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Profiling A Person; Three Initial Basic Techniques and Crystal, the Personality-Determining App.

profiling

Before attempting to “read” someone, get yourself into the correct mindset.  Stay relaxed and remain fluid.  Be comfortable, sit back and let the cues come to you.

Also, compare the makeup of a person to an onion:

Define four layers of an onion about a person’s being. The deeper you get into the “onion” will determine how much you can read someone.

  • The skin: The interactions and conversations we have with others on a superficial level – such as someone we meet at the bus stop.
  • Second layer: People whom we appreciate or get to know better, such as co-workers or classmates, rather than a random stranger, is now allowed to comprehend you better due to the comfort and trust between your relationship you have with them.
  • Third layer: Relationship bonds, such as best friends and marriages.
  • The core: Each person has a “core”, where the thoughts and secrets aren’t shared with anyone but oneself.

Determine which layer you are addressing or analyzing within the following techniques.

The First Technique:  Observe Body Language 

 According to Psychology Today, words account for only seven percent of how we communicate whereas our body language (55 percent) and voice tone (30 percent) represent the rest.

1.  Pay Attention to Appearance
Is the subject wearing a suit (indicating that he is dressed for success), jeans and a sweatshirt (comfortable, casual), a ow-cut blouse (seductive) or a pendant such as a cross (spiritual)?

2.  Observe Posture
Does the subject hold her head up high, confident?  Does he cower when walking, indicating low self-esteem? Or do they swagger, a sign of a huge ego.

3.  Watch The Physical Movements

  • Leaning and Distance— Generally, we lean toward those we like and away from those we don’t.
  • Crossed arms and legs—This pose suggests defensiveness, anger, or self-protection. When people cross their legs they tend to point the toes of the top leg towards the person they are most at ease with.
  • Hiding one’s hands—When people place their hands in their laps, pockets, or put them behind their back it suggests that they are hiding something.
  • Lip biting or cuticle picking—When people bite or lick their lips or pick their cuticles they are trying to soothe themselves under pressure.

The Second Technique: Listen to Your Intuition

Draw into your empathetic ability and tune into someone’s core.  Beyond what someone is saying, is what that person is thinking and feeling.  Intuition is the nonverbal communication that involuntarily occurs between human beings.  A person’s exterior tells a story, his interior puts that story into perspective.  Looking for the intuitive cues.

Intuitive Cues

1. Heed your gut

When meeting someone, especially for the first time, a visceral reaction occurs before you have a chance to think. It is a survival instinct that tells you  whether you can trust this person or not – your own internal truth meter.

2. Pay attention to flashes of insight

In conversation, you may get an “ah-ha” moment about someone which comes to you in a flash.  Try to embed that moment into a memory that you can revisit later to further analyze the information gathered leading to that intense feeling of clarity.

3. Watch for intuitive empathy

During an empath probe, you may actually feel your own body reacting to a verbal or non-verbal cue.  You can feel a sympathetic pain from a story told to you (the subject relays a childhood memory of a broken arm; you, involved in a similar injury, recall that painful memory) or feel mildly depressed after being with someone who is unusually withdrawn or depressed themselves.  Identify your intuitive empathetic responses and separate them from your subject.

The Third Technique. Reading Emotional Energy

What the Chinese refer to as someone’s “chi”, we refer to as that person’s “energy”.  We have all encountered people with a positive energy; they are fun and energizing to be around, as we have those emit negative energy, that which can make others in its presence feel drained, tired and emotionally void.  Emotions are a stunning barometer of one’s energy.

1.  Sense people’s presence

Analyze the overall energy atmosphere of your subject (regardless of words or behavior).  Do they have a welcoming presence or do they give you the willies?

2.  Watch people’s eyes

Our eyes transmit powerful energies. Studies indicate that the eyes project an electromagnetic energy similar to that emitting by the brain.  Watch people’s eyes.  Are they guarded or open?  Are they compassionate, caring or angry?  Try as one might to disguise one’s feelings, flashes of true emotion will inevitably appear in one’s eyes.

3. Notice the feel of a handshake, hug, and touch.

Physical contact is a shared emotional exchange – producing energy much like an electrical current. How does the handshake “feel” to you?  Warm, comfortable, confident, withdrawn, anxious, non-committal or timid? Bearing in mind that certain people can wilfully moderate the energy that they project, no one can exercise that type of control 24/7.

4. Listen To The Tone of Voice and of Laughter

Sound frequencies create vibrations. Emotions affect the sound emitted.  When reading people, pay attention to how the tone of their voice or laughter affects you.  Does it appear natural, comforting, energizing or abrasive, angry or whiny?

Wrap up: When beginning to profile a subject, again, let the answers come to you naturally.  Trust your instincts, especially the initial reactions and let the person unfold in front of you.  If the subject attempts to “play” you, if you are centered, she can’t subvert your innate reactions – your instinct belongs to you and you, uniquely, alone.

Finally, we’ve been working with the beta version of Crystal Knows – an app that determines others personalities – primarily geared for business relationships and synches well with LinkedIn – that is scary accurate.  Give Crystal a try and see for yourself.

BNI OPeratives: Situationally aware.

As always, be safe.

DashCams, Amplifiers, Unshredders, etc. Our Five Favorite Spy Gadgets, Fall 2015.

dashcam

1.  Personal Video Recording DashCam

How many times have you been driving on the road, only to witness someone pulling right out in front of you? Or weaving in and out of traffic?  Catch bad drivers red-handed with the Vehicle Safeguard Video Recording Camera  (several brands carry this dashcam). Attach the cradle to your vehicle’s dashboard and place the recording unit inside the cradle. Set the recording angle in any direction of your choice and insert an SD card (up to 2GB capacity)  to store the recordings. The camera weighs one pound and operates on four AAA batteries. (Use discretion; playing Highway Patrol may just get the real cops on the scene.) 

amplifier

2. Sound Amplifier

So, what are the boss and the CEO discussing?  (Those of you with imaginations can interpret usage to suit your needs.) With the Motokata Bionic Ear-Hearing Amplifier sound-magnification technology,  you can hear any conversation clearly up to 20 feet away.  Effortlessly wearable due to its one ounce weight, the amplifier reaches up to approximately 50 decibels and can be easily attached to your shirt or jacket pocket or belt.  Attach the  amplifier to the included stereo earphones to comfortably hear spoken words and control the volume.

unshredder

3. Unshredder

(Bet you didn’t think we could beat the dashcam!) I leave it to our readers to determine why they might need documents unshredded but when necessary, Unshredder, said to be the first commercial document reconstruction tool in the world, is a computer program capable of reconstructing documents that have been strip-shred and cross-shred, and documents with torn pages. Instead of aligning each little shredded piece by hand, this Windows-based application automates the reassembly of documents through four simple steps: collate, segmentation, reconstruction, and report. The finished results can then be printed, e-mailed, or copied. Used by government agencies, police departments, lawyers, private investigators, and security agents, Unshredder is available with a monthly license for $90 or a yearly license starting at $950.

sim card spy

4. Cell Phone Sim Card Spy

Has your loved one been acting a bit weird lately when he or she is on the phone? As our dedicated readers know, Brickhouse Security is our favorite spy shop and they’ve now come out with the  Cell Phone Sim Card Spy. This software and hardware solution allows you view, save, and edit files on a cell phone by removing the SIM card from the phone, placing it into the Cell Phone Spy reader, and connecting it to a USB port on any computer.  You’ll even be able to recover deleted files—including photos and text messages—and view them right on your computer. Just be prepared for the results.

vehicle chaser
5. Vehicle Chaser

Ok, YOU can’t have one (yet) but it’s nice to know that the new vehicular technology from StarChase. helps police prevent a dangerous live car chase.   StarChase developed is a system that is capable of aiming a laser at the back of a vehicle and firing a projectile that contains a GPS receiver, wireless transmitter, and battery. This, in turn, tracks a vehicle’s whereabouts. The data is then transmitted via secure Internet connection to a dispatch center. There are more than 100,000 high-speed pursuits in the U.S. every year according to the company, but StarChase is hoping to reduce that with this safer and more effective way to catch criminals.

If you don’t have a spy gadget swag closet, your life in incomplete.

(We verify our links to products but have no control over the sites’ redirects.  If a link doesn’t take you exactly to the information you are seeking, send us an email – info@BNIinvestigations.com – and we’ll track it down for you.)

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

2.  Computer Mouse Transmitter

Need to hear and record . The Computer Mouse Transmitter houses an ultra-mini microphone and transmitter circuit, which can pick up sounds from up to approximately 32 feet away. For the rich spy, this sneaky mouse sells for £575 ($1,128 USD) from UK-based SpyCatcherOnline.

The Future of Lie Detection: Computer Voice Stress Analysis v. Polygraph

cvsa

The heightened pace of the digital age is rapidly transforming lie detection reliance from the mostly commonly  used testing, polygraph, to computer-based voice stress testing (CVSA).

According to SpeechTechMag,

“Nearly 1,800 U.S. law enforcement agencies have dropped the polygraph in favor of newer computer voice stress analyzer (CVSA) technology to detect when suspects being questioned are not being honest, according to a report from the National Association of Computer Voice Stress Analysts.

Among those that have already made the switch are police departments in Atlanta, Baltimore, San Francisco, New Orleans, Nashville, and Miami, FL, as well as the California Highway Patrol and many other state and local law enforcement agencies.

In one of the most famous uses of  CVSA, after the fatal shooting of Floridian Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, Zimmerman was given a voice stress analysis test by the police department of Sanford, Florida. He passed the test.  A videotape of the test was publicly released in June 2012.

How does Computer Voice Stress Analysis work?

In a nutshell, CVSA works by measuring involuntary voice frequency changes that would indicate a high level of stress, as occurs when someone is lying. Muscles in the voice box tighten or loosen, which changes the sound of the voice, and that is what the CVSA technology registers.  The first CVSA devices came on the market in 1988.

(In contrast, the polygraph measures and records several physiological characteristics, such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration while the subject responds to a series of questions. The technology was developed in 1921.)

Who uses CVSA?

Employers, law enforcement, litigators and others with a vested interest in establishing the veracity of information or testimony.

How reliable is CVSA?

An 18 year study conducted by Dr. James L. Chapman, Professor Emeritus, Former Director of Forensic Crime Laboratory, State University of New York at Corning, evaluated the use of the Voice Stress Analysis technology for the detection of stress associated with possible deception. Using a combinatorial approach of VSA and a standardized questioning process, Dr. Chapman was able to show that VSA detected stress associated with criminal activities in 95% of the confession obtained cases studied. Dr. Chapman found no cases wherein a confession was obtained in the absence of stress. In particular, the most considerable stress levels were detected during the investigation of murder, grand larceny and sexual crimes. Dr. Chapman identified that when VSA is utilized as an investigative decision support tool in accordance with required operating procedures, and standard VSA interviewing techniques are employed, elicited confessions from criminal suspects can strongly be predicted based upon results of their VSA examinations. Further, VSA can be used by trained professionals to support the acquisition of court admissible criminal confessions at a rate superior to other legal interrogation methods currently employed by the criminal justice system

Source: Wikipedia

How does the court view CVSA?

A U.S. federal court in the Northern District of New York in early March, 2014 ruled that sex offenders can now be required to submit to CVSA examinations as part of their post-release supervision.

Why CVSA rather than polygraph?

  • Units can be carried into the field. The technology can be brought to the suspect rather than having to take the suspect to the technology.
  • Training is required to operate the CVSA, but the training is not nearly so expensive or so extensive as that required for a licensed polygraph examiner.
  • The changes in voice detected by the CVSA occur simultaneously with the speech, not in a delayed fashion as with the polygraph.
  • The CVSA is less physically intrusive. The suspect is not strapped down and wired.
  • The equipment itself is less expensive than a polygraph machine.

All in all, we see CVSA technology as the future of lie detection.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

How To Unsend Email

unsend

There is not one person reading this who has not wished for a way to unsend email. Although the mailmeisters would have had us believe that there was absolutely no way email can be retrieved once sent because , we have always known that the technology existed to save us from our snarky selves.

Without further ado (and before the powers-that-be take back the email take-back feature), how to unsend email:

IN GMAIL

Does Gmail’s Unsend do just what you think it does? Kinda sorta.

While you can’t actually go in to the receiver’s inbox and extract your snippy missive, you can pull it back within a few precious seconds as that sinking “oh no!” moment hits you.

  • Go to Settings in the drop down menu directly below your profile photo.
  • Click “Enable Undo Send,”  and then
  • Select the cancellation period from these options: five, 10, 20 or 30 seconds.
  • Save Changes.

(Why would anyone select anything other than 30 seconds??)

IN AOL

 

  • Select Mail | Sent Mail from the menu in AOL.
  • Highlight the message you want to pull back.
  • Click Unsend.

Which Emails You Can Unsend

Note that you can (effectively) unsend an email only if:

IN BROWSER

There are a few browser plug-ins that offer unsending features.  One of our favorites for its ease of use and effectiveness is Criptext.   At this time however,  it’s just for Chrome and Safari.

Enabling Criptext on an email encrypts the message and any attachments, tracks it so you know when it’s been opened, and gives you the option to “recall” it. Messages can also be set to expire after a certain amount of time.

UnSend.it is a similar service that works with more browsers and email services than Criptext. It offers all of Criptext’ features, except encryption. You will also need to configure your email service to run through UnSend’s servers.

Then you can send email and attachments to anyone. If you decide to unsend the email, just click a button in your email service. You can also track when someone opens the message or you can set it to self-destruct.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

 

 

 

What Part Of The Body Most Accurately Reveals Someone’s True Feelings?

liespotting

Liespotting is a necessary tool for anyone involved in the legal and law enforcement fields.  This week’s Bulletin covers the human body’s “tells” – subconscious actions that reveal the subject’s true feelings and intent. 

So, as the article title asks, what part of the body most accurately responds and revels someone’s true feelings?

The Feet

feet

The Eyes

eyes

or the Hands?

hands

It may come as a surprise to many people that the most accurate anatomical indicator of our true feelings is our feet. Sounds off?   You’re thinking the eyes (or face) or hands?  No, it’s definitely the feet.   Taking a quick refresher course on anatomy 101:

Our feet are the most reactive to our subconscious thoughts, mainly because they’re linked to our limbic brain; our brain is separated into three parts:

brain-01.png

Our brain controls ALL behaviors. Whether that’s going to the sleep (reptilian), feeling happy about a relationship  (mammalian), or figuring out how much paint is needed to cover an accent wall (neocortex).

The key to understanding the mind/body connection is that it’s reciprocal.  While medical science – through biofeedback –  has proven that our mind can control our body, conversely, our body can control our minds   Think about the latter for a moment and then try the two below exercises to control your mind via your body:

– Force a smile for three minutes.   (Dale Carnegie explores the power of smiling in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People:  “Don’t feel like smiling? Then what? Two things. First, force yourself to smile. If you’re alone, force yourself to whistle or hum a tune or sing.  Act as if you were already happy, and that will tend to make you happy.”)

– Stand with your hands on your hips for 2 minutes.   (Harvard social psychologist, Amy Cuddy, ran a study that became one of the most-watched TED Talks of all time  – currently at 27 million views. She explains how “power posing” can significantly boost our confidence and decrease stress.)

So why the feet and legs? Most people are not even aware that their feet send out strong signals as to their true state of mind. What you do with your feet and legs when you are bored, impatient, nervous, cautious, shy, stressed, confident etc. Virtually all our emotions manifest themselves in our feet and legs. This is in large part due to millions of years of human evolution.

A lot of what our feet convey today, comes from what we learned to do instinctively a long time ago. Our feet and legs would freeze when a danger is near, run away to further ourselves from that danger or kick in an effort to defend ourselves. These reactions were so effective (We are the proof. We are still here.), that they are still embedded in our DNA to date. We still react the same way when danger is near or when we are faced with something unpleasant. This is instinctive and for that reason, it is hard to hide what our feet and legs are saying.

Below we note the foot/leg activity and its corresponding meaning:

Point feet towards the speaker: Interest

Point feet away from speaker; Dis-interest, hostility

Knee clasping while seated; Desire to leave

Feet/Legs moving apart; Dominance, claiming (figurative) territory

Crossing legs; Confidence

Locking the feet while sitting; Anxiety, insecurity, feeling threatened

Freezing feet or leg movements; Deep emotional change has occurred (fight or flight reaction has kicked in)

Jiggling feet; Nervousness

Leg cleansing (rubbing hands along sides of thighs); Attempting to comfort oneself or wipe sweaty palms

Granted,  the body has many more subconscious intent “tells” than those just by the feet but always check these extremities and limbs first when trying to determine your subject’s true thoughts.

BTW, I just ordered a glass conference table.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

10 Steps To Erasing Your Digital Footprint (Part II/II)

footprint2

(Continued from Part I/II)

6. Have an alternate email account

Almost all services online require you to submit an email address to register with them and before use. Creating an alternate email account for these sites can help keep your digital footprint to a minimum.

If you need to send an untraceable email, use Guerrilla Mail for temporary, disposable email addresses.  You can set the time period for which the email address will be active.  You can also avoid disposable email blocks and generate untrackable email from your own domain.  Our job is not to question our readers motives as we all know that everyone has the need for anonymity or untraceability at some point in our digital lives.

7. Opt for the ‘right to be forgotten’

The ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling  recently enforced in Europe  means that search engines can be made to remove links to publicly available news items from their search results. While Google has appealed the ruling, many links have been removed — although this has resulted in the creation of lists to de-indexed pages in its stead — due to the belief that irrelevant and inaccurate information gives a data subject the right to request removal from a search engine data controller.

8. Delete unused e-commerce and retail accounts

Delete unused/inactive retail accounts, such as eBay and Amazon and any others that may contain your financial data. Given the massive uptick in cyberattacks on major retailers and services, and if you no longer use your account, there’s no need to keep sensitive data stored on company servers.

9.  Stay below the radar

For the average home/small business user, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer InPrivate Browsing, Chrome’s Incognito mode, and Firefox’s Private Window can limit trackable data — such as cookies — being collected by services as you browse.

10. Start fresh

Although extreme, if you have the need, wiping all of the aforementioned services and deleting your email inbox can be the best way to remove your footprint. Very little is ever truly forgotten, but falsifying social media account names, locking up security settings tightly, deleting email inboxes and e-commerce accounts will help wipe your presence from the Web.

Just remember that there is only so much you can do and that online information is reposited somewhere in the cloud and there will never be a thorough scrubbing of your digital footprint.  At best, your online presence can be minimized or modified in such a manner as to render search results fairly useless.  But, of course, the best was to control your digital footprint is to post as minimally as possible.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

In Memoriam; Dr. Tina Edler Flanagan

Tina

10.14.1971 – 07.19.2015

With a very heavy heart…

I am saddened by the passing yesterday morning (Sunday, July 19, 2015) of my niece, Dr. Tina Edler-Flanagan,. Tina graduated med school at an age when most were graduating college, fast-tracking her desire to help people. She was an ER physician – a career path she selected; enabling her to be on the front lines of saving lives. Unfortunately, her own life could not be saved yesterday.

“I recently had to take my 2 yr. old to the ER because she had been vomiting for 2 days.  Dr. Flanagan and the ER nurse, Cate Tillman, were wonderful!  They took excellent care of my girl!  She ended up having to be admitted.  The entire nursing staff and the CNA’s on the 4th floor took excellent care of us!”

– Samantha    (from the Colquitt (Georgia) Regional Hospital ER site.)

More importantly – especially to her – she is the mother of two young, brilliant and good-hearted children, Katherine Rose and Michael, and a loving wife to her considerate and caring husband, Ruben Flanagan. She also leaves behind her mother, my sister, Lucia Edler and her father, my brother-in-law, Hugh Edler, and a large extended family – all of whom are shocked and grieved by Tina’s passing.

tina family

Tina holding Rosie and Michael (and a little family friend on the left).

Tina Marie is now by God’s side, surely continuing her good works through the powers that be. Rest in peace, my beautiful niece. I do not know why this happened and may the purpose be revealed in time but know that you are loved. So very, very loved.

(I apologize to family members and Tina’s friends – all over the world – whom we were unable to get a hold of… which is why we decided to post this farewell…)

Finally, and with the deepest gratitude to Tina, she is the one who propelled me – through our mutual experiences in life that prompted my career change to investigations – to push forward with Beacon Network Investigations (BNI) and believed in what we do, particularly work (if one can call it that) with voices that might otherwise be silenced – not only by her words but by her actions too; she directed situations to BNI that she believed required our help.  Let it be known to all that I am reaffirming that we will continue with Tina’s wishes on certain ongoing matters.

The words to fully describe Tina’s beautiful soul have not yet been invented so this written commemoration will end now although her memory will live on forever.

Love you strongly, always… Aunt Lina

10 Steps To Erasing Your Digital Footprint (Part I/II)

footprint2

We all have something to hide.  Usually, it’s benign family or photobombed pics and then,  in some cases, a miserable and dirty divorce battle bitterly played out online. Time is the objective archivist of that which we’ve shared online; perception and therefore judgment, however, resides with the reviewer of our public personas.

The vast majority of people have been online now for several years at the very least; interacting on such social media sites as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.   Some of us have fairly large, embedded digital footprints and others cast light personal shadows on the internet landscape but we are all there, in some detectable form.

Whether you are going for your first real job, seeking a post-divorce relationship or just realized that your kids can conduct an FBI-quality thorough background check on their parents, you’ve decided it’s time to clean up your online presence.  Although the task may at first appear overwhelming, the job itself doesn’t have to be – and, some things that are out there you are going to simply have to learn to live with.  So, let’s begin.  (To make this effort manageable in light of our busy lives, we are presenting this information is two parts – a week apart – to allow our readers time to complete the suggested tasks.)

footprint

1. Search yourself.

First things first, pull up your public profile.   It is now common practice among prospective employers to perform searches online when vetting job applicants. The information pulled up by search engines such as Google can be seen not only by you, but future bosses — and so if there is anything unprofessional out there, this will be the first glimpse they see of you. Run a search on your name (including maiden names) and see what appears.  Also, conduct image searches, as they can link to websites or accounts you’ve long forgotten about. Understanding your basic digital footprint is the first step in taking control of it.  By the numbers, run your self through:

Google

Bing

Yahoo

YouTube

InstantCheckmate

Spokeo

(For the curious, while you can certainly look up friends, relatives and co-workers with the latter two personal data-collection services, if you wish them to remain as such, we suggest you just check your own info.  Also, often the data on these sites and others like it can, and most often is, dated and limited.  For your own review however, it serves the stated purposes in this article.)

2. Deactivate old social media accounts and check privacy settings.

MySpace (Yes, this dinosaur social site is still here, haunting us to eternity or the end of the Net – which ever comes first.), Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are social media websites that can be mined by potential employers for personal information. If privacy settings are not at their highest, this could mean viewers can access pictures, posts and status updates best kept within your private life.

One thing to remember is that the Web often forgets about context — and so Tweets can be misconstrued, events from years ago can end up hampering your prospects, and your profile may not show you to be the type of person a company would want to hire.

In relation to accounts you actively use, check your privacy settings.

For Facebook, click on account Settings through the top-right button, and then select Privacy from the menu on the left. You can then decide who can see what information is posted — and whether you can be looked up based on your email address, phone number or search engines. You can also use another handy tool from your profile page to see what others view, by selecting the ‘…’ button and choosing ‘View as..’.

Twitter users, click your profile avatar in the top right of the Twitter.com screen, and select ‘Settings.’ From this menu, you can make your profile private or change a range of basic account options.

If you want to be completely hidden on social media, use a different surname.

3. Hide others, or add false information

Honesty may not be the best policy if old social media accounts hold information you’d prefer to keep low-key.   In addition, some services do not allow you to delete accounts — instead, they allow only for accounts to be “deactivated.” In these cases, consider changing your name, email address and uploading an innocuous profile picture — as well as deleting as much information as possible — before deactivation.

E.g., If you’ve conducted the above suggested Google, Bing, etc.  search and found pictures linked to old accounts you’d rather not have displayed, hiding your accounts may help in eventual refreshes. It will take time for search engines to stop pulling up these images, but the sooner you tweak old accounts, the better.

4. Contact webmasters

If websites have posted public information about you, contacting webmasters may be the only option to remove this information. Send them an email or give them a call, and explain what, and why, you need something removed.  If you are a member of the law enforcement community, most of these sites are very accommodating in removing identifying materials.  If you have field a police report in any criminal matter, likewise, with a short, concise letter attached to the report, most web masters are very helpful and willing to err on the side of safety in removing or modifying your public data.

5. Unsubscribe from mailing lists

Mailing lists are an integral part of the digital trail leading back to you, and unsubscribing can help break these connections — as well as uncluttering your inbox.

A suggestion for future subscriptions: add an identifier middle initial to your subscriptions so that you can quickly determine subscription categories: e.g., Lina N. Maini = news subs such as WSJ, NYT, etc.   This has seriously helped me identify, review and delete subscriptions in the past, rather than scour through each provider name and have to pop an email open to determine content.  (The Washington Post is obviously a news source – ok, keep the dissent to a minimum – but Birchbox?  I had completely forgotten that these are the wonderful folks who deliver my samples box – home products, beauty supplies, new foods on the market – each month.  I’ve loved everything they’ve sent thus far. ).

Next week, we bring you the next and final five steps in repairing, if necessary, and managing your very public online profile.

(For those looking for professional reputation repair and management services – in which we delve into archival materials deeply buried but ultimately findable by dedicated, prying eyes – we do provide unique, tailored packages that are maintained in the strictest of confidentiality – as is all of our work.)
BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

Can Someone Hack Your Passport? RFID Wallets and More.

scanner
As of now, most credit cards and debit cards issued within the past decade have RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) technology embedded in them. All US passports issued since August, 2007 and later have RFID chips that track your data and photo. RFID chips are a convenient way to store and read data – instead of having to swipe your card through a reader, you can simply wave your card in front of an RFID scanner without even taking it out of your wallet.  Such comfort!

Unfortunately, RFID technology used to track sensitive data in many of today’s portable identifiers (e.g. cards) can be easily scanned without you ever knowing.

How can RFID-hacking occur and how to protect your RFID-chipped documents when traveling:

What is RFID technology?

RFID stands for Radio-Frequency IDentification. The acronym refers to small electronic devices that consist of a small chip and an antenna. 

The RFID device serves the same purpose as a bar code or a magnetic strip on the back of a credit card or ATM card; it provides a unique identifier for that object. And, just as a bar code or magnetic strip must be scanned to get the information, the RFID device must be scanned to retrieve the identifying information.

RFID Works Better Than Barcodes

A significant advantage of RFID over barcodes is that the RFID device does not need to be positioned precisely relative to the scanner. We’re all familiar with the difficulty that store checkout clerks sometimes have in ensuring that a barcode can be read. And obviously, credit cards and ATM cards must be swiped through a special reader.

In contrast, RFID devices will work within a few feet (up to 20 feet for high-frequency devices) of the scanner. For example, you could just put all of your groceries or purchases in a bag, and set the bag on the scanner. It would be able to query all of the RFID devices and total your purchase immediately.

 

It’s a scary thought to entertain and if it bothers you, keep reading to find out what you can do about it.

How can you stay safe against hacked RFID chips?

Unfortunately, the danger is that someone could build a counterfeit reader – which wouldn’t be too difficult for anyone who is experienced in that field – and pick up your RFID information without your consent or even knowledge. Counterfeit card readers existed before RFID, but you were required to physically swipe your card through a slot; counterfeit RFID readers can pull or delete data without so much as you walking by.

On the market now are RFID-blocking sleeves, pouches, wallets and other such personal item carriers. A proper RFID blocker will utilize something called a “Faraday cage” (a grounded metal screen surrounding a piece of equipment to exclude electrostatic and electromagnetic influences) and the specification you want to look for is “electromagnetically opaque”. These RFID blockers will prevent illegitimate reading of your RFID-embedded objects.

Not all RFID-blocking wallets are made equal; some are more effective than others. In addition, even the most effective RFID-blocking wallets can fail, whether due to wear and tear or user error. These products will help keep you safe, nonetheless, exercise caution and common sense when traveling.

 

At Corporate Travel Safety, you can purchase RFID-reader blocking items such as wallets, full-sized/mini document holders, ladies’ clutches and handbags, neck holders, inside front pocket sleeves, etc.  We’ve bought and used several of their products and have for years with no negative incidents to date.

neck pouch

BNI Operatives: Situationally Aware.

As always, stay safe.

Wishing Our Readers A Happy And Proud Fourth Of July!



happy fourth

Happy Independence Day!

Be strong and safe and stand proud, America!

 

 

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