Computer Security Guide

Online protection for the non-technical

Why use Third Party Software to Create an Encrypted File Container

It wasn’t long ago when TrueCrypt was the most popular encryption tool out there.  Since its demise a couple years ago, people have been scrambling to find a replacement.  For those that use Mac’s – you’re in luck.  The Mac operating system comes with the ability to create an encrypted file container without the need for third-party software.  All you need to do is go into the Disk Utility tool and create a “New Image”.  When you create a new image, simply name the file, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as your file system, and choose your encryption.   Natively, you will be able to select either 128-bit or 256 bit AES encryption.  Obviously, 128 will be faster to create but 256 will be more secure.


March 28, 2015 Posted by | Business, Personal, Privacy, Security | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Password Strength

As computers and technology continue to evolve, password cracking is becoming more and more easier…not to mention faster.  If you want to see just how secure your password really is, check out

September 18, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Use Tor (The Onion Router) to Browse the Internet Safely

Tor is not new but still works quite well.  For those that do not know, Tor is free software that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance known as traffic analysis.  Network surveillance threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships.

Tor works by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world (known as exit nodes).  Tor prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location.  The great thing about Tor is that it works with many of your existing applications such as web browsers, instant messaging clients, remote login, and other applications based on the TCP protocol.

October 8, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Use Tor Orbot on Android Devices for Safer Communications

Orbot is an application that allows mobile phone users to access the web, instant messaging and email without being monitored or blocked by their mobile internet service provider. Orbot brings the features and functionality of Tor to the Android mobile operating system.

Orbot contains Tor, libevent and privoxy. Orbot provides a local HTTP proxy and the standard SOCKS4A/SOCKS5 proxy interfaces into the Tor network. Orbot has the ability to transparently torify all of the TCP traffic on your Android device when it has the correct permissions and system libraries.

Enhance your privacy, break through firewalls and communicate more safely.

Orbot is the official port of Tor to Android. Tor is a network of virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to improve their privacy and security on the Internet.

Find Orbot on the Android Marketplace (

October 8, 2012 Posted by | Privacy | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF) and How It Aids Criminal Investigations

Investigators in all forms of law enforcement—whether local, state, or federal—routinely come across digital photographs while executing search warrants or permissive searches. These digital images may have been identified on a cellular telephone, computer, digital camera, or other form of digital media. It is common practice to look and sort through the seized images for ones that may be pertinent to the investigation at hand. A majority of the time, this process will be done back at the station. Digital images that don’t have evidentiary value are discarded… But wait: don’t forget the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Just because a digital image doesn’t depict the photographic evidence you were looking for doesn’t mean it lacks value. Digital pictures often contain metadata also known as Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF).

EXIF data can provide a treasure trove of information to investigators, including:

  • Camera model
  • Camera serial number
  • Exposure setting
  • Date and time picture was taken
  • GPS coordinates
  • GPS version ID
  • Latitude and longitude
  • Altitude
  • GPS timestamp
  • Image description
  • Software
  • Author

The full article was published in Evidence Technology Magazine.  Come check it out.

October 6, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Free Computer/IT Forensic Software (Email)

Computer forensic software can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars.  One of the most frequently asked questions regarding computer forensics is how to examine email.  Below is a list of free software which can examine certain aspects of email.

EDB Viewer – Allows to view Microsoft Outlook EDB files

Gmail Parser – Parses Gmail artifacts from cached HTML files

PST Viewer – Open and view Microsoft Outlook PST files

June 19, 2012 Posted by | Business, hacker, Personal, Security | Leave a comment

Top Computer Security Threats for 2011

Check out the Article which was published on

March 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Where to Report Cybercrime

As we dive deeper into the information age we commonly stumble upon a problem….where to report cybercrime. Cybercrime is a unique beast because it takes place in cyberspace outside physical jurisdictions. Local police can help by taking an initial complaint or by providing you with a proper point of contact but will most likely be unable to investigate many cybercrimes that occur. The following is a list of common cybercrimes and the proper point of contacts for them (remember to call 911 if it’s an emergency):

Type of Crime                                                                       Agency

Computer intrusion (i.e. hacking)

Password trafficking 

Counterfeiting of currency 

Child Pornography or Exploitation 

Child Exploitation and Internet Fraud matters that have a mail nexus

Identity Theft

Internet fraud and SPAM

Internet harassment

Internet bomb threats

Businesses and intellectual property



Trafficking in explosive or incendiary devices or firearms over the Internet


April 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Using Self-Destruct Text Messages

TigerText is a secure text messaging platform for Smartphones which enables messages sent to self-destruct after being read. TigerText has been around for a little over a year and has grown to over 2,000,000 users. As previously mentioned, TigerText is available for Blackberry, Apple, Android, and Windows based Smartphones. Text messages are common place today. Rather than making a phone call to say you’re going to be late for dinner, we just send a text message. Sometimes we send text messages and later regret it. You know what I’m talking about; nothing says regret like drunk messing people. TigerText allows users to set the self-destruct policy of their messages between 60 seconds to 30 days after a message has been read. TigerText is the ideal tool for those wanting to keep their lives private (i.e. celebrities and politicians). More information on TigerText can be found at the company’s website

April 26, 2011 Posted by | Business, Personal, Privacy, Security, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Use strong passwords to help protect your personal information.

Passwords are the gateway on to a system or network.  They are ment for one person and one preson only.  Becuase passwords are sensitive you need to make sure they are kept in a secure place, and out of plain view, not on a piece of paper inside your desk or under your keyboard.  Don’t share your passwords on the Internet, over email, or on the phone.  No business will ever ask you for your password.  If you get an email or phone call asking for your password the first thing that should come to mind is SCAM!

In addition, without your knowledge, hackers may try to figure out your passwords to gain access to your computer using easy to find hacker software found on the Internet. You can make it tougher for them by:

  • Using passwords that have at least eight characters and include numerals and symbols.
  • Avoiding common words: some hackers use programs that can try every word in the dictionary.
  • Not using your personal information, your login name, or adjacent keys on the keyboard as passwords.
  • Changing your passwords regularly (at minimum, every 90 days).
  • Using a different password for each online account you access (or at least a variety of passwords with difficulty based on the value of the information contained in each.

One way to create a strong password is to think of a memorable phrase and use the first letter of each word as your password, converting some letters into numbers that resemble letters. For example, “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck” would become HmWc@wC.

To further increase the security of your online identity and to help protect you from account hi-jacking, take advantage of stronger authentication tools wherever available. This may take the form of two-factor authentication – the combination of a password or PIN number (something you know) with a token, smart card, or even a biometric device (something you have). Stronger authentication can also come from a behind-the-scenes identity-verification process, which uses various data to establish whether or not a user is genuine. Ask your bank, your regular online retailers, and your Internet Service Provider (ISP) if they offer stronger authentication tools for more secure transactions.

May 17, 2010 Posted by | Business, Personal, Security | 1 Comment