In this week’s mailbag we cover…
Whether or not to ‘save’ your password…
If border patrol can search your electronic devices…
What to do if your social security number is stolen…
My suggestion on battery powered lanterns…
Placing a tracking device on your gun…
And how phones track you even when GPS is turned off.
Let’s dive in…
If a website says, “Remember me?” is it safe to click “yes?” You need a password for practically every website these days and I know they should be different. I can’t remember them all!
– Shawn Y
Answer: You never want to save your important passwords in the browser for two main reasons.
First, this means that your browser has a data log of your entire login information and if it were hacked, a criminal would easily have this access.
Second, the physical security risk of your computer being stolen means that a thief would have access to all your accounts and information in a heartbeat.
You mention putting important documents on a USB drive when you travel. Do customs and border patrol agents have a right to search items stored on these external devices?
– Casey H
Answer: Yes, Customs and Border Patrol can search your electronic devices. Now, the chances of this are slim, but it is something that could happen.
In some extreme cases, Customs and Border Patrol have seized electronic devices for advanced searches, but to do this they must have reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed.
What can you do if your SS# has been stolen? I just found out mine was.
– Don H
Answer: This is becoming an epidemic since social security numbers can be used to commit so many different types of crimes.
It’s also a huge mess to get this cleaned up and will take some effort on your part.
You will want to go to your local police and file a police report. You want to report the theft of your SS# to the Federal Trade Commission.
You want to make sure you put a credit freeze on your credit report with all three credit agencies.
You want to monitor your credit report every month to make sure there are no fraudulent charges.
You should also contact the Social Security Administration about getting a new SS#.
What’s a good survival lantern that will run on batteries?
– Phil K
Answer: I would look into the Tough Light LED Rechargeable lantern. This lantern puts out 400 lumens and runs off rechargeable Li-ion batteries.
Many lanterns like this typically use up to eight D batteries so having a rechargeable option is convenient.
It’s a smaller lantern but still provides a nice amount of light compared to other similar options.
This lantern is water resistant and comes with a USB charger for cell phones. It sells on Amazon.
Is there a way to put a tracking device on the gun itself?
– Andy L
Answer: GPS trackers are so tiny you can pretty much attach them to anything. Some attach like a sticker, others attach via a keychain.
I personally wouldn’t attach a tracker to a firearm because I would never want it to accidentally get in the way when I need to use the firearm.
If you turn off your GPS on your smartphone, law enforcement cannot trace your phone location using GPS, only cell phone towers you have used. Is this correct?
– Austin W
Answer: Unfortunately, even if your smartphone’s GPS is turned off, your phone’s location can still be tracked.
The thing is, most people who use smartphone’s typically have multiple applications downloaded to their phone.
These applications can still give away your location even if you have denied the app access to your GPS. For example, let’s say you use a fitness app on your phone.
Well, this would still use data and sensors on your phone, which could potentially give away your location. Even the clock on your phone gives away your location.
For instance, when the GPS is turned off, the time on your phone still changes if you change time zones.
In other words, if you want to completely avoid being tracked don’t use a smartphone.