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I was hit with the “Sextortion Scam”!

While we all are lazily enjoying the great weather in the Seattle area and spending most of our time outdoors, there’s a new scam hitting inboxes. I was in the first wave of those impacted. The main thing that makes this creepy is that the Sextortion Scam Uses Recipient’s Hacked Passwords which makes it all the more believable and invasive when you recognize a familiar password in the subject line!  We were lucky in that I knew better than to pay their money demands. We used it as a wake-up-call to further clean-up our passwords. Back in 2009 I wrote a newsletter article on how to Fix Your Terrible, Insecure Passwords in Five Minutes The tips there are still useful and we had changed most of our passwords using those tips. However, human nature is such that we don’t always do the right thing, we do the easy thing. We’ve been using the free Last Pass to manage our passwords. After this invasion of privacy I consulted with my friend and colleague Andrew Villeneuve who is a WordPress security analyst. He sent me to the Have I been PWned website  You can visit this free website where you can put in your password or your email to see if either has been compromised. When you subscribe it will alert you to future compromises. Among other claims the scam says you that they’ve injected a keystroke recorder into your computer. Andrew recommended switching to the premium tool Kaspersky and immediately run their scan to be sure. It will detect such things and can remove them, as well as including a better password manager than the free one. I found it easy to install and configure and feel much better protected now. We spend so much of our life online these days. Be careful out there and have a GREAT summer.

UPDATE2 Minute BBC video on this subject

In the Works

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve written. That’s partly because I like to feature my new work in each issue. I haven’t launched any new websites in quite awhile. But I’m actively working to complete THREE of them. Here are screen shots of them. But I can’t share links until they’re complete. Note that the top left one is a collaboration with my niece Jenna Riggs who designed the logo. I’m co-chairing next year’s National Cohousing Conference which that website is for. So that’s how I’ll be spending a lot of my “free” time.

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