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Sharing your phone’s password at the border

We all understand the importance of border security these days and the importance of keeping dangerous people out of the country.

Yet this has also led to policies that can be very disturbing for the ordinary citizen. For example, authorities have the right to search your laptop when you’re entering the country. I’ve never experienced this but you can see how this will be used for travelers with high-risk profiles.

Which brings us to the story of a Canadian man who was charged at the Canadian border for not sharing the password from his phone upon returning from the Dominican Republic. Who knows why he refused – maybe he was partying with some hotties and had compromising photos. Maybe he really had something to hide. Or maybe like the rest of us he was appalled at the notion of border agents asking to browse through his phone.

Regardless, he’s in trouble now and the rest of us can only hope never to be in that situation.

Setting Up the Right Environment for Trading Securities at Home

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One of the beauties of securities trading is that you can do it practically anywhere, these days. With mobile devices, mobile internet and the right apps, you can be wherever you need to be without worrying that you will miss out on a crucial bit of news or a great trade opportunity. Of course, most independent securities traders do their trading from home most of the time, and while smartphones and tablets do make trading on the go possible, there is a lot to be said for having a great set up in your home office that puts everything you need at your fingertips. Here we take a look at the must haves for your home trading desk:

Peace, Quiet and Comfort

Keeping up to speed on the markets and planning your trades can take a lot of concentration, so having an environment to trade in that is comfortable and free from distractions is essential. While this is true of any home office, for trading it can be even more essential as you often have to be able to think and work fast to make the trades you want happen. Having a room set up as a private study where nobody is allowed to bother you unless it is business related can be a good idea, because trying to trade on the dining room table from your laptop while the kids run riot is usually not ideal!

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Social Media Sleuthing

The amount of surveillance we all face now in society is getting to be pretty alarming. Body cameras will only make things worse from a privacy point of view.

Still, this case of a hate crime quickly solved due to a surveillance camera coupled with one citizen using social media shows the power of technology in the face of senseless crimes.

The debate will rage as cameras become a bigger part of our lives at an exponential rate. Here we have the positives. There will be plenty of negatives as well.

Obama proposes FISA reforms

The great surveillance debate is about to heat up again, as President Obama has proposed reforms to the FISA court process in an attempt to address the criticisms of the NSA surveillance program. It will be fascinating to see how this debate evolves. Many of the reforms seem to make sense and suggest a willingness to reach a consensus on this issue. Still, many critics were not impressed. We’ll see how this goes.

Securing your mobile phone from criminals


Closeup of a female speaking outside on a cell phone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Security issues are continually shoved to the forefront of headlines as crime rates rise, populations increase and the economy struggles. Everyone wants to be safe – and to keep their possessions and loved ones safe, as well – but financial considerations make it impossible for many working class Americans to get the surveillance cameras, security systems and other tools needed to do the job.

But many people fail to realize all the ways that a cell phone can help families stay safe. With built-in cameras, recording devices, GPS systems and tons of apps, with proper training most anyone can use the phone as a security device. Make sure teens with phones know this valuable information, and remind coworkers and spouses of these tips to keep them safe, too.

Apps are available that alert friends and family members in case of an emergency. Simply engage the app and it notifies several people via numbers preprogrammed into the phone, so that someone nearby can offer help. The numbers you desire are called or sent text messages, so that if someone is in trouble it isn’t necessary to stop and call everyone who may or may not be in a position to assist. These apps can be true lifesavers. Both landline phones and cellular numbers can be programmed to call.

Other apps will periodically send the GPS location of the phone to a designated person so they can help make sure you’re safe at all times. This is the perfect app for parents who worry about teens out with friends, but is also a great thing for moms toting small children around town and for traveling business people who are frequently in high-risk locations and situations. Anyone who is frequently out and about can benefit from this safety app.

Another security app available has a panic button which can be activated whenever the phone user feels threatened or is in danger. The button begins a countdown, and if the user doesn’t disable it within the set period of time, the phone automatically sends a message to a previously chosen person. The app then continues to track the location of the phone user, so if there is foul play, they’re easily located. This app can be activated as the user leaves work after dark, and if that person never arrives safely to the car, the phone signals the alert.

Some apps can also be preprogrammed to call emergency numbers, such as the police and fire department, in addition to or instead of friends and family members. These apps work much like alerts used by disabled and elderly people who live alone. This app is an excellent choice for single people and people living or working in locations far from home – such as college students.

For people serious about the security of their family members, these apps offer peace of mind, and are potential life savers. This is an excellent way to put the GPS capabilities of the phone to good use. Need a new security system? You may already have one on hand.

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