Wasting time on forgotten passwords is often very frustrating so not having to remember your passwords is the logical answer. Many people also reuse their passwords multiple times on different websites which is also a big no-no.
In today’s world, most people who use the internet at home and at work have between 8 and 20 passwords to remember each and every day. PassPack™ just might be the answer for individuals, families and small business owners who need to keep track of multiple passwords as well as shared info between family members and co-workers.
1: Organization: Strong passwords combined with having too many passwords can cause headaches. The Passpack manager helps eliminate that by letting you tag, sort, search and manage multiple logins per site.
2: Everywhere Access: Passpack is web based and available to you from any web browser, anywhere, anytime, there’s no need to carry yet another device or install on multiple computers.
3: Collaborative: Family, co-workers and team members all need access to shared accounts. You can securely share and provision passwords using military grade encryption. You can even securely send passwords and messages to people you trust.
4: Easy To Use: Simply click your personal login button. Just install it once in any browser then click to login to your favorite websites.
5: Disposable Login’s: One unique feature of PassPack allows you to use disposable logins when you’re travelling or using a computer that is not your own. These disposable logins are a one-time use only and then it’s discarded protecting your private password information from key-loggers and other hacker tools designed to capture your info and identity.
So what makes PassPack different from many other password managers? You won’t have to pay a penny to use it. Passpack offers something better than a free trial – they have a free version that allows you to store up to 100 passwords, add a shared user (perhaps a family member) as well giving you 3 disposable logins.
If the Free version isn’t enough, you can upgrade to the next higher level at any time. The PRO version cost is $1.50 per month or if you have a group of people (say up to 15 shared users) the cost is only $4.00 per month (a paltry 27 cents per user).
The PassPack password manager works with the latest versions of Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari as well as Internet Explorer 7 and above.
Take a look and give it a try: www.passpack.com
Last week, Amazon updated its cloud drive offering in a move that could end up causing a pricing war in cloud based file storage.
Their “new” Cloud model has 2 flavors and both come with a 3-month free trial.
1: Unlimited Photo storage PLUS 5GB for videos and files for $11.99 per year
2: Unlimited “Everything” for storing well, everything… photos, videos, files and documents for just $59.99 per year.
You may recall that last year Amazon tweaked their Prime membership by adding a 5GB storage perk for Prime members at no cost.
Amazons new storage plans address the typical consumer challenge of having a lifetime of birthdays, vacations, holidays and everyday moments stored across multiple devices and having no idea of how many gigabytes of information they need to protect and safely back up.
Amazon’s bargain basement prices will certainly put pressure on Dropbox, Google and Microsoft. A quick comparison shows a gigantic gap between Amazon’s new pricing plans and those of its primary competitors. Here’s how they break down:
- Google charges $9.99/month for 1 TB. Storing 30 TB costs $299.99/month. However, Google Drive users get 15 GB for free. An incremental storage plan offers 100 GB of storage for $1.99/month.
- Dropbox charges $10 for 1 TB/month; users can get 2 GB for free.
- Microsoft charges $6.99/month for 1 TB, with 15 GB available for free. A super saver plan, of sorts, is available on Microsoft’s OneDrive. If you subscribe to Office 365, you can get unlimited cloud storage for $7/month.
The unlimited pricing plans replace the Amazon’s previous pricing menu for Amazon Cloud Storage, which gave subscribers 5 GB of storage for free. Users could add more storage, based on a tiered pricing structure starting at 20 GB for $10/year, up to 1 TB/year for $500. Certainly a substantial shift in pricing.
Finally, Amazon’s Cloud Drive has a cool feature called Auto-Save available in the free mobile app – turn it on and your photos will be automatically saved in your cloud drive – safe and sound even if your phone or tablet is lost or damaged.
With the “Storage Wars” renewed, we can expect additional innovations and price cuts from all the major contenders.
Amazon Cloud Drive:
As the number of internet connected devices — also known as the Internet of Things — continues to grow, so too does the number of devices using voice recognition technology as an interface to allow for hands free control.
Last fall, Amazon revealed a connected speaker with a Siri-style assistant named “Echo” that can perform tasks like adding items to your ecommerce shopping basket on command. At the recent CES conference, Internet connected ‘smart TVs’ which let couch-potatoes channel-hop by talking at their screen, rather than pushing the buttons of a physical remote control are now even more common. It’s clear that the consumer electronics of our future will include more devices with embedded ears that can hear what their owners are saying. And, behind those ears, the server-side brains to data-mine our conversations for advertising intelligence.
“You can control your SmartTV, and use many of its features, with voice commands. If you enable Voice Recognition, you can interact with your Smart TV using your voice. To provide you the Voice Recognition feature, some voice commands may be transmitted (along with information about your device, including device identifiers) to a third-party service that converts speech to text or to the extent necessary to provide the Voice Recognition features to you. In addition, Samsung may collect and your device may capture voice commands and associated texts so that we can provide you with Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve the features. Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use od Voice Recognition.”
If the SmartTV owner realizes how ridiculous this is, Samsung does at least allow them to disable the eavesdropping voice recognition ‘feature’, and instead use a more limited set of predefined ‘voice commands’ — and in that instance says it does not harvest their spoken words.
However it will still gather usage info and any other text-based inputs for data mining purposes, as it also notes further down in the policy. So an entire opt-out of being tracked is not part of this very expensive package.
If you do not enable Voice Recognition, you will not be able to use interactive voice recognition features, although you may be able to control your TV using certain predefined voice commands. While Samsung will not collect your spoken word, they may still collect associated texts and other usage data so that we can evaluate the performance of the feature and improve it.
Samsung states: “You may disable Voice Recognition data collection at any time by visiting the “settings” menu. However, this may prevent you from using all of the Voice Recognition features.”
An Internet connected TV that eavesdrops on the stuff you say when you’re sitting on the sofa or watching TV in bed is just the latest overreaching privacy intrusion to come to light for consumers. As technology continues its ever onward march, it’s unlikely to be the worst, and certainly won’t be the last. As more smart devices are deployed in our homes, cars and lives are networked and brought online, and given the technical ability to snoop on us — there is a growing imperative to clean up the darker corners of the digital commerce environment. As consumers we need to insist on setting some boundaries on what is and is not acceptable. Just last month the FTC even warned us of the huge security risks in the Internet of Things.
What happens to our privacy when the Internet is in everything? When all the technological things in your home have networked ears that are fine-tuned for commercial intelligence gathering, where will you go to talk about “personal” or “sensitive” stuff?
If you’re looking for a way to earn extra money in 2015, here’s a list of a dozen mobile apps that can help.
- Nielsen Homescan This app will pay you to scan your groceries. Once you sign up to become a Nielsen Homescan family (yep, the same company that tracks TV ratings), the company will send you a free scanner or you can use your smartphone. Every time you go shopping, you simply scan the barcodes on the back of each product and send your data off to Nielsen.
If you want to give it a try, you can fill out the application here: Nielsen Homescan Application (you can’t download this one from the app store; you’ll need to visit their website first).
As an active participant, you earn gift points which you can redeem for different types of merchandise. You can choose electronics, jewelry, household items, and even toys for the kids. The longer you stay on the panel, the more opportunity you have to earn points towards prizes. You also receive entries for the panel’s many sweepstakes. Prizes include money, vacations, and brand new vehicles. http://www.homescan.com/
- i-Say Mobile The i-Say mobile app is one of the only legitimate paid survey apps out there. It’s actually a part of the Ipsos company, which might be a name you’re familiar with because they do a lot of the polling you see during presidential races.
Historically, some of the top-end surveys can pay up to $95, but those are rare and can take a while to complete. Most surveys pay a buck or two and only take 10-15 minutes. Also, the i-Say app rewards you with points which can then be redeemed for Paypal or gift cards to Amazon, iTunes, etc. (example: 1000 points can be redeemed for $10 Paypal). Use the link above to fill out an application and then they’ll send you a link to download the app. http://i-say.com/
- Ibotta The Ibotta app will pay you cash to take a picture of your receipts.
Here’s how it works: 1. Sign up for a free account with Ibotta (just need a name & email address). 2. Download the mobile app and then click on the “Rebates” section. 3. From here, you should see dozens of different rebates you can take advantage of. For example, right now the app is offering 50 cents if I upload a picture of a receipt showing that you bought milk. And there’s another rebate for $10 if you upload a picture of a Best Buy receipt.
Now, you obviously don’t want to go out and buy a bunch of stuff you don’t need, but you will find tons of rebates for things you are already buying. Plus, you can stack regular coupons on top of the rebate, meaning some of you savvy shoppers will be able to get free stuff. https://ibotta.com/
- Media Research Panel Media Research Panel is a smartphone app that helps media companies better understand how consumers use, view and share TV, social, digital and mobile media. Their app “measures activities conducted on a device, such as sharing, viewing, clicking, chatting, downloading and more. The app also listens for TV shows, and, using technology of Gracenote, Inc., identifies which TV shows was captured.”
When you install their app, they’ll pay you $5/month per device. And you can install the app on up to 3 devices. Plus they’ll send you a $5 bonus after the 12th week. (Totals $185/year)
Here’s how to do it: 1. Sign up for Media Insiders Panel (you can’t download this one from the app store) 2. Install and activate the MI Mobile app onto your device(s). 3. Watch your e-mail for important information and instructions on next steps. Also, at no time is a member’s personally identifiable information ever shared or released publicly, nor will they ever interact with you via social media.
Support devices: Android™ smartphones and tablets that run Android version 4.0 or greater, and are not rooted. They also accept the Kindle Fire HD, but not the first generation Kindle Fire. iPhone®5, iPad®, iPad mini®, and iPod touch® devices that run iOS version 5.0 or greater. ***You’ve got be a US resident, 13 years or older, and have a valid email address. https://www.mediainsiders.com/
- Field Agent The Field Agent app will pay you to complete small tasks around town for their clients. The tasks are pretty simple: scanning barcodes with your iPhone, checking prices at your local grocery store and conducting field surveys.
Payouts vary and depend on the job and area that you are in. For example, a job posted in Mission Viejo, California is looking for an agent to take 4 separate photos of products in the toothbrush section of the local Target. This particular task pays 9 dollars.
And in Brooklyn, New York, a field agent can go to a local Toys “R” Us store, snap a shot of the $19.99 & under video game display and come out a healthy $5.50 richer.
Remember though: you’re in this to make money; don’t bust out the plastic when you see a new Xbox 360 game nearby that you’ve been itching to buy. Field Agent job payouts typically vary between $2 – $8 (payable through PayPal). Most of the jobs only take 5 minutes, so the real time involved is with driving to each location. Still with travel time and gas, you could easily make $10-$20/hour completing mini-jobs. http://www.fieldagent.net/for-agents/
- Inbox Dollars InboxDollars has been around for quite a while now, but they just came out with a pretty cool mobile app that will pay you to search the web, play games, and take surveys.
The app is totally free to download. Plus, they give you a free $5 just to signup. Once you’ve accumulated $30 earnings (it’s possible to do this in only a couple of hours), you can request payment via check. It takes about 2 weeks to get the check when you cash out. http://www.inboxdollars.com/
- Receipt Hog Receipt Hog is very similar to Ibotta. You take a picture of your receipts and the “hog” rewards you with points that you can redeem for Paypal or Amazon gift cards.
The difference with this app is that you don’t have to shop anywhere specific, or buy anything specific. You can take a picture of any of your receipts and the app will reward you with points. http://receipthog.com/
- Bookscouter The Bookscouter app is really useful when you want to sell your old books that are just collecting dust on the shelf. You scan your book’s barcode with a smartphone and Bookscouter will let you compare the payout of 20+ different buyback companies.
Once you’ve found the buyback company offering the most cash, you just fill out a little information about where you want your payment sent and prepare the books to be shipped. Most of the buyback companies offer prepaid shipping labels too, so there aren’t any costs associated with this. http://www.bookscouter.com
- ESPN Streak for the Cash Think you know sports? The ESPN Streak for the Cash app will let you make predictions for upcoming games and then reward you with cash if you have the longest streak of correct predictions. To make it tougher, you have to make call for 10 different sports. The person with the longest winning streak earns $50,000 every month. Pretty sweet! http://streak.espn.go.com/en/
10. Mobee Have you ever tried mystery shopping? The Mobee app will pay you to go undercover in your local stores and restaurants and rate the level of customer service and cleanliness, among other things. http://www.mobeeapp.com/
11. SlideJoy & 12. ScreenPay Both SlideJoy and ScreenPay operate on the same principal – download their app and they will serve ads on your smartphone’s lock screen. For this, you get paid a monthly stipend.
The SlideJoy app doesn’t specify how much you earn (it’s based off how often you look at your phone), but the ScreenPay app will pay you a flat fee of $3 a month, plus they’ll give you $1 just for signup up. These are both Android apps, so they won’t work on your iPhone or Blackberry. https://www.getslidejoy.com/ http://www.screenpay.com/
Special Thanks to ThePennyHoarder.com for this list of mobile apps
If so, the FAA has launched campaign targeting you as a rookie drone pilots Drones are no longer high priced specialty item, they come in all shapes and sizes. From affordable film-quality options to toy-sized mini versions now most anyone can own one. Drones have become cheap, fun, and easy enough to control that they make good gifts for any holiday season. But that means that where tech-savvy families would have had to remember to wrap batteries alongside holiday gifts, now they need to worry about Federal Aviation Administration flight regulations.
Thanks to the massive rise of consumer drones, the FAA released a video this week that proposes best practices to help people “stay off the naughty list” as they play with their airborne gifts. The “Know Before You Fly” video is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF5Q9JvBhxM
It’s safe to say drones were one of the hottest topics in 2014. “Drone porn” became a thing, and the FAA spent so much time going back and forth on how to regulate them that we might not have regulations until 2017. So it’s no surprise that the issue of privacy is actually on a lot of people’s minds:
If you were gifted a drone for Christmas, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has you in its sights. It may not be in the form of long-awaited laws for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that are due later this year, but is a campaign directed at rookie pilots whose expertise may be outstripped by their unbridled enthusiasm.
With the increasing availability of cheap and feature-packed drones, these aircraft have become an aviation concern. The danger is the potential for swarms of drones taking to skies across the US, controlled by people who mightn’t have such a great handle on how to use them.
The FAA is continuing to work away on new regulations to keep all these flying vehicles in check, but in the meantime it has teamed up with UAV organizations and hobby groups to launch Know Before You Fly, a public awareness campaign promoting its already existing rules. Primarily, this means keeping the drone within sight, not flying it over 400 ft (122 m), conducting routine inspections of the craft, keeping clear of manned aircraft and notifying airports or control towers if flying within 5 miles (8 km).
The FAA has also attracted criticism for its slow progress in revamping rules for what is a new era in unmanned flight. It remains illegal to fly UAVs for commercial purposes unless granted permission from the agency, a roadblock that has seen some private firms promise to take their operations overseas.
But Know Before You Fly is at least an acknowledgement of the sharp uptake in the number of drones taking to the skies and expresses a desire to inform and cooperate with budding pilots. The campaign will incorporate a website, educational materials offered at the point-of-sale, along with digital and social media campaigns.
Recent internet threats like Heartbleed indicate that we need a more secure way to do our work online. Eyelock, a New York based company, has responded with Myris, a palm sized device that scans your irises to log you in to your favorite sites.
Myris uses patented technology to convert your individual iris characteristics to a code unique only to you, then matches your encrypted code to grant access to your PCs, e-commerce sites, applications and data— all in less than 1 second.
Myris works easily with digital networks, including online bank accounts, social media accounts, Internet VPNs, email and more. On the back end, you can set passwords as complex as you like and once you link Myris, you can forget them. Myris is robust and reliable enough to secure workstations, high-value transactions, critical databases, and information systems for enterprise and small business.
• FAR (False Accept Rate) is 1 in 1.5 million (single eye)
• Video-based system • USB powered
• Authentication occurs on device • Multiple user capacity—*up to 5 people per device
• Secure communication and encryption (AES 256)
• Easy set-up—user-friendly application software included
• Compatible with Windows 7 & 8, 8.1 and Mac OS 10.8 +
• Only DNA is more accurate
• Fast and easy to use—as easy as looking into a mirror
• No recharging, works with any USB device
• Protects your privacy—no personal information is transmitted
• Only one device needed per household
• Your information is kept safe and secure
• Easily manage your access to digital networks
• Works with most PC and tablet operating systems
Never type a password again—Myris grants you access to your digital world. It’s portable, lightweight, fits in the palm of your hand—and is as easy to use as looking at a mirror.
Myris will be featured at CES 2015 and expect to see demos of an integrated Myris version featured by laptop partners including HP and Acer. Myris has also been nominated for an innovation award at CES 2015.
You can get more information on Myris here: http://www.eyelock.com/
Back in the ‘90s, Clip Art took over Word and PowerPoint files thanks to the thousands of office workers and students who used the images as a way to “improve” their documents.
These days there are a large number of free images available on the web, and Microsoft is recognizing this by killing off its Clip Art portal in recent versions Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. “The Office.com Clip Art and image library has closed shop states Microsoft. Usage of Office’s image library has been declining year-to-year as customers rely more on search engines.
While most references to Clip Art disappeared with Office 2013, users were still able to insert the old-school images into documents using an Office.com Clip Art option. That is now being replaced by Bing Images, with Microsoft filtering images to ensure they’re based on the Creative Commons licensing system for personal or commercial use. Most of the new images are much more modern, instead of the illustrated remnants of the past. Clip Art might be facing the same Office-related demise as did the great Clippy assistant. Time marches on!
FBI reminds shoppers to be aware of cyber criminals offering scams this holiday season!
If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The FBI reminds shoppers in advance of the holiday shopping season to beware of cyber criminals and their aggressive and creative ways to steal money and personal information. Scammers use many techniques to defraud consumers by offering too good to be true deals via phishing e-mails advertising brand name merchandise, quick money making offers, or gift cards as an incentive to purchase a product. Remember, if the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is and never provide your personal information to an unknown party or untrusted website.
Scammers often use e-mail to advertise hot-ticket items of the year that may become hard to find during the holidays to lure unsuspecting consumers to click on links. Steer clear of untrusted sites or ads offering items at unrealistic discounts or with special coupons. You may end up paying for an item, giving away personal information and credit card details, and then receive nothing in return, along with your identity compromised. These sites may also be offering products at a great price, but the products being sold are not the same as the products they advertise. This is known as the bait and switch scam.
Beware of posts on social media sites that appear to offer vouchers or gift cards, especially sites offering deals too good to be true, such as a free $500 gift card. Some may pose as holiday promotions or contests. It may even appear one of your friends shared the link with you. If so, it is likely your friend was duped by the scam after it was sent to them by one of their friends. Oftentimes, these scams lead to online surveys designed to steal personal information. Remember, if the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. And never provide your personal information to an unknown party or untrusted website.
When purchasing gift cards online, be leery of auction sites selling discounted or bulk offers of gift cards. When purchasing gift cards in the store, examine the protective scratch off area on the back of the card to see if it has been tampered with.
Be on the lookout for mobile applications designed to steal your personal information from your smartphone. Such apps are often disguised as games and are often offered for free. Research the company selling or giving away the app and look online for third party reviews before installing an app from an unknown source.
Tickets to theater, concerts, and sporting events are always popular gifts during the holidays. If you purchase or receive tickets as a gift, do not post pictures of the tickets to social media sites. Protect the barcodes on tickets as you would your credit card number. Fraudsters will create a ticket using the barcode obtained from searching around social media sites and resell the ticket. You should never allow the barcode to be seen on social media.
If you are in need of extra cash at this time of year, beware of sites and posts offering work you can do from the comfort of your own home. Often, the work from home opportunities rely on convenience as a selling point for applicants with an unscrupulous motivation behind the posting. You should carefully research the job posting and individuals or company contacting you for employment.
As a consumer, if you feel you are a victim of an Internet-related crime, you may file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.IC3.gov
Here’s some additional tips you can use to avoid becoming a victim of cyber fraud:
• Check your credit card statement routinely.
• Protect your credit card numbers from “wandering eyes”.
• Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mail.
• Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.
• Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Scan the attachments for viruses if possible.
• Avoid filling out forms contained in e-mail messages that ask for personal information.
• Always compare the link in the e-mail to the link you are actually directed to and determine if they actually match and lead you to a legitimate site.
• Log on directly to the official website for the business identified in the e-mail, instead of “linking” to it from an unsolicited e-mail. If the e-mail appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer, or other company you deal with frequently, your statements or official correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information.
• If you are requested to act quickly or there is an emergency, it may be a scam. Fraudsters create a sense of urgency to get you to act quickly.
• Verify any requests for personal information from any business or financial institution by contacting them using the main contact information on their official website.
• Remember if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Come Black Friday, you’ll be able to get a tablet PC for less than $100
The Nextbook 8, a PC tablet that runs the latest version of Microsoft Windows, will be available for just $99 on Black Friday at Wal-Mart. It’s currently selling for $149.
There are some tradeoffs to buying a $99 Windows PC tablet — it has no built in mouse or keyboard, the processor isn’t all that great, and it only has 16 GB of memory. But the good news for consumers is that PCs are hitting bargain basement prices across the board.
The average selling price for an entry level Windows PCs during the last three weeks of October was $430. That’s the lowest pricing for Windows computers in history. Prices were about 10% higher during the same time last year.
Those super-low prices are helping drive up slumping PC sales significantly higher.
PC sales were up 16% over last year in the first week of October, all driven by the sub-$300 PCs.
Black Friday pricing has come very early to the Windows notebook market. The real question is what will the Windows PC market look like when we come out of the 2014 holiday season?
Microsoft has been subsidizing some PC prices to make them more competitive against Google’s Chromebooks. Google’s laptops only connect to the Web, but the increasingly popular devices can be had for as low as $150.
Meanwhile, Apple took its highest share of the U.S. PC market in its history last quarter, after it sold 5.5 million Macintosh computers.
Microsoft might be shooting itself in the foot with its extremely aggressive pricing. Sales of Windows laptops that cost more than $300 have fallen 10% in the past three weeks. That means fewer customers are buying the more expensive touchscreen laptops and tablet/laptop hybrids that make Windows products stand out from the competition.
Industry analysts forecast a significantly weaker PC business, less able to support the upcoming Windows 10 release, less able to compete with a surging Macbook market, and less able to clearly differentiate what makes a PC a compelling choice against a tablet or a smartphone.
You can check out the new Nextbook here: http://nextbookusa.com/productdetail.php?product_id=22
Seems like Microsoft wanted to play their own version of “Trick or Treat” on Halloween. Last Friday, October 31st, Microsoft stopped providing Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, and Windows 7 Ultimate licenses to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including its PC partners and systems builders. This means you’ll only be able to buy a computer running Windows 7 as long as current stock lasts.
The only exception will be business computers running Windows 7 Professional, which will continue being sold for at least another year. The Windows Lifecycle chart for sales below summarizes the important dates we know.
The two asterisks for Windows 7 Professional in the last column point to an important note: “Microsoft will provide one year of notice prior to the end of sale date.” Since Microsoft hasn’t updated the chart yet with a new date, we can safely say Windows 7 Professional will still be sold until October 31, 2015, if not longer.
So if you still want a Windows 7 computer, for whatever reason, expect to be paying for Windows 7 Professional. As inventory runs out, you may even be charged a premium for a “business machine,” because OEMs know they can get away with it.
It’s also worth noting that Mainstream Support for Windows 7, including for Windows 7 Professional, will end sooner than that, on January 13, 2015. Microsoft could decide to extend Mainstream Support, so as to avoid selling it with only Extended Support offered, though it has not given any indication yet it will do so.
For those who don’t know, Mainstream Support includes free incident support, warranty claims, fixes for non-security as well as security bugs, plus design changes and feature requests. Extended Support consists solely of security updates.
Microsoft’s main goal now is to get Windows 10 out the door. That being said, it wants to keep its current customers, especially enterprises and businesses, satisfied. After all, one day they/we will be considering upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to the latest and greatest.