Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues September 22 2018

Editor’s Preface: Many of these columns by Pete Weiss reference RSS feeds that he identified on each respective web site that he is highlighting, or via his expert research.  To learn more about the value of using RSS, please see Pete’s LLRX article on this topic – What is RSS and How to Use it Effectively.

Subject: The Best Browsers of 2018: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and More Tested
Source: Digital Trends

Will Chrome remain our favorite web browser with arrival of newest version? Picking a web browser isn’t like picking an operating system or smartphone ecosystem. Unlike choosing MacOS, Windows, or Chrome OS, where your choices are mutually exclusive, switching between browsers isn’t quite so jarring. Picking the best browsers is comparatively easy — in fact, by the time you finish reading this paragraph, you could download each major browser on the market today. Really. You can read all the stats, benchmarks, and speed tests, but the right browser for you is the one that feels right. The one that provides everything you want, where you want it. If you’re still undecided, or if you’re in the early stages of browser-curiosity, read on. We’ve broken down the best browsers on the market today and boiled them down to their bare bones.

[though the article mentions EDGE and Chrome  as being able to sync across platforms, I believe FF does so, too /pmw1]

[Note the benchmark tests linked/tabbed at the end of the article]

Subject: How to Safely Pay for Goods and Services With Someone You Don’t Know
Source: Consumer Reports

There are risks to using mobile peer-to-peer services to send money to people you don’t know. But there are better alternatives.

We emphasize generally, however, because important caveats are in order. The truth is, some of the same qualities that make P2P services so appealing to consumers also expose them to significant risks—risks that users should take seriously and that both P2P service providers and government regulators should do more to mitigate.

More on Mobile Payment Services

How to Protect Yourself From P2P Payment Scams and Snafus
Why We Rated Apple Pay Highest for Mobile P2P
P2P Is Basically Safe, but Holds Some Risks

Subject: How to Salvage Valuables After Serious Flooding
Source: Consumer Reports

Saving your valuables can be a race against the clock because mold can form within 48 hours. To help, the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, cosponsored by FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution, has developed guidelines for how to salvage what you want and dispose of what can’t be saved.

The first step is to determine what type of water you’re dealing with—salty, dirty, or contaminated by sewage or chemicals. If your valuables have come in contact with toxic water during flooding, you might have to call a professional conservator because trying to clean them yourself can be a health risk. If the water was untainted, then take steps to reduce the humidity around your items as you work to clean and dry them. Here’s how from FEMA’s checklist:

see also:

Subject: Here’s How to Avoid Illness While Flying On An Airplane
Source: Digital Trends

Sitting with a few hundred people inside a confined airplane creates more than discomfort from a lack of leg space. Air travelers can often bring unwanted illness home along with those souvenirs — a longtime fear that’s recently exacerbated by a Emirates flight that quarantined 500 people and sent 11 to the hospital for what ended up being the flu. Add in reports suggesting that those bins in the security line have more germs than the airport toilets, staying healthy while traveling is an understandable concern.

So, how do you avoid getting sick on an airplane? Should you fly with a cold? We chatted with Robert Seidel, an aviation expert, pilot, and CEO of private jet operator Alerion Aviation, for insight on how to avoid letting germs hitchhike home with you.

Subject: Satellite Images and Shadow Analysis: How The Times Verifies Eyewitness Videos
Source: New York Times via beSpacific

The New York Times: Understanding the times Visual investigations based on social media posts require a mix of traditional journalistic diligence and cutting-edge internet skills.

“Visual investigations based on social media posts require a mix of traditional journalistic diligence and cutting-edge internet skills. In an effort to shed more light on how we work, The Times is running a series of short posts explaining some of our journalistic practices. Read more of this series here.

Subject: Security Risks of Government Hacking
Source: Schneider on Security Blog via beSpacific

Schneider on Security: “Some of us — myself included — have proposed lawful government hacking as an alternative to backdoors. A new report from the Center of Internet and Society looks at the security risks of allowing government hacking. They include:

Subjects: Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, E-Mail, E-Records, Government Documents, ID Theft, Intellectual Property, Internet

Schneider article:
Tags: backdoors, hacking, law enforcement, national security policy

+ comments

Subject: Expanding Security Tools to Protect Political Campaigns
Source: Facebook Newsroom

By Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy

Over the past year, we have invested in new technology and more people to stay ahead of bad actors who are determined to use Facebook to disrupt elections. Today we’re introducing additional tools to further secure candidates and campaign staff who may be particularly vulnerable to targeting by hackers and foreign adversaries. This pilot program is an addition to our existing security tools and procedures, and we will apply what we learn to other elections in the US and around the world.

That is why, today, as part of our broader efforts to better secure Facebook, we are launching a pilot program to expand our existing protections for users associated with US political campaigns ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Candidates for federal or statewide office, as well as staff members and representatives from federal and state political party committees, can add additional security protections to their Pages and accounts. Page admins can apply for the program at and, once enrolled, they can add others from their campaign or committee. We’ll help officials adopt our strongest account security protections, like two-factor authentication, and monitor for potential hacking threats.

Subject: 10 Investigative Tools You Probably Haven’t Heard Of
Source: Global Investigative Journalism Network via beSpacific

Global Investigative Journalism Network: “Investigations, the saying goes, are just regular stories with a lot more labor put in. Investigative reporters spend inordinate amounts of time sifting through documents, verifying sources and analyzing data — and that’s if they can even get the data. As an investigative reporter with way too many stories I want to do, these are the tools I use to keep up with sources, stories and leads at a rapid rate. Let’s take a look at 10 of the best new tools for unearthing, accelerating, and keeping track of investigations…”

NB GJIN Resources / Help Desk:

Posted in: Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Disaster Planning, Internet Resources, RSS Newsfeeds, Social Media, Travel