Bitcoin Exchange

A Guide on Understanding Bitcoin

A Guide on Understanding Bitcoin

Author: Farhaan Shaikh

Bitcoin are all over the Web these days. You must have definitely come across an article about Bitcoins and how they are the next rage in the online payment arena. But exactly are Bitcoins? Where does it come from? How do you use them? Is it easy to use or difficult? Why should you even use it when your current financial needs are well satisfied by the current currency standard? Let us try to decode this new form of currency flooding the market.

What Is It?

A Bitcoin is digital form of currency. The central idea of a Bitcoin is that it is created and transacted using cryptography instead of being issued by a central bank. The Bitcoin started the year with a value of about $15. Four months later a Bitcoin trades above $70—a value higher than the Euro.

Bitcoin—a global, decentralized virtual currency—first appeared in 2009 thanks to its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. It operates on a vast P2P network which is currently comprised of thousands of systems. Its goal is quite ambitious: to solve many of the issues with currency today, such as providing near-cash anonymity with online transactions, governments being able to create their own money whenever they want, transfer fees associated with transactions, and more. No banks, no fees, and no traces. As opposed to a currency a Bitcoin operates more like a commodity.

How is it created?

Unlike traditional currency bitcoins are no created in a mint. Rather they are created by computers using a process called Mining. This process involves the solution of complex mathematical problems. You are rewarded with a bitcoin after a solution is found. These problems are by no means easy to solve and if attempted by your average computer will take years to solve even a single one resulting in only a single bitcoin. The goal behind this is to reduce the creation the creation of unnecessary bitcoins and make them a prized possession. To maintain its prized value only 21 million bitcoins will ever be created. Computers with fast and dedicated processors have been set up for the sole purpose of mining bitcoins.

Bitcoin price in Dollars

Using bitcoins

Bitcoins can be exchanged in a number of ways. Bitcoins have a currency exchange rate but their value is very subjective because of fluctuating market conditions. You can decide how you want to use your bitcoins. You can trade products, services, and information in return for bitcoins. Some organizations even use bitcoins to accept donations rather than PayPal or other poplar platforms. As bitcoins have a monetary value associated with them there are exchange markets where you can sell your bitcoins for cash.

Cause for Concerns?

The principal of bitcoin Gavin Andresen was asked to give a presentation to the CIA about bitcoin. This shows that governments are particularly wary of this new form of currency. But why is that? By itself the bitcoin network is completely anonymous. There is no central location that provides or stores funds. Money is exchanged between peers using public hashes, not names. The only way to track a bitcoin purchase is if a person uses bitcoins to but stuff on the Internet and then has it delivered to his/her physical address. So can bitcoin harm a country’s economy? The answer to this question is unclear at the moment as it depends on the integrity of the bitcoin ecosystem. And the fact that there can only be so many bitcoins also leads us to think that it will never be a true alternative to traditional currency at least in the near future.

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About the Author

Farhan has been passionate about technology ever since he booted up his first computer.

He currently writes about interesting trends in technology and analyzes how these trends will affect our digital lives in the future.

You Are In The Spot Light

You’re In The Spot Light

Whether You Like It Or Not You're In The Spot Light


Robert Boroff

There really is no such thing as anonymity anymore.  Thanks to the Internet people can be quickly identified and every step they take can be retraced.  So what can you do to ensure your privacy in the age of the Internet?

Brian Stetler of the New York Times gives us some examples of the deterioration of privacy on the Internet.  A few weeks ago a commuter yelled at a conductor in New York claiming that she was too educated for such nonsense.  We\’ve all seen the fall out of the Internet activity of former Representative Anthony Weiner.  In addition, many criminals have been identified through online pictures and acquaintances.  How is it that people are so quickly identified?

First and foremost people tend to leave a trail of activity as they engage with the Internet, they send emails, comment on Facebook and tweet, all of which are permanently held in cyberspace.  Moreover about two billion people use the Internet, this means that there is a whole web of intelligence which is likely to easily identify any anonymous individuals.  Think of how many acquaintances you have made in your lifetime and consider how likely it is that the majority of these people are on the Internet.  So what can you do to protect your privacy?

Don\’t do or say anything on the Internet that you wouldn\’t in public. Expect anything on the Internet connected to you to be seen by anyone who wants to.  This a good way to behave on the Internet because current and potential employers are likely to investigate your Facebook and online activity and you want them to maintain the same professional impression they perceive of you at work.  If somebody posts an embarrassing photo of you ask them to remove it.  If somebody wants to discuss something highly confidential with you, don\’t do it over email, talk about the subject in person.

Avoid giving away too many personal details over the Internet.  If you tweet your exact location every hour you are setting yourself up to being a victim of stocking, violence or home invasion. Moreover you are likely to hurt feelings and may be releasing information you don\’t want everyone to know.  If you\’re not ready to tell everybody you\’re having a baby don\’t post a sonogram.  This may seem like common sense but I think we have all heard and seen stories like this in our daily lives.

Consider the consequences your actions have on the businesses you are connected to.  Your clients are likely to research you on the Internet and you don\’t want to be caught bad mouthing the company you work for or complaining about the amount of work you have to do.  Each and every one of a company\’s employees reflects that company in their everyday actions including their behavior on the Internet.

As far as being caught doing things in real life and having them end up on the Internet, the best thing you can do is assume everything you do is public.  You may have privacy in your own home but expect anything you do elsewhere to come back to you.  While this may be an unfortunate side effect of the popularity of the Internet it\’s better to have been warned than to be caught off guard.

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About the Author


Robert Boroff is the Managing Director of Reaction Search International Marketing Recruiters Sales Management Headhunters a leading sales and marketing Executive Search Firm that assists both U.S. and International firms recruit all levels of sales and marketing experts Globally.

The Executive Search Consultants at Reaction Search International Executive Recruiters Sales successfully placing top performing candidates since 1995.


Is my cell phone bugged?

Is my cell phone bugged?

Is my cell phone bugged? – What is the likelyhood, who would do it, and how can they can get away with it?


Kevin D. Murray

Introduction to smartphone security
The level of privacy you experience is inversely proportional to the amount of time and money an eavesdropper can devote to spying on you, plus the value of what he/she can learn through surveillance. This value may be anything from multimillion-dollar business secrets to a divorce strategy to the desire to satisfy prurient interests.

Unfortunately, it is not only your cell phone that puts your privacy at risk. Consider the many other ways you communicate without wires. If you are reading this, you probably use at least two of these wireless devices regularly:
• Cellular phone (GSM, CDMA, with SMS/MMS capabilities) (Note that for simplicity, all wireless public telephone system phones are referred to as ‘cellular/cell phones.’ Short-range, wireless extensions to business and residential telephone lines are referred to as ‘cordless phones.’)
• Home cordless phone (analog, digital spreadspectrum, DECT, etc.)
• In-transit airline and ocean liner phone (Picocell via satellite link)
• Personal microcell phone (used at some corporate campuses)
• Satellite phone
• VoIP Wi-Fi phone software (on laptops, cell phones, or tablet devices)
• Bluetooth® cordless phone, speakerphone, and accessories
• Cordless headset

Each of these technologies has its own set of vulnerabilities. Fortunately, the privacy precautions and security techniques can be applied to counter just about all of them.

To enhance your cell phone privacy, you need to take the following steps:
• Demystify the technical aspects of wireless communications. You need to understand what can happen, what can\’t happen, and what is happening.
• Separate the facts from the fiction. For example: No, there is no phone number you can dial to see if your phone is bugged or wiretapped. This is an urban legend that at one point had a tiny grain of truth to it—before the phone companies changed over to electronic switching in the 1970s and 1980s.
• Consider some of the not-so-obvious possibilities. While a bugged cell phone is a very real possibility, it is not the only way someone can learn about your activities.
• Mix in some common sense. (BTW – Searching for mobile phone spyware on your phone is not the best first step toward solving the problem.)
• Create security checklists. Follow the generally accepted security rules. The primary rule is: Use a password to lock your phone and keep it secret. This alone one will reduce your security loopholes and help ensure increased privacy in your communications.

Let\’s ask a few important questions.

How Likely Is It That Someone Is Listening to Your Phone Calls?
It\’s hard to say. The type of phone you use and the importance of your calls (as perceived by nosy neighbors, spouses or significant others, business competitors, law enforcement agencies, etc.) contribute to the likelihood of your call being a target for eavesdropping. Also, eavesdropping is time-consuming and it is costly. These elements all factor into the probability of you being a target.

Also keep in mind that eavesdroppers thrive on information. To them, information means either power, money, or some sort of enjoyment. That\’s their reward. Thus, our obvious first tip is . . .

Tip - The less information you give them, the sooner they will get bored and move on.

What About Law Enforcement ?
For law enforcement agencies to legally eavesdrop, they must follow certain procedures laid out by law. Often they must also follow additional strict internal guidelines before they are allowed to tap into a phone call. Unless you are really interesting from their perspective, you will not be on their list of usual suspects—and so they should not be on your list of usual suspects. The days of rogue phone taps by cops and ‘my buddy at the phone company’ are pretty much over.

By the way . . . if you are concerned that you\’re the target of a legal, court-ordered wiretap, assume that your communications may be intercepted. The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (CALEA) mandated that all U.S. phone companies modify their equipment to make legal wiretapping easy. The end result is that, with a few keystrokes, any call may be easily monitored. This monitoring does not change the physical or electrical characteristics of the phone (wired or wireless); thus it is undetectable by the user no matter what type of mobile or landline communications device he/she is using.

If surveillance by a government agency is your concern, there is not much you can do to thwart the effort other than keep your mouth shut. You need to read Dr. Dorothy E. Denning\’s ‘Wiretap Laws and Procedures: What Happens When the U.S. Government Taps a Line.’ You can find it at various locations on the Internet.

Although it was written some years ago, much of the information in this white paper remains pertinent today.

‘Illegal eavesdropping is outrageous. There ought to be a law!’
There are laws—several of them. Eavesdropping by private individuals on any telephone call is illegal in the United States, with very few exceptions. But do these laws help? A little. Still, the deck is stacked against you. Analyzing the key issues involved in protecting your privacy will help you understand why:
• Availability. Bugging devices and spyware that would have made James Bond and Q giddy just ten years ago are now commonplace items. Today, Bond\’s toys are available to everyone. If a wouldbe spy has a computer, a credit card, and Internet access, he/she can shop from home.
• Low cost of entry. Bond and Q had unlimited government budgets, which was crucial since spy gadgets used to be very expensive. Today, however, GSM bugs, which can remotely monitor from anywhere there is phone service, are sold on eBay for less than $25. Cell phone spyware is also moderately priced.
• Low, low probability of detection. Even if a bug or spyware is discovered, there is usually no evidence linking the criminal to the crime. From the eavesdropper\’s viewpoint, the chances of being caught are close to nil. Thus, laws provide little deterrence and may even seem irrelevant.
• Low, low, low probability of prosecution. On the off chance that an eavesdropper is caught, the probability of him/her being prosecuted is pretty slim. Law enforcement and the courts are overwhelmed with bigger fish to fry. Given the workload of more serious crimes that the legal system has to handle, personal eavesdropping doesn\’t carry much weight. The proof of this can be seen on Internet auction sites and spy shops, where sellers of illegal bugging devices enjoy an open and flourishing trade.
• Low, low, low, low probability of meaningful punishment. Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that an eavesdropper is caught and is successfully prosecuted. Still, eavesdropping is not viewed as a particularly heinous crime (one exception: using spycams to peep on minors in the bathroom). A fine and possibly a probation sentence are all that can be expected for punishment. A trip to the Gray Bar Motel is unlikely. In one recent case, a former Wall Street broker was sentenced to no jail time and only a $500 Fine, even though he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud by allowing others to eavesdrop on the firm\’s confidential squawk box conversations. (Chad Bray, ‘‘Squawk Box\’ Case Witness Receives No Prison Time,’ The Wall Street Journal, September 9, 2010.)

While actual criminal statistics do not yet exist to support or refute these points, we can tell from news reports over the years that eavesdroppers have little to fear from the judicial system. Many examples of this are documented in the long-running online newsletter Kevin\’s Security Scrapbook (

The legal system kicks in only after a crime is committed, but given the key issues listed above, laws do not have much deterrence value.

Tip – You cannot depend on the law to protect you from electronic eavesdropping.

So, if you cannot count on the law to punish your snoop, what can you do? The answer is clear: You must take steps to protect yourself.

Because we cannot see eavesdroppers, there is a natural tendency to think there are no eavesdroppers. The result is that we use our communications tools as if they offer 100 percent privacy. Strange! One would not apply the same faulty logic to driving a car: We cannot see our next accident coming, but this does not mean we dispense with the seat belts. Communications privacy is no less precarious. Precautions are necessary.

Naturally, you must become acquainted with the technology used for electronic surveillance. But even more important, the first step is to make a change in your mindset. How, where, and when you use your wireless communications devices is as important as choosing the right technology. Plus, you need to believe that eavesdropping really happens and that real people are doing it. Most people have a difficult time with this, even when faced with the evidence.

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About the Author

Kevin D. Murray (CPP, CISM) is an independent, professional security consultant and author. The educational information in his book, ‘Is My Cell Phone Bugged?’ has helped many people solve their communications eavesdropping and privacy concerns, themselves.

Mr. Murray began solving electronic eavesdropping, security, and counterespionage matters in 1973 while with Pinkerton\’s Inc., and from 1978 to present at his consulting firm, Murray Associates which provides advanced eavesdropping detection, also known as technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM) and counterespionage strategy development.

Headquartered in the New York metropolitan area, with services available worldwide, Murray Associates invites inquiries from corporate, government, professional entities and high-profile individuals.

Murray Associates\’ client family includes:
• 375 Fortune 1000 companies
• 800 others from every imaginable corner of business
• Many North American government agencies
• Clients in 39 states and several foreign countries

Mr. Murray\’s professional certifications are as follows:
• CISM (Certified Information Security Manager)
• CPP (Certified Protection Professional)
• CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner)
• BCFE (Board Certified Forensic Examiner)
• MPSC (Mobile Phone Seizure Certification)

Why Do Men and Women Browse Anonymously?

Why Do Men and Women Browse Anonymously?

Why Do Men and Women Browse Anonymously?


Benjamin Fischer

An overview of the security positive aspects folks get when they browse anonymously and why it really is becoming so well-liked.

Privacy is a subject which is brought up regularly in relation to the net. With easy access to almost all data, and third-party tracking spurred by marketing wants, the web is usually a double-edged sword for individuals with privacy issues.

However the improvement of private browsing possibilities from common world wide web browsers, as well as web-based proxy servers has altered the way data could be accessed, giving people some more web security and anonymity. Even though it may seem a bit extreme to visit the difficulty of obtaining and utilizing privacy choices, there are numerous good reasons folks may need to browse anonymously. Right here is an overview of three of the most widespread causes and also the privacy possibilities available.

Protecting Personal Information

Every time a person accesses a site, they leave behind data about exactly where they may be from, what net browser they are using, what computer they may be on, how long they invest on the internet site, or what they do on the web site and much more. Employing a private browsing option provided by an internet browser including Safari or Google Chrome can protect this info from third-parties. Similarly privacy protection computer software like Hide My IP, and employing proxy servers will stop the information that commonly gets sent out by acting as a middle-man when browsing the net.

Proxies And Targeted Advertizing

Some advertising organizations have the capacity to access personal data and search results to produce far more particular advertisements. While this may be a benefit to many people, it may also be quite frustrating to have pop ups as well as other advertisements vying for interest; not to mention distracting to find out an ad for ‘spam meatloaf’ soon after discussing spam in an email.

The nature of this tracking also signifies that there\’s prospective for anyone to access that data which, once again, can be a privacy issue. Proxy services, for example the common sites SafeProxy, or [or], act as a shield to ensure that these details don\’t go straight from the pc towards the advertiser.

Accessing Blocked Web sites

No matter whether at school or in the office, there are instances when accessing a blocked website may be essential. Some businesses and institutions, for instance, will use their networks to restrict individuals from accessing private email sites for example Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail. If there is work info on a private email account, or other essential details that must be checked and responded to, these blocks will be in the way.

Browsing anonymously can offer a loophole to server restrictions, even so, it can be essential to bear in mind the distinction among a proxy and private browsing settings. Even though a proxy can unblock these web sites, it will not remove the net history from the pc which has accessed them. An internet browser\’s private settings usually will delete that details from the pc the moment the session is ended, so many people may well desire to contemplate employing both alternatives for a lot more security.

Because the net continues to alter, so does the behaviour of users, and there are lots of far more good reasons for an individual to browse anonymously at any offered time. In general though, privacy and internet security are the big troubles right here, that is why getting an understanding of these trends, as well as the functions of various world wide web browsers, might be so useful.

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About the Author

For more information about browse anonymously, visit the website.


Protecting Your Child’s Identity

Protecting Your Child’s Identity

Protecting Your Child’s Identity
Posted by iKeepSafe

Financial identity theft has grown into a multibillion-dollar problem, and at least 7% of the cases that are reported target children’s identities. It is estimated that over 140,000 thousand children are victims of identity fraud each year in the U.S., according to research conducted in 2011by IDAnalytics, but the actual number of child victims may be much higher, as the theft of a child’s financial identity is often not discovered until the child applies for credit.

Protecting Your Child’s Identity

There are four primary reasons kids identities are so attractive to thieves:

* Kids aren’t seeking credit.
* Kids Social Security Numbers are unused making it easier to combine them with a new name and birthdate; the allure of an untainted SSN (one with no credit problems) is in the opportunity it represents for creating fake lines of credit and charging up high debts.
* Children aren’t monitoring their identities so discovery of the theft isn’t likely to happen for years – in fact it is very hard to monitor an identity at all until a child is 14 years old; even after they are 14, very few check their credit history before they seek their first line of credit.
* Lots of people get access to a child’s identity information through a variety of means.

In a 2011 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) discussion, “Stolen Futures: A Forum on Child Identity Theft”, several concerning statistics were presented.

Other research indicates children are targeted for identity theft 51 times more often than adults (Debix). And, minors who were alerted about potential privacy compromises were 7 times more likely to actually experience fraud than adults who were similarly alerted, according IDAnalytics.

There are two primary threats to kids’ financial identities.
The first threat comes from criminal businesses that use computers and publicly available information to find Social Security numbers for which no line of credit has been established. You may wonder how criminals steal numbers that aren’t in any system, but that’s the beauty of it. They don’t have to know whose SSN they’re stealing, they just have to find SSNs that are legitimate and have no credit history.

The second threat comes from family members looking for a new line of credit. They steal their children’s, nieces’ or nephews’, grandchild’s, even younger siblings’ identities, primarily to use themselves to create new lines of credit. In cases where family members are the thieves, children may be very reluctant to report the incidents to authorities even after they become adults, making the cleanup of their credit scores and identity particularly difficult.

The impact of identity theft on a child can vary especially once the child becomes an adult. Your child may discover their identity has been used in crimes, they may be denied credit or college loans, experience difficulty renting an apartment, opening a utility account, or even getting a phone account in their name. They may also be subjected to medical identity theft where his or her medical records have been tampered with in order to scam an insurance agency.

Minimize your child’s ID theft risks
Checking a child’s credit report is possible for youth but it is generally ineffective since they haven’t built up a solid credit history. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, credit report monitoring only catches a child’s ID theft about 1% of the time. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t concrete steps you can – and should be – taking to protect your child.

Don’t let ID information leak out. This vigilance needs to begin even before birth.
Keep any information about your child on a baby registry generic.

Don’t give a birth date, the child’s name, your hospital, or other information that could be used to help tie information to your child. Once baby gifts have been received, shut down the registry. Some companies don’t make this easy, but if you call and demand the record be removed you should be successful. If you choose to put a birth announcement online or in a newspaper, keep the information generic.

Do not leave your child’s birth certificates or social security information out where they can be seen by others.
Do not keep their SSN cards (or yours) in your wallet or purse where they can be stolen. If you don’t have a safe or safety deposit box, find your most secure location to store these in.

As your child grows and participates in sports, clubs, and organizations, you will often be asked to provide their social security number (SSN).
Challenge the requestors need for this information, and ask how it will be protected, who will have access, and when and how it will be discarded when your child is no longer with the team, club or organization. Do not feel reassured if the requestor ‘only’ wants the last 4 digits of their SSN – these are the only critical numbers.

SSN’s have three sections; the first three numbers represent the state in which the SSN was issued (after 1972 they represent the zip code). Anything between 001-003 and before 1972 for example, is issued in New Hampshire.

The second set of numbers in the social security string represents a specific window of time during which the number was generated, quickly identifying the age of the legitimate SSN recipient.

The last four digits are the only random numbers – and ironically those are the ones you’re asked to provide most frequently. Find out if you can use an alternative form of identification for your child whenever possible.

Help teens understand that they don’t have to have money to be at risk.
Lots of teens get tripped up because they figure they don’t have enough money in their bank account to matter – if someone really wants to steal their $54.13, they would go for it. But this is the wrong way to look at it. It’s not what your child has in their account that interests a criminal; it’s how far they can put your child in debt.

A criminal is not likely to steal anything from your child’s bank account because it could tip them off. What they’re interested in is getting a $40k loan using your child’s identity. Because your child is not likely to be checking their credit history it can be years before they discover that their credit rating is ruined and they owe money.

Monitor what is shared about your child online.
Websites typically collect name, age, and birthdate – all great starting points for ID thieves if the company records are hacked or if they display this information about users. If your child also says where they were born, thieves know the first 5 digits of their SSN… a little digging or social engineering can quickly provide the rest of the information.

Keep your computers, laptops, and smartphones secure.
If you have any financial records, tax returns, etc., on your computer and it becomes infected with malware, criminals can steal all of your identity information and the identity information of your dependents.

Freeze your child’s credit file – if a file exists.
If a credit report exists for your child you should assume their identity has already been used fraudulently. In this case, you the parent or legal guardian can freeze your child’s credit file. You will have to provide proof that you are the parent or legal guardian and that fraud has occurred.

Unfortunately, credit bureaus won’t create a file for a child at the request of a parent who wants to place a preventative freeze. Files are created based on information reported by creditors – for example: employers, credit card companies, mortgage providers and other lenders. If your child has never had a job, applied for a credit card or loan, and has not had their identity stolen, they won’t have a credit report.

Check your child’s credit report annually.
You can check your child’s credit report for free once a year at each of the three major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

Ask your legislators and credit agencies to make one small change in how they conduct their business to dramatically reduce child identity theft.
If credit issuing companies checked the date of birth of the person seeking credit and matched it against their reported Social Security Number (remember the first 5 digits represent the location and date of birth) it would quickly identify that the applicant was an infant, child, or teen. This should kick out a red flag requiring additional documentation.

There are legitimate cases when an adult would have a Social Security number that is new, such as when immigrants are issued an SSN, or when people have had to have their SSN reissued because of Identity Theft, but these cases can easily be dealt with, The vast majority of new card holders are minors, and it is very unlikely that a baby who was issued a SSN two years ago needs it for a line of credit or mortgage.

© iKeepSafe