TEH 002: You’re Being Followed

In This Episode: Why it’s a bad idea to search Google to get to a web site, rather than just go to that web site. Amazon scoops up HALF of online “Black Friday” purchases — and revealed its top sellers. We weigh in on Net Neutrality. Another week, another big web site hack revealed. Or two. Guarding against credit card skimmers: there’s an app for that!

This Week’s Hosts

Show Notes

  • CBS News reports that people searching for “Amazon” on Google on Black Friday were tricked into clicking an ad …for a classic Microsoft tech support scam (which, yes, also happens with Macs). Tip: Want to go to Amazon? Go to Amazon, not Google! (But then again, that’s not always easy, as discussed.) Such scams too well-known to fall for it? Not on your life: people still even fall for the classic Nigerian scam.
  • Meanwhile, paper gift catalogs are making a comeback, according to the Los Angeles Times. But we wonder: is it really a trend, or rather the last gasp of failing brick and mortar retailers like Toys R Us and Sears?
  • Seems like you’re being followed by ads? That’s remarketing — and there is a way to opt out, but techie types like us also frequently use private browsing modes to research products so remarketing cookies aren’t saved.
  • The Top-5 Black Friday purchases on Amazon list is interesting and revealing — and there are unexpected privacy implications (with the sole exception being the super-popular cult hit, the Instant Pot pressure cooker).
  • There are a million news items on Net Neutrality, and the ongoing fight against the FCC’s plans to end the rule. We’ll just link to the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s page, Congress, Don’t Sell the Internet Out.
  • Imgur revealed this week it was hacked, and user account information was stolen …in 2014 (Gizmodo article). And Uber paid $100,000 to hackers to keep quiet that they had hacked their site — in 2016 — getting personal details including phone numbers, email addresses, and names of 57 million Uber users — plus 600,000 driver’s license numbers of Uber drivers (CNN article). While big hacks like that make the news, smaller ones often don’t. Try have i been pwned?, which will try to notify you when you register with them.
  • NFC is Near-Field Communication, which is how credit card machines at stores can read ApplePay and AndroidPay, which is safer than swiping a credit card.
  • We go into a side conversation about credit card skimmers. There’s an app for Android that will search for the telltale Bluetooth signature of skimmers, called Skimmer Scanner (Google Play). Apparently not available for iOS. (Article on ZDnet)
  • Aside: yes, pwn is leetspeak for being owned. Randy readily admits he’s not a big gamer. 🙂

7 Comments on “TEH 002: You’re Being Followed

  1. I would greatly appreciate it if transcripts are available to read these podcasts, as they are with Randy’s other podcast series. It takes far less time to read than to listen.

    • Sorry, but that’s not going to happen: not only do transcripts cost a minimum of $1/minute, but then they have to be carefully checked to confirm they’re correct — and they won’t be, thanks to most transcriptionists’ lack of tech knowledge.

      As you see on this very page, though, I we link as much as possible to articles and information about the topics discussed. That already takes quite a bit of time and effort.

  2. I was amused at the discussion of card skimmers and not being able to use NFC payment methods at gas stations. Some EV charger networks do….


Leave a Comment