Today Craig discusses secure communications and how we can keep our information from being used by the bad guys.
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Automated Machine Generated Transcript:
Craig Peterson: Have you ever wondered how you can blur the pictures that you’re taking on your camera? Maybe also remove location data, GPS, all of that stuff. Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about right now and how rioters are doing it too.
[00:00:22] Yes. Hello. Hello, Craig Peterson here. Thanks for joining me. We’re on every week, you can subscribe online as well. CraigPeterson.com/subscribe and get all of my latest information.
[00:00:35] We’ve got a bit of a problem out there that you might have heard about. In fact, if you haven’t heard about it, you’re probably living under a rock somewhere.
[00:00:44] But here’s the problem. We have people out in the street picketing, they’re rioting. They’re really trying to get their voices heard. Now what’s behind it all, that’s a subject for a completely different show. We’re going to talk about technology as we do every week. What we’re finding right now is that while they’re out there taking pictures, they’re doing all kinds of silly/stupid things with them. For instance, we’ve got them posting pictures on Twitter of illegal things they’re doing, or they’ve done, which allows the police to get at them, right? So they’re looking, what can we do? How can we keep our information private and you know what? It’s actually a great topic for all of us because.
[00:01:33] All of us are under attack. We’ve got the bad guys going at us, trying to steal our information and then use it against us. Look at what’s been happening with business email compromise with businesses that are responding to emails. They shouldn’t have, it happened to Barbara Corcoran. There she is. She’s one of the people you think would know better.
[00:01:56] She’s on Shark Tank. She’s a big-time investor who started her whole career in real estate and has done very, very well for herself. And she got fooled into sending $400,000 to the bad guys. It can happen to you her, it can happen to you. It can happen to anybody. So how do we keep our information safe? And in this day and age, young kids, you don’t want necessarily the pictures online.
[00:02:25] You sure don’t want GPS coordinates to be there. Well, that’s where some very innovative people have been spending time lately. And. You can have the advantage that bad guys are using as well. And that is using some of these apps that are designed to keep your data safe. Many of us have been using zoom for everything from meetings through weddings, being able to attend remotely.
[00:02:56] Things that we’d never been able to really pay any attention to before because we were so far away. And of course, now we’re being forced to be so far away. Well, there is a piece of software called Signal and Signal’s, founder and CEO. His name is Moxie, Marlinspike. I bet that’s not the name he was born with and he has developed a protocol.
[00:03:21] And an app. Now, this protocol is secure end to end. What that means is if there is someone in the middle, anywhere in the middle of your communications, they can capture data from your communications, but they can’t tell what that data is. In other words, they can get the data stream, but it’s encrypted.
[00:03:46] They don’t know if this is a video. If this is voice, if you’re sending files back and forth, they just don’t know. And at this point in time, anyways, we’ve seen that the law enforcement agencies and certainly the bad guys have had a hard time with some of this data. So if you need to try and keep your information safe, how to, how do you do it?
[00:04:10] Well, WhatsApp is one of those pieces of software out there that’s using Signal’s open-source, secure messaging platform. So is Facebook Messenger, now. They’re planning on introducing a new feature. Also, that lets you quickly blur people’s faces when you’re sharing photos. And what Signal is doing is you can set it up to automatically blur a face, and it will put a little square rectangle over what it deems to be a face.
[00:04:44] And then you can go in and modify that and make it a little bit bigger. Now, maybe you want to get rid of a little bit more stuff in the background, and while it’s doing that, it’s also turning it into a flat JPEG. It’s removing all of the extraneous information about the camera that took the picture.
[00:05:04] What the focal length of the lens was, the lens speed, everything that might help to track it down, trace it down to the originator. It’s also removing the GPS information those geocodes. Now that’s very important as well because the bottom line that’s how some of these bad guys are tracking us down. For instance, there are stalkers out there.
[00:05:29] Ex’s ex-wives, ex-husband’s ex-boyfriends, girlfriends that have been stalking their ex online. And have been grabbing photos that are posted and then look at the geocode information in it to figure out where they are at. That is a problem. If you ask me a very, very big problem, because now they have a location down to a street address, right? These things are very, very accurate within a couple of meters.
[00:06:01] So what do you do? Well, you can certainly use Signal if you are an Android user, you can even set up Signal to be your default messaging application. Now, remember if you use Signal to send a message to someone that has a regular phone, or that does not have Signal, it’s going to go in the clear, which is kind of like Apple’s iMessage. If you’re using iMessage, your data is secure end to end, which is great. Right? But not everybody has. I message. However signal is available on all of the mobile platforms and on a few others as well. So you can now use Signal to communicate securely with someone you can use iMessage to communicate securely with someone, both of which are great.
[00:06:53] WhatsApp is also very popular. I have a mastermind group that I’m in and we use WhatsApp for group messaging as well as for individual messaging. Where we’ll send a quick note to somebody else in the group saying, Hey, I noticed you sent this out today or you did this, or, Hey, this was in the news. You might want to follow up on it, et cetera.
[00:07:14] Now, with this, the blurring thing, now we’re kind of asking if this is crossing a line. What we’re seeing is now that there’s obviously great use for encryption. Very good encryption. When it’s me sending you a message so that a bad guy does not intercept it and then use it against us. Just steal our money or cause all kinds of havoc, right?
[00:07:42] Blackmail, you name. It can happen, but where’s the line when it comes to bad guys. You know, on the complete other-side of that scale, you have people who kill people, who mame and rob and steal, the obvious, bad guys. Then somewhere in the middle of, there’s gotta be some sort of a line. The problem is you cannot define that line, frankly.
[00:08:08]Where is it? How do they know what you’re using it for? And that gets to be a real problem. So if you want to keep your data safe, you can. And probably the best way to do this is to use signal. Use this basic blur face functionality that it has and use it to remove kids faces, or are there people who might be in the shot who might not want their information, you know, their face to be spread out on your Facebook page or wherever it might be a, but.
[00:08:42] Will you remember that it is secure end to end. So unless the person receiving it then shares it, you aren’t in any trouble of having shared data. You did not want to share, but if they receive one of these blurred messages, well, It’s removed everything from that photo, the date, the time, the camera information, the GPS, everything else.
[00:09:05] So there you go. There’s a little bit of about what you can do right now. That is free software. By the way, is open-source. It’s turned by the nonprofit signal foundation. And if you don’t have Signal installed, you might want to do it.
[00:09:19] I use it to communicate with some of my clients and some of my friends and have for quite a few years, I haven’t found any real problems. Now, a word of caution. There are some other apps out there. For instance, I found one online for the iPhone and it’s a shortcut. Now Apple’s iPhone has this concept of shortcuts, which is really rather cool. It lets you tie apps together to do different things.
[00:09:45]this particular shortcut. Remove some of these geoinformation and other things from pictures. So you might want to set yourself up a shortcut that does that. There are some apps that do that. In fact, on your iPhone. When you take a picture with that here I can mode where it is, including a little bit of video, basically, before the picture, a lot of places have trouble with that.
[00:10:10] So you can use one of these converters to turn it that picture into a regular JPEG and remove all of the personal information that’s on it. This blur faces shortcuts, gallery.com. Shortcut that I found I do not as I went through it. I looked at the code that’s behind it and it actually sends it up to an Amazon web server.
[00:10:33] That picture. That you’ve taken, which now means, who knows just how much that, how secure it is, how much that could be shared. Right. It really could be a problem for you. So keep that in mind as well. Don’t use some of these things. Be very careful. Be very cautious. Hey, when we come back, we’re going to talk about some new security settings that have come into Chrome and are turned on by default in Firefox.
[00:11:04] We’ll tell you what they are when you should use them. And frankly, when you should not use them, it is causing. All kinds of fits and panics in the security world out there. So stick around, you’re listening to Craig Peterson and we’ll be back in just a couple of minutes.
[00:11:22]Also if you do sign up on my website, Craig peterson.com. Subscribe, I will be sending you a bunch of free stuff, some great checklists that you can use some information about what you should be doing to stay safe, including your password. So again, go right now. Craig peterson.com/subscribe and stick around because we’re coming right back, talking about secure DNS.
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