Security in the Digital Age! Low Tech solutions to high-tech problems!


“How civilized this earth used to be. But as the world becomes more primitive, its treasures become more fabulous.”
… KISS ME DEADLY (1955)

“And tomorrow you may make it a crime to read about it. And soon you may ban books and newspapers. And then you may turn Catholic against Protestant, and Protestant against Protestant, and try to foist your own religion upon the mind of man. If you can do one, you can do the other. Because fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy, and needs feeding. And soon, your Honor, with banners flying and with drums beating we’ll be marching backward, BACKWARD, through the glorious ages of that Sixteenth Century when bigots burned the man who dared bring enlightenment and intelligence to the human mind!”
…The great Spencer Tracy as Henry Drummond in Stanley Kramer”s excellent INHERIT THE WIND(1960)

With the ignorant and the buffoonish running for the highest office in the land, hate groups proliferating, governments declaring war on their own citizens rights to privacy, and corporations carving away the remaining rights of men, the above two quotes seem ever more valid.

Privacy may be an illusion, and security may be an illusion and decency may be an illusion in our digital age… But they are illusions worth fighting for, living for. Illusions worth striving to make concrete.

And to that end every little bit of control we can carve out, in these out of control times… has value, I believe.

One small issue is that virtually everyone has either a smart phone or tablet or laptop that has become a relatively constant tool. ‘Why is that an issue’ you may ask?

Unfortunately unlike the tools of a more civilized age, that did what you used them for and nothing more, today’s tools (smart phones, and tablkets, laptops, etc) do much that you have no awareness or control over.

Two of those things are record video and record audio.

The stories are out there and prevalent about malicious apps and programs that showing no signs, are recording video and audio in the background and uploading it to nefarious ends.

If that doesn’t concern you, read no further.

But for the rest of you who, like myself, believe that the moments of our lives should be ours, rather than subject to the whims of the unscrupulous, here is a stone age solution for this digital age problem.

Hardware vendors choose not to provide a lens cap for cameras or a hardware switch to disable the always on microphone, and apps to address these deficiencies are as prone to being corrupted as any other program when we least expect it, so the solution has to be something easily applied and easily removed.

Electric tape.

Cut yourself small squares of electric tape and cover your camera and microphone when not in use.

That’s it, that simple, and more sure fire than the most cutting edge apps currently available. Because hackers can defeat those apps, or create trojan apps that under the guise of safe-guarding your privacy, subvert it.

Even if those apps are actively recording and phoning home your data to their servers…with 2 cents worth of electric tape, they will get nothing for their trouble.

A stone age solution to a high tech problem.

Simple and effective.

Here endeth the lesson! 🙂

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