Good morning everybody! 

I was on WGAN this morning with Matt Gagnon and started off this morning talking about Fake Faces and the legitimate uses for them and then got into some of the seedier applications that they are being used for and what we can do to protect ourselves from being victims.  Then we got into some things you can do to be sure you are shopping securely this holiday season. Here we go with Matt.

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Automated Machine Generated Transcript:

Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Any of these internet-connected devices. So add to your list once you buy these things. Or even before you buy them. Do they self-update for security issues? Can I even get new firmware? Hey, I was on with Mr. Matt Gagnon this morning and we talked a little bit about our printer security, the security of the toys online. The shopping where you bought those toys, right. And being safe online. We also talked about, again, our little face generation, what’s it being used for? Is it legit? Is it not? For three bucks you can get a little diversity on your website with fake people, which is just amazing. It’s amazing how good it is. And it’s amazing how cheap it is as well.

So here we go with Mr. Matt.

Matt Gagnon: [00:00:54] It’s WGAN morning news on Wednesday, which is a great time as always to talk to Craig Peterson, our tech guru, Craig, how are you this morning, sir?

Craig Peterson: [00:01:02] Good morning. Doing well. Thank you.

Matt Gagnon: [00:01:05] Indeed. Craig Peterson also of course heard on this very station on the weekends, Saturdays at one o’clock.

If I’m not mistaken, Craig.

Craig Peterson: [00:01:12] Yes, that is correct.

Matt Gagnon: [00:01:14] And you’ll be talking about many of these same issues when you’ve got the microphone all to yourself.

So let’s get into them right now. cybersecurity, something that’s often ignored and, something that’s incredibly important. and, and I think this is a great time to talk about cybersecurity in general and this is something that I know you’re passionate about.

Why don’t you tell me what I should know about, printer cybersecurity threats that are often ignored?

Craig Peterson: [00:01:36] Yeah, this is a bigger deal than most people might realize. When we go into a business and start looking at the security, that’s there. The first thing we typically do is do a little scan and we check to see what are the versions of software that are on the computers and the devices.

Now, we all know that we should be updating our Windows, machines, Macs, or our Android devices, et cetera. But. Most of the time we go in and in fact, I can’t think of an exception. So I’m going to, I, most of the time, when we go in, we find that their printers have never been updated. Now, this becomes a very real problem because the printers are running a real computer inside of them, now. Especially these laser printers that are attached to your network and that particular little computer can be used and often is used to launch attacks. We’ve been into businesses that are saying, Hey, listen, something weird is going on. Our network is slow. The printer seems slower. We’re not sure what’s up. We’ve got some threats here. How did we get ransomware? In one case, that printer could be the source. So make sure that particularly in the shopping season, when we’re online and more concerned about our finances. We’ve got taxes coming up again early next year. Quarterly’s due at the end of this month. Make sure that your printers are up to date.

I would put that on my list to make sure this week you have to go to the printer. Many of them have a little webserver built right into them. So you can just use your web browser to connect to that printer, check the firmware version, which is the version of software on that printer.

Go to the manufacturer’s website, find out what the latest version is. Download it and then install it on the printer.  I know that seems like a lot of work and frankly, it is. The more advanced printers that are available out there. Do have the ability to automatically update their software. But it is key nowadays and too often, as you said, ignored.

Matt Gagnon: [00:03:52] Craig Peterson, our tech guru joins us at this time every Wednesday to go over what’s happening in the world of technology.

Craig, I am interested in buying a unique worry-free fake person and I have about a $5 bill in my pocket right now. Can I pull that off? Can I get one?

Craig Peterson: [00:04:07] Yeah, you can even get one for free.

You can get them in for as little as a dollar. Many businesses now have been using these pictures on our websites for years and years. Oftentimes you’ll go and hopefully buy one, right? Adobe has a service for that. There are many of them out there.

We have had problems in the past where those pictures didn’t have the right release behind them and many companies especially, the SoHo small office home office. They’ll just grab a photo online all the way through the big guys. Facebook is one of those that when you sign up, they say, all of your pictures, you upload basically bond to us. Some of these pictures have shown up on billboards and people have complained.

So number one, it’s easy to use these types of pictures for our businesses and websites and things because these people just don’t exist.

In fact, you can go online to this person does not and you can get your own fake person for free, which is amazing. You can buy them for as little as three bucks, just for one.

So yeah, your $5 bills do well. But there are also problems with this when it comes to just these dating sites. We’ve talked before, Matt, about people who are lonely. They go online, just trying to find maybe not full companionship, but at least someone to talk to.

There are many bad guys out there, all over the world who are more than happy to try and con us into sending money to help their, mother or whoever, who’s supposedly is in the hospital and needs this surgery.  There are so many excuses out there. Con us out of money.

If you generate one of these fake people and use that as your picture for your profile. Now, all of the standard techniques that are used to figure out if you stole a picture or from a site online and use that as your profile picture if didn’t have to do a reverse lookup, but those types of techniques to see if you’re a fake won’t work because there, the picture doesn’t exist anywhere.

So you’ve got to be very careful, online. And this is just another example of what’s coming our way.

Matt Gagnon: [00:06:36] Craig Peterson, our tech guru joins us at this time every Wednesday.

Craig, before I let you go, obviously we are now. Fully and the holiday shopping season, December it’s after Thanksgiving. So we now give permission to everybody to actually do this. so I think particularly given COVID, a lot of people are going to be going online. That’s obviously been a trend anyway for recent years, but I think it’s probably going to be even more pronounced this year. So in terms of keeping yourself secure while doing your holiday shopping online, what’s some important stuff to keep on the top of your mind.

Craig Peterson: [00:07:05] Everyone knows the basics, right? We just mentioned keeping your computers up to date. You obviously want to look and make sure that it is what’s called a secure site, which basically establishes a VPN from your browser to their site.

Unfortunately, that little lock in the corner of the website URL up there on your screen, that little lock doesn’t mean your data is actually safe once it arrives. So make sure you are shopping at a legitimate store online.

Make sure while you are shopping that you also just look around take care make sure that deal is really a good deal. Do a little comparative shopping, just like in the old days.

Tying it back into the printer that you were asking about earlier, we’re buying more and more internet-connected items. You might remember that. Barbie from a few years back that allowed interaction with it.  You can talk to this little doll and it could talk back to you. It turned out it was sending all the audio straight to the internet. That’s a computer inside that toy. That’s a computer inside that washing machine.

Any of these internet-connected devices. So add to your list once you buy these things or even before you buy them, do they self-update for security issues?  Can I even get new firmware for those devices? I want to encourage people to check out right now. Have I been That’s spelled it. Have I been  P W N E D. Have I been put in your email address and find out has my account been breached? More or less? It probably has been. It’ll tell you where it’s been breached. It’ll tell you if your credit card number was stolen, your password, your email. Whatever was stolen in that particular breach. Keep in mind that we need to change our passwords. We need to find out where they have been breached. And maybe be a little more cautious with that particular company in the future.

And as we go out there again, Stop. Think. Look at that email, that website make sure it really is legit.

Matt Gagnon: [00:09:33] Indeed. Craig Peterson, our tech guru with some great advice here as you head into your holiday shopping habits.

Appreciate it, Craig, as always. And we’ll talk to you again next week.

Craig Peterson: [00:09:41] Take care, Matt.

Matt Gagnon: [00:09:42] All right.

Craig Peterson: [00:09:43] I had a little bit of noise there underneath my audio. Anyways, we’ll have to see where we can fix that. Everybody have a great rest of the week. Hope you did have a fantastic Thanksgiving.

We’ll be back on Saturday. Of course.

Take care. Bye-bye.


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