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Updated February 2015 to include newest wireless routers in recommendations… Your wireless router is the quarterback for your home’s internet connection. It takes your internet signal from your internet service provider (ISP) and broadcasts it wirelessly throughout your home. Then, it becomes air traffic controller as your laptop, tablet, mobile phone, Roku, and other devices   

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Two days ago, the “Craigslist Killer” was sentenced to the death penalty for luring Craigslist users to his home and killing them.  Being weary of Craigslist is warranted, but Google Voice is an excellent resource to help you stay anonymous on Craigstlist while either buying someone’s junk or pawning your own junk off on someone   

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Speed is nice, but today your browser choice should depend on how secure you will be online and how ethical the company who makes your browser is.  Online anonymity is dead.  You’re fooling yourself if you don’t think you are being tracked, analyzed, and marketed to.

 

Third Party Cookies

Third party cookies are the vehicle which websites and advertisers use to track you online without you knowing it and without you knowing who they are.

An example: If you go to cnn.com a Facebook Like Button will appear on any article you read.  Facebook, not CNN, loads that Like Button on that webpage and also stores a cookie on your computer.  Assuming you’ve logged into Facebook at least once on that browser, Facebook now knows you visited that CNN article and can feed you targeted ads based on the browsing history that it builds based on your browsing habits and interests.

Facebook and sites like it, who know your name, interests, friends, family, job, and location are also recording your browsing history to sites outside of theirs regardless of whether you are logged into their site or not.

But, maybe you’re OK with being tracked.  After all, you have nothing to hide, right?  But, what if Facebook sells your information and online activity to advertisers?  There’s nothing stopping them.  Here’s a few thought provoking questions Lori Andrews from the New York Times asked about the ramifications of the future of targeted advertising:

“When young people in poor neighborhoods are bombarded with advertisements for trade schools, will they be more likely than others their age to forgo college? And when women are shown articles about celebrities rather than stock market trends, will they be less likely to develop financial savvy?”

Yikes.

 

Firefox the superhero of the webFirefox to the rescue!

Mozilla Firefox is considered by many to be the “good super hero” on the web. Mozilla was among the first to denounce CISPA, continually fights for an open, safe web, and will soon be one of the first browsers to automatically block third party cookies.

This is a big deal.  Online advertisers know it too.

third party cookies firefox

Other browsers, like Google Chrome, have reluctantly dragged their feet to take steps to protect their user’s privacy and spend millions to advertise their browser in order to collect as much information as possible from their users.

Online privacy is a real issue, and Mozilla Firefox has proven to be leading the way to protect the power and value of this century’s greatest invention from being squandered by unethical advertisers and websites.

 

Download: Fast, Fun, Awesome

Dropbox is a fantastic application that really makes sharing and syncing files easier.  Dropbox has been around for awhile, but it is still seen as a file storage/backup application rather than a file syncing/sharing application.  There’s a big difference. As soon as you install the free Dropbox download, you get 2.5GB for free.  The application   

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Using rechargeable batteries to power your electronics saves money and is better for the environment.  The cost of a standard AA battery is about .30 cents.  An Eneloop rechargeable AA battery costs $2.50 and .04 cents for each recharge.  I made a graph below illustrating that a rechargeable battery will begin to save you money   

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Updated April 2016 to include new Foscam HD IP Camera options… Here is a quick and easy guide to use a Foscam IP Camera as a baby monitor.  This isn’t meant to be comprehensive, as there are many advanced things you can do with an IP camera (motion detection, sharing the feed publicly, etc), but   

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Google announced recently that they’ll be releasing glasses with a camera and a HUD display letting users live everyday life in augmented reality and recording videos and taking pictures with a simple voice command.  Currently, the functionality of the glasses is somewhat limited to taking a picture, directions, messaging, and other Google voice commands, but   

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Most people think of the movie The Fast and the Furious when they hear the word NAS, but unlike the gas propellent “NOS”, NAS is referring to Network Attached Storage.  Very simply, this is a hard drive that is attached to your network within a very, very simple computer enclosure. The benefits of having a   

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