Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Security on the internet

Being secure on the internet is no simple  task, especially in this day and age.
We live in a world where everybody has secrets, and everyone wants to know what
everyone else is hiding. The internet has become a haven for hackers, crackers
and salesmen.

Allow me to explain this last point. For years the internet has been used to
communicate, to reach people in far away places in an instant. When someone
discovered he could use it to sell product to people it changed the world. On the
positive side of things, mankind could now do all there shopping from the
luxury of their own homes.  But there was a dark side to this as well.
Advertising crept onto the net and websites began to store information, simply so
they could sell even more product to you. We will look at ways of preventing this
later.

I talked earlier about hackers. That's right, on the internet, there are people
out there who are out to get you. Freelance, individually hired hackers who work
against individuals, and massive organizations like the hacker group Anonymous,
which does as they please, though always for a cause. These are people against
whom we need protection, and we should stop at nothing to get it.

The first thing we should look at is how anonymous are YOU online? Chances are
you use a few simple passwords, have minimal restrictions on your Facebook page
and use a simple browser like Google Chrome. I'm not saying any of this is bad,
I'm saying it could be better. Let me quickly teach you a few tips and I
guarantee you'll' feel a lot safer.

First off lets take a look at passwords. Did you know that the most popular
password is '123456'? That's really easy to crack using todays standards. Even
something like 'yellowcat12' is simple to crack. When websites give that advice
about using numbers, letters, symbols and capital letters, they are trying to
help you out. That is advice that should be followed. Another tip is to not use
words that can be found in a dictionary. Hackers use software to try all of these
words in mere minutes and can crack even the toughest passwords. I'll quickly
show you my password setting technique below using our previous example,
'yellowcat12', as a starting point:


***I would advise that you don't use birthdays or names in your passwords***

Start with: yellowcat12
Flip part of the word: wolleycat12 (I flipped the word yellow backwards)
Add some symbols: wolley_cat(12)
Add capital letters:  wOllEy_cAt(12) (I chose to capitalize vowels)

Your new password is: wOllEy_cAt(12). This is a complex enough password that it
would take years to crack. You would safely be able to use it on any number of
sites, though I would recommend making 3 or 4 such passwords. Another important
thing to note that this should never match your online banking password, which
should be at least 20 digits long and used for nothing except banking.

Now lets take a look at your social media pages. Chances are you share photos of
yourself, your kids and your family. You post about your day, and life in
general. But how much personal information do you post? Who is it visible to? If
the wrong information is visible to the wrong people, bad things can happen
because of it. So lets just take a look at our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
settings. Any social media has an option to limit who can see what you post.
There needs to be no wiggle room in these settings. No mutual friends viewing
your posts, nothing. Otherwise all  your private information is visible  to some
potentially not very friendly people.

My favorite thing about the topic of internet security is web browsers. There are
so many available that its tough to choose the right one. Personally I have two
recommendations. Tor, which is housed in Mozilla Firefox, allows access to the
DarkNet, and leaves your location and personal data completely untraceable, and
Google Chrome. This second choice is a bit more confusing. Chrome is by no means
the safest browser. But it can be, if you use it correctly. Here are the steps to
making Google Chrome a super secure way to browse the net:

1) Set DuckDuckGo as your default homepage
2) Install  Zenmate, Adblock and Ghostery as Chrome addons

That's all! Those simple settings will improve chrome drastically! DuckDuckGo, is
 a secure search engine that does not trace your data. Zenmate is an addon that
scrambles your location (also unblocking all websites at work or at school),
Adblock does just as the name implies, removing all ads from Chrome, and Ghostery
stops websites from storing and tracking your cookies (little bits of data and
passwords).

My final bit of advice would be to tell Chrome not to store your passwords. If it
does, anyone can turn on your computer, click a few buttons, and have all your
passwords at their fingertips.

Good luck and stay secure!

            -S3NAT0R1

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

The credibility of the Bible

The issue of religion, and it's credibility, has been around for nearly all of history. One of the most popular, and controversial topics to date has been the Bible. Though it is arguably the most commonly printed (and stolen) books in history, a vast majority of people do not believe what is contained in its pages. Many very intelligent people have brought forth many excellent arguments against its credibility and sustain that what is published in its pages is purely fictitious. I do not believe this to be the case. It is clear to me that what is presented throughout the Bible is true
and without flaw. Today I would like to explain why.

One of the main arguments against the plausibility of the Bible is that it was written by a few men who wanted to start a religious movement. Allow me to explain the flaws in this theory. To begin with, the Bible was written over 8,000 years by many different people. Lets look just at the New Testament. It begins with four 'books' which are all written by different men on the same subject, Jesus. These men all were witnesses to the events which they wrote about and conducted careful
interviews with other people present at these events. It would have been very difficult for them to publish lies about events that people had witnessed, especially with many of those people still alive.
Another excellent argument against the Bible is that it's  impossible. And yes, many of the events that occur in the bible would be impossible, if God had not intervened. Using the resurrection of Jesus as an example, we could easily say that a man cannot come back to life after being dead three days. There are witnesses and accurate historical documents to say that Jesus was crucified and that he was buried. There are also witnesses who went to his grave to say he was not there, and many people he appeared to after his death, proving he was alive. Once again, this is proven by the writings, which, as I explained before, would have been considered heresy if written when people who had witnessed the actual events had been alive.

Perhaps the argument that I hear the most  frequently is that God simply does not exist, and therefore the Bible cannot be true. But I would like you to consider the opposite. If the points in the Bible I have presented are true, thus proving it's accuracy, how can God not exist? None of that would be possible without Him. And so I would ask you to consider this the next time you are confronted with the Gospel. And if you have any questions about it, shoot me an email: s3nat0r1@mail.com
I'd be glad to point you in the right direction.

Praying for you all,

        -S3NAT0R1

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The End Of The World

One thing that has been on my mind a lot lately is the end of the world. Not the literal end of the world, wherein we all die and the earth is destroyed, but more so our perception of the end. There are two things about it that truly bother me. The way Hollywood sees the end of the world and the fact that we are always falsely predicting the end times. I want to talk about both of the today.
First off, I'd like to point out that the way Hollywood shows the end is very likely not what is going to happen. There won't be any aliens, or meteorites, or even zombies. Humanity will simply choke itself out. No explosions, nothing killing us all. From a completely arbitrary perspective, ignoring my religious viewpoint, if humanity is going out, it will be by our own hands. From cutting down the forests and warming the atmosphere, overcrowding, and lack of resources, that is how we are going to die, assuming God doesn't take us all first.

Second, and far more important, is the fact that we are always trying to perceive when the end will come, without realizing how impossible it is to tell. Allow me to use the Mayan calendar as my first example. The Mayan calendar expired in December 2012 and everyone believed the end had come. Why? Because some guy a few millennia ago died, or got tired of making calendars. Maybe he  didn't think they'd need to go that far in the future to begin with. The Mayans weren't psychic, how could they know when the end was?

I believe scientists influence our beliefs about end times quite a lot. They are constantly saying that there is a giant asteroid or something similar that could 'potentially' destroy the globe. Or that the sun will go out in ten billion years. Even things like the hole in the ozone layer or global warming, all lead us to believe that we are all going to die. But not matter how many theories are discredited, we always end up believing one more.  A few weeks ago there was a 'Super blood moon', and many people believed this was a sign of the end times. No one payed any attention to the fact that such a moon occurs once every 18 years. These are things we should notice, before the mass panic and hysteria begin.

Another popular belief that the end was coming occurred in the  late 1990's with the coming of 'Y2K'. The belief that humanity would be left in the dark because computers weren't programmed to mark the date past a certain point. Hello humanity?!?! Is anyone there? Do you not realize that you survived thousands, if not millions of years without this technology? And just so you know, I personally own several of these computers and every one of them works just fine. You're all just crazy. Honestly, can you imagine being that guy who built a bunker and stockpiled toilet paper for the end of the world and then nothing happened? You would look really foolish.

Psychics, however impressive, cannot predict the end either. I have two famous examples. One, John the Baptist, a disciple of Jesus Christ, who was not really psychic but was granted a vision of the end. He saw what would happen, all of it, beginning to end. But you know what he did not see? When it would happen. Because it's impossible. Jesus himself said that only God knows. Even Jesus, the son of God didn't know when it would happen. My second example, the well noted psychic Nostradamus predicted the end of the world would be in the 1900's. While this fact is often blotted out, readers of his original texts have found this to be an accurate interpretation of his writings. What we often don't realizes though, is that he predicted events occurring after this end. And while this information is not well known, nor is it easily interpreted, many Nostradamus experts have interpreted his texts in this way. Do you see the flaw in this? People doing things AFTER the end of the world? That's not even remotely possible.

In conclusion I ask one thing of you. Take a look at the world around you. Do you see it? It hasn't ended yet, despite the hundreds of times we've predicted it would. Wikipedia lists another few hundred end times predictions. I guarantee you none of them are actually the end. Our time has not yet come. We will know when it has but we cannot predict it.

Remember, you're still here, enjoy life while you can.

          -S3NAT0R1