• Google has confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that it will no longer scan student Gmail accounts for ads. The practice was called into question last week as part of a court case in which Google has been accused of violating wiretap laws.  Google had been scanning student Gmail accounts for advertising purposes after the practice was scrutinized during a recent court case Google has announced its stopping the process. Google Apps for Education is a free service used by more than 30 million students, teachers and administrators, offers Gmail email accounts, calendars, cloud storage, document creation, websites and plethora of other services Google related. Many schools have gotten rid of traditional Windows computers and gone with Chrome Books for teaching. Google revealing as part of its response to the lawsuit that it does scan Gmail accounts for the students who are signed up to use its Google Apps for Education program. While Google Apps for Education is free from ads, the search giant still scanned more than 30 million accounts so that it could potentially target ads to students on other Google properties. Google is also reportedly planning to disable email scanning on its Google Apps services for businesses and government too. This information comes right on the cusp of Microsoft launched a special ad-free version of Bing for schools. School administrators can enable an ad-free version of Bing with always-on Safe Search web security and adult content filtering. A pilot program kicked off last August and more than 4.5 million children in more than 5,000 schools have been using the special version of Bing ever since.
  • January 19, 2013

    Safe Gmail Review

    E-mail is something that everyone uses for their business and personal use so e-mail needs to be kept safe.  Your password is not the only password you need to worry about, your contacts need to protect their passwords as well. Safe Gmail is the closest thing to military grade PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) Encryption you can find in an e-mail extension.  When you encrypt your e-mail the only person that can read it is the recipient.  Both inboxes are encrypted so no messages can get stolen and after a certain time messages encrypted with Safe Gmail expired and get permanently deleted. We have all see theses keys on the internet before —–BEGIN PGP KEY——— Lots of letters and numbers —–END PGP KEY———— What this extension does it make it easier for non computer savvy users to use these pgp keys by implementing a question and answer system or an agreed upon password.  The key is then sent into the Safe Gmail’s cloud and the message is sent straight to the inbox of the recipient to insure encryption.  Then the recipient decrypts the message in their browser so Safe Gmail never sees the message. Safe Gmail is completely Open Source and has a free browser extension for Chrome and Firefox.  There are also mobile versions of this for iOS and Android phone.
  • December 7, 2012

    Gmail Two-factor authentication

    When people talk about keeping their personal information safe like there “Banking”, they need to understand just keeping your “Banking Information” safe is not enough.  You e-mail is where all your banking information gets sent, so you need to keep that secure first. The most secure e-mail is one that uses Two-factor authentication I recommend is Google Gmail because it does what we want to do unlike Yahoo, AOL, exc.  Even if you just setup Gmail for your banking you will be better off.  So what is Two-factor authentication lets explain? Two-factor authentication is an approach to authentication which requires the presentation of two or more of the three authentication factors a knowledge factor “something the user knows” a possession factor “something the user has” a inherence factor “something the user is” Two-factor authentication is often confused with other forms of authentication. Two-factor authentication requires the use of two of the three authentication factors. The factors are identified in the standards and regulations for access to U.S. Federal Government systems. Two-factor authentication is commonly found in where evidence of identity is needed and a second form confirms the identity. Two-factor authentication seeks to decrease the probability that the requestor is presenting false evidence of its identity. The number of factors is important, as it implies a higher probability that the bearer of the identity evidence indeed holds that identity in another realm computer system vs real life. In reality, there are more variables to consider when establishing the relative assurance of truthfulness in an identity assertion than simply how many “factors” are used. One of the things I like about Gmail’s Two-factor authentication is the app that works on Android, iPhone and Blackberry.  Google Authenticator generates 2-step verification codes on your phone.  Enable 2-step verification to protect your account from...
  • December 4, 2012

    CNN Interview with Kevin Mitnick

    Kevin Mitnick did a great CNN interview talking about computer security.  He hit on several key points that are relevant to keeping everyone’s personal information safe. Never do any banking or personal information at anyplace with open wireless like internet cafes or coffee shops and if you’re going to us a VPN solution. Using a more secure browser like chrome not Internet Explorer. Not using one password for everything have different passwords for different accounts. Use a password keeper program like Keepass to keep your password encrypted on your hard drive. Having personal firewall and Anti-virus up to date. Keep programs like Java, Flash, Abobe Acrobat up to date use a software called Personal Software Inspector to do this for you. Using an e-mail system or banking system with two form factor authentication like G-mail. These are all great tips and something that can keep everyone safe while working and using online resources.
  • November 8, 2012

    Gmail Update

    Google has added a few new features to their e-mail service Gmail. The features consist of the new compose and reply experience in Gmail, making it easier to reference other emails without having to close a draft. Similar to the Google talk popup windows, any email draft will lay on top of the main inbox without overtaking the entire screen.  The concept allows you to do a search and monitor new mail as it rolls in, while composing an email at the same time. You can also write multiple emails at once and minimize the message if you want to wrap it up later. You can still stick with the old Gmail features by saying NO when the popup asks to try new features, no word yet on how long you will be able to opt out of feature pack. Google said in the unveiling of the new Gmail “How many times have you been writing an email and had to reference something in another message?  Saving a draft, opening the old email, and then reopening your draft wastes valuable minutes. The new compose pops up in a window, just like chats (only larger).” Gmail now has the ability to see profile pictures of contacts, so you can find who you want to reach faster.  You can also drag and drop the new address into To: CC: and BCC areas as part of the improvements. Most people knew Google was planning to make some changes to their Gmail layout and design.  Their purchase of Sparrow in early July made most people believe a new and improved Gmail was on the way and now it’s here.