Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,
Welcome to another edition of the Weekly Drop. As spring turns to summer here in the States, it’s tempting to keep your windows open to enjoy the fresh air before it gets too hot. But you may be putting yourself and your family in danger.
Read on to find out how you can enjoy the cool breeze and stay safe, along with the best gun for left-handed shooters and the No. 1 thing you need to do when you get a new cellphone number.
It’s starting to get hot in my house, but I don’t want to turn on the AC just yet… How can I leave my windows open without making it easy for criminals to break in?
— Florence M.
The problem with open windows, Lynn, is they present an easy crime of opportunity. So I don’t recommend leaving your windows open unless you are nearby. I especially wouldn’t leave any windows open overnight unless they are on the second floor. But be sure to case your house to make sure there isn’t anything a criminal could climb on — a garage, a trellis, a ladder left outdoors — to reach them.
That being said, I understand that many people would rather leave their windows open than use their AC, in order to save money. I suggest installing motion sensor lights near the windows you typically leave open. You might also consider putting up a security camera near any windows you plan on regularly leaving open.
Another thing you can do is put a piece of wood in the window frame to prevent it from opening all the way. Pick up a couple of dowels from your local hardware store and cut them to a length that won’t allow the window to open wide enough for a person to fit through.
In regard to your recent article about buying a used car that still has someone else’s information: Does this also apply to cellphone numbers? I recently got a new number and somebody else got mine. I recorded a short video of a female relative so she could see how some clothing fit her from different angles. The next day someone texted me to know if the female beauty was available. It was a little unnerving — I did not respond. I try my best not to put stuff on the cloud, but I know all my contact info is stored in Google Gmail somehow, which is probably the cloud, and somebody was viewing it. How do I clean that up??
— Thomas C.
Unfortunately, Thomas, since smartphones can be hacked in several different ways, it’s hard to say exactly how another person found your video. They could have accessed it by hacking into the cloud or by hacking into the device itself if you were surfing the internet on your phone using an unsecured Wi-Fi network.
When you get a new phone number, always remember to update your email account and any other accounts you have that are associated with the old number. If you forget to do this, the person who gets your old number might receive texts or calls regarding your accounts.
That being said, unless it’s required by the website, I recommend you do not share your phone number when setting up online accounts. It’s just one more way hackers can track you down or use social engineering scams to trick others into giving up personal information about you.
The bottom line is make sure to update all of your accounts with your new number or, at the very least, remove your old number.
What about rental cars? When I charge my iPhone in a rental, sometimes it uploads my address book and who knows what else. I have rented cars that have previous renter’s data in them. (When I return the car, I delete theirs and mine.)
— Ann L.
I’m glad you delete your information from the car, Ann. And you’re absolutely right. It amazes me how often I get in rental cars and see all the information from the previous driver.
To protect your privacy, always turning off your phone’s Bluetooth function when using a rental car. And be careful when using the USB connection. I recommend setting up your smartphone so that when you connect to another device via USB, it asks for permission to access the information on your phone. (Obviously, the answer is no.)
Finally, to be extra cautious, always check the rental car’s database before you return it to make sure it hasn’t stored any of your information.
Do you think that you will ever offer the compartmented (zipper pocket) belts again? If not, who makes them?
— Ron P.
Yes, Ron, we do still offer the Escape & Evasion Gun Belt. These belts are handmade in Cedar City, Utah, and are incredibly tough — we’ve even used this belt to tow a vehicle. The belt also comes with a lifetime guarantee. For more information, or to purchase one for yourself, click here.
I’m a new shooter and I’m left-handed. Is there a good left-handed gun you recommend?
— Chip F.
For any new shooter — left- or right-handed — I recommend trying a Glock. More specifically, I like the Glock 19. My wife and I each own one. Overall, Glocks are great guns for beginners, and the 19 has a good-sized compact frame, so they can be used for either concealed carry or home defense.