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Category Archives: E-Records

These Video Doorbells Have Terrible Security. Amazon Sells Them Anyway

Consumer Reports – “The devices are also sold by Walmart, Sears, and other retailers—and big platforms have faced few consequences for shipping flawed products. On a recent Thursday afternoon, a Consumer Reports journalist received an email containing a grainy image of herself waving at a doorbell camera she’d set up at her back door. If the message came from a complete stranger, it would have been alarming. Instead, it was sent by Steve Blair, a CR privacy and security test engineer who had hacked into the doorbell from 2,923 miles away. Blair had pulled similar images from connected doorbells at other CR employees’ homes and from a device in our Yonkers, N.Y., testing lab. While we expected him to gain access to these devices, it was still a bit shocking to see photos of the journalist’s deck and backyard. After all, video doorbells are supposed to help you keep an eye on strangers at the door, not let other people watch you. Blair was able to capture those images because he and fellow test engineer David Della Rocca had found serious security flaws in this doorbell, along with others sold under different brands but apparently made by the same manufacturer. The doorbells also lack a visible ID issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that’s required by the agency’s regulations, making them illegal to distribute in the U.S…”

Black Families Can Now Recover More of Their Lost Histories

The New York Times [Dr. Fields-Black is the author of “Combee: Harriet Tubman, the Combahee River Raid, and Black Freedom During the Civil War]: “…African Americans searching for their family histories often have only small irregular pieces of an enormous puzzle. Most of those pieces are missing because enslaved African Americans were not recorded by… Continue Reading

The Best VPNs to Protect Yourself Online

Wired – “It won’t solve all of your privacy problems, but a virtual private network can make you a less tempting target for hackers. A virtual private network (VPN) is like a protective tunnel you can use to pass through a public network, protecting your data from outside eyes. Whether you’re worried about hiding your… Continue Reading

The Slack generation can’t communicate with the email generation

Fast Company – Why more platforms are dividing the workplace – “Workplace miscommunication and conflict are on the rise, as work becomes more decentralized and multigenerational. Should you leave important information in a voicemail to a colleague? Should you pick up a phone call from your boss after hours? How do you determine what rises to… Continue Reading

Biden Issues Executive Order to Protect Americans’ Sensitive Personal Data

“President Biden issued an Executive Order to protect Americans’ sensitive personal data from exploitation by countries of concern. The Executive Order on Preventing Access to Americans’ Bulk Sensitive Personal Data and United States Government-Related Data by Countries of Concern, marks the most significant executive action any President has ever taken to protect Americans’ data security, authorizes the… Continue Reading

How to stop your devices from listening to you

PopSci: “Our smartphones and smart speakers can listen for specific voice commands and take action accordingly, but maybe you don’t want your devices always having one digital ear open. Aside from privacy concerns, the smart assistants inside our gadgets can be triggered accidentally–by someone else in the house or even someone speaking on television. Turning… Continue Reading

Tumblr and WordPress to Sell Users’ Data to Train AI Tools

404Media: “Tumblr and are preparing to sell user data to Midjourney and OpenAI, according to a source with internal knowledge about the deals and internal documentation referring to the deals. The exact types of data from each platform going to each company are not spelled out in documentation we’ve reviewed, but internal communications reviewed… Continue Reading

With elections looming worldwide here’s how to identify and investigate AI audio deepfakes

Nieman Lab: “…Media manipulation investigators told GIJN that fake AI-generated audio simulations — in which a real voice is cloned by a machine learning tool to state a fake message — could emerge as an even bigger threat to elections in 2024 and 2025 than fabricated videos. One reason is that, like so-called cheapfakes, audio… Continue Reading

Seeking Reliable Election Information? Don’t Trust AI

Proof – Experts testing five leading AI models found the answers were often inaccurate, misleading, and even downright harmful. Twenty-one states, including Texas, prohibit voters from wearing campaign-related apparel at election polling places. But when asked about the rules for wearing a MAGA hat to vote in Texas — the answer to which is easily… Continue Reading

How to Keep Your Loved Ones Safe From Financial Scams

Wired: “…So what can we do to help our elderly and vulnerable, who are the targets of scams and morally dubious business practices? I spoke with Genevieve Waterman from the National Council on Aging (NCOA), an expert on financial education among older adults. She was quick to point out that pushy salespeople often use the… Continue Reading

10 Reasons You Should Switch From Chrome to Firefox

How To Geek: “Key Takeaways Firefox provides many advantages over Chrome, including being more efficient, so your laptop battery lasts longer. Firefox doesn’t track your internet activity for advertising purposes. Firefox has better privacy controls, including container functionality and VPN, enhancing your privacy and security online. Google Chrome is the most popular web browser by… Continue Reading