Tuesday, September 19, 2017


   Or maybe we should say Equi-Fiasco!

   By now you've certainly heard about the Equifax breach including leaked social security numbers and other personal information on over 143 million people.  And there's plenty more info to come with this one as the facts continue to get uncovered.

   I certainly don't mean to be jumping on the bandwagon here.  There has already been so much coverage of this breach, but it is a big deal.  And, while I've seen a number of articles on what to do now, I haven't seen any that really cover everything you must do to protect yourself.

   Let's do that now!

   The bottom line is this... it's 2017... no one can or will protect your personal information.  You must take appropriate steps to protect yourself.  And here they are... in no particular order... the top-10 things you should do to protect your personal and financial information:

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

I Have Neither Read Nor Understood

   The site masthead starts out with the statement:“I have read and agree to the Terms” is the biggest lie on the web. We aim to fix that.

   This is the lead statement on the tosdr.org website.  tosdr is an acronym for "Terms of Service; Didn't Read".  It's a play on words (play on acronyms? :-)) of tl;dr, Too Long; Didn't Read.  tl;dr has been a term floating around the interwebs for many years.  It simply expresses a sentiment that many people can relate to... that we're busy, so when there is a long article, post, whitepaper, document, documentation, etc., we might just not read it.  That also leads to the idea of the tl;dr version, i.e. executive summary!

   Clearly, Terms of Service statements fit into this category.  They tend to be exceedingly long.  They are often written FLBL (For Lawyers, By Lawyers)! :-)  You see them all over the place... on your bank's website, on social media sites, when you sign up for just about any kind of service, and with just about every app you install.

   So, if no one reads them, what's the problem?  Like a contract, the Terms of Service or EULA (End User License Agreement) provides some very important information.  For example, it may cover:
  • how the app, website or company can use your personal data;
  • if the site can sell your data,
  • whether or not you own any content you upload (such as to a social media site);
  • how, when, how much you can use the app, service or website;
  • if the site can charge you money, either one time or ongoing;
  • if you have any rights to seek damages against the company if you don't like how they conduct business
  • and more...