Defense Against Crime


Your Network May be at Risk!

Filed under: Cyber Crimes,Cyber Security — peppereyes @ 12:27 PM
Tags: , ,

A security vulnerability has been discovered that affects nearly all wireless networkscam devices, including home routers, smart phones, laptops, and enterprise wireless equipment. is committed to protecting your security and take this vulnerability very seriously. The Our wireless network is being reviewed and patched as quickly as possible to limit any risks associated with this vulnerability. However, you should also patch your devices as soon as the security patch is available. Our patched infrastructure cannot protect you on its own; you need to take action and stay aware as patches are released for your devices.

Please take the following steps to protect yourself:

  1. Never assume that sensitive data is protected when on a wireless network. If you enter a password, your social security number, credit card information, or any other sensitive data into a website, ensure you are visiting a secured website whose URL begins with https:// (the ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’). Never assume that emails are secure or private. You are responsible for your own data security.

  2. Check with your device manufacturer to see if a patch is available for your device. Keep in mind that nobody is safe from this vulnerability, and nearly every device will need to be patched including (but not limited to) iPhone, Android, Macbook, Dell, HP, Asus, Lenovo, etc. Patches may not yet be available, so check often until the patch is available.

  3. Your home network equipment is likely also affected. Ensure that you upgrade the firmware on your home wireless router as soon as the patch is available to protect your home network. Again, nearly all gear is vulnerable including (but not limited to) Linksys, Cisco, Netgear, D-Link, TP-Link, Apple Airport, wireless hotspots, etc.

  4. Keep all of your security (firewall, virus, malware…etc.) Software up today.   Pick one day each week to so some software updates.


This resource may be useful in checking on the vulnerability of your equipment: Self-Defense Products is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products, survival and safety products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for protection, home security, business security, purchase our high quality discount self-defense products. Survival kits, and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option.



Cyber Security Tips and Tricks


Unless you have been living in a cave, you should know by now that the credit reporting firm Equifax was hacked and your personal data may have been stolen.  First, let me rant this.  At no time that I am aware of did I give Equifax, Transunion, or Experian permission, or contract with, to collect or control my credit or personal information. Did you?  Who did? What gave them this ability and why was it never challenged?  I think this in and of itself should be grounds for a law suit. I think that anyone who wants to have credit has to sign a contract to have these services.  Now the really, really sad point, with all these warning that other firms and entities have been hacked in the recent past like Yahoo (more than once),Target, Ashley Madison, Ebay, Home Depot, Sony Pictures and others Equifax should have done its due diligence to make sure they were secure.  They didn’t.  They were also warned months ago that they had a security weakness in their system. Still they did nothing. End of rant.

As hacks, data breaches, and other cyber-enabled crime become increasingly commonplace, this year’s incidents is an important reminder of the need to take steps to protect yourself and your family when using the Internet. When these breaches happen, there is very little you can do once data is breached, there are a few things you can so to limit your access to your personal information. However, companies like Equifax has all the information a person needs to open credit, get a loan, buy a timeshare, etc. using your identities.

Since October is National Cybersecurity Security Awareness Month brings to light what you already know – cruising the internet and filling out web forms can be harmful if you don’t follow best security practices. The good news is you don’t need to be a cybersecurity professional to employ smart online safety habits that can go a long way in guarding against online crime.

Cybersecurity best practices make up an expansive list of things to do, but for the individual user, the few tips below will be the ultimate steps you can take to protect your data.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Limit the amount of real information you have on your social media profile. Do you have your real birth year on your profile? What about the real town where you live? How about all the schools that you went to.  Are you providing all the information for someone to fake, being you?   What will happen when those databases are hacked…the thieves will have this information, and you provided it. Personally, I have two Social Media IDs real one and a fake one.
  • In general, be cautious with social media networking. Don’t post pictures or texts that reveal any personal information like home addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, or places you and your family regularly attend, such as schools or recreational complexes.I saw a demo where a cop was able to track a girl just from her photos. She was a cheerleader, and posted a pic.  So, he knew where she was going to school Other info she posted led him to her front door. Just as a lesson on how much information she was giving away. Someone with ill intent could use that information to harm you or your children. Don’t use the check-in feature on Facebook or the like. You don’t know who is getting that info, or are you really sure their security is working. (So did all those companies that were hacked).  When in doubt, remove it. Never accept connections from people you don’t know, and be sure you have your profile set to private so only those you trust can see your information.  See tip #1
  • Did I mention securing your Social Media, banking and other internet logins with two factor authentications? (There are articles on this blog about how to do this!)
  • Now is the time to purchase Identity theft insurance. Please note I said insurance, not a monitoring service. When South Carolina had a data breach. The state gave the people who filed state income taxes free credit monitoring. All a monitoring service does not prevent identity theft, and can only alert you of suspicious activity. If your identity is stolen, it is up to you to fix it, which can take hours, and hours, and hours.  A good identity theft insurance policy assigns someone to fix the issue for you.  This is the feature you need to shop for.


  • Think of download ‘free software’ or ‘free versions of expensive software’ like having sex with a prostitute. You may end up picking up something that can cause your computer great harm. So don’t do it. Even some web videos can contain viruses… you’ve been warned.


  • If you happen to find a USB Drive on the ground, DO NOT STICK IT IN your home or work computer. This is a common method that hackers use to upload a virus to systems that either allow them to secretly install spyware, or viruses.


  • Consider encrypting your computer. Recent versions of Microsoft Windows provide support for Bitlocker, a program that comes with Windows that will encrypt everything on your hard drive. You could also use third party encryption products. If your computer becomes lost or stolen, encryption can prevent prying eyes from seeing and using your personal data.


  • Worse than stolen data is unusable data. Aside from data breaches, we have also seen the rapid spread of hi-jacked data through the use of ransom-ware. You are wise to back up your data on a non-networked device. Also know that any data you have on connected cloud drives are also vulnerable. So be sure to discount these when you are not using them
  • Take time to learn about the IC3 (—and use it if you’re ever an id theft or internet crime or internet scam victim. The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a reliable and convenient reporting mechanism for citizens to submit complaints about Internet crime and scams to the FBI. The IC3 uses the information from public complaints to refer cases to the appropriate law enforcement agencies and identify trends
  • Practice good cyber hygiene. This is the establishment and maintenance of an individual’s online safety. It encapsulates the daily routines, occasional checks and general behaviors required to maintain a user’s online “health” (security). This task entails A person knowing how select and maintain high quality passwords, install and maintain security software on the digital devices, keep their virus definitions up-to-date, run regular security scans on their digital devices, adhere to cyber security policies, protect their personal data, and avoid potential sources of infection. This is included at work and at home on all your connected devices.
  • Use computer/electronic protection products. A comprehensive host-based security suite provides support for anti-virus, anti-phishing, anti-malware, safe browsing, Host-based Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS), and firewall capabilities. These services provide a layered defense against most common threats, and you can enable the automated updates to keep software up-to-date. Think of it as adding a security guard, guard dogs, and electric fence around your residence.


  • Keep ALL application software updated. Since many software programs don’t have an automated update feature, attackers frequently target those programs to gain unauthorized access to a computer. Several software products will let you know what applications installed on your PC are vulnerable to attack and need to be updated. It would be wise to Install an automated software update monitoring manager such as Secunia Personal Software Inspector, FileHippo App Manager, ManageEngine or others.
  • Know the risks of the Internet of Things (IOT). Cyber security goes beyond your computer, digital devices and cell phone. Many homes are now filled with Internet-connected devices, such as home security systems, connected baby monitors, smart appliances, personal assistants (Echo, Google Home, etc) and Internet-connected medical devices. All of these devices present opportunities for hackers to spy on you and get your personal information. Using strong passwords and purchasing IOT devices from companies with a good security track record are just a few of the things you can do to protect your family and home.Keep an inventory of anything in your home that connects to the Internet. This includes video gaming systems, smart televisions, programmable thermostats, tablet, smart appliances and video security cameras, electronic locks. These devices are vulnerable to attack due to their limited ability to update their software. If a vulnerability is found in the software, there could be no way to update it to a safer version. Always change the default passwords for these devices. When possible, segment them from your home and work networks, and unplug them when they aren’t in use. Review and learn their various privacy configurations, and set them to the highest possible privacy setting. After all, do you want to have your home hacked?


  • Update your operating system in a timely fashion. This would be within a year of being released. If you are using MS Office, also keep that updated.  If you’re using Windows, bite the bullet and upgrade to the latest edition for the latest security preventions. For example, Windows 10 Home can push to your PC patches immediately upon their release. Microsoft Office 2016 can block macros from loading in certain high-risk scenarios. Macros are a set of commands intended to automate specific functions, and are often used by attackers to run malicious software on a victim’s computer. Make sure you either use auto update, or apply updates on a regular schedule.


  • If you are an Apple person, it is wise to create two accounts for your Mac. The first account created when configuring a Mac for the first time is the local administrator account. You should also create a non-privileged “user” account and use it for the majority of activities on your computer. Your administrator account should only be used to install updates or software, or to reconfigure the computer as needed. Browsing the web or reading email as an administrator provides a path for an attacker to gain unauthorized access to your computer.


  • Never ever ever ever  tamper with your smartphone base config. This is often referred t to as “jailbreaking” or “rooting” your devices. Those terms refer to hacking the software on your phone or tablet. Users sometimes hack the software on the phone to allow it to do something it was not originally intended by the manufacturer. Hacking the software can cause vulnerabilities and can void the phone warranty and open you up to bigger issues. Word you remove the lock from your house to allow easy access?


  • If you are a regular reader of this blog, you are aware of some of the type of Exercise caution when opening emails. Beware of emails with attachments or links urging immediate action, especially those purportedly from a delivery service or bank. Some malicious emails seem to come from popular businesses, but the attachments or links in them may surreptitiously download malware. When you open any email, even one from a friend, be cautious about clicking on any links or attachments. If your friend’s email account has been hacked, you could easily receive an email that purportedly comes from your friend, when in reality, it comes from the attacker.


  • Be careful when using FREE Wi-Fi hotspots. Free public Wi-Fi may cost you. When you connect to Wi-Fi, your communications may not be private unless you’re using a Virtual Private Network. A VPN allows you to send and receive data across a public network as if you were actually on a private network, so anyone intruding on the Wi-Fi connection cannot see or capture your data or login credentials. Attackers often set up “open” Wi-Fi access points with names similar to the name of the establishment. This fools users into using the attackers’ “open” network, allowing them to capture your keystrokes and spy on your communication. For example, at O’Hare Airport, there could be a fake network called Chicago Airport and an authentic network called OHare-Public. If there are no signs telling you the name and password of the authentic network, you won’t know unless you ask.


  • Be vigilant regarding common fraud and theft tactics. Look for credit/debit card skimmers at gas pumps and ATM machines. Usually hidden, skimmers are small devices that can scan and store data from the magnetic strips on the back of credit and debit cards. Pull on the card reader to be sure it is part of the permanent fixture. If it is movable, report it to an attendant and don’t use it.Scammers often attach what looks like a genuine piece of the machine over the top of the slot where you insert your card. That piece copies your card number. On ATM machines, in addition to installing skimmers, thieves often install a tiny spy camera that records a digital video of you typing in your PIN. Use a magazine, or at least your hand, to hide your PIN from prying eyes. Jiggle the part of the machine where you insert your card to see if it comes loose. If it does, don’t use the machine.

    Beware that some new cards with RFID can easily be read by someone with an RDIF reader walking next to you.


  • Use Bluetooth sparingly. Although Bluetooth is useful for connecting headsets, hands-free speakerphones, and speakers to your cellular phone, it can also be a hidden door for unwanted devices and malware. If possible please, keep your Bluetooth disabled until you need to connect to a device.


  • Backup your data. Backup your data regularly with an offline device. If you become a victim of ransomware and you only have a cloud-based backup service, your files in the cloud will also become encrypted. This includes Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive, Apple Drive and many others.


  • Oversee your children’s computer usage. Children should use a computer in a common area of the home so parents can ensure their children aren’t communicating with people or sites that could cause harm. Many different devices have internet connectivity, so monitor children using cell phones, tablets, e-readers, gaming devices and laptops. Know all the passwords for your children’s devices in case your child becomes endangered by someone online and authorities need to conduct an investigation into your child’s online communication. Know your children’s social networking connections and the people they play online games with. Keep computer webcams covered with painter’s tape or a sticky note when they aren’t being used to communicate with family members and friends. Attackers who have access to your computer can remotely turn the cameras on without a user’s knowledge. Regularly talk to you children about online safety, but keep the tone informal.



Internet thieves are becoming more and more clever, and it is difficult to know all the latest and greatest hacks, and trips. But if you just stick with the basics and treat your computer like a living entity you should be relatively safe. Self-Defense Products is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products, survival and safety products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for protection, home security, business security, purchase our high-quality discount self-defense products. Survival kits and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option.



Amazon E-Mail Scam

Today I opened my Hotmail account and I saw all these cancellation notices from


Beware the mail in your in-box

Amazon. Now while I am an Amazon user, the items that it said I cancelled, I never ordered. One of these things I did notice was all of the telltale sign that this was fake.

1) I never ordered these books from Amazon. I usually get them on my Kindle.

2) I’m pretty sure Amazon never sends updates (I’ve never gotten one, and I do order from Amazon monthly)

2) If I log unto my Amazon Account these items do not appear.

3) When I hover over then links that take you to a Choctaw.php script on    Amazon E-mails go to and NO WHERE ELSE.

WARNING. If you decide to check this out ..don’t blame us for the consequences of what may happen to your computer.

Now I don’t get confirmation E-mails from Amazon, but there are spoof e-mails that are designed to get you to think that you have received legitimate e-mail from Amazon. The e-mail will usually take you to a fake site that only wants to get your personal information, like username and password, social security number, banking info, or other valuable information.

Since the planet just experienced a Malware/Ransomeware attack, let me remind my read you that these types of e-mails is how your computer gets hacked or hi-jacked.  The nice thing was that My Hotmail account had put these in my junk e-mail bin anyways.

Recently computer experts noticed that PHP and Pearl scripts are an ideal platform for evil and malicious web sites. For those of you who are not computer programmers and tech-junkies, PHP is an easy to learn computer (web) Programming language. Almost all Web servers run the PHP engine, so there are large numbers of potential “victims” (though the numbers are not anything near to the number of Windows-using potential malware victims). The most successful malicious PHP scripts permit their users (the criminals) to control and manipulate Web servers for their own benefit and, most commonly, profit.

If you want to know how evil programed use php to commit their crimes, there are many articles on the web for you to read, so we are not going to discuss it here.


  1. Just remember NOT to TRUST ANY E-mail with a link in it. Always over your mouse over it and look at the bottom left of your computer screen to see where it will take you. If it look suspicious, DON’T Click it.
  2. Have your anti-virus and malware software up to date.
  3. Make sure to back up your computer every week.
  4. If you get an e-mail from a company you do deal with, it’s safer to just log into that company’s site and communicate there.
  5. If you do receive an Spoof E-mail from Amazon. Report it. Go to  To get the instructions. Self-Defense Products is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products, survival and safety products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for protection, home security, business security, purchase our high quality discount self-defense products. Survival kits and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option.


Ransomware Attack!

If you have not watched the news, or just haven’t paid attention, there is a worldwide ransom-ware attack that began last week and may continue this week. The New York Times has an active map showing where all the attacks have been happening. You can google it or see this link  (

If you want to keep up to date on the latest on this event, just watch the news or do an internet search on the topic.

If you want to know more about Ransom-ware we have written about this before. You can open these previous posts.

Victims of ransomware usually receive an e-mail or some other type of electronic message that asks them to download or run software. Some of these e-mails may appear as if they were coming from someone you know, or can even come from a software hack (like a cracked version of some game or popular software).  When you run the software and it appears that NOTHING is happening, .. something is.WannaCrypt

The software will encrypt your hard drive, or encrypt part of your hard drive so that your computer is still operable and you can continue to use it, but you cannot access all your personal files. This includes all personal documents, images, music files.

If you are the victim of a ransomware attack you’ll open your computer and instead of your normal files you’ll see a pop-up appear that says, ‘Surprise, we’ve taken control of your computer and if you want access to your files you need to pay us.'”

 Here are some things you can do to prevent being a victim.

  1. Please update your computer security software as soon as releases are available. It’s best to set it to auto update.
  2.  Please run all software and OS patches. Again please set it to auto update.
  3. If you value your files back up your computer on an external drive on regular intervals. You may want invest in a cloud backup service. You can search for and review them.
  4.  Finally, just be very vigilant you need to constantly look out for emails that seem suspicious, and you need to err on the side of not downloading random files. Delete them. We often receive random invoices, and reports that seemingly credible companies send us. Like Bank of America, or UPS. Sometime I get invitations to download a file from a cousin.  If you know the e-mail is fake, delete it.  You can always verify before opening any attachment that your cousin actually did send the files

We are dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime. If you want to take personal responsibility for self-protection, home security, business security, purchase our high quality discount self-defense products and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option. Victor Swindell, Onyx Knight Enterprises



Backing up has become more important than ever, thanks to cyber-attacks like ransom-ware or having a natural disaster like a flood or tornado.

If you are a regular reader here you already know how pervasive and frustrating ransom-ware is. If you’re new to our blog, here is a bit of background – Ransom-ware is one of the newest attack method in the malware world. It can be pulled off with great ease as all a hacker has to do is buy some premade ransom-ware kit from malware creators on the dark web. Then he or she distributes the malicious code, usually by way of email attachments, but as we have explained earlier, ransom-ware can also get onto systems via security holes, or vulnerabilities in outdated system software. When the ransom-ware code is executed by say, clicking that infected link in an email, it begins to encrypt all the files on your computer or device. That’s when you’ll get a notice from the ransom-ware creators, letting you know that your files have been encrypted and if you want to retrieve them you’ll need to pay them in untraceable bitcoins ($hundreds to thousands of dollars).

You have two choices, pay to perhaps get your files back, or not pay…and loose EVERYTHING you have on your computer!  The sad truth is that even if you pay you may not get your files back because once they have been encrypted, they can only be un-encrypted with the correlating key – which the hackers have and aren’t about to give to you.

If you have been meticulous in backing up your files, data, pictures and whatever else you have that’s precious to you, then you can stand your ground and walk away.

Make multiple backups

Before we delve into the different backup methods out there, it’s important to note that you should have more than one backup of your files stored in different places to ensure that you are completely covered.

Types of backup

Cloud-based backup – You are probably familiar with cloud storage like Google Drive and s9ihizonvcfhc0wndarsDropBox. The idea here is that your files are stored in the Google or DropBox cloud respectively and you can access them from anywhere that you can log into your account. These services are great for sharing pictures and collaborating on documents and presentations but they aren’t really designed for heavy duty, let alone automatic backup. Instead, look for a cloud based backup that automatically backs up all your files and folders. Some important features to watch out for:

  • Unlimited storage.
  • Folder syncing and sharing.
  • Continuous backup throughout the day automatically.
  • Available for smartphone.
  • Price tag factor – some plans like Carbonite can run at about $60 per license per year and others can run over $120 or more per year depending on the level of service or options you choose

Do your research and find the service and plan that fits your needs best and go with it! Some of the best plans out there are: Crashplan, SOS Online Backup, Backblaze, SugarSync, Spideroak , Carbonite, and iDrive.

iDrive is the PCMag Editor’s choice for 2016: (,2817,2288745,00.asp)

“It has been one of the more ambitious online backup and cloud-based syncing service services in recent years, offering not only some of the most attractive pricing plans, but also a multitude of features in clear desktop, mobile, and Web applications.”

Local backup – Your other option is to back up to an external hard drive or a flash drive. This method is a bit less user-friendly as it cannot be done automatically and since flash drives are so small, they tend to get lost easily. But it’s not a bad idea to have a physical backup of your digital stuff.  You can purchase external drives, you just have to be careful not to leave them connected AFTER you backup.

PLEASE NOTE: Ransom-ware can affect every file on every drive on your computer, and even cloud drives like Dropbox. If you get infected with Ransom-ware, your backups can be affected as well. So please discount them when not using them.


When it comes to ransom-ware, follow our mantra “Backup, don’t pay up”.

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