Fight Back the Phishers

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yogi
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Fight Back the Phishers

Post by yogi » 04 Dec 2018, 19:46

Best way to respond to phishing attacks is to report them to people who can do something about it, like shut down their web sites. Don't know where to go? Try this:

https://decentsecurity.com/#/malware-we ... stigation/

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Kellemora
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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by Kellemora » 05 Dec 2018, 13:40

I've actually taken the time to deal with some of the robocallers on my cell phone. I would listed to their spiel long enough to get contact information. Most of the time this required working my way through their prompts to get to a live person. This didn't always work, but sometimes it did, and I turned them in.

The forms we must fill out always ask for information I could not possibly ever know. So a few times it took a lot of digging to find out more information about them.
All I can say is it did do some good on locally based companies. But most of the call originate overseas somewhere, where our government has no control over what they do.

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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by yogi » 05 Dec 2018, 16:17

I had an interesting experience a couple hours ago. As you know I acquired a smart phone from Google. One of the big deals most smart phones offer is a Personal Assistant (PA). In my case it's pretty much like using Google Search on the web but the replies from Google are in the form of a pleasant sounding female voice. I might really like this feature at some point in the future, but for now I'm still on the learning curve.

One of the things the PA can do is screen incoming calls. It can get to the point where she will ask the person calling what the purpose of the call is. Any dialog that occurs is shown on my screen as text. Thus I can watch the screening session and determine if I want to interrupt the PA and pick up the call. OR, I can just let the PA handle the whole thing, take a message, and let me decide what to do. The first call ever that I received on my new phone, today, was one of those spam calls. I just got the number yesterday and already the spammers have me in their queue. When the phone rang I was elated that somebody was calling me, but there was a message on the screen in HUGE text warning me that it's spam. I could not answer that call if I wanted to. So, I decided to look up the number to see if my PA actually knows what she is doing, and voila! There are several references to the number on the web and they all say it's spam.

The information in the link posted above is mostly intended for taking down bogus web sites. The idea is to not just allow yourself to be victimized, but to give you an opportunity to fight back. I can imagine what the paperwork would look like for some of those links. I recently filed a report with the FBI and they did ask for unknowable information, but I just left that part blank. And FYI, I've not heard back from Robert Mueller yet. :lol:

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Kellemora
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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by Kellemora » 06 Dec 2018, 10:03

The frau has a Schmartz-Fone she can talk to to search the web, but if it has a call screening feature, she doesn't know about it.

I guess some day I'll have to move up from my flip-fone to a Schmartz-Fone, but they are going to have to be able to block all incoming text messages first.

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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by yogi » 06 Dec 2018, 14:41

You might have seen my (silly) post on FarceBook. A couple days ago I announced that I got a new camera that can also make phone calls. So far I got zero response which is probably due to my fan club members not knowing what the heck a Pixel 3 XL is. LOL The point I'm making to you is that you should not feel too intimidated by those smartphones because they are more like a portable computer than they are a telecommunications device. The icing on the cake is that they run off Linux (as you would call Android). Windows phone OS is different, of course, but I don't know anybody who actually has one.

Your wife more than likely has an Android based phone or an iOS Apple phone. You would think all Android devices would be running the same version of software, but that's not even close to being true. If you buy the phone directly from Google, then yes. You will be getting timely updates. If you buy from an ISP or other seller, then you are at their mercy. Most of them are several generations behind the current release. So, unless Deb has Android 9.x on her smart mobile device/phone/computer, she might not have the call screening feature. I just got another call with another message about possible spam. This time the screening software wasn't sure and gave me the option to answer OR to let it talk to the caller. I chose to screen it. I saw a printed version of the dialog. Well, my Personal Assistant, announced that the call was being screened and that's all it took for the caller to hang up. I checked the number and sure enough it has several complaints logged against it. I'm REALLY liking this artificially intelligent Personal Assistant.

Android SMS is capable of blocking specific incoming messages from specific phone numbers. Thus you can pick and choose whose messages you receive. I looked but could not find a way to disable SMS or MMS entirely. It may be possible but I haven't found it yet. I am certain, however, that even if you turn off messaging you will not be able to remove it from the OS. It's just something built into Android, like mail and cloud storage. They are all there but you don't have to use them. Also, I haven't received many SMS messages yet, but they are easy enough to delete should I want to ignore them without a response.

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Kellemora
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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by Kellemora » 07 Dec 2018, 12:11

I'm going to hold off as long as possible without getting a Schmartz-Fone. I don't even like the current generation of Flip-Fones, because they've added so much to them.
I'm olde skewl. Snail mail letters, and e-mail messages, are for text.
Voice communications devices. Like a telephone, portable phone, walkie talkie, and cell PHONE, are for audio messages.

Look at all the problems which have arisen due to putting text messages on a voice communications device.
People walk around like zombies, totally oblivious to the world around them, their eyes glued to a tiny screen instead.
Then they get mad if someone doesn't text them right back in ten seconds or fewer.

I look at it this way, I have e-mail for text messages, and I CHOOSE when to open and read my e-mail.
If it is so dang important they need to know something right away, that's what I have a voice communication device for.

I'm not the one who started calling ANY OS that uses a Linux Kernel LINUX.
Most programs written for an OS will only work on that OS.
Software for Red Hat won't run on BSD, Android, or Debian based systems (unless ported over to do so).
Technically Windows is no different. Windows 95 and 98, Windows 3.0 and 3.1 is not the same as Windows XP, or Windows 10. They too have changed from the 9x Kernel to the NT Kernel, and have modified the NT Kernel several times.

I got a kick out of learning that much of the work Mickey$oft does is actually done on Linux. Even though they have their own server software, they still run their system on Unix/Linux, and in some cases Sun/Spark, hi hi.
Microsoft CLOUD runs on LINUX! Their Azure Sphere OS is a LINUX OS!
Their MOBILE version of Office runs on Android/Linux.

Sounds to me like you have one fancy cell phone there Yogi. Probably too complicated for me to figure out, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by yogi » 07 Dec 2018, 13:13

You and I studied in the same school. We obviously had different language teachers who gave different definitions to Linux and Android and iOS, but everything else pretty much runs in parallel. How long have smart phones been around? A dozen years? Probably less. I never did have a 'need' for a smartphone, nor do I have that need right now as an owner of one. My strategy was to do what I did with the Windows OS. That is, use it until it doesn't work anymore. My old LG Rumor phone is a tough dude and hard to beat as far as simplicity goes. However the 'send' key only works half the time. The USB port lost its cover and is now collecting dirt and corrosion at an accelerated rate. I estimate that within the next year or so the Rumor would be unusable and I would have to make a decision based on my old school learning.

You make quite the proper distinction between data and voice oriented devices. I still think that way myself which probably has something to do with the fact I worked at Motorola for 36 years. They call smartphones, et al, mobile devices for a reason. They are neither purely data nor audio oriented. Plus they are portable. By far the operation of smartphones is more like a laptop computer than a phone, which can also do both data and voice communications. Now and days there is a lot of emphasis on pictures. You must have seen it yourself when sitting in a doctor's office. Most of the folks our age have one of them there smartphones and they use it to store pictures of their grandchildren. The fact that it can make phone calls is an added bonus. It used to be that same waiting room would have the same old folks with the same pictures, but hard copies in their wallets. Hell, now and days the need for wallets and money has become obsolete. Yes, I can use my Pixel to pay for groceries at most of the shops in town. So, when you think of a smartphone as not being a phone but a computer, then it makes more sense. Actually I said it all on Farcebook. I own a 'camera' that has the ability to make phone calls. Yep, there was a time in my life when I carried a Canon SE-1 over my shoulder everywhere I went. So, now I have a Pixel in my pocket. :mrgreen:

I don't think you ever will need a smartphone. Besides, they are expensive as all hell, even the cheap ones. But, when you decide it's time to upgrade to a different computer, look into those mobile ones that can also make phone calls. You don't actually have to use it for voice communication, but it does make for a convenient place to store pictures. Don't worry about the learning curve. You can't fool me. You are one hella smart dude.

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Kellemora
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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by Kellemora » 08 Dec 2018, 11:25

Don't laugh, I still carry a PDA, a PalmOne Tungsten E2.
My favorite feature about it is I can WRITE on it with the Stylus, or my fingernail if need be.
I used to also carry a MicroCassette, but it finally broke. I'm sure the belts inside dry-rotted, hi hi.

I know some Schmartz-Fonz can do both of those things. But at what price?
I took one of the frau's old Schmartz-Fonz to play with, but without a live connection, many of the (what I thought) were internal features, don't work. So apparently some of the apps are live apps only?
But the big pain with them is, they have to be charged daily.
Not the flip-fone I have now, but the second previous I only had to charge once a month, the previous once every two weeks, and the one I have now does not make it up to two weeks, so I charge it once a week on the same day each week.
I never go anywhere, so it is not from roaming. But it is probably spying on me, and reporting how long I sit in my office each day, hi hi.

I do know this. If I don't do something almost every day, I quickly forget how, without brushing up on it again.
Even my accounting program, as simple as it is. I have to look up how to make out an Invoice.
I cured that problem by not using it for Invoicing. I make out an Invoice by hand on one of my forms. Then after it is paid, I will enter it into the computer using only the ledger sheets. Seems to work out OK that way, and everything ends up in the columns and record areas it is supposed to be in.

Was talking with the IT guy who services Ace Hardware Stores, while waiting for the frau to get off work.
He was bragging about a computer system he picked up from an insurance companies local main office, who also took care of several Realty offices. I know I couldn't explain it properly, but it still takes someone who knows programming to use it. It can run any program no matter if it is any of the Linux distro's or any MAC or Windows program from 3.0 up through Win 10.
When he said this, I asked how is that possible. He said the cabinet has five motherboards in it, and programmed to share information between all platforms. Only in some cases do you need to tell the computer which OS to use, it normally figures it out on its own due to the programming. It had to be made simple enough office help could figure it out. Now it's all mine, he said with a hearty laugh.
I also asked if it worked like a Cluster, and he said no, it is not programmed in that manner, but could be.

With eight computers sitting in front of me, I've often studied a little bit on making a cluster, but the more I read, the more over my head it became, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by yogi » 08 Dec 2018, 15:16

I have to sympathize with your short term memory problems. That could be a problem with any smart phone simply because the phone can do so many things. You would have to recall how to do each one if it's not intuitively obvious. Then again, we all have certain routines in our lives. I suspect you would master those quickly and not be bothered by what else the mobile device can do. I'd have to agree with you in that you don't need a smart phone. But, if you wanted to explore one eventually, you will find it stimulating and interesting.

One of the problems I am experiencing with the Pixel 3 is in learning the Google way of doing things. I'm certain that they have a team of engineers dedicated to the task of inventing methods that are difficult for end users to master. The entire Google experience is cloud based. Thus, if you take a picture it will indeed be stored locally on your phone, but backed up to the cloud. I discovered that they take several pictures and make a composite of them to come up with one hugely detailed and exquisite photograph. The idea is that if your subject is moving, the camera will compensate for it and produce one clearly focused and true to color picture. The end product is a photo file that exceeds 10 MB is size. The few that I took of myself are actually closer to 15 MB. This makes sharing difficult due to file size limits on most servers. To get around that problem they reduce the quality of the photo, still retaining its clarity and color, so that it can be sent via MMS, for example. My old phone just took a crappy picture of small file size that could be shared anywhere.

Like Microsoft but only to a greater extent of complexity Google has a cloud based storage system. Those pictures I take on my Pixel can be uploaded to the cloud (no storage limit with doing this) for backup purposes. I can store any picture or data file in their cloud but would have to buy storage space beyond 15GB. The deal here is that "Photos" and "MyDrive" are two different services. Not only that, but those backups don't go to either one of them. If I wanted direct access to the automatically backed up photos, I have to create a specially named directory on MyDrive - the one with a 15GB free storage limit. When my mobile device takes a picture I have it set to immediately back it up, at which point it gets uploaded to that specially named directory on MyDrive. This is not the same directory/server that is used by Android to do backups of my device. I don't have access to that. I can download and recover from there, but I can't manipulate the files in the directory. I must use directories of my own making in the cloud if I want direct access to backups. It took me a few days to figure that out. I suppose it's intuitive to regular Google Cloud users, but I'm from Windows-ville, you know?

Anyway, to further complicate the issue of cloud storage Google invented another complication. You cannot drag and drop photos between the cloud and your local desktop storage. In order for me to get a copy of the picture file from my specially named photo backup directory, I must click on the picture and select "download" from the drop down menu. So, if I take a picture with my camera/phone, I have to upload it to their cloud storage, then download it to my computer. That sounds simple but drag and drop is a hella lot easier. Now, to be fair about it, they did provide a USB3-C cable and and adapter. It's possible that I could plug the phone into a USB port on my desktop and retrieve pictures that way. Then again, seeing how Google does things, it may not be possible. I'll let you know after I test it out some day.

So why am I going through all this trouble? I could simplly leave the pictures without backup on the camera/phone and share them that way. However, at 15 MB per picture, I will quickly run out of storage and need to off load them anyway. For the time being, not having any USB3-C cable capability, I'll settle for backing up the photos to the cloud and downloading them at my convenience. The strategy is to keep the camera memory usage at a minimum because one of the downsides with the Pixel 3 is that they do not have provisions for plug-in card memory. They expect you to do all your backup/storage in their cloud. If I knew absolutely nothing about hackers or Internet security issues, I could be happy doing that. The Google cloud must needs to be an intermediary step in the storage process and I don't like it. The scheme used by Google is exactly the same as the "man in the middle" attacks used by data thieves and hackers. Sure, I can and will remove my data from Google's cloud, but that does not mean it's gone from their servers.

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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by Kellemora » 09 Dec 2018, 11:54

As I said, way to complicated for me.

I use a service where I can download pictures and documents from the service or from its members.
On most of them, you cannot right click and save, although it looks like it is saving, it's in an unknown format with a .png extension, but is not .png at all.
However, if you select download, then immediately open the downloaded image from the download link, you can save it as a .jpg.
But if you wait and go to the downloads folder later, what is actually downloaded is the .png file which won't open from the page.
Strange.
At first I thought it was a problem with my computer or OS, so I tried it on another computer and different OS, it worked the same way there too. I also tried different image viewers with the same thing, can't open file type not recognized or corrupt.
What I think is happening is the file is encrypted, and as long as you are using the download link to open the file, it then opens as it should.
So everything seems to have some complicated method to get it to work these days.
What ever happened to the KISS principle?

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yogi
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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by yogi » 09 Dec 2018, 15:11

KISS worked fine until digital theft became commonplace. The bad actors are getting pretty sophisticated and the storage service people are having one hell of a time keeping ahead of the game. The no-right-click function is as old as HTML. It's something every browser is capable of, or in this case incapable.

I don't know what's going on in the .png files you describe, but it is easy peasey to embed code inside a digital image. I'm guessing your service's version of .png format isn't like the industry standard. The intent of complicating the download most likely has to do with protecting the image from theft. I'd bet the company you deal with would be interested in knowing you can bypass their security if you act quick enough.

In the case of Google services they are going beyond security protections. The infrastructure of their network is custom made for their own purposes. Google in fact wrote their own operating system for their servers to optimize throughput as well as security. Having done that they can use a lot of specialized functions unheard of in other OS's. But, of course, they have to make everything simple enough for the common computer user to feel comfortable. I'm certain Microsoft and Apple installed the same kind of specialization in their infrastructure. Once you learn the routine, it all becomes easy. My problem is that their routine isn't logical. Be that as it may, if I want to use their products, I have to do it their way.

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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by Kellemora » 10 Dec 2018, 12:25

The service is who gives us the instructions on how to make a copy to save on our own computer.
But if you are simply just sharing files or images across the system itself, you still have to download the file, then upload it to the person you want to share it with, or vice versa.
The services system can read it, because they are the ones who generated the download in the first place.

The thing that irked me the most when I discovered it was:
You create files and add documents and images to those files within the service, easy peasy to do.
I thought once I had placed things I gleaned from others in my file area, where it is shareable too.
That it was in my file.
You can still use the service without paying the fees, and you won't lose your own data.
But, if you want to see what shared documents or images you placed in your files, then your subscription must be paid up.
If not, the data just doesn't appear for you to see it in your folders or files. There are some exceptions to this, some images are still displayed, but not in a way you can access them.

I wish I had known this from the beginning, because if I did, I would have saved a copy of every document and image someone shared with me over the years. At least I know they don't go away, so I can go a year without paying, and come back and pay for the service again and everything is back again.

You can run a backup, but the backup does not save images or filed documents, only the base data framework so to speak.

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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by yogi » 10 Dec 2018, 18:25

The Google MyDrive cloud storage works similar to what you are describing. There really is no point to using the cloud unless you are trying to synchronize a lot of individual computers, or unless you are trying to corroborate work on a document(s). The nature of corroboration requires that the document be editable by all interested parties, and that is pretty much the selling point for what Google has to offer. The idea is good but the issue I have with it is that everybody in the chain has to have a Google account so that they have access to the corroboration capabilities. That's fine if you are in love with Google. It also could explain why you have to download files in order to move them. The original has to remain accessible to all the parties involved. It all sounds a little like your own backup routine on your home network.

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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by Kellemora » 11 Dec 2018, 11:25

Most of the authors I work with use DropBox, and we've never had a problem.
If we download a document to make changes, when you save it back, it saves it as an edited copy, and doesn't touch the original. There is an exception to that. If you save it in your own folder as a fresh copy, it saves as an original. This is what we usually do, and then tell the owner of the original that an edit is my folder for him to retrieve.

I thought most cloud services worked this way?

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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by yogi » 11 Dec 2018, 13:25

If I recall correctly DropBox gives you 2GB free storage. You pay for anything above that. They do indeed make backups. The question is, "do the ever delete them?" Not likely. Google gives away 15GB of free storage and goes through the same backup routine as DropBox, but it's not as transparent. Plus, you can't just get Google cloud storage per se. Even if that is the only account you ever have with them, you get to use all the other things they do as well - dozens and dozens of things. Dropbox isn't as diverse.

I think you are correct in that all cloud storage services make backups. They don't all operate the same way, however. I can move files around on DropBox as easily as I do on my Windows computer. Not so with Google. The end results might be the same, i.e., you can share documents but the details of how the service works depends on what you pay for. The free DropBox I used for a while was simply for file transfers. We didn't attempt any corroboration work so that I can't say I know much about how that works.

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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by Kellemora » 12 Dec 2018, 12:59

I was trying to look and see how much space I have in DropBox. I know I gained some extra free space a long time ago.
What I never understood is; if I'm linked to someone else's folder, is it using any of my storage space or not?
Different groups I've belonged to I still have in there, and in some cases, there is no way to tell if a Folder is one of my Folders or one I'm linked to elsewhere.
I do know we tried something a long time ago. One of the writers groups I was with had a terrabyte of storage. They would create a folder for each member, and we put tons of stuff in there, and our usage never went up. But then when we started editing and sending files back and forth, suddenly it was reducing my available space, and by much more than the file I was working on. So I never did figure out exactly how or why. Most of the stuff I have on there was only placed in order to share the files, and is no longer used. So I guess I should delete a lot of it.
One thing of interest though, I have a folder with a friend who is now long deceased, and all of his stuff is still available to me. Like you said, I guess forever, hi hi.

My host provider gives me unlimited webspace, but their is a caveat. All folders have to be indexed and available. I'm sure this is to prevent folks from using their servers to simply store data and/or images not accessible from the index page or subpages. I had detached a couple of folders as I was rebuilding my website, so they were no longer linked to an html page. About 30 days later I got a notice to link the folders or remove them. At first I linked them back, but then decided to take them off since I was no longer in that line of work and nobody would be interested in what was there anyhow.

They do sell file storage space also, but it is only accessible by me, not shared like DropBox.

Totally unrelated, but the IRS is wanting small businesses to start using an on-line accounting program. I didn't read the entire article, just enough to know they want to keep track of how businesses are being run, and that they are paying the correct amount of taxes. I didn't pay enough attention as to whether this was just some journalist blowing hot air, or if there was any truth to it. At least it wasn't an ad to sell on-line accounting software.

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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by yogi » 12 Dec 2018, 13:30

On Dropbox, when a folder is shared, that folder is counted as storage space against the owner (creator). Thus, when documents are altered in that shared folder, they are tallied against the owner's account. At least that is how it used to be a couple years ago. I've not used it recently.

At the moment my Dropbox space is empty. However, I'm nearly positive that I can get all my files back from five years ago, even though I deleted them. Dropbox keeps them in their database/backup space. That is what I mean when I say files never get deleted permanently.

Facebook has the same view on deceased people as does Dropbox. Only the owner of the account can delete it. On FB the deceased person's account can be tagged as inactive, but it never goes away. I read an article many moons ago about a fellow who went through a lot of pains to have his deceased dad's account removed from Facebook. After what seemed like years of battling the system the account was removed. However, all the references to the account elsewhere on FB remained. It goes without saying that all the "partners" of Facebook also kept the data they accumulated. No doubt Dropbox is the same.

I've not heard anything nor found news articles about the IRS imposing use of specific software upon small businesses. They have partnered with a lot of state governments to track financial data of small businesses. I suppose in theory it would be nice if everybody used the same tax programs, but I can't see them forcing you to do it. It would be like, say, the government forcing you to buy health insurance. :mrgreen:

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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by Kellemora » 13 Dec 2018, 10:03

I went and dug up a similar article. They mentioned two online accounting programs. The first was Sage 50 Cloud, and the second was FreshBooks.
Both can handle your IRS quarterly and yearly reports online, notify you of tax changes, which are automatically implemented in the program. Always up to date with IRS rulings and requirements, EFTPS (Electronic Federal Tax Paying System) compliant, blah de blah.

Wish I could find the actual one I stumbled across, because the way it read, it made it appear the IRS will be requiring online accountability of all ALS companies first, then large businesses, and finally small businesses and self-employed.

I'm sure some day Big Brother will decide to keep closer tabs on everyone, and every sale will have to be reported. I know a lot of POS software is doing more than just keeping your records up to date.

I often wonder how all these big organizations can store virtually everything forever.
And they never seem to ever lose any data either.
I know I used to visit WayBackMachine to see how some organizations web sites changed over the years.
They didn't have all of them, but of those they did, they had them from around day one, up to current.

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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by yogi » 13 Dec 2018, 12:28

Data retention is a science onto itself. I just followed what I was told to do at Motorola, but there were legal and technical jocks whose job it was not to lose anything. Some of it was to satisfy government requirements. You'd be surprised how much the EU demands as far a record keeping goes, and since we did business with them we had to follow the rules.

I'm guessing Google is the mother of all databases. Their memory is spread all over the globe in hundreds of server farms, if not thousands. The thing that awes me about it is how quickly they can find anything. By the time I finish typing in the keywords of what I'm looking for, they have 10 million records ready to display to me.

The plan is to get a picture of everybody on the planet. The pictures will have a life history behind them so that anything about anybody can be learned in real time. I can imagine a few good uses for such capability, but you know there are always bad actors who specialize in abusing the system. Facebook keeps this kind of history on 2.27 billion people - that's about 1/4th the world population - and look at what they are being accused of doing. As AI gets smarter and quantum computing becomes commonplace the task will become trivial. The good ol' days of being able to keep things private a long gone.

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Re: Fight Back the Phishers

Post by Kellemora » 14 Dec 2018, 09:58

If you did genealogy work, you would find out it is not that easy to find anything on folks still living.
Even some of the long gone have no records to find.
I guess it would have helped had they had Farcebook accounts, hi hi.

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