Monthly Archives: January 2017

10 Spy Tricks: An Office Espionage Series

I spend a great deal of my time dealing with highly sensitive, highly confidential information. Over the years I have noticed that many of the institutions I have worked with have gone to great pains and considerable expense to make certain their computer systems have state of the art firewalls and "hacker-proof" encoding systems. Nonetheless, they continue to leak data like a sieve!

How can this be? Simple, they are guarding the air conditioner duct instead of the front door.

So, what do I know about it? My knowledge of the field is pretty backdoor in nature.

First of all, I work a lot with people who love nothing more than to stir up hate and discontent wherever they go. They will intentionally uncover and publish sensitive information. It is fun for them. In order to find out why they do these things I do a lot of debriefing with them when an incident occurs.

Second, I have two brothers who made carriers out of law enforcement. One of my brothers served many years as a state trooper and another as a sheriff's deputy. They were both extremely successful in the investigation facet of the job and I am about to tell you why. Then you can see if you are vulnerable to the same kind of attack.

The sources of data loss, in no particular order, are as follows.

1. Waste Archeology.
Simply speaking, someone who really wants to know your secrets will go through your trash. And guess what? It is completely legal. Buy a $ 20.00 shredder, and use it.

2. Taps.
Seriously, if you have a wireless system it is pretty simple to eaves drop via laptop from the coffee shop next door.

3. Pop-ins.
Be extremely wary of maintenance crews and repair staff you have not called in. Check ID's. Also, be aware of someone who comes in asking a lot of questions. You may be surprised what the reception staff will tell someone who smiles and asks nicely.

4. Hacking in.
Do you know the easiest way to hack in to a secure system? Steal the password taped to the computer screen at Ed's work station. Trust me, I see it every day. You know what else? Most people use the same password for every system they need to access.

5. Cordless phones.
Remember most cordless phones and cells are basically fancy radios. If it puts out a signal, the signal can be picked up with a scanner.

6. Ticking bombs.
Answering machines, voice mail, fax machines anything that requires an access code can be beaten (remember the password taped to the computer?).

7. Starbucks.
Never discuss sensitive information in a public restaurant! If I wanted to know about a corporations business, I go to the snack bar at lunch and read the paper over coffee. You will not believe the things you hear (if you're in education, teacher lounges are hair raising!).

8. Brain cramps.
Unlocked cabinets, offices, desks, paper work left out, answering stupid questions over the phone. Hello?

9. Traitors.
Face it, some folks will sell you out for the right price. The right price might be as simple as someone asking, "So, what confidential things are you working on these days?" You really would not believe what people have told me in answer to that question. Keep sensitive information on a need to know basis.

10. Describing a spy.
The typical spy is a short, fat, tall, thin man, with curly, bald hair. She often wears provocatively conservative clothing and is liberally conservative. In other words, ANYBODY is the typical spy.

Now I will expound upon each section individually.

Part 1

One of the first areas I mentioned in breaches in security was "rifled" trash. I believe this to be foremost method of stealing confidential information. In reality it is not even stealing. In California Versus Greenwood the Supreme Court held the Constitution does not prohibit warrant less search and seizure of garbage left for collection outside the curtilage (the enclosed area immediately surrounding a home or dwelling) of a home. This could include places of business.

Here are some pro-active steps you can take.

1. Do not transfer confidential documents to recycling vendors.

2. If you have a copier, install a shredder next to it.

3. Purchase a cross-cut shredder for extremely sensitive documents.

4. Destroy all waste paper.

5. Get shredders for each individual. People will not wait in line to use a bulk shredder.

6. DO NOT KEEP CARDBOARD BOXES OF UNINVENTORIED OLD DOCUMENTS LYING AROUND.

Part II.

Remember, James Bond is not interested in your secrets.

That being said, competitors, disgruntled employees, ex-spouses and other wreakers of havoc are interested in your secrets.

There are many methods of "bugging" out there.

The five main categories are, in alphabetical order: Acoustic, Optical, RF, Tie-In, and Ultrasonic.

1. Acoustic – low tech glass to the wall, ventilation, electrical out-let, out side the window, stand by the door, close proximity listening.

2. Optical – high end and expensive.

3. RF – radio frequency and receiver devices.

4. Tie-in – hooking directly in to a phone line. The box is usually easily accessible on an exterior wall.

5. Ultrasonic – think transmitter, receiver but with audio pressure rather than radio waves.

The most prevalent and dangerous of this is alphabetically and most destructively listed first. Always be aware of your immediate surrounding when discussing confidential information.

Part III

Always check the identification of persons who pop in to do technical work around your office. This is especially true if you PERSONALLY have not called them for service. These folks are known as "spooks".

You see, "Spooking" is a hide in plain site method of gaining access to confidential information

It seems carrying a clipboard will gain a spook access to most places, even those with confidential data to protect.

But, there are other common tools the spook may carry to increase their appearance of authenticity: 2-way Radio, Maglight, Construction worker hard hat, and my personal favorite the attention tone cell phone. Now, this particular ruse means the spook has a partner but is anything more impressive than that tone from the "base office" checking the technicians' status?

However, the most powerful, by far, access granting technique (I mean this will get you in anywhere) is a set of Dickies. Yes, Dickies. The same things you wore for summer jobs in high school and college. They are a virtual cloak of invisibility in our culture.

Most common guises:

1. Telephone / communications technicians – (typically wearing / grey Dickies)

2. Computer service technicians – (polo shirt and tan Dickies pants)

3. Copy machine technicians – (polo shirt and Dickies pants)

4. Custodians – (typically anyone with a set of / grey Dickies is granted cart blanche access)

5. Messenger services – (typically wearing brown Dickies)

6. A / C heating technicians – (typically wearing -green Dickies)

The beauty of this type of "spooking" is nobody ever challenges these folks. And if some particularly diligent person does question them, the spook goes into his, "fine with me, but it will be at least four weeks until I can get back here. We're really backed up." That is usually enough to intimidate even the most on top of things staff member.

I do not usually recommend testing out these surveillance techniques, the power of the Tricky Dickie is not to be believed unless you actually see it in action. So, get your lazy brother-in-law a set of Dickies and send him through your office. You will not believe the results. Afterwards, get the lazy bum to do your yard work so you get your moneys worth from the Dickie investment.

Part IV

There are many ways of stealing computer files. As a matter of fact there is a whole niche market dedicated to nothing more than developing and distributing new types of spy ware. Then there is another niche market dedicated to selling protection against these pieces of malware. Folks, I talking millions of dollars each year, connected to these two enterprises. Would it surprise you to know that many of the same people writing the protection software also write the malware?

Any who, how to these insidious pieces of data stealing malware get into your systems? Simple, you or one of your associates, put them there.

I know what you're thinking, "Not me! I would never do such a self destructive thing. Neither would anyone I work with." And, at least intentionally, you're right. But, take look at the most common avenues of entry and think through your response again.

Most Common Sources of Spyware:
1. Screen savers
2. Emoticons
3. Clip Art
4. Spam
5. Email attachments
6. Unprotected web browsing (cookies)
7. Peer to Peer applications (mp3 files)
8. Shareware
9. Freeware
10. Involuntary Download (may present as a fictitious error you must click to correct)
So, have you EVER added any of this to your system, even to an email? I know me too.
Oh well, as MaElla (my grandmother) used to say, "Once bitten, twice shy."

What have we learned?

Basically, do not put anything unverified on your system, even if it is really, really cool.

Bye the way, does anyone know where MaElla got "Once bitten, twice shy"?

Part V

First and foremost, never use a cordless phone for anything other than the convenience of answering a call. Switch to a corded line for any specific communications.

Monitoring cordless and cellular phone calls has become a million dollar hobby in America. Some even sell their monitored conversations on line. Think ex-girlfriend sites.

Mobile phones are an even greater liability. Not only are means available to monitor the conversations, but it is not particularly difficult to track the location of the parties based on their signal. Now, that is scary.

This tracking will become even easier when newer 3G phones come online because their base stations are even closer together.

What can you do?
1. Use a regular line for increased security.
2. Dedicate a secure line in your office for sensitive communication. They are not cheap. Or-Com offers one that has fair reviews for about $ 300.00.
3. Use first names on non-secure lines.
4. Speak in general terms on non-secure lines.

If you think these precautions a completely paranoid, you may be right. On the other hand, browse Spy Emporium for an overview of just a few of the surveillance devices available.

Part VI.

If you work with confidential data, and you use any of the following pieces of technology, it is just a matter of time until your confidentiality is compromised.

1. Disposable roll fax machines.
Used rolls contain copies of every item the machine has received.

2. Unattended fax machines.
Fax machines left on are excellent sources for stealing confidential data. When I expect a fax, I alert the office staff to put it in a folder in my in-box.

3. Dictation machines.
If you use dictation machines and leave tapes on the secretaries' desk to be transcribed do not be shocked when a tape goes missing (Tell the truth, this has already happened has not it?).

5. Answering machines.
Most are accessible with a 3 or 4 digit code. Most people do not change the factory set "3, 4, and 5." These are easy to hack.

6. Cordless microphones.
Crystal clear signals for about 1,300 feet or a quarter mile.

Part VII.

One of the most popular and reliable methods for gathering information from an organization is to "scout the perimeter." Although, this is not as sexy as the "mission impossible" methods, it is very popular and very effective.

Here are your most frequent weak spots.

1. The company lunch room. Many people actually carry confidential files with them to review over lunch.
2. The neighborhood coffee klatch. This is true for the same reason as above.
3. The guy who is always at the newsstand when you pick up your paper. You know the one you discuss current office events with because he does not know the people anyway.
4. The chatty new friend your spouse just made. Think about this when discussing business with your spouse.
5. Any off-site meeting places. Luncheon rooms, county offices, etc.

Part VIII

Next to going through the trash, the most vulnerable area for exploitation is the human brain.
The major offenders:
1. Unsecured offices, cabinets, drawers and doors.
2. Files left on the desk over night.
3. Group passwords.
4. Company phone directories.
5. Desktop rolodexes.

Part IX

Another source of compromised confidential information is the office traitor. Most people have a price. The price may have been paid the last time they were insulted, degraded or unappreciated at the office. One the other hand, there may be an actual monetary price for which a trusted associate can be turned.

Here are some of the characteristics you may need to be on the look out for.

1. Those passed over for raises, passed over for promotion.
2. Those experiencing significant financial difficulty.
3. Those who gamble.
4. Those that employ recreational pharmaceuticals (including alcohol).
5. Those involved in labor and management disputes.
6. Those that seem to always be on the lookout for the next big deal.

Part X.

Basically, if you take a look at the qualifications for a field agent for the CIA you can build a fair profile of what an office spy may "look like."

1. A Bachelors Degree, rarely more.
2. Solid academic record, not outstanding.
3. Interest in inter-business and international affairs.
4. Solid interpersonal skills.
5. Solid communication skills.
6. Frequent traveler.
7. Interest in foreign languages.
8. Prior residence outside the area.
9. Possible prior military experience.
10. Experience in business and / or economics (but with deficit skills in their own finance management).
11. The person is usually between the ages of 21-35.
12. Previous work in law enforcement or corrections.
13. May be considered a loner, not a joiner.
14. No police record.
15. Hobbies include martial arts, scuba, hunting, proficiency with firearms, chess, math, avid reader, may write prolifically or play a musical instrument, etc.
16. The person may be interested in training manuals and field guides.

In other words, just about anybody who would make a good employee. The key is to look for unusual groupings of these skills. Most people will meet 3 or 4 of the criteria. Those who meet 6 or more should be considered possible candidates.

This section completes a ten part series concerning confidentiality and security.

Hot Dog Stand Pricing – How Much to Charge For a Hot Dog

One stumbling block that new hot dog stand owners sometimes struggle with is knowing exactly how much to charge for a hot dog. While there are not really any easy pricing guidelines that you can follow, you can find the ideal price points for your business by using your intuition as well as doing a little research.

Hot dogs in the US currently sell for anywhere between $ 1.50 and $ 6 and probably have sold for much more than that. How much a customer is prepared to pay will come down to a variety of factors such as how hungry they are, how good your hot dogs look and what other options they have to get a meal or a snack nearby.

If you have a captive audience such as you would in a baseball stadium then you can charge top dollar. If on the other hand you are lined up against many other concession stands that are all competing for business then your pricing would have to be more realistic.

It is important that you get your pricing right. If you price too low then you will struggle to make a profit and your business model will not be viable. If you price too high then you will be missing out on sales and that will mean that your overall profits will not be as high as they could be.

Here are some pricing tips and some of the factors that you can consider to help you to figure out how much to charge for your hot dogs and other menu offerings.

Local Competition

It is helpful if you can get an idea of ​​average hot dog prices by studying other vendors in your local market. This will give you an idea of ​​what people in your city or area are used to paying for their hot dogs.

After you have done a broad assessment of prices in the wider area you can then look at the prices of the competition in the immediate area around your stand.

You should either look to price your products in line with other local vendors or you should look to price higher than they do and offer more value in the way of service or product quality. Whatever you do, do not try to undercut other local businesses as there is no sense in starting a price war and doing damage to the industry.

Hot Dog Stand Costs Affect Pricing

When it comes to determining prices it helps if you have a good understanding of your costs in terms of ingredients per hot dog as well as other overheads.

If you have paid a lot of money to get a vendors permit or to secure a concession space at a major event then you will have to have strong prices that reflect these costs.

Go for Volume

In the fast food business you are generally better off pricing your products cheaply and making your profits on sheer volume of sales if you can pull it off. This will ensure that you are clearing your stock regularly, that you can get discounts for bulk buying and that your hot dog stand looks busy and popular. If your location can sustain a decent volume of sales then this is generally better than doing lower volume and looking to make a higher amount of profit on each sale.

Value Meals, Add Ons and Price Points

Consider offering value or 'combo' meals on your menu that include a hot dog as well as other offerings such as a drink and a bag of chips. This encourages customers to buy other products from you in addition to their hot dog.

Some stands offer a set price for a hot dog that includes a certain number of sauces or toppings. Customers can then request additional toppings for a small additional charge.

Give some thought to price points and the psychology behind consumer buying decisions. In the fast food market the $ 5 price point is still a common mental barrier for many folks. If you offer meal combinations that remain slightly below this level then you should do well.

Discounting to Clear Stock

There is no sense taking home stock at the end of the day if you can avoid it. You do not necessarily want to become known as a regular discounter and have people turn up at a certain time looking for a bargain. However if you are working a temporary location then you may as well offer a discount towards the end of the day to clear your stock.

Price Testing

Make sure that you test prices over time to find out which price points produce the highest profits for your business. Just do not change your prices too often if you are in the same location or you will find that it bothers your regulars.

7 Herbs That Help Flush Gallstones

The gallbladder is a small organ located directly under the liver. It acts as a bile reservoir; it concentrates bile which is secreted by the liver and is used by the body to digest fats. If the liver is overloaded with toxins and saturated fats, the bile (which carries toxins and fats) will eventually inflame the gallbladder. When enough cholesterol deposits (from saturated fats) have formed, they crystallize with the bile to form Gallstones. If the gallbladder becomes inflamed, it causes sever pain in the upper right abdomen. This condition must be treated immediately as it can be life threatening. Often, persons with Gallstones have no symptoms. If a stone blocks the bile passage however, nausea, vomiting and pain in the upper right abdominal region occur. These symptoms often arise after the individual has eaten fried or fatty foods.

Here are 7 herbs that work together to reduce inflammation, pain and help flush Gallstones safely out of the body.

1. Barberry Bark- Barberry is one of the best remedies for and promoting the flow of bile. It is indicated when there is an inflammation of the gall bladder or in the presence of gallstones. When jaundice occurs due to a congested state of the liver, Barberry is also indicated. Studies show that the main ingredient berberine, activates the macrophages (literally, "big eaters"), white blood cells that devour harmful microorganisms.

2. Wild Yam Root- Wild yam is very good for the liver and endocrine system, by toning and nourishing the gallbladder, it helps to balance hormone production.

3. Cramp Bark- Known as a nerve sedative and anti-spasmodic and therefore helping with cramps. This is very helpful for people with Gallstones. It is also used to relieve muscle tension in the intestines, airways, uterus, and striated muscles in the limbs or back. It has also been used in treating high blood pressure and other circulatory conditions.

4. Fennel Seed- Helps open obstructions of the liver, gall bladder and spleen to ease painful swellings. Fennel is also used to treat yellow jaundice, the gout and occasional cramps.

5. Ginger Root- Shrinks liver tumors in animal testing. Also, impairs cholesterol absorption and stimulates the conversion of cholesterol to bile acids which further cleanses the liver and gall bladder. Ginger also inhibits platelet aggregation.

6. Catnip Herb- Catnip nourishes the stomach and nerves. It calms the nervous system and is used also for digestion. Catnip herb has also been used to treat inflammation and help to eliminate toxins and flush Gallstones.

7. Peppermint Leaf- Preliminary clinical trials suggest that formulas containing peppermint and related terpenes (fragrant substances found in plants) can dissolve Gallstones.1 A number of studies indicate that peppermint may aid in reducing the size of gallstones and thus help some people avoid surgery . Also known as a muscle relaxant and reduces inflammation.

The Liver and gallbladder contains all of these 100% organic and whole herbs. Now, you can try this formula risk free for 30 days. If you do not feel better, get your money back, guaranteed!

Click Here to learn more about the Liver and Gallbladder Formula

4 Popular Types of Shot Glasses

A shot glass is a favorite choice for serving strong liqueurs and spirits, as well as miniature cocktails. These glasses are a great choice for drinking whiskey, sambuca, vodka, or tequila in a quick-fire manner. The fluid capacity is generally in the region of 1-1 / 4 ounces to 1-1 / 2 ounces. Plus, they come in plenty of materials, sizes, colors, and shapes.

Because of the small size of the shot glass, a stainless steel pourer is usually attached to the top of the spirit bottle. A benefit of this is greater control of the liquid when poured and avoids any accidental spills on the bar. Plus, the pourer helps to create the layered drink because the slower flow rate makes it easier to avoid mixing different alcohols.

Here are four of the most popular types of shot glasses for a wide variety of occasions:

Standard

The most standard shot glass is sized about 1-1 / 2 inches in diameter and 2 inches in height. Most of these glasses have the ability to hold 1-1 / 2 ounce of alcohol. Shot glasses are made with thick sides and bottom to stop them shattering when slammed on a table or bar.

Small

A slightly smaller version is the pony shot which has the capacity to hold about 1 ounce of spirits. A further type of glass to hold an ounce is the cheater glass. This type of glass appears much like it's the same size as the standard but has a thick or very heavy base which reduces its shot capacity.

Molded

The molded glasses (also referred to as fluted glasses) are similar in size to the standard ones but are given a more unique design. This type of glass has a special design crafted on the bottom of the glass such as small ridges which make an impression on the table when slammed. This type of glass can also be engraved with a company name to create the more personalized shot glasses. Most of the high-quality glasses use this type of molded design.

Tall

The taller glasses are perfect for drinkers that prefer to combine alcohol with a mixer. This type of shot glass is quite thin and can include a flared design with the top mouth area noticeably widen than the bottom. Because this type of glass is made from a thinner material they are not a practical shot to slam on a table or bar after drinking.

How to Clean Your Commercial Fridge Units

Commercial Refrigeration Units make up an integral part of any food and beverage establishments. Being the main storage equipment that they are, without these refrigeration items any food and drink business would end up spending more by buying ingredients on a daily basis, or worse, per hour basis.

This is why each commercial refrigeration unit must be properly maintained and taken care of. One way of maintaining your commercial fridge is by cleaning it. Keeping your commercial fridge clean will not just prolong its life, but it will also promote health and food safety for your customers, the ones who actually keep your business alive.

Danger of Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are those annoying fungi, microscopic organisms that live and multiply in moist places, in this case the deep-seated corners of your commercial fridge. Keep in mind that what you are keeping in these fridges are food and beverage – something people ingest. Therefore, to cut the story short, storing food in a fungi-infested fridge will pose a dangerous threat to both your business and to the health of your customers. Get rid of those mold and mildew, or better yet, prevent it from building up.

Here are the steps on how to clean your Commercial Refrigeration Units:

Commercial Fridge Cleaning Step 1: Clear out its contents.

When clearing out the contents of your commercial Refrigerator, you need to inspect each food and drink items carefully, and check if any of them has gone bad. If there's any, then you need to throw them out right aware. If you have another fridge, you can store perishable items there first while cleaning the other one.

Commercial Fridge Cleaning Step 2: Use a mold and mildew remover, or just make your own.

It's easy, really. Just prepare a spray bottle, white wine vinegar, and warm water. Simply mix 1 cup of white wine vinegar to 2 cups of warm water, then shake it in a spray bottle. Just spray the mixture on the mold and mildew then leave for a few minutes.

Commercial Fridge Cleaning Step 3: Clean your commercial chiller completely.

Afterwards, thoroughly rinse away the mold and mildew as well as the vinegar mixture and the whole fridge interior using a non-abrasive wash cloth or a sponge. Use the same dry materials to dry the cleaned commercial chiller ,. Then put back all food and drink items as previously stored.

Commercial Fridge Cleaning Step 4: Keep those mold and mildew from building up.

Now, it's time to do the regular cleaning and maintenance of your commercial refrigeration items by doing the vinegar mixture cleansing at least once a month, then monitoring the quality of your food and beverage items. Throw them away once spoiled.