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Six Easy Ways to Prank Your Friends and Family

Whether you’re just in the spirit of April Fools Day or looking for a good prank to pull on your brother or friend, here are six economical pranks that are sure to be fun.

 

If you are looking for a prank but don’t know what to do I have compiled a list that should help you. These are 6 fun pranks to pull on family or friends and all are either free or very cheap and shouldn’t get you in trouble.

  1. Put yellow (or really any color) dye in their water though yellow seems to work the best. This usually results in an amusing outcome and is fairly simple.
  2. Give them a prank call. A classic prank call is always fun but there are also several online sites such as  http://wakerupper.com/  or http://www.prankdial.com/ where you can enter in a text message and they convert it to a voice message. It seems fairly simple but I have not tried any of them so I am not completely sure that they work.
  3. Ask them if they can roll a quarter up and down their nose. Before you give them the quarter cover the edge in some sort of black in, from a marker is usually easiest, so that when they roll it up and down their nose it leaves a black line. This prank is also fairly simple, especially since they’re usually not expecting it and you can have tons of fun with it.
  4. Mess with they’re computer when they’re away. There’s several things you can do such as install the blue screen of death screensaver or flip everything upside down. My favorite one is installing a certain firefox add-on at http://www.instructables.com/id/Firefox-Pranks/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss. I have yet to try it but it looks like it should work very well. The only downside is that it will only work on people that use firefox.
  5. Bake a batch or two of cookies. Probably make about a quarter normal and the rest put spicy peppers in them but be sure to remember which are which. When you and maybe a couple friends are eating your cookies (the normal ones) you give the spicy ones to whoever you want to prank. The result is hilarious.
  6. This one requires advanced planning and a cool teacher but it sure to work on your friends. Once everyone arrives at school, or at some random point in the day, have the teacher tell everybody that there is a fire in the building and they have to evacuate immediately. If you can, arrange for fire alarms and the whole shebang as they will definitely make it more believable. As I said, make sure you talk to your teacher and plan in advance for this one to work.

How to hack facebook passwords(educational purposes only)

Hack Facebook PasswordWondering to know how to hack Facebook password? Well, before you can do that, it is very much necessary to understand the real ways of hacking that actually work and also those that are simply scam and do not work. So in this post, we’ll look at some of the possible ways to hack Facebook password!

Every day I get a lot of emails from people requesting me to hack Facebook passwords of their spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend so as to reveal their secret relationships (if any). Most of them are even willing to pay for the service. However, I strongly deny any such requests since I do not provide any paid hacking service. But anyhow, I have decided to write down this post so that you can learn the tricks for yourself and implement everything at your own risk.

With my experience of over 7 years in the field of ethical hacking and security, all I can tell you is that there are only two ways to successfully hack Facebook password.

Possible Ways to Hack Facebook Password

 

1. Keylogging – The Easiest Way!

Keylogging refers to simply recording each and every keystroke that is  typed on a specific computer’s keyboard. This is possible with the use of a small computer program called keylogger (also known as spy software). Once installed, this program will automatically load from the start-up, runs in the invisible mode and start capturing each and every keystroke that was typed on the computer.

Some keyloggers with advanced features can also capture screenshots and monitor every activity of the computer. One doesn’t need to have any special knowledge in order to install and use a keylogger. That means, anyone with a basic knowledge of computer can install and use this software with ease. Hence for a novice computer user this method is the easiest way to hack Facebook password. I recommend the following keylogger as the best for gaining access to Facebook account.

Easily Access any Email
SniperSpy (TESTED) is a revolutionary product that will allow you to easily access *ANY* online account or password protected material such as MySpace, Facebook, Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail. There are absolutely *NO* limitations to what accounts or websites this software can access!

Why SniperSpy is the best?

Today there exists hundreds of keyloggers on the market but most of them are no more than a crap. However, there are only a few that stand out of the crowd and SniperSpy is the best among them. I personally like SniperSpy for it’s REMOTE INSTALLATION FEATURE. With this, you can install it on a remote computer without the need for having physical access to it. It operates in a complete stealth mode so that it remains undetected.

Here is a summary of benefits that you will receive with Sniperspy software:

1. Access ANY Password
With SniperSpy you can hack any password and gain access to Facebook or any other online account.

2. Monitor Every Activity
You can monitor every activity of the target computer, take screenshots and record chats & IM conversations.

3. Never Get Caught!
SniperSpy operates in a total stealth mode and thus remains undetectable. Therefore you need not have the fear of being traced or getting caught.

4. Remote Installation Feature
With the Remote Install feature, it is possible to install it even on computers for which you do not have physical access. However, it can also be installed on a local computer.

5. Extremely Easy to Use
Installing and using SniperSpy is simple and needs no extra skill to manage.

6. Completely Safe to Use
This software is 100% safe to use since it does not collect any personal information from your computer. SniperSpy is a reputed, trustworthy and reliable company which offers 100% privacy for it’s users.

7. Works on both Windows and Mac
Fully compatible with Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 and Mac.

So what are you waiting for? If you are really serious to hack Facebook password then SniperSpy is for you. Go grab it now and expose the truth!

2. Phishing – The Difficult Way

The other common way to hack passwords or online accounts is via Phishing. This is the most widely used technique by many hackers to gain access to Facebook and other social networking websites. This method will make use of a fake login page (often called as spoofeed webpage) which will exactly resemble the original one. Say for example, a spoofed webpage of Facebook looks exactly same as that of the original page. This page is actually created by the hacker and is hosted on his own server. Once the victim enters his/her password in such a fake login page, the login details are stolen away by the hacker.

Most Internet users would easily fall prey to such online phishing scams. Thus phishing scams trick users in such a way that, they themselves give away their passwords. But phishing requires specialized knowledge and high level skills to implement. Hence it would not be possible for a noob user (perhaps like you) to attempt this trick. It is a punishable offense too. So, I would recommend that you stay away from phishing and make use of the keyloggers to hack Facebook password since it is the easiest and the safest way.

 

Facebook Hacking Methods that Do Not Work!

 

Today, there are hundreds of scam websites out there that are waiting to rip off your pockets by making false promises. These websites claim to be the experts in the field of hacking and boast to instantly obtain any password for you. Most people fall victim to these websites and lose their hard earned money. Thus the idea behind this post is to expose the truth behind hacking the Facebook (or any email password) so that you can learn how to do it for yourself and stay away from all those scam websites. The following are some of the hacking methods that actually do not work:

1. Many scam websites claim to exploit a certain vulnerability of Facebook website as a means to crack the password. Unfortunately, there is no such vulnerability in Facebook (or any other online account) that can be exploited to crack the password. I advise you to stay away from such scam websites.

2. There is no ready-made software program that is available to hack Facebook password except the keylogger (spy software). In fact, keyloggers are pretty generic and meant to record the keystrokes of a computer which obviously includes the password also. Keep in mind that apart from the keylogger, there is no such program that is specifically designed to gain access to Facebook accounts. Stay away from any website that claim to sell such program.

3. Beware! On many websites and Internet forums you will often see fake articles about Facebook hacking. Most of them will tell you something like this: “you need to send an email to passwordretrieve@facebook.com along with your username and password” (or something similar). Never give away your password to anyone nor send it to any email address. If you do so, you will lose your password itself in attempt to hack somebody else’s password.

I hope this post will help you avoid scams and choose the right approach to accomplish your goal. 

Best ways to get followers on twitter that i personally use

1. Okay so firstly u need a quick to read short BIO about yourself that tells about your work , your personality , and most important…About YOU!!! So that people know who they are following and for what they are following you!!!

2. Secondy, I suggest you to use hashtags in about each and every post of yours ( If you dont know what a Hashtag actually is then just search it on google and u ‘ll get to know!) For eg. Check out my new #blog post at my #new blog sahil.wordpress.com(sahil.us.pn) #blogging !! …well acutally this is a disgusting post dont use hashtags so often that your followers get bored!! at least u got the idea !!

3.Organize contests on your twitter account if you can because this way you can gain lots of followers as they will be interested in your contests! and follow you for more!

4.Interact with your followers as this is the best way to make them keep following you and you can make new friends this way!!

5.Tweet daily!! if you dont then your followers may get bored because of you inactiveness and unfollow you!!

6.Use twitter tools(google search!) . For eg. i use a tool that tells me the people whom i am following but they are not following me back and I unfollow them ! as simple as that.

7 Be Patient! use these methods and u will surely get more followers on daily basis. If you want to check your stats go to this URL http://bit.ly/SahilWP   

ANYTHING YOU NEED TO ASK FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME ON TWITTER , GMAIL , FACEBOOK

http://bit.ly/ThisIsMyTwitter

http://on.fb.me/ThisisMyFacebook

My Gmail is sahil23singh@gmail.com

JAN 27 IS MY BIRTHDAY DO WISH ME IF YOU CAN I WILL FEEL HAPPY

Hack Your Own Super Fridge

Be warned: Should you choose to follow the instructions set forth, your hands may be dirtied and your patience may be tried. You may void the occasional warranty or risk having your friends call you “eccentric.” But in the end, you will know the incomparable satisfaction of greenhacking.

This week’s hack: Turn a chest freezer into a hyper-efficient refrigerator

Items needed: 1 chest freezer, 1 external thermostat (available at hoptech.com), 1 very understanding spouse who doesn’t mind pawing through a chest freezer to find the leftover lasagna.

Why this hack: We begin with this hack because it is simple and because the green return on money and time invested is impressive. Utilizing an inexpensive Energy Star chest freezer (about $400 for a 15-cubic foot model) and the aforementioned thermostat ($60), you can save more than half a kilowatt hour per day (and possibly much more: When I implemented this trick on a used Vestfrost freezer I picked up for $200, it consumed less than 1/8th of a kilowatt-hour per day).

If you’re paying $.16/kilowatt hour, that’s a savings of… ah, forget it. Repeat after me: “I hack for the hack, not the payback.”

Why it works: Well, for one, freezers tend to be better insulated than refrigerators. And for another, cold air settles. Every time you open the door to your fridge, cold air is essentially falling out of it; when you lift the lid on a chest freezer, the cold stays where it belongs: In the freezer.

Heart of the hack: Plug in external thermostat. Stick thermostat sensor in freezer (just run the capillary tube between the sensor and the thermostat over the lid gasket; the gasket will protect it from damage when opening and closing your freez… er, fridge), and set thermostat at 40-degrees or so. Plug the freezer into the thermostat and voila! You are a greenhacker.

Handy tips: If this is going to be a long-term arrangement, get some internal dividers for your new chest fridge to minimize the cluster factor. It also helps to elevate the freezer on some sort of base to ease the strain on your back.

How to Ditch Big Brother and Disappear Forever

How to Ditch Big Brother and Disappear Forever

So you’ve decided you want to drop off the map and leave Big Brother behind. It’s harder than ever in our always-connected world, but if you’re ready to plan your big vanishing act, here are a few tips to get you started.

If this looks familiar, you’re not crazy. Our guide to dropping off the map is a perennial Evil Week favorite.

Who hasn’t thought about how nice it would be to start fresh somewhere new, preferably with nicer weather and cheaper drinks? Whatever your reasons for wanting to disappear—maybe you just want to get The Man off your back—with enough diligence and planning you can vanish and start anew somewhere else.

For the low down on disappearing and starting your life over, we turned to the book How to Disappear: Erase Your Digital Footprint, Leave False Trails, and Vanish without a Trace by Frank M. Ahearn and Eileen C. Horan. Frank Ahearn is the grizzled grandfather of the vanishing act. After 20 odd years working as a skip tracer—an investigator who specializes in finding people who don’t want to be found—he realized he could make just as much money and incur a lot less risk helping people avoid investigators like himself. We’ve culled a few of Ahearn’s tips below, but if you’re really serious, his book is a great pocket guide to getting lost. Photoadapted from the Australia edition of How to Disappear.

How Not to Disappear

 

The cardinal sin in any serious disappearance is drama. You don’t successfully vanish by staging an elaborate disappearing act that ultimately involves a tri-state search, police dogs, and your home town believing that you were mauled by a bear and dragged off into the dark night. Ahearn stresses the importance of disappearing in a legal fashion. You shouldn’t, for example, try and secure false papers: It’s a felony to use false identification, and you have no idea if the papers you secured are legitimate. (What if your new social security number belongs to a dead guy or a criminal? What if the passport you bought is bogus and now you’re staring down a customs agent?). Instead, you want to obfuscate your identity in a way that it’s so difficult for people to follow you that anything short of a government task force will lack for the patience or funding to keep doggedly trying to find you. Here’s a little about how that might work. Photo by David McDermott.

 

Minimize Your Social Connections

 

People who hurriedly throw all their crap in a suitcase and run out the back door are the ones who fail at disappearing. Instead, one of your most important jobs, prior to your successful disappearance, is to slowly cut the fat from your social life. Stop using Facebook—ditch all social networks—maybe under the pretense that you’re spending too much time online (or any other pretense that people around you will accept besides “I’m going to torch my crappy life and move to Belize”).

 

You want to minimize the social footprint you occupy so that when suddenly you’re not standing in it anymore, few people will notice or care. If you’re the most prominent member of the local social scene and you vanish tomorrow, people will notice. Minimizing your virtual trail is more important than minimizing your real life trail. It takes mere minutes for an investigator to comb through social networks and search results, but hours and additional expenses to investigate on foot and by phone. Photo by Luis Perez.

The one social connection most people are unwilling to ditch is communication with their immediate family. Unless your immediate family is the reason you’re pulling a vanishing act, chances are you’ll still want to talk to your parents or siblings. This can the toughest communication to break, and it’s where almost everyone fails. All the planning in the world is worthless if you call your relatives from your new location and a skip tracer gets her hands on the phone records. If you want to communicate with your family or best friend after you’ve vanished from the less desirable people in your life, then you need to figure out, well in advance, how you will do so. Never communicate with them directly from any account linked to your new life or new residence. Anonymous email accounts and prepaid phone cards and cellphones are the only way you’re going to be finding out if Grandma’s hip surgery went well.

Ditch the Plastic; Cash Is King

 

Get used to the idea of ditching the luxuries you had in your former life. Gone are the credit cards, the convenience cards and loyalty cards, even simple things like a video rental card. Pay cash for everything and don’t use anything that could link your new life and your plans to your old life. Don’t check out books about Chile from your local library or buy them with a credit card. Don’t use a credit card or frequent flier miles to book a flight out of the country. Your goal in everything you do is to minimize the number of connections between your old life and your new life. Whenever you undertake an interaction with another person or business, ask yourself “Is this the least traceable method I could use?” Paying cash for a cup of coffee at an old coffee shop? Obscure. Paying with a credit card for a cup of coffee at an airport kiosk under the eye of four different security cameras? Not stealthy in the least. Cash is king. Photo by Andrew Magill.

 

Lie, Lie, and Lie Some More

 

Ahearn goes into intense detail on the topic of disinformation and its importance in disappearing. He notes that the thing skip tracers hope for most is just enoughinformation—too little and they’ll never find their prey, too much and they’ll waste all their time and funding looking in the wrong places. Your goal is to create disinformation.

 

As you prepare to disappear, slowly but surely start fudging the information companies have on you. “Correct” the spelling of your name on file with the local utility company, tell them they have the wrong social security number and offer a correction, change your mailing address for your bills to a fake mail drop you set up through a private mailing company. If people come looking for you, you want them to waste their time looking in the wrong places. Chapters 7, 8, and 9 of Ahearn’s book are all devoted entirely to disinformation, creating false leads (with examples from his work that are so clever you’ll want to hire him just to see him in action), and establishing yourself securely in a new locale. Photo by Anonymous9000.

Incorporation, The Binding Glue

 

At this point you might be nodding your head, thinking that the plan sounds great so far, save for the one glaring detail. If you can’t use anything but cash how on earth are you going to establish a new identity in your new location? Since you don’t want to lead the life of an illegal alien in your new locale, you’re going to need some way to have a legal presence that isn’t intimately tied back to your old identity.

 

Creating a corporation to manage your assets is one way many people handle their affairs once they have disappeared. Your corporation, only vaguely linked to you and not in the way that is readily identifiable to skip tracers, will be the entity that leases your apartment, pays your utility bills, and otherwise delegates your money out while serving as a shield between you and those looking for you. The details of this are best discussed between you and a lawyer or after careful research into what kind of corporation (and where) would be the best fit for you. Photo byDiana.

Lastly: Don’t Bother If You’re Not Committed

 

Disappearing is not easy. You don’t just fake your own death, buy some false papers in an alley from a guy with an indiscernible accent, and then retire to a life of leisure on a small island nation. Disappearing, and doing so legally and without incurring a bigger headache than the one you’re running away from, takes careful planning. You need to be willing to cut contact with nearly everyone you know (if not everyone), change how you shop, and even ditch your hobbies. Disappearing means beginning a game of chase with people who want to find you and being willing and strong enough to outlive them at that game. If you can’t do that, you’ll waste a lot of time and money trying to disappear but failing. Photo by Bohari Adventures.

 

Further Reading

 

The total planning and execution of your disappearance is well beyond the scope of this article. If you’re seriously entertaining the idea of disappearing, we highly recommend checking out Ahearn’s bookHow to Disappear: Erase Your Digital Footprint, Leave False Trails, and Vanish without a Trace. If you’re serious about vanishing, it offers insights and tips you likely never even thought about. If, like most of us, you’re not serious about vanishing, it’s still packed with fascinating stories culled from the hundreds of clients Frank has helped vanish from their old life and start a fresh one more to their liking. Either way you’ll end up a little more paranoid about your privacy and security and a lot more knowledgeable about the ways people abuse both.

 

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How to Hack Wifi (and how to avoid being hacked): WEP/WPA/WPA2 (IMP.)

How to Hack Wifi (and how to avoid being hacked): WEP/WPA/WPA2
This guide is meant to show how easy it is to hack wireless networks if the proper security measures are not in place. First I will show how to hack a WEP or WPA/WPA2 Network and then I will give tips on how to avoid getting hacked.

This is important information in our techno-savy culture. If your wireless network is compromised you can be liable for any illegal activity on it. There are numerous stories of child pornographers and black-hat hackers using other peoples wireless networks.

NOTE: Hacking your neighbors or anyone else’s Wifi without their permission is ILLEGAL. Be smart!

Step 1What you Need

What you Need

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-A Computer. (A Laptop works best)-A Wireless Card capable of packet injection.
-If your laptop wireless card can’t do packet injection you can purchase a wireless adapter such as the Netgear WG111 v2 for around $8-$12 on eBay.

-A Live installation of BackTrack either on a CD or USB stick.
-BackTrack 5 Can be found Here
-Create a Live USB Install Here

Step 2Hack WEP

Hack WEP
WEP is the predecessor of WPA and has been hacked for the past 5+ years yet people continue to use it. With the instructions below we can crack WEP in under 15 minutes.You can crack WEP from the command line but there is an easy GUI interface in backtrack which makes it a much less painful experience for those who are scared of command prompts.

1. Boot into BackTrack

2. Click on the Backtrack applications menu -> Backtrack -> Exploitation tools -> Wireless exploitation -> WLAN Exploitation -> gerix-wifi-cracker-ng (This will open up the GUI interface seen in the picture).

3. Go to the configuration menu and select the wireless interface wlan0
-Click on Enable/Disable Monitor Mode (this will put the wireless card into monitor mode).
-Select the newly created mon0 interface.

4. Now click on the WEP tab at the top of the window.
-Click on “Start sniffing and logging” and leave the terminal open.
-Once the wireless network you want to crack* shows up (it has to be WEP encryption of course) select the WEP Attacks (with clients). *note that the PWR has to be high enough to work so the closer you can get, the better.
-There you click on “Associate with AP using fake auth”, wait a few seconds and click on “ARP request replay”.

5. Once the Data number reaches over 10,000 you are ready to try (if the data is coming fast wait until 20 or 30,000 to be safe) and crack the key, but don’t close any windows yet.
-Go to the cracking tab and click on “Aircrack-ng – Decrypt WEP password” under Wep Cracking.

It will take a few seconds to minutes to crack the password and then you are good to go.

Step 3Hack WPA/WPA2

Hack WPA/WPA2

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At least WPA and WPA2 are safe right? Wrong. WPA and WPA2 are both crackable but the time it takes to crack depends on the strength of their password.-Boot into BackTrack
-Open up Konsole which is a command line utility built into BackTrack. It is the Black Box in the Lower-Left Hand Corner (See Image).
We will now be entering the following commands into the command line noted by Bold as well as explanations as to what they do:

-The following commands stop the wireless interface so you can change your mac address, this is important because your mac address is a unique identifier so faking one is a good idea if you are accessing a network you don’t have permission to. (which by the way I wholly condemn)

1:
airmon-ng stop wlan0
ifconfig wlan0 down
macchanger –mac 00:11:22:33:44:55 wlan0
airmon-ng start wlan0

2:
-Now we will put the airodump-ng tool into monitor mode, this will allow us to see all of the wireless networks around us (See the first Picture).

airodump-ng mon0

Now choose the network you want to hack and take note of the BSSID, and the Channel it is one as well as the ESSID. The PWR has to be fairly high to be able to hack it, this is determined by how close you are to the wireless router. The closer you are, the better.

Once you have chosen the wireless network enter the following into the terminal:
This will write capture packets and put them into the “filename” file, we are trying to capture the handshake between the router and wireless connection which will give us the key we need to crack.

3:
airodump-ng mon0 –channel * –bssid **:**:**:**:**:** -w filename

The following step is optional but is highly recommended as it will speed up the process a great deal.

Once “WPA handshake: **:**:**:**:**:**” appears in the top right-hand corner we can move on. If you are having trouble getting the WPA handshake to occur then do step 4.

4:
aireplay-ng -0 1 -a **:**:**:**:**:** -c **:**:**:**:**:** mon0

What this step (4) does is it deauthorizes a wireless connection and trie to re-establish it so it will generate a new handshake to capture. This step ends once you have captured the handshake.

5:
aircrack-ng –w wordlist.lst -b **:**:**:**:**:** filename.cap

Step 5 is now trying to crack the password in “filename.cap” using a list of words, here called “wordlist.lst” you can download a good 200 million word dictionary here (128MB but unzipped is 800MB).

Your computer has to compute the hash value of every password in that list but a computer can go through those 200 million passwords in 6-12 hours.

6.

If the password isn’t found in the dictionary you can try and brute-force the password with this command: (Note this could take a very long time depending on their password strength).

/pentest/password/jtr/john –stdout –incremental:all | aircrack-ng -b **:**:**:**:**:** -w – filename.cap

Step 4Secure Your Own Wireless Network

Secure Your Own Wireless Network

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Hopefully you gained some insight into how to not get your own wireless connection hacked:1. Use WPA2 (WPA2-AES) if available and by all means never use WEP.
2. Don’t base your password on a dictionary word. The next section focuses on passwords in general.
3. In your router settings you can usually hide your ESSID (the name of the wireless network) this will add a small layer of security.
4. In your router there is probably a mac-address filtering service where you can specify the mac addresses that are allowed to connect. This will make sure that only your approved devices can connect to your network. (obviously a problem though if you have a guest over and wants to connect to your Wifi).

Step 5Passwords

Passwords
You have to have good passwords in this day and age. If not your credit card information, your personal information and identity are available to those who want to use it and abuse it. Here are some guidelines to coming up with a secure password:1. At least 8 characters.
2. At least one number, letter and special character ie: $ # % ^ @ !
3. NOT based on a dictionary word
4. Multiple transitions: ie: aaa111aaa111 not aaaa11111.

How can I remember these passwords?

Come up with a word such as: calculus and substitute numbers and other characters for letters ie: c@1cu1u$
This is still based on a dictionary word though so you should still make it harder such as appending something to the end or beginning.

I also highly recommend using a different password for every website, how can you do this easily? Remember random variables in algebra? Have a random variable in your password that is based on the website or some other information.

IE: XpasswordY where the first X is the last letter of the website name and the last Y is the first letter of the website name:

So the Instructables website password would be SpasswordI or your Facebook password would be KpasswordF and your Hotmail password will be LpasswordH.

It might seem like a lot but it’s worth the time to prevent the potential theft of your money, identity and your life ruined.

Your Phone’s Biggest Security Risk

Do you have a sexy pic of your girlfriend on your phone? What would she do to you if it ended up on the Internet? This risk is greater than you might think—especially if you own an Android—according to research from North Carolina State University.

Certain Android phones like the EVO 4G and HTC Legend have preset apps that allow access to personal information or exposed phone features without requesting necessary permissions for the actual use, the researchers discovered. The apps are built on top of Google’s baseline Android software and are often used to notify users if they have missed a call or received a text message, explains Xuxian Jiang, Ph.D., an assistant professor of computer science at North Carolina State.

The problem: Hackers then access these backdoor apps and record phone calls, send text messages, and see personal information you send.

Jiang’s team told all of the manufacturers about the risk as soon as they discovered it. But that doesn’t mean you’re entirely safe. A 2011 Juniper Networks Global Threat Center study found in May that malware attacks were up 400 percent since the summer of 2010.

Michael Gregg, cyber expert with Superior Solutions Inc., offers these tips on how to keep the information on your phone secure.

· Turn off apps and services you aren’t using. Hackers wait in WiFi hot spots and look for open apps like a GPS tracker to link into your phone. They gain access to the apps and browsers you use, take information from your personal email, and can even steal your identity.

· Make a great password. The best practice is to use a passphrase. To start, think of a phrase and then turn it into a complex password. As an example, “rock and roll forever” becomes “Rock&roll4ever.” It’s upper case, lower case, special character, and numeric. And as it’s a phrase its much harder for an attacker to guess but easy for the user to remember.

· Encrypt sensitive data. Most BlackBerry, iPhone and Android smartphones have built-in encryption software. For more advanced security a third party like Whisper Systems has downloadable software to make sure that even if someone gets your files, they can’t read them. Do it for any files containing personal information like your address, birthday, or anything that you wouldn’t want anyone else knowing.

· Lock others out of your phone. Apps like The Perfect App Protector (free for Android), Smart Lock ($1.80 for Android), Lock Apps ($2.99 for BlackBerry) and Pic Lock 2.0 (free for iPhone) keep your photos, videos, and files safe by closing them to backdoor applications. Just ask the RNC: A reporter bought a BlackBerry formerly used by a Republican, which just happened to have Gov. Schwarzenegger’s personal cell phone. We’re sure the Governator wasn’t a big fan of the crank calls.

· Be wary of “SMishing”. Hackers have gotten creative and will send texts appearing to be from your bank. Only use official bank websites or apps, and if something looks suspicious always call your bank to verify the sender.

· Install anti-virus software. Many smartphones are now more advanced than computers. Jiang recommends the free NetQin Mobile Security software to all of his friends with Android and BlackBerry phones. For iPhone check out VirusBarrier iOS $2.99.

· Catch the thief yourself. There are two types of apps that are great for getting your phone back if ever stolen. Gregg recommends getting both.

-GPS tracker. If your phone is ever stolen, an app like TekTrak Pro ($4.99 for Android), Mobile Defense (free for Android), Find My Phone ($2.99 for BlackBerry) will show your phone’s current coordinates. The iCloud allows users to track their phone’s coordinates but the free Find my iPhone guarantees people cannot turn off the cloud system.

-The Gotya! Face Trap! App for Android $1.99. This app takes a picture whenever your screen lock is entered incorrectly. After taking the picture, it acquires the location of your device and forms a Google maps link, sending it with the time stamped picture to your email/Facebook helping you and the police track him down.

Hachiko: The World’s Most Loyal Dog

Hachiko

Hachiko was brought to Tokyo in 1924 by his owner, a college professor named Hidesamuro Ueno. Each day, when Ueno left for work, Hachiko would stand by the door to watch him go. When the professor came home at 4 o’clock, Hachiko would go to the Shibuya Station to meet him.

Though this simple act alone shows a tremendous amount of loyalty, that’s not the end of it: The following year, Ueno died of a stroke while at the university. Hachiko didn’t realize that he was gone, and so the dog returned to the train station every single day to await his master. He became such a familiar presence there, in fact, that the station master set out food for the dog and gave him a bed in the station. Even so, Hachiko never shifted loyalties –every day at 4 o’clock, he hopefully waited by the tracks as the train pulled in, searching for his best friend’s face among the people getting off.

Hachiko’s love for his master impressed many people who passed through the station, including one of Ueno’s former students, who became fascinated by the Akita breed after seeing Hachiko. He discovered that there were only 30 Akitas living in Japan, and began to write articles about Hachiko and his remarkable breed, turning the world’s most loyal dog into a household name, and creating a resurgence in popularity for the Akita.

Hachiko died in 1935, after 10 long years of waiting for his master. But the dog would not be forgotten –a year before his death, Shibuya Station installed a bronze statue of the aging dog, to honor its mascot. Though the statue was melted down during World War II, a new version was created in 1948 by the son of the original artist. Go to the station now, and you’ll be able to see the bronze statue of Hachiko – still waiting, as ever, for his master to come home.

Want to learn more about Hachiko and the amazing Akita breed? Watch Hachi, the movie based on his story  (co-starring Richard Gere), or check out these great books:

Dog Man: An Uncommon Life on a Faraway Mountain,  by Martha Sherrill

Hachiko Waits,  by Leslea Newman

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