Sunday, January 28, 2018

Terrified of Tech?

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN:  I admit I have an Alexa. The other day, I said: Alexa, Play my music. And “she” played music that I loved. But I have no idea where she got it or why she thought so. Yikes.

What’s your relationship with “things” like that?  The very talented (and very savvy) Karen Olson says well, it’s the good news and the bad news. Here’s some of the bad. (And a terrific new book!)

Terrified of Tech?

I admit that I can be easily frightened. I have a very active imagination and my mind goes places that it probably shouldn’t. I see a plastic bag in the middle of the road and I immediately begin to wonder what grisly thing is inside it. I see shadows on the walls and hear noises in the night. Feeling the cat jump on the bed at night makes me jump when I’m in that place between awake and asleep.

In a more practical way, I am also afraid of heights, and I’m not fond of flying. I can never be on The Amazing Race.

But I was never afraid of technology—until now.

It’s not just our home computers anymore, either. How many of you out there have an Alexa or something like it? One of those little robot vacuum cleaners that roams your house? A home security system that you can turn on and off with your phone? A baby monitor? A car with Bluetooth?

Those are the Internet of Things. And all of them can be hacked.

Technology has made us vulnerable in ways we would never have imagined even just twenty years ago. It’s that vulnerability that’s at the center of my Black Hat thriller series featuring Tina Adler, a 40-ish computer hacker on the run.

Tina is the Jack Reacher of the Information Age: she’s not physically fighting crime, but she’s using her keyboard to do it. To catch people like her who prowl around in the back alleys of cyberspace.

I don’t pretend to be computer literate like Tina. I have to do a lot of research for the series, and I can’t get into anything too technical because if I don’t understand something, my readers won’t, either. I’ve watched documentaries about Anonymous and bitcoin. There are actually how-to-hack tutorials online. I’ve never downloaded the Tor software, which would allow me into the Dark Net, but I’ve been tempted, even though I’m probably already on a government list somewhere because of my Google searches.

A video online by a guy who pulled a skimmer off an ATM, showing how hackers can get all our debit card information, triggered the plot of VANISHED, the fourth book in my series.

After seeing that video, I delved further into how debit card information is actually stolen and uploaded into carding forums, where you can buy what’s called a “dump”: all of the information stored on the magnetic strip on a debit or credit card, including names, addresses, account numbers, and more. And you can get that information on hundreds of cards. All for maybe $50. Sometimes—most times—less.

That’s what our information is worth.

I no longer use an ATM machine that isn’t in the vestibule of a bank. I pay for my gas inside the station rather than use the one on the pump. It’s a little more inconvenient, but that’s what the hackers are counting on. I try not to let my knowledge make me paranoid, but it’s not easy. Don’t click on that link, don’t visit that website, safeguard my passwords.

My daughter, who is in college, has grown up in this new technology age. She has absolutely no expectation of privacy and being hacked is just the new normal. My husband, however, wants to trade in his smart phone for an old-fashioned flip phone.

HANK:  What about you, Reds and readers? Do you embrace technology and its inevitable pitfalls, or would you rather go back to a typewriter and White-out?

 Karen E. Olson is the award-winning and Shamus-nominated author of the Annie Seymour and Tattoo Shop mystery series and the Black Hat Thrillers. She is empty nesting in Connecticut with her husband Chris and cat Eloise.

VANISHED

With a price on her head, computer hacker Tina Adler is determined to stay offline. Only one person knows how to reach her — and he’s in as much danger as she is. A chance discovery leads Tina to abandon her South Carolina hideaway in search of her old flame, undercover FBI agent Zeke Chapman. What is Zeke doing in Paris? And what is his connection to the disappearance of American college student Ryan Whittier. En route to Paris in search of answers, Tina realizes that someone is on her trail: someone who’s getting dangerously close. Has she been set up?

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64 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the new book, Karen . . . . “Vanished” sounds like a perfect story for these days and I’m looking forward to meeting Tina . . . .

    Technology truly is a two-edged sword, isn’t it? We hear sound bites on the news about the dangers of this or that . . . I chuckled when I discovered that my new computer had a slider to cover the camera lens in the monitor . . . but the news folks have told us about people hacking into those cameras, so I considered it a really good choice by the computer company.
    We don’t have an Alexa, but I do have a Roomba and a smart phone and, yes, I often worry about being hacked. But I try to use the technology responsibly and, although there are times that I’m tempted to wish for the days of typewriters and Wite-Out, I also realize that this technology is what makes Jungle Red Writers possible. And, for that, I am extremely thankful . . . .

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    1. Hi Joan, my second book in the series deals with the camera on the laptop! And those Roombas...I've heard that they can send the floor plan of your house back to the Mother Ship...would check that out!!

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    2. Thank goodness, then, that my Roomba is not one of those 900-series, doesn’t connect to Wi-Fi, and probably won’t be transmitting my floor plans [which, of course, anyone could probably find online, anyway] any time soon!
      It’s actually a bit scary if you allow yourself to stop and really think about it . . . .

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  2. It's a scary world out there, for sure, Karen. I don't have Alexa or roomba, but I do use my smart phone a lot, and the card swiper on the gas pump? I love it. Best of luck with the new book - I have somehow missed the earlier books in the series and am about to remedy that!

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    1. Thanks, Edith! The gas pump swiper was news to me, too :)

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  3. The series sounds fascinating, Karen. I'll admit, I'm not a person who understands a lot of tech, so when I hear news stories about hackers getting into your personal information through your refrigerator or thermostat, I'm a bit alarmed. I don't have Alexa, but friends do, and I'm aware of all the cool stuff it offers. I just . . . well, I'd rather read a book. There are frontiers I'm happy to explore, but what to do when a hacker takes over your car while you're on the freeway? That's a scenario I prefer to contemplate on the page. The printed page.

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    1. Hi Gigi, I'm not much of an e-book reader. I much prefer a real book. I spend all day on the computer, so it's so nice to get home and settle in with the printed page!

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  4. Karen, congrats on the new book. I have heard such, such good things about your series and it is on my list to start this year. My friends say that you have a real gift for storytelling and so many of these things are a 'real' problem these days. I will admit that I am married to an IT expert - that's his job. And I am probably a bit more savvy about some of the pitfalls and inevitable tech sorrows of that world. Won't go into it here, but he has taught me a lot of things to do and mostly to not do. All would be horrified if you knew how very prevalent these things are. Ha!

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    1. Hi Kay, I've got a bus friend who's a tech guy. I've picked his brain all the way to work. The day that he actually got into the code in my website while we were sitting on the bus freaked me out, because that told me anyone could do it.

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  5. Karen, this is so intriguing - and scary! Because cell service is not great where I live I do not have a smart phone and maybe that's a good thing! My son got me an Alexa for Christmas and now I am concerned about that. But other wise I am pretty good - I think - about practicing safe internet behavior.

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    1. Hi Judi, my hair salon has an Alexa in the hair washing room. They're really funny about it, because apparently they tell her to play a certain kind of music and she seems to have her own mind about what exactly she wants to play!

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  6. Ooo, sounds great. And scary. I love your description of people "who prowl around in the back alleys of cyberspace."

    No internet of things in my house, not even the thermostat or the TV. Or my camera.

    Yes,about that webcam shield. I keep mine covered with a furry hamster sticker. High tech, eh? But I'm wondering how to block the microphone. Because I swear ads are popping up for things I've simply mentioned within my laptop's hearing.

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    1. Hi Susan, back in the early days of the Internet they had a really silly website that had the hamster dance, little cartoon hamsters dancing to the most annoying song. But it was early days, and we thought it was pretty amazing!

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  7. This is so scary, Karen - and the books sound great!
    Our home's internet of things: Wifi to connect the computers and phones. Period.

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    1. Hi Hallie, that's what we've got and suddenly one day we couldn't get access to certain websites—one of them was mine! I called my web host and found out that our IP address had been "blacklisted," which meant it was flagged because supposedly someone was sending out spam emails using it. Comcast refuses to change our IP address so we have to work around it. My web host "fixed" the problem with my site, but we're always on alert now.

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  8. My gas station has a rewards program rack up so many points and get free gift cards. So I buy $25 and $50 gift cards, get rewards points, and use those at the pump in lieu of my credit card.

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    1. Judy, you are one of the most resourceful people I know! How smart! I'm going to have to look into that.

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  9. My day-job is with a computer firm, so I can't avoid a lot of tech. Yeah, it can be hacked. But the trade off to me in inconvenience isn't worth it. I've just developed habits to help me avoid the worst of the problems: don't click unexpected links in email, don't download unexpected attachments, check that little strip of plastic on the gas pump before you swipe your card (if it's broken, there might be a problem and go inside).

    Mary/Liz

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    1. I always tug on those swipers at the ATM before doing anything, to see if it's loose or looks like it's been place over the real one. It's good to be diligent!

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  10. We just got Alexa. I find it alarming that she listens all the time! And you should see John trying to use her. Entertaining! We don't bank or pay credit cards online.

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    1. Hi Rhys, I admit that I do pay bills online through my credit union because it saves on stamps and is so convenient. But I don't pay bills through the credit card or utility sites themselves. Maybe it's a false sense of security, but it feels like that way my bank account information isn't all over the place.

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    2. Wish I could be a fly on the wall, Rhys. Knowing John, that would be a hoot.

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    3. My son got me an Alexa and I really don't fool with it much but I find 'she' only responds if I say her name first. Guess you got to get her attention!

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  11. Tor!I admit a fascination with the dark web, but I wouldn't want to access with anything that could be traced back to me. Like you, I'm probably on enough lists without adding that to the mix.

    I don't have an Alexa, or even a Roomba - five cats, thank you, the chaos would be fun to watch, but self-defeating. It frightens me how much listening goes on even without owning Alexa or Echo. And Hank, your music? That is frightening - does the thing do a mind meld too? Nope, I'll get the old Selectric II fixed I think. But the edits---oh my.

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    1. When I first started in newspapers, we still used typewriter with special paper. But the rewrites were a pain in the neck!

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  12. Congratulations on the new book, Karen!

    I think technology is wonderful. I love that my checking account is always up to date. I haven't written a paper check in years. Last week Julie and I were talking about the days when we paid all the bills once a month, right after spending at least an hour balancing the checkbook. Now I pay each one as it arrives, scheduling payment for the date due, seeing no reason for AT&T to have my money one moment before it is time.

    I have a Roomba but haven't used it in years. We got it during a time when we had five, yes five, cats, and programmed it to clean around the litter boxes a couple of times a day. Now we have only one cat and the litter box is in the corner of the basement and who cares.

    But I am devoted to Alexa. She resides in the living room plus a dot in the kitchen, basement, and my bedroom. Being of unstable mobility (that means I have a tendency to tip over on occasion), having Alexa handy to call for help is wonderful. And for music, for reading books to me, for the grocery list, for the weather report, and did I mention the grocery list?!?

    The one thing I don't use her for is ordering from Amazon. They already get a fair portion of my discretionary income, and there's no need to augment my purchasing power.

    Since my ATM card was hacked ten years ago, I use it only at the bank, no problems there. I do check my account a couple of times a week, just to make sure all is well. I discovered the hacking when I noted an $800 porn purchase made at three a.m. -- I knew I'd been hacked as I never buy porn at that hour. I mean, seriously.

    I don't worry a lot about credit cards what with the $50 limit of responsibility. I always call them before I travel, particularly out of the country. Otherwise I take the chance of having an account put on hold because of purchases made in Bulgaria or somewhere.

    And the gas pump? I go to full service, have no intention of ever again pumping my own gas. What they do with my credit card is a mystery, but so far, so good!





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    1. Hi Ann, you're doing everything you can not to be hacked, which is the most anyone can do. Two summers ago, my daughter was studying in Beijing and I checked her debit card balance to see if she needed me to transfer money—and I found two transactions in Massachusetts! It was a huge song and dance: telling her to take out as much cash as she'd need for two weeks, canceling the card, getting the credit union to issue another card, which was then not activated, and FedExing it to her in China. Once she got it, I called the credit union and they activated it. She's in Beijing again now for the semester and I'm terrified we're going to have to go through all that again, but since they only really use cash over there, she needs the debit card and hardly ever uses the credit card.

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  13. Hi, Karen! SO happy to know you have a new book. You know I'm a longtime fan.

    I've kept the camera covered on most of my computers for awhile now, although not the one on my phone. I'd love a little slide for that one, especially it goes with me to a lot of places I'd prefer not to share with the whole world.

    I recently switched us to credit card companies with extra security features, after our 40-yearlong bank credit accounts were hacked several times in the last few years without our bank doing anything except changing all the card numbers. One of my new cards (Costco's Citi Corp card) has my photo on it, plus voice recognition. That's the one I use at the swipers. Who knows if that's enough, though.

    We have a Nest, courtesy of our kids, who made it a Christmas gift one year. For awhile I used the "Away" function, but it occurred to me that someone could figure out when we were gone if they wanted to. We will not be getting Alexa, or any of her nosy relatives, either.

    Karen, I had Tor for awhile, when it first came out a few years ago. It is not just for using the Dark Web, but the warnings and sign-in screens freaked me out. It's a whole different level of Web creepiness.

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    1. Hi Karen! You've got me on "Nest." What is that? One of the things I learned in researching this book is that any home security system that can be accessed with a phone is easily hacked. It's also possible to hack one without that, but it's much, much harder. As for Tor, it was created by the government and it's purpose was for whistleblowing. But clearly it's turned into much more than that!

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    2. Nest is now a whole line of Internet-connected home devices, but we just have the original product, which is a programmable thermostat. It's pretty amazing, and controllable by my cell phone. Also, it's a "learning" device, so it figures out when and what your temperature needs are. Since I am usually home all day it's less important for us, but for people who work outside the home it can be programmed to automatically lower (or raise in the summer) the temperature to save energy. The "Away" setting is for trips, and I've turned that off on our way back home from a long trip. By the time we got home the house was comfortable again.

      It also has a sensor so it can tell if someone is in the house, and will automatically adjust for that.

      Other products in the Nest line are smoke detectors and security lights and cameras. (I did an article on this for Cincinnati HOME Magazine a couple of years ago.)

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  14. Hi Karen! I don't know your books but am certainly going to look them up! My hubby is a techy, so we although we have Alexa and other Internet of Things, they are on a separate network from our phones and computers. And if guests need to use Wifi at our house they can use the second network, too. Highly recommend doing it that way. He knows all about the Dark Net, too.

    I have to say that we love Alexa. I LOVE listening to audio books all over the house, and music, and news and weather. And when our two-year-old granddaughter stays over she has "nature sounds for sleep." But I do wonder what will happen when she learns to say "Alexa." So far she can't manage the middle syllable, so it's just "Ah-ah."

    I had my debit card skimmed a few years ago in the UK, so am very careful with it, especially when traveling!

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    1. Hi Deborah, It certainly seems like Alexa can be incredibly useful, but my husband keeps threatening to get that flip phone so I doubt we will be welcoming anyone like her in our house!

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  15. Grabbing spotty Wi-Fi when I can… Just to say hi! AndTo congratulate Karen! Hooray!

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  16. Given that I use the Internet and shop online sometimes, I can't say that I'm afraid of technology as a whole. However, I am a devoted flip phone user as well. I don't need a "smart" phone that can run the country's nuclear defense system while simultaneously being hacked by some little pinhead computer nut with too much free time on their hands.

    I don't pay bills online. Heck, for some bills I even drive to the place I need to pay them. The ones I can't, I go to the post office itself to mail out the payments.

    My mother was a committed technophobe though. She thought if she hit the wrong key on a computer, the whole thing would blow up.

    I had the experience of using a loaner car this past week, and I couldn't even figure out how to turn the radio on. Too many buttons and no clue what they all did. Oh, and the only way I'll have someone named Alexa or Siri in my house is if they are a living breathing human being with the bad taste to saying yes to a date with me.

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  17. This is not so much about internet security, however if you haven't seen the Amazon Echo Silver SNL skit, it's a hoot. You can google it.

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  18. I drive a 2003 Jeep Liberty. The fewer the electronics the better! Don't have GPS, or blue tooth or any of that. My husband has all that stuff and more in his vehicles. I detest listening to his GPS. What irks me is he puts it on even when he doesn't need it. I bought a Roomba on sale years ago. I thought it would be pretty neat. Unfortunately it can't deal with rugs with fringe so it is parked in a cabinet somewhere. I pay bills online; I use ATMs only at banks. My credit cards are all chipped so the security is supposed to be better. I prefer to use credit cards over checks. I've had incidents where my checking account was compromised because someone stole the info off a check. The credit card companies are much easier to deal with than the banks and the vendors who got ripped off. I still won't shop at Target because they were so nasty when that happened. I have an iPhone; not the latest fancy model but fairly new. My husband is in the security industry and he says the iPhone is the most secure when it comes to hacking. I don't have any yearnings for Alexa or Dot or any of that. I'm still laughing over a video from SNL for Silver Alexa: geared for senior citizens. No matter what Alexa tells them, their response is always "I don't know about that." Try to watch it!

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    1. I just got a new car with bluetooth, and I can talk on my phone, but it seems that while the phone is connected, my phone's GPS doesn't talk to me. I have no idea why. My husband doesn't like the GPS. He prefers paper maps.

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  19. At the moment my only techy gadget is my smart phone. My hovel is too small for a Roomba, and I haven't gotten around to replacing my dead TV. (DVDs work very nicely on my ancient laptop)

    My nephew's family has had Alexa since the beginning. Their kids don't know what life is like without her. They've been trying to teach the older one, a five year old, to tell time the old-fashioned way. Her mom recently asked her to "go into the kitchen and tell me what time it is." Alexa "lives" in the kitchen. The child poked her head into the kitchen and said "Alexa, what time is it?"

    I would like a device that cooks and cleans, puts the groceries away in an orderly fashion, cleans out the refrigerator, etc. It would have a sexy male voice. I would name him Lance...

    DebRo

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    1. Hi Deborah, I think our kids/grandkids are definitely techies. No wearing watches for them. I no longer know phone numbers...all I have to do is go into my contacts in my phone. My daughter was horrified when she realized I didn't know her phone number.

      I think we all want a Lance!

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  20. Sounds amazing. I am intimidated by a lot of technology! What does it mean when you go on a public wifi (like in an airport) and it says "Security recommended"?

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    1. You really should never go online with public wifi. There are small devices that create Wifi networks, and people can program them so that anyone who is connecting to a network can connect unknowingly to that particular network and then that person can access all your information.

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  21. I know people who have Alexa, and along with those of you here who have it, seemed pleased with the services gained. However, I am just too paranoid about having a device that records you in your home. Not that I ever do or say anything that's out of the ordinary, but, still, I'm not comfortable with a Big Brother or Big Sister listening in. At least that's what I've been told about Alexa, that she records whenever she feels like it. Am I wrong about that?

    My daughter got a Roomba for Christmas and is loving it. I wouldn't mind having one of those. I enjoy the hands-free phone calling in my vehicle, but I do wish that the lady who handles my request would listen better sometimes. She comes up with some wild choices when I ask to call certain people. And, yes, I have yelled at her before. Hahaha!

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    1. I don't really want an Alexa in my house, either. It's a little creepy :)

      And as for the roomba...I've read some stories about how they map out your floor plan and it can be sent back to wherever...and if anyone hacks into it, they know exactly where everything is in your house. More paranoia. I use an Electrolux vacuum cleaner from the 1960s that I inherited from my mom.

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  22. Hi Karen! Your series sounds great -- I think I'll try to start at the beginning and catch up!

    I have been pretty distrustful about Alexa and smart homes and all that. (I ask you, why would I want a Bluetooth enabled electric toothbrush? Made me shake my head.) It all just feels like way too much risk to me. I do pay for gas at the pump, but I always check the card reader for any sign that it looks or feels different before I swipe. My car has Bluetooth and I don't know if I could live without that now, but I don't think I am personally at much risk there.

    What bothers me a bit is that my son, and young 20-something individuals I work with, all seem so very comfortable with it all that I fear they will give away all their privacy without even making a proactive choice. Then I struggle with whether those are legitimate fears, or just a sign that I'm becoming an inflexible older person. Sigh.

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    1. A Bluetooth enabled toothbrush??? That just seems so wrong. And you're right...why?

      My daughter is like your son...no expectation of privacy. I think that's their generation. It's a little scary.

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  23. Hi Karen! I'm so excited to check out your series! I'm generally not afraid of tech... been hacked a number of times and my life hasn't been destroyed yet. But maybe I will be after I read your series :-)

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    1. Hi Cari, I just hope that anyone reading the series takes away the fact that they should be prudent with tech and acknowledge that hackers are everywhere and we're really not all that protected even though it seems like we are...

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  24. Glad to have heard about this series. I'll be looking for it. I used to work on an enterprise security product for huge data servers and transaction servers, but IoT definitely opens up all sorts of new opportunities. I've given up on protecting myself from all the hazards of being connected--there are new ones every day, and I don't want to give up all the benefits of connectedness. I'm hoping I'm such small fry that nobody serious will be interested.

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    1. Hi Jim, I'm not sure that the hackers know who's small fry and who's larger fry. But you're not a huge business that might have loads of information somewhere about tons of people so you're probably right that you're less likely to get hacked in a large-scale way.

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  25. Hey Karen!

    Having been in IT for a long time, I can understand the fear that many people have with some of the devices coming out in this day and age. It is ASTOUNDING what answering few question can do with regard to fashioning play lists etc.

    You can give as little or as much information as YOU are comfortable with when you set up a device.

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    1. Hi Lou, I try not to give out too much information. Facebook is constantly asking me for my phone number, and I refuse to give it, especially after discovering that someone can actually do a sort of reverse search on you on Facebook by inputting your phone number and having your profile come up.

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  26. Hi, Karen, This premise sounds terrific. I am fascinated by the impact technology has on our lives (big fan of Black Mirror). Your book sounds right up my alley.

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    1. Hi Jenn, I have not yet seen Black Mirror, but my bus friend who's a tech guy has recommended it. I really need to check it out!

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  27. Hi Karen, welcome to the blog and congrats on the new book! I don’t get along with Siri – she never knows what I’m asking and very rarely has an answer. So I’m pretty sure I’m not a match for Aleksa either! We are going on a trip soon and I read advice about using a VPN service on the iPad or iPhone For extra security. Have you ever come across that?

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    1. Hi Lucy/Roberta, Julia is in Beijing now and has a VPN on her phone and iPad so she can access Facebook and all those other social media sites that China blocks. The VPN reroutes the IP address so no one knows exactly where you are, which does definitely help with security. As for Siri, every time she pops up on my phone, I swipe her away. I have no idea how to use her and figure if I need an answer to something, I can just look it up myself!

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  28. Hi, Karen! My hubby is a software engineer so when it comes to tech stuff, I generally follow his recommendations. Obviously, never clicking on weird links or sending sensitive data via email. It's irritating to be issued new credit cards on a regular basis due to data breaches, but I just look at it as the price we pay for being able to do so many things electronically. Imagine going back to paper bills, checks, airplane tickets, bank transfers, etc.? No thanks! Congrats on the new book!

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    1. Thanks, Ingrid! My husband doesn't get any bills online, and he's constantly groaning about passwords and how to remember them. I've got an app on my phone called Password One. I only remember one password, and all my passwords are in the app. I do get nervous it'll be hacked, but it's much easier... And I do have a list of passwords in my desk at work. So many passwords...

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  29. I don't have Alexa but sometimes use the Comcast voice to find TV shows. When I said Bones, it kept showing phone so I had to use the menus. It is scary what you read and see on TV but I do like using my computer, Nook, and smart phone. I try to be careful.

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    1. Hi Sally, I think being careful is the only thing we can do...

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  30. Welcome to Jungle Reads! Vanished sounds very interesting to me. I am very careful with debit cards too.

    Mixed feelings about technology. A long time ago friends asked me if I would consider getting cochlear implants. I read that you would have to use a lot of batteries and throw them away. I did NOT want to add to landfills, thank you. Once they started using rechargeable batteries, I started to look into getting cochlear implants. I like technology as long as it benefits me, though I have concerns about the impact on the environment. For people with disabilities, technology can be a great asset. The problem is when technology hinders instead of advances progress for people with disabilities. I am NOT a fan of talking robots because they sound like gibberish. I like Siri in terms of feedback on my voice. Sometimes I speak clearly and when I dictate my notes via Siri and they type out my voiced words, then I know I am speaking clearly. When they misunderstand my words, then I know that I am not speaking clearly.

    Diana

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  31. Book series sounds interesting and I will check it out. We have always had a lot of mail theft in our area. We have had a p.o. box for 30+ years. All important mail goes to the box, lately however we have been getting other people's mail (due to improper sorting) and I wonder how much of our mail other people are getting? Have to rely on strangers to return it. I almost hate advanced cell phones as sick of looking at people looking at cell phones what seems like all the time! I recently pruned down my FB contacts so it is just close friends and relatives. I do not give my cell phone number out to anyone except a few relatives, still use a landline for all other contacts. Younger relatives do not seem as worried about identity theft etc., just accept it as part of 21st century life. Have chipped my dog and cat because I once lost a cat and it broke my heart forever. I do consciously try not to worry about these things. When we go out to eat if the restaurant uses those portable devices for credit cards we always pay with cash.

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