked with programs that encourage teenage girls in high school to get into the infosec and technology world. [33:25] - Eleanor launched Women in Cybersecurity Networking Group that began small in the UK but is now national. The purpose is to create a community. [35:02] - Marketing cybersecurity needs a lot of change to include more accurate images and descriptions. [36:11] - There’s a lot of going on in this space in regards to diversity in the industry, but Eleanor feels that it is not being done quickly enough. [37:33] - The security industry is very resilient and has not been hurt by the pandemic except that they are shorthanded. Unemployment is high in many places, so people should be jumping ship and going into it.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Infosecurity Magazine Web Page Women in Cybersecurity Networking Group Eleanor Dallaway on Twitter Eleanor Dallaway on LinkedIn
  • As we start the new year, we often contemplate resolutions and adopting new behaviors into our lives. Good mentoring relationships can have an amazingly powerful impact on both our personal and professional lives, but a bad one can lead to a devastating outcome. Learn how to identify a great match in today’s episode with Mark Timm.

    Mark Timm has been a serial entrepreneur and exponential thinking practitioner for nearly two decades. He started more than two dozen companies, several of which have multiplied and been sold. His experience with dealing with the entrepreneurial challenges has fueled his passion for teaching people how to balance the demands of family life and business.

    Show Notes: [1:15] - Mark co-wrote the book Mentor to Millions because of his experiences (good and bad) with mentors. He describes how he met the friend he wrote the book with. [2:32] - Where mentorship goes bad is when you think you have found the right person due to their success. [3:28] - The first thing to look for in a mentor is to ask them about their failures. You want a mentor who is not only a big success story. [4:17] - The second thing to look for in a mentor is their ability to really listen. A good mentor will listen and learn about you in order to help you down the right path. [4:58] - The third thing to look for is a mentor who has a mentor themselves. Learning is a lifelong journey. [5:31] - Mark shares a negative experience with a mentor in an industry he didn’t know much about. This mentor tended to tell Mark everything he was doing wrong. [7:51] - Mark likes to have more than one mentor because one mentor is not capable of helping you in every facet of your life. [9:45] - Most people don’t know how to find a mentor. It begins by having some vulnerability. Are you ready to be coached and taught? [11:59] - You already know everyone you need to know in order to accomplish everything that you need to accomplish in this world. Your inner circle may know the exact person you need. [12:51] - The formula is 1) get the right mentor, 2) become that mentor’s best student, and 3) take everything you’ve learned and teach it to someone else. [14:05] - Mark ends every chapter in Mentor to Millions with him applying what he learned in his business to his family. [15:06] - Mark describes how important his mentorship experiences have been with his family. [16:23] - Mark gives an example of how a personality test that he was using in his business and how he bought extras to do with his family in the same way. [17:58] - The personality test experience gave Mark’s family a tool to be themselves and understand each other. [18:26] - In regards to finding a mentor that is “wired differently” than yourself, there are so many different situations and combinations of people. [19:55] - When you can say that you know the person, you like the person, and you trust the person, there could be a very good opportunity for a mentorship when you know they can help you. [21:36] - Anyone can learn, but it takes the right kind of person to teach. [23:11] - If you’d like to become a mentor, you need to practice listening and be open about your failures and how you’ve learned from them. [25:17] - Mark talks about Mentor to Millions and his experiences with a great mentor. [27:00] - Mark is one his way to his first multi-million dollar business because of the lessons he’s learned with his mentor. [27:38] - Now, Mark mentors successful entrepreneurs with their family and home life, which is what Mark is passionate about. [29:03] - It is not all about balance, it's about integration. Mark describes how combining his worlds made a huge difference in his business and relationships. [30:29] - Mark and Kevin and offering a special mentoring opportunity to listeners who buy the book. Go to KevinMentor.com for 30 days of free mentoring after proof of purchasing the book.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Kevin Mentor Website Mark Timm Home Page Mark Timm on Twitter Mark Timm on LinkedIn Mentor to Millions: Secrets of Success in Business, Relationships, and Beyond by Mark Timm and Kevin Harrington
  • Trust is important for our employees, our clients, and our potential customers and as entrepreneurs, we need to learn how to create it. As business professionals, we need to learn how to choose who to be in partnerships with so that we are able to protect ourselves and our businesses from lawsuits and poor decisions.

    Our guest today is Mary Kelly. Dr. Mary C. Kelly has many titles, but her favorite is as a teacher. She is focused on teaching professionals to navigate the economy, build their business, be a true leader, and get more done. Mary has authored thirteen books on business leadership and today she is sharing with us a few ways not to be easy prey in business.

    Show Notes: [1:05] - Dr. Kelly primarily works as a corporate speaker and advisor to improve profit growth. [1:44] - Businesses need to make sure that they are protecting themselves against people who want to sue them for stupid things. [2:31] - When you are interviewing someone coming into your business, you have to be careful of the questions you ask. [3:12] - Dr. Kelly also points out the importance of keeping your brick and mortar location safe and secure. [4:22] - Mary shares an example of campsites getting sued by people who were taking advantage of the owners. [6:01] - In 2020, vulnerabilities became more apparent to business owners. [8:48] - As a business, one of the number one things people want to know is if you can deliver what you say you can deliver. [9:06] - Dr. Kelly gives several tips for businesses including Google searching yourself and watching your Yelp reviews. [11:08] - Mary references a book that she co-wrote regarding trust in the business world. How you build trust with your employees is how they build trust with your clients. [12:29] - Chris shares how he approaches business partners. [14:10] - Mary admits to some early mistakes she made after taking the advice of someone else that cost her in thousands of dollars. [16:01] - Don’t be afraid to differentiate and brand yourself for the core values of your business. Let people know what your core values are. [17:49] - Your posts on social media are being looked at. How are you and your business being perceived? [20:17] - Recording conversations are a good idea so you have a clean copy of tough conversations that may need clarification. [22:35] - There are so many bad business consultants out there and Mary describes how this can be detrimental to your business. [24:09] - Mary admits a mistake she learned from with a book deal and an example of working with a medical firm that experienced a scam. [25:57] - Mary’s dad was recently a victim of a scam that is similar to a previous Easy Prey episode with Jim Browning. [27:01] - Chris shares an example of a scam he fell victim of. [28:12] - We need to help others to not make the same mistakes. [29:37] - If you are a leader in an organization, always assume that someone is watching everything you do and say. [31:18] - It is not our clients’ job to stay in touch with your business. It is your job to stay in touch with your client in a way that adds value and trust. [33:09] - Dr. Kelly wrote a book about business during Covid-19 and shares a lot of her research that can benefit current businesses. [34:29] - Mary shares current scams for businesses during Covid-19 and how common they are. [35:29] - There are several car dealership scams going on at the moment as well and Mary describes what this looks like. [36:57] - If you sign anything, take a picture of it. [37:49] - Chris shares another current scam that has been very common lately with overcharging customers as their business practice. [39:17] - We need to not be afraid to ask clients for referrals and feedback. [41:37] - When it comes to mistakes, own up to them and move on. Mary shares her free productivity sheet that she uses every single day to help avoid mistakes.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Productive Leaders Web Page Mary C. Kelly on Twitter Mary C. Kelly on Facebook Mary Kelly, PhD, CSP, CPAE Commander, USN on LinkedIn
  • Criminals don’t just randomly pick their targets. They look for easy prey. Find out what you might inadvertently be doing that makes a criminal choose you as their next victim.

    Today’s guest is James Casey. James has made a life-long career out of understanding why people break the law. He began in law enforcement and was on the National Security Council in Washington. Then he worked in the FBI for over 25 years, where he was named the Special Agent in charge of the Jacksonville division. James is currently the president of FCS Global Advisors, an investigative and crisis management firm where he has been for the past 8 years.

    Show Notes: [0:53] - James shares his background in law enforcement and his career path to eventually work in the FBI. [1:51] - What James focuses on now is higher end investigation in Florida, primarily litigation and white collar cases. [2:24] - In regards to personal security risk, James believes due to the number of distractions, people are always at risk. [3:06] - Social media has become a place for people to share too much information which becomes a security risk. [3:38] - James shares a scenario of oversharing about your own children. [4:53] - You can segregate your social media accounts. Some can be more public for business needs, such as LinkedIn, and then others can be more private for sharing information and photos for friends and family. [5:51] - When you’re out and about, you need to be paying attention. Take the earbuds out and watch the people around you. [6:49] - James shares how crime doesn’t go away, it just moves to someone or some place that is easier. [7:44] - With travel, James presents a scenario and the importance of being prepared for anything, [9:20] - Traditional burglaries are targeting empty houses during the day with no alarms and tend to access the back door. [10:17] - James shares a scenario of watching a news story about a home invasion and the general majority of burglaries having a back story. [12:02] - By the time a story gets to TV, it is a unique story and doesn’t generally match the norm. James tells about an undercover scenario he worked on. [14:05] - In regards to car theft, James shares a real-life scenario of learning how cars are stolen in most cases. [16:51] - While working in Detroit, James worked with many cases of stolen cars for parts, which is still a problem today. Chris also shares a personal experience of his car being stolen and stripped for parts. [20:01] - A book that James has read and recommends by Gavin de Becker called The Gift of Fear. James has done some research into intuition and instinct. [21:42] - James shares a scenario of an active shooter in an airport in Fort Lauderdale and how people reacted to demonstrate some people’s intuition. [23:05] - Women are often targeted and have a gut feeling that something is wrong but tend to talk themselves out of it. [25:03] - In addition to fight and flight, there is also “freeze,” which is a legitimate response for many people. James shares his theory on why some people do this. [26:50] - In a lot of situations, people rationalize why something wouldn’t be a gunshot. [27:18] - Chris and James discuss stalkers and the types of stalkers that are common to see. James illustrates the types of stalkers with real-life scenarios.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest FCS Global Advisors Web Page FCS Security on Facebook FCS Security on Twitter FCS Security on LinkedIn The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker
  • Our body can give clues to what we are thinking or feeling and review of what we’re saying is the truth or deception. How can we use that fact to detect when others are being deceptive?

    Today’s guest is Traci Brown. Time magazine has named Traci as one of the nation’s top deception detection experts. She’s trained alongside the country’s top law enforcement, and she is a frequent television guest and the author of How to Detect Lies, Fraud, and Identity Theft Field Guide. Her fraud-spotting learning platform has helped companies stop millions in fraud loss.

    Show Notes: [0:51] - Traci shares her background as a cyclist and how observing and learning other cyclists behavior and body language led her to eventually become a body language expert. [2:29] - Many had thought that Traci was able to read people’s minds, but really she was just noticing body language. [3:34] - Traci shares how an experience of her brother’s led her to training with law enforcement and started her path in fraud and deception detection. [5:19] - While a lot of attacks happen online, Traci encourages listeners to know about in-person fraud and protect themselves. [6:17] - 40% of people lie in a job interview but only 2% of people hiring them can tell. [6:54] - Traci works with a lot of sales people because “buyers are liars.” [7:43] - Traci has even worked with world renowned poker players. She describes how poker tournaments work and how body language impacts how you feel as well. [9:54] - The number one thing that law enforcement looks at is baseline behavior. Everyone runs in patterns. [10:40] - You want to believe the body first and when there’s a mismatch between the body and the words, that’s the hotspot. [11:47] - Traci lists and describes body language signs that something is not true. [12:55] - As you are talking to someone and notice these signs, Traci suggests saying, “It seems like you have something more to say about that,” and then stop talking. [13:58] - If you ask people questions they have no reason to lie about, then you can see the shift when you ask them something more pressing. [15:19] - Some people can’t help but lie. Some people lie to cope with something trauma or were conditioned to lie in simple conversations. [17:12] - Lying is not just indicated through body language. It is a combination of body language, tone, pacing, volume, and word choice. [18:21] - Everyone is unique in that baseline behavior so you need to know that first. [19:15] - Some people have a nervous baseline that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re lying but that they are just nervous people in general. [20:12] - Traci shares a story about an experience with her husband in the grocery store and how her knowledge of body language can benefit relationships. [22:03] - Security takes full enrollment from your senses at all times. [23:15] - Traci hosts a podcast called Fraud Busting and interviews criminals. [25:01] - Traci refers to presidential debates and how candidates practice their answers ahead of time, but that body language is telling. The answers to questions that are on the spot is where you can tell a lot. [26:30] - Watching a debate with the sound off and not knowing what the candidates are saying is a great way to start noticing body language. [28:03] - Even Chris can tell when a podcast guest is launching into a response that is rehearsed. He asks Traci if that could be an indicator that someone is being deceptive in certain situations. [29:37] - We have the least control over our feet. So watching peoples’ feet can give you a lot of information. [30:54] - Traci describes the “pain” people and businesses pay with when they aren’t paying attention. [31:52] - Know more than is immediately obvious and use it when the time is right. The idea is to make people comfortable around you enough to talk. [33:04] - Traci also can look at social media profiles and can tell a lot about a person before actually meeting them. [35:29] - Traci shares that she watched a video of Paris Hilton describing the abuse at a school she went to as a child and determined that she is telling the truth. [36:21] - Body language is not admissible in court, so using the body language to dig is important. [38:06] - Chris and Traci briefly discuss psychopathic and sociopathic behaviors. [40:07] - The reason Traci started her podcast is because looking back, everyone knows something is not right but didn’t do anything about it. Listen to yourself.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Body Language Trainer - Traci Brown Web Page Fraud Busting Podcast Fraud Busting Body Language Expert Facebook Traci Brown on Twitter Traci Brown on LinkedIn How to Detect Lies, Fraud, and Identity Theft Field Guide by Traci Brown
  • Most of us have received that call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support saying that there is an issue with our computer that they want to help us resolve. This scam has evolved into something so sophisticated and so refined that it has become big business in and of itself.

    Today’s guest is Jim Browning. Jim can’t stand scammers, so he’s doing something about it. Jim has been baiting, investigating, and exposing scammers on his YouTube channel for over 5 years. His channel now has over 2.3 million subscribers and many of his videos showing how these scams work have been watched millions of times.

    Show Notes: [0:51] - Most people recognize tech support scams as a cold call where the scammer claims they are working for a company that needs you to get on your computer to gain access. [2:34] - Jim says the way to put these people off is to deny having the device they are asking for you to connect. [3:13] - These types of scammers might also claim they are your bank or credit card company. Either way, this scam is all about logging into your account and giving them access. [4:32] - Jim describes what would happen if a scammer gains access to your computer after you follow the steps they give you over the phone. [6:01] - Jim never intended to be a YouTuber. In fact, he has a “proper” job in IT and is an engineer at heart. But as someone who received these calls, he became curious and one day recorded what a scammer did. [7:23] - More often than not, the people running these scams are out of a different country and it is near impossible to do anything about it through law enforcement. [8:21] - Jim shares that India’s equivalent to the FBI has recently conducted raids and some of these operations may actually be dealt with. [9:27] - Through running scams, Jim describes how one operation brought in over a million dollars per month and employed several hundred people. [10:19] - When hiring, these operations may hire people who don’t know they’re scammers. Some, though, actually advertise that they are scammers. [11:27] - With enough computer knowledge and the curiosity, Jim let scammers access his computer but was able to reverse it and gain access to their computer instead. [12:31] - Jim tells a story about how he accessed a scammer’s CCTV recording and was able to see and hear how they are running their operation. [14:12] - These scammers take the business very seriously and professionally. Like legitimate organizations, they record calls and use them to train their employees. [16:39] - Sometimes scammers will retain the access to the computer, but most of the time, they will get their one-off payment and it will likely be the last time you hear from them or you won’t hear from them for a while. [17:56] - If you are scammed once, your information will be sold to other scammers. Once you’ve been victimized, you are far more likely to fall victim again. [19:10] - The cold calls are the most common, but a more subtle scam is to Google for genuine support. Some sites are not genuine and many people do not check the legitimacy of the site. [21:27] - There are various software you can install on your computer that help identify a site that is not legitimate. [22:14] - If you think you are a victim of a scam, you need to start by contacting your bank or credit card company as quickly as possible. If it has been several months, it is very hard to get your money back. [23:40] - The most safe thing to do if you fall victim of a scam is to completely wipe your computer and start over. But Jim does state that most of the time, scammers are only in it for a one-off payment so you might not need to do that. [25:01] - Jim has also seen scammers take identities to open up bank accounts in order to launder money. [25:46] - There are scams that ask for gift cards, which is as good as cash in most cases. If you use a gift card or read out a gift card number, you will not get your money back. [26:40] - No legitimate online business is going to ask for gift cards and is a big red flag. The big one right now are Amazon gift cards. [27:52] - A lot of employees who sell gift cards are trained to ask the customer who is buying large denominations on a gift card to ask if they have been put up to it. But Jim gives examples about how scammers get around this. [29:55] - Scamming organizations have also recruited people in the US and the UK to be a part of these scams to make it more believable because of their lack of foreign accent. [31:42] - Scammers have been known to cunningly coach people into willingly transferring money to them. [32:40] - No legitimate company will ever have a problem with you asking questions. Be a skeptic. [33:44] - Another red flag for a scam is urgency to take action. Always stop and ask questions and call them on the number you know is accurate. [34:28] - Anyone can forge a number. You cannot trust the caller ID. But there is something possibly happening in the United States that will help identify real numbers. [36:49] - Jim’s YouTube channel shows how scams work and can help you recognize when a call could be a scam. His YouTube channel’s mission is to bring awareness.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Jim Browning on YouTube Jim Browning on Twitter
  • Is there such a thing as an ethical hacker? Do all hackers use their skills to attack infrastructures? If you’re interested in ethical hacking and penetration testing, this is the episode for you.

    Today’s guest is Ed Skoudis. Ed has taught upwards of 20,000 security professionals globally and his contributions to information security have had an immense impact on the community. His courses distill the essence of real world frontline case studies he accumulates, because he is consistently one of the first authorities brought in to provide post-attack analysis on major breeches. He’s not just an expert in the field, he’s created many of the founding methodologies empowered by governments and organizations around the world to test and secure their infrastructures.

    Ed is the founder of the SANS Penetration Testing Curriculum and Counter Hack; leads the team that builds NetWars, Holiday Hack, and CyberCity; and serves on the Board of Directors for the SANS Technology Institute. A consummate presenter, Ed is a keynote speaker appearing internationally at conferences, and is an Advisory Board member for RSA.

    Show Notes: [1:14] - Ed introduces himself as a penetration tester and hacker. He does expert witness work on large scale breeches and incident response. [1:37] - He started this path as hacking for phone companies. He explains how he started and why he was hired. [3:55] - Ed describes what penetration testing (or pen testing) is. It is when he models the techniques used by real world attackers and then apply them in structured fashion to help protect companies from future attacks. [4:53] - Pen tests can be used by an organization for a specific reason or can be done as a “check-up” to make sure everything is okay. [5:40] - Zero Day is researching vulnerabilities that aren’t known yet. It is called Zero Day because it has been known for zero days. [6:18] - Ed never believed the cybersecurity industry would be as huge as it is today and explains some of the more recent issues we’ve been seeing through Covid. [7:52] - Security is now a part of the process and is becoming less of an afterthought. Ed shares this idea long-term, but sees the same vulnerabilities repeatedly. [8:49] - There is no such thing as 100% safe and secure. The goal is to raise the bar to make things more difficult for an attacker. [9:31] - With ransomware, attackers have figured out a really reliable way to get paid for their malware. [10:08] - Ransomware is a real problem and have even attacked hospitals and local governments. [12:37] - There is so much that we do that leaves us vulnerable. [13:29] - One major piece of advice that Ed gives in regards to general consumer security is to keep all of your devices patched and updated. [14:18] - Another area to be aware of is always spear phishing. Don’t click unless you are confident in the link. [15:19] - Ed has a separate computer that is separate and independent that he only uses for financial transactions. [17:17] - Chris and Ed discuss routers that consumers buy from their ISP. [19:01] - Ed shares how “Live Off the Land” attacks work by using what is already installed on a computer. These are harder to detect. [20:18] - With ransomware, organizations have to think about what is best for the business. Is it better to give the attacker the money or spend the time and money to fix the problem? [22:27] - The dominant trend in technology today is cloud storage. [24:18] - Ed describes how this works and some of the various problems associated with it. [25:39] - The US Army, Tesla, and Uber are a few organizations that have lost data to this common vulnerability. [26:10] - Ed describes the Holiday Hack Challenge and the fun way he has modeled this problem to educate users. [28:03] - Although there are some security risks if not managed properly, Ed shares that cloud data storage is a very cost effective option for small to medium sized businesses. [29:24] - Most organizations use multiple cloud services. Cloud migration is good if a different service is necessary, but the previous cloud service is left alone and vulnerable. [31:01] - The Holiday Hack Challenge is a free educational event that Ed and his team have created to solve cybersecurity challenges. This is a worldwide event. [34:02] - The Holiday Hack Challenge is something that some people participate in with their kids due to the video game aspect. There is also a social aspect to it with the chat feature. [35:29] - Not only is the Holiday Hack Challenge free, but all of the past challenges are free and accessible to play. This can build your skills. [36:30] - Chris asks if Holiday Hack Challenge has ever been compromised. Ed admits that there are three people who have hacked their way in as players, but there were no purposeful attacks. [39:43] - Ed admits that he sees the world through the eyes of an ethical hacker because he likes to explore and see what’s beyond the edges. [40:48] - Chris and Ed discuss Bug Bounty Programs and can be useful.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest SANS Web Page Counter Hack Web Page Ed Skoudis on Twitter 2020 Holiday Hack Challenge
  • With Giving Tuesday right around the corner, it is important to make sure that the money we give gets to the causes we are passionate about. In the midst of the season of giving, scammers are working to get as much of your charity as they can.

    Today’s guests are Michael Thatcher and Zachary Weinsteiger. Michael leads Charity Navigator and its efforts to make impactful philanthropy easier for all by increasing the breadth and depth of ratings coverage of a large number of charities. He has held various board positions within the non-profit and tech sector, holds several patents in enterprise systems management, and has a degree from Columbia University in New York. Zachary is on Charity Navigator’s analyst team and is responsible for data collection, research analysis, and the evaluation of the performance of America’s largest charities. He also works towards improving the evaluation system and process.

    Show Notes: [1:16] - Michael has been with Charity Navigator for about 5 years, but previously worked for Microsoft. He was attracted to Charity Navigator to make a more positive impact. [2:04] - Zachary initially intended on being an educator on the college level, but during the course of study he felt that he wanted to do more. He wound up with Charity Navigator after hearing someone speak at his graduation. [2:53] - Charity Navigator was started in the early 2000’s by someone who was wealthy and wanted to donate money. He noticed that there was no way to evaluate the organizations he would invest in, so he started it himself. [4:42] - Michael shares how large the non-profit and charity sector is in the United States. [6:10] - On one hand, there are several successfully run charities, but then there are some that fall apart. [6:42] - Michael started working in the non-profit sector when he opened a dance company with his wife. Unfortunately, it failed, but now he has found himself in a similar position running Charity Navigator. [8:03] - The hardest part about charity scams is that they’re scams and until they get caught, we don’t know they’re scams. [9:32] - Zachary says that sometimes the donors might not actually know they were scammed and move forward without knowing. [10:43] - If you feel like you have been scammed, you need to report it, regardless of the feeling of embarrassment that many people feel. [11:04] - Look for transparency. Legitimate charities will have a website and will be able to direct you over the phone to a way to find out more about them. [13:10] - Be intentional with your giving. Donate to causes that you care about and find out if the charity in question is on Charity Navigator. [14:29] - During times of crisis, people change their giving philosophy. This year, the United States has seen different crises and people may be donating to charities they don’t normally notice. [16:21] - Charity Navigator has a relationship with GoFundMe and Michael says it is a legitimate, strong, and successfully run crowd-funding site. But if you don’t know the person and have a real relationship with that person, you need to be wary. [18:04] - What Zachary notices with GoFundMe is when individuals donate to others they don’t know, there’s no form of accountability. [20:09] - There are organizations that are a good filter to avoid fabricated stories on GoFundMe. Michael shares them as Give Directly and Donors Choose. [21:39] - When you donate to charities through Give Directly and Donors Choose instead of GoFundMe, you can use them as a tax write off. When you donate to an individual on GoFundMe, you cannot. [22:08] - One of the key things that Charity Navigator looks for is strong financial performance. Michael describes what this looks like and why it is important. [22:41] - Another important facet that Charity Navigator looks for to establish their ratings is the charity’s level of transparency and governance. [23:33] - Overhead costs are not a bad thing. The salaries of the people that work with the charity organizations are important too. Charity Navigator looks at this as well. [25:02] - Michael dives into the way their rating system works and what a rating could mean. [28:19] - There really isn’t a one-size-fits-all that works in this space. Michael compares a charity that supports an orchestra versus an organization for a homeless shelter. Charity Navigator does not cross compare. [29:36] - Charity Navigator is the largest independent evaluator of charities in the US and has been around for 20 years. [31:14] - Charity Navigator has a team of only 26 people to maintain a small business feel and keep their costs low as well. Each analyst is assigned a specific type of charity that they themselves care about. Zachary explains how this works. [33:25] - Another thing Charity Navigator sees frequently is when costs disappear. Zachary explains how this works and how it goes into an evaluation. [35:53] - Charity Navigator uses the form charities fill out to establish and maintain the organization. This creates uniformity, consistency, and gives them a way to determine if a charity is being truthful. [39:42] - Michael explains how and why the end of the year sees an increase in donations and traffic to their site. [41:18] - Scams pop up during this time of year as well because scammers know that people are in a rush and are in an emotionally driven time to give. [43:13] - Charity Navigator has a feature called The Giving Basket which allows you to donate to an organization through their website. This is a very safe way to make a donation to make sure it goes directly to the right place. [44:55] - Before you give, do your research. Slow down and look at everything you can find about the organization. [45:39] - Think of your giving as an investment and follow the money. Stay connected to the non-profits you give to because you are investing in the changes they bring to the world.

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    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Charity Navigator Web Page Charity Navigator on Facebook Charity Navigator on Instagram Charity Navigator on Twitter Charity Navigator on YouTube Charity Navigator on LinkedIn Michael Thatcher on LinkedIn Zachary Weinsteiger on LinkedIn
  • As cybercrime grows more sophisticated day by day, so do technical defenses. But great technology is no match for an employee clicking on a simple phishing email. Psychological security is designed to protect the human mind from manipulation that leads to compromises.

    Today’s guest is Adam Anderson. Adam is chairman of the board for Hook Security and a serial cybersecurity entrepreneur. He is one of the founders of the Psychological Security Movement. Psychological Security or “Psy-Sec,” was born to create new technologies and processes to help build resilient human minds that can resist manipulations through technology.

    Show Notes:

    [1:10] - Adam introduces himself as a serial cybersecurity entrepreneur who has launched 21 companies over 20 years. He is passionate about this topic. [2:24] - The human part of cybersecurity is always the weakest link. [4:01] - Chris and Adam discuss how when you work in IT, you look at things through an IT lens, but there is a human side. [5:21] - Security is typically an afterthought that comes after an incident. [5:51] - Adam breaks down the meaning of security and what types you will see within a company or corporation as being physical security and info security. [6:42] - Adam says that both types of security are vulnerable to social engineering. [7:31] - Hook Security was created after Adam worked in frustration for 20 years. He is chairman of the board and hired a successful educator as CEO who is an expert in how people learn. [9:23] - Adam is a firm believer that “Psy-Sec” needs to be a separate department of professionals who can work to build resilience in human brains to resist manipulation. [11:15] - It is unreasonable to expect the IT department to be proficient in the human interface as it is not in their skillset. [12:42] - Adam states that systems are 95% safe from compromise which is a great improvement, but when you have a large company, 5% is still too much. [13:12] - Right now, Adam is working with the cognitive brain function and explains the details on how this works in regards to psychological security. [15:10] - There are two ways to lay down memories and “fight or flight.” One is through fear and one is through humor. [16:27] - People are better at remembering something that made them laugh and Adam trains people with this in mind. [18:26] - Hook Security provides Security Awareness Training that people actually enjoy. [19:06] - Hook Security is being very careful with how they present their findings and taking their time with the science elements involved so that it is used for good and not as a tool for attackers. [21:54] - Social engineering is no different from simple marketing. Marketing is there to show you something that you may find valuable and hope that you click on it. Social engineering is the same, but “with a different punch line.” [22:56] - There’s a database. You’re in it. You are a product. If you are getting something for free or are paying something low, you are the product. Adam uses a Netflix example to demonstrate this. [24:52] - With the way YouTube and Netflix work, you are trusting big corporations to have your best interests at heart. [25:52] - We are all wired to help others. These hard-wired responses allow marketers and attackers to take advantage. [27:16] - Chris and Adam discuss that the way marketing works is not a bad thing because they want to see the recommendations based on their interests. But they can be used negatively. [28:39] - Fake news and “echo chambers” that we find ourselves in are designed to polarize people to different extremes. [30:02] - Just like marketers who know who they are targeting to sell to, cybercriminals know what your triggers are to manipulate you into a compromising situation. [31:46] - There are different types of triggers that cause us to fall for scams. [32:08] - These triggers are wonderful when they happen organically and to help others but are terrifying when they are used against us. [33:53] - Learning how to pause and evaluating whether something is true or not is crucial. If you can’t do that, Adam says to “reprogram your auto-pilot.” [36:14] - Your perception of the phone is that it is something that you get a lot of value from but it is also a place where people will call you and text you with fraudulent stuff. Some people can pause and question it and some cannot. [38:12] - We all have blind spots and we don’t know what they are, so always have a support system to get others’ opinions on the matter before making certain choices. [39:50] - It is imperative that we treat this seriously. We are throwing a burden on our “nerds” by having them try to understand the nuances of the human brain. [41:39] - None of this science is new. We just need to apply it.

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    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Hook Security Adam Anderson on LinkedIn Adam Anderson on YouTube
  • What is it like to be a world-renowned cybercriminal and what motivates them? Today’s guest referred to as the original internet Godfather shares his experience running a cybercriminal empire, going on the run, and ultimately turning his life around.

    Brett Johnson was responsible for refining modern financial cybercrime as we know it today. After being placed on the United States’ Most Wanted list, captured and convicted of 39 felonies, Brett promptly escaped prison. Captured again, Brett served his time, accepted responsibility, and found redemption through his loved ones and the help of the FBI.

    Today he is considered a leading authority on internet crime, identity theft, and cybersecurity. Brett speaks and consults around the world to help protect people and organizations from the type of person he used to be.

    Show Notes: [1:11] - Brett starts telling his story by summing up why he got the title, “The Original Internet Godfather.” What really got him the title was him building the first organized cybercrime community called ShadowCrew. [2:24] - Brett ran both ShadowCrew and CounterfeitLibrary. The other primary cybercrime site that he did not run was CarderPlanet. [3:14] - ShadowCrew and CounterfeitLibrary were run like forums and marketplaces to connect and network with other criminals. [4:37] - Brett was arrested in 2005 and was offered a job to work with the Secret Service, but chose to continue pursuing criminal activity and eventually made his way onto the United States Most Wanted List. [5:40] - Secret Service used a Trigger Fish, now called a Stingray, which locates targeted cell phones in a specific area. This device was used to find Brett at Disney World and to arrest him. [7:37] - Brett shares the experience of his car and house being searched and how his choices got him caught. [9:54] - Brett’s tendency to break the law started when he was 10 years old and his mom was also a criminal. He shares a lot of his childhood background in shoplifting. [12:13] - Although he started shoplifting as a child, Brett says that as an adult, he made the choice to continue criminal activity. [13:32] - Brett’s first cybercrime was on eBay by posting a Beanie Baby for sale, requiring the buyer to send a money order that couldn’t be canceled, and sent her an item that did not match the post. [16:07] - Brett kept going and his eBay crimes led to pirated software, which led to modchips, which led to programming satellite DSS cards. [17:40] - After bringing in several thousand dollars per week under his real name, Brett got scared he would get caught, so he shares his story about getting a fake ID to open a bank account. [18:17] - Brett’s fear of being abandoned became a reality when his wife left him. [19:36] - Brett remarried a stripper who was an addict. Through all of his crimes, his second marriage caused his sister to disown him. [21:06] - It took several years of not speaking to his sister and justifying his actions for Brett to realize that he was in prison because he chose to break the law. [22:08] - For three after being released from prison on probation in 2011, he couldn’t get a job because he wasn’t allowed to use a computer. [23:13] - Brett met his current wife during this time and moved in with her. He was able to find a job doing yard work. [24:00] - Although he was doing better, during the winter months when there was no yard work to do, he got online to find stolen credit card information and started making orders. He went back to prison for 10 months. [25:24] - After his 10 months, he got married, and started to turn his life around. He contacted an FBI agent for job advice and now he feels he is living a blessed life. [26:40] - Now Brett does a lot of consulting and hosts a few podcasts. He also works with AARP and other types of organizations. [28:19] - A big misconception people have about cybercriminals is that they are very educated and can hack into anything. But 98% of cybercriminals out there are really good social engineers and know-how to manipulate someone using technology and psychology. [29:56] - The number 1 group for identity theft is children. [30:51] - Most people use the same password across multiple accounts. Brett says to always use a password manager. [32:38] - The reason a scam works is because the scammer and the victim are on opposite sides of the field. The scammer works to get the victim to his side by establishing trust through technology and social engineering. [34:36] - How good is the scammer at establishing trust with a victim using the technology they have? [37:09] - The scammer’s job is to make sure the victim is not thinking objectively. [37:50] - People like to trust. Generally, people like to see the best in people. Brett says to trust, but verify. [39:08] - In his experience as a consultant, Brett has found that most victims suspect something might be a scam but alienate themselves from telling anyone out of embarrassment as society tends to blame the victim. [42:16] - Chris asks Brett when a scammer stops caring about the victims and only cares about the money. Brett answers that it depends on whether or not the scammer is a sociopath. He says that most scammers are not and come to believe their own justifications. [44:18] - There’s no beneficial thing about being a criminal. [44:50] - Be proactive, not reactive, when it comes to security.

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    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest AnglerPhish Web Page Brett Johnson on Twitter Brett Johnson on LinkedIn
  • Embezzlement is on the rise, but only a few incidents ever get reported to law enforcement. Why do people steal and how are they doing it? What can business owners do to help prevent these crimes and what should they do if they suspect them?

    Our guest today is Kelly Paxton. She has more than 25 years of investigation experience and is a certified fraud examiner and private investigator. She started her career in law enforcement as a special agent for the US Customs Office of Investigation in 1993. She has worked white-collar crime, fraud, money laundering, embezzlement, and conflict of interest cases. Kelly is also the proud owner of Pink Collar Crime, a passion of hers about embezzlers in the workplace.

    Show Notes: [1:02] - Kelly has always been interested in money. She started her career in finance but had a client arrested for fraud. She then became interested in investigating why people steal money. [1:57] - Kelly’s goal is never to put someone in jail. Her goal is to find out why the person stole the money and to hopefully see the money returned to the victim. [2:32] - Why do people steal money? Generally speaking, Kelly says most people will steal because they think that money will help them fix their problems. [3:51] - Most people are good people, but life happens, and most people think money fixes it. [4:11] - Embezzlement is stealing money from business. Kelly defines Pink Collar Crime as petty amounts stolen by low to mid-level employees, primarily women, from the workplace. [5:40] - In the 80s, this was a shift in thinking. Up until then, most people hadn’t thought about embezzlement as a common crime. [6:17] - Kelly explains that in embezzlement cases, there is a lot of victim shaming. Due to this, only 15% of embezzlement cases are reported to law enforcement. [8:01] - Most victims like the employee and that is how the employee is able to steal. Trust is not an internal control. [8:46] - 60%, or 3 out 5, of all dentists have been ripped off. [9:13] - Kelly calls embezzlement “the crime of main street.” [10:01] - Financial audits are not always when losses are noticed. Tips and hotlines are actually more effective in finding out about these problems. [11:06] - 90% of bookkeepers in the United States are women. Women push back against the title “Pink Collar Crime,” but should be pushing back that women are in lower-level positions as a whole. [12:30] - Kelly shares an example of a woman who stole millions of dollars over 20 years. When she was arrested, she was exhausted because she could never take a vacation as she was afraid of being caught. [13:48] - Another warning sign is a control freak, especially when it comes to changing computer programs. [14:53] - The number one way people embezzle from the workplace is forged or unauthorized checks. [16:28] - It is never good to be ripped off, but there are good things that come from it, including connections with other people and lessons learned on how to manage the business moving forward. [18:36] - The principle doesn’t pay the principal, meaning the principle of being ripped off doesn’t pay the loss. [19:16] - At the end of the day, you have to get back to work. The money is replaceable. The trust is difficult to get over. [21:00] - Intuitively, you trust a coworker more than you trust a stranger. So you won’t always see this coming. [21:41] - Trust but verify. Kelly uses an example of trusting your dentist when you have a cavity. [23:47] - If you are a small business owner, Kelly recommends that you mail your bank statements mailed to your home or to a P.O. Box that only you can control. [24:27] - Always look at the images of the checks on your online bank statements. [25:49] - Mix up when you check things. Check different size checks, audit your own finances at different times of the year. Keep everyone guessing so they don’t see a pattern that they can take advantage of. [28:10] - Kelly also suggests that you have a binder or system of some sort that outlines everything in the event that you need to show details in a case. [30:23] - Business owners don’t generally look at all the checks going in and out of the business. Some business owners even have pre-signed blank checks to make tasks easier, but puts them at risk of fraud. [32:01] - Kelly would rather train business owners to help prevent these events than to sit across from someone she is investigating as a criminal. [32:48] - Kelly shares an example of one of the craziest cases she worked. [34:18] - If someone starts at a business and if they steal within the first 6 months of working there, they’ve done it before. They may not have a criminal history or have not been caught yet. [35:45] - If you walk into your house and you see a dead body, you call the police and you don’t touch anything. Unfortunately, with embezzlement, when a business owner notices something wrong, they go in and try to figure things out themselves and oftentimes mess up the crime scene. [37:46] - Kelly is writing a book, but admits that it will be an ebook because most people won’t go into a bookstore to buy a book about embezzlement. This can be seen as embarrassing. [39:07] - If you have proof of embezzlement, most of the time the employee will confess when confronted. But you need to be prepared and never confront them alone. Kelly recommends having a lawyer with you as a reliable witness. [42:16] - The more people who have access to the information, the less likely the crime will happen. [43:13] - There is no CSI Embezzlement. These cases take an extremely long time. [44:40] - Law enforcement has limited resources and will need to put their focus on different types of cases due to the length of time and investigation needed to work on these cases. As a business owner, you will need to spend a lot of money to have things investigated. [46:10] - There is also a level of embarrassment when things like this happen. [48:42] - There’s not a national database of arrests and convictions.

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    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Kelly Paxton Web Page Kelly Paxton on LinkedIn Kelly Paxton on Twitter Pink Collar Crime Web Page
  • With the cost of surveillance and mass information gathering becoming cheaper and easier, laws are struggling to keep pace. Who is fighting for transparency and working to protect your digital rights?

    Our guest today is Danny O’Brien. Danny has been an activist for online free speech and privacy for over 20 years. He co-founded the Open Rights Group and has defended reporters from online attacks at the committee to protect journalists. He is now the Director of Strategy at Electronic Frontier Foundation.

    Show Notes: [0:59] - Danny began working with Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in 2005 but had been interested in them and digital rights overall since 1990 as a journalist. [2:18] - In the early days of EFF, the topics they were writing about seemed very theoretical to the everyday person. It became confusing, but a lot of these hypothetical situations were becoming reality in the early 2000s. [4:06] - The assistance Danny gave to journalists to keep them safer from online attacks began on a case by case basis. [6:23] - Danny explains that now they are seeing a rise in targeted attacks on journalists with government connections. [7:50] - The tools to conduct a spyware style monitoring of a particular person are now so ridiculously cheap. It can be anyone. In the early days, it always seemed like an attack was government based or done by professionals. [8:42] - Journalists in particular are highly targeted for attacks because they have likely upset someone they’ve reported about. [10:49] - When Gmail was hacked in 2009, it became apparent that the people that were targeted in that attack were Tibetan activists. [11:42] - There has been a shift into a professionalization of attacks. It is someone’s job to clock on, hack and make someone’s life unpleasant, and clock off. [13:10] - One of the key cases in the last several years in regards to digital privacy rights is the Apple San Bernardino case in which the FBI wanted a back door into the iPhone of a suspect in a shooting. [14:36] - There is a gray area where governments are saying that as long as they have the ability to do these things, they should. [17:16] - The globalization of technology has caused confusion and blurred lines on what is legal and illegal in each country. [20:25] - Danny gives an example of a loophole in United States law regarding getting geolocation data from phones. [23:13] - The process of getting information is very murky especially in the United States. [24:41] - We need transparency before we will ever see reform. [26:40] - Google would do something called The Creepy Test where they would demonstrate something they could do internally and determine whether it was something that could be used in a “creepy” way. [28:29] - Something may seem like a great idea but wind up causing more bad than good. Danny uses apps for tracking the pandemic as an example. [30:20] - As technologists, we are capable of acting very quickly and reaching for a toolkit that we can use. [31:19] - Sometimes we have to be careful that the solutions that are the simplest from a technological point of view aren’t just shifting the complexity elsewhere. [34:02] - The consequences of simply uploading photos online in regards to privacy were very unexpected at the start of the internet and social media. [35:49] - In the 90s there was a strong fight against encryption. Now that encryption is what holds entire economies together. [36:08] - While encryption is useful, it is also being used by cybercriminals to hide illegal activity, particularly child pornography. [39:00] - We used to argue about digital rights but now all rights are digital. Now, all laws are about the internet. [41:53] - Danny and Chris discuss the passage of a bill about the digital rights of sex workers that had several unintended consequences. [43:12] - There is a big push right now to undermine encryption particularly for fighting against sex trafficking. [44:04] - There are a lot of problems that have been created that were unintentionally created by technology that needs to be solved. [45:06] - Large companies, like Apple, Google, and Amazon, have a lot of control of our personal devices. [46:46] - We will start to see a lot of technological compromises between large companies and the government. [48:44] - Pick the privacy tools and try out different tools to find what works for you. It exercises your right to remove trackers and ads from your web experience. [50:27] - In order to exercise your rights, you need to know them. [52:38] - People wind up being the consumers of technology and they don’t become active citizens in this digital community. Education is important. [54:54] - Danny shares links to useful material to educate yourself on surveillance (listed in the Links and Resources). [57:21] - Sometimes, lawmakers don’t know all about these technological problems, so write to your lawmakers when you have concerns. [59:30] - EFF is membership driven and a huge proportion of their funding is from individual members. If you are interested in becoming a member or donating to EFF, visit their website for more information.

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    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Open Rights Group Web Page Electronic Frontier Foundation Web Page Danny O’Brien on Twitter Surveillance Self-Defense (SSD at EFF) Security Education Companion (SEC at EFF)
  • The pandemic has taken an economic toll on millions of lives. People are struggling, people want to help, and others are looking to take advantage of both. Before panicking about your bills or giving to the latest charitable cause, you need to listen to this episode to make sure your money is going where you think it is.

    Our guest today is Dori Zinn. Dori has been a personal finance journalist for more than a decade with work featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, CNET, Yahoo Finance, and more. Her writing covers topics like banking, investing, credit, debt, student loans, personal loans, budgeting, and overall financial literacy. But today, she is talking about charities. Which ones are legitimate and which ones are raising those red flags?

  • Information security is not just technical. There is a human aspect involved and fixing that is more than just identification and awareness. Our guest today is Ira Winkler. Ira is the president of Secure Mentem and the author of the book You Can Stop Stupid. He is referred to as the modern-day James Bond, given his skills both physically and technically in infiltrating organizations.

    Today, Ira shares with us many of his personal and professional experiences in the area of cybercrime. His valuable tips and information can change how you look at potential threats and scams. He is an expert in how to make people easy prey and how to prevent people from being easy prey.

    Show Notes: [0:51] - Ira graduated college as a psychology major and the only job he could get at that time was in the National Security Agency. This led him into the computer field within the military. [1:31] - He always wound up working on the human side of things. [3:03] - Ira shares his background and how he became a world-renowned penetration expert, which is a fancy name for a hacker. [5:21] - The way you break something is not the way you fix it. This is an important concept when looking at psychology. [7:01] - Psychology helps Ira exploit others but it is also important to understand when helping them. [7:55] - Telling someone the problem and then telling them not to fall for a scam doesn’t work. [8:50] - Ira and Chris discuss the recent Twitter hacks. Ira says that in this situation, anyone could have done what the hacker did because it was easy. You just have to have the questionable ethics and morals to do it. [9:41] - A lot of times, hackers and criminals are hired in various agencies including government and law enforcement because of their skills. Ira says this is very backwards and gives examples why this is “horrendous.” [11:58] - How do we get people to not fall for various types of scams? Ira says it is a very multi-layered process and gives a few examples of what can be done. [13:02] - Ira uses a comparison with terrorism attacks and how we can use that knowledge to help us protect ourselves, plan for a problem, and how to respond. [15:59] - A lot of sites other than banks and credit card companies are putting in security measures to keep people safe. But a lot of people get annoyed by security protection’s inconvenience. [17:15] - In general, most people use the same password across multiple accounts. If one user ID and password is compromised then the others are as well. [18:32] - Ira uses the real moral of the story of The Wizard of Oz: You have what you are looking for, you just don’t know it or how to use it. This is applicable to security. You have what you are looking for, but you aren’t using it. [21:38] - People have to stop being offended when people put security mechanisms in place. [23:10] - Something that bothers Ira is when real credit card companies are calling and ask for points of verification like social security numbers. This is exactly what scammers do and when real companies do this, it is hard to tell the difference. [25:43] - If somebody is injured, it is the fault of the system where the user exists. Somewhere they enabled the user to put themselves in a situation to allow them to be harmed. [27:42] - Sometimes bad grammar and poorly written scams is actually a filtering feature for scammers to filter out the people who are too smart to fall for it. Even a small percentage of people falling for a scam is still money in the criminal’s pocket. [28:44] - We need better infrastructure to protect organizations and individuals because these events cause so much money to be lost. [29:46] - Anyone who tells you there can be perfect security is either a fool or a liar. [30:19] - Anytime you have the option to add two-factor authorization, take it! Yes, it is annoying, but the consequences of not utilizing it are far more annoying in the end. [32:11] - Ira shares a story about when there was suspicious activity on his bank account. He saw the pattern and told the bank that he would work with them and law enforcement because he does this for a living. They “made a note of it,” and didn’t really do anything to stop the problem. [35:14] - Ira references a movie called Focus that is about scams, social engineering, and con-artists. [37:21] - You have to admire the minds of these criminals and the lengths they’ll go to manipulate and take advantage. [38:10] - You need to respect your potential adversaries. [39:00] - Chris and Ira discuss why the United States is different from other countries in regards to using the combination of cards and signatures versus cards and a PIN. [40:24] - How much risk can you assume as a culture? [42:13] - Chip and PIN is risk mitigation, but how much risk is it actually mitigating? [43:10] - You Can Stop Stupid, Ira’s book, is about how stupid is an effect, not a cause. It outlines what you can do now and how you respond to a problem.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Ira Winkler on LinkedIn Ira Winkler on Twitter Secure Mentem Web Page You Can Stop Stupid by Ira Winkler