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And For Privacy Lesson #1, LOG OFF of your email account

I just saw an interesting article in the New York Times called "A Company Computer and Questions About Email Privacy". The article is about a court case involving Scott Sidel and Structured Settlement investments. On one side is Scott Sidell who left the company and "found out that his former employer was reading his personal Yahoo e-mail messages, after he had left the company", …including e-mail messages that he had sent to his lawyers discussing his strategy
for winning an arbitration claim over his lost job
." On the other side is Structured Settlement investments who say Mr. Sidell had returned to the office after he was fired and had begun  using another employee’s computer

The discussion was around that while using that other person’s computer (at the office), he must not of logged off of his email account. I am not going to debate the he-said, he said – but I will say that this is a great lesson learned for all: LOG OFF OF YOUR DARN EMAIL ACCOUNT IF YOU ARE NOT USING YOUR OWN COMPUTER!  Many email programs have special functions that allow you to stay "logged on" for a short time, without having to enter your own ID/password. This works great when you are using your own personal computer – that you no one else is using… But, if you EVER log on to a public or another person’s computer to check your email – it is important to log off afterwards. The same goes for logging onto any other website where a user id/password is needed -  what is also needed is to "log off" afterwards.

Even if you log off, your account can be compromised so it is important to be careful with what information you send via email. So the final lessons learned is to log off of online accounts after using them and save some information for a phone call!

Related links:
Lifehacker.com has an interesting post about "electronic tripwire" in your email account to keep you aware of email break-ins

Both Yahoo and Google have info that discuss their security. Yahoo also has a Security Center, while Google has the Privacy & Security Help Center

Any others to add?

 

Virtual “Leave Me Alone!”

Tonight, when I finally sat down after an insane day with my boys for quiet time with my computer, I got this pop-up with some marketing spam message from someone that tried to Skype me.

The nerve.

I can only blame myself for not setting the privacy options. And that is usually the first thing I do, but I must of forgot when setting up Skype. I logged on immediately to change my status to do not disturb, which means I will not be notified of any messages. Then I visited the Skype knowledge base to find out how I can set the privacy options:

“If you are getting chat messages or calls that
you consider to be spam or abusive we suggest you use Skype’s built in
privacy settings to filter out any unwanted communications..

Select Tools -> Options -> Privacy.”

I set my privacy options to only allow chats and calls from people I have shared my details with.  Spammers, sorry you will not be on that list.
 

 

Securing A Wireless Network: Mossberg’s Mailbox

I listed Walter S. Mossberg, a technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal under the "Chat with the Professionals" column because I find his articles very helpful.

Here is the link to an article about securing a wireless network.  He mentions that all wireless home networks should have an encryption key (a password). I also think this is important. Instructions can be found in the instruction manual of the home wireless router.