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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Boy, was I happy to see Norfolk

Tuesday morning I drove to the Manchester, NH airport, on my way to Norfolk, Virginia to speak at Old Dominion University. It'd been a few months since my last speaking engagement, so I was raring to go and actually glad to get away for a few days. The snow was starting to get to me at home.

My flight to Reagan in Washington, D.C. (the connecting flight) was delayed. I checked in and found I had to pay $15 to check my one bag (I had to fly to St. Louis the next day to do training at another conference, so I couldn't do just carry-on). Say what? I thought the first checked bag was free? But nooooooo. US Airways only lets the "high end" mileage members get free checked bags, not us lowly ones with a regular mileage card. Oh, pfft.

I get on the plane with a lunch I grabbed from Quizno's (kids meal, which was half a sub, chips and soda for $4.50) and was glad I did. Now they're charging for beverages, even a glass of frelling water. Coffee and tea is a buck, soda/water $2 and booze is $7. Yikes!!

Got to Reagan and found my flight was going to be delayed until after 2 pm. No biggie. Called Gretchen at ODU and let her know my flight would be late. I didn't have to speak until 7:30 pm, so she wasn't worried.

Then the cancellations began. A big storm in St. Louis and elsewhere began disrupting flights everywhere. One flight (not mine) to Norfolk was canceled. I almost began to bite my nails. My flight was delayed again, this time to 430 pm. Then to 502 pm, then to 522 pm. I called Gretchen each time, in between talking to Chris to get weather updates from him watching the Weather Channel.

My flight finally came in, but we didn't board until well after 5 pm. And first we had to take a shuttle bus to the little plane. Got on the plane and then had to wait to be de-iced. That took for-ev-er. Finally got in the air close to 6 pm. Well, no dinner or going to the hotel for me.

And get this: No charge for beverages on this US Airways flight. And people who gate-checked their rolling suitcases didn't have to pay $15. That is not frelling fair!! Make it consistent in pricing or don't do it at all. Believe me, I'll be writing US Airways a letter when I get home. Hmph.

Got to Norfolk at 7 pm. Met Gretchen and we ran to baggage claim. I told her I hoped she didn't mind me giving my presentation in what I was wearing - jeans and a winter top. She didn't care. These were college kids, after all. Got my bag, ran to her car. She zipped from the airport to ODU in record time.

Grabbed my stuff and ran inside. About 65 people were in the audience. It was now 745 pm. I apologized and said I literally just came from the airport. They were good about it. I talked while I set up and got a few laughs. The tech guy that was supposed to be there didn't show up, so I ended up connecting everything myself. It's a good thing I know what I'm doing, eh?

Started the presentation and focused on Facebook, Myspace and Juicycampus.com, targeting students from ODU who have profiles on Facebook and Myspace, showing them what I found. I emphasized the high unemployment rates (with screenshots of recent news stories) and told them what they put online could cost them grad school or a job. My message got through. I got a lot of great questions and when Gretchen emailed me the evals yesterday, all of them were great. Most said they appreciated my honesty, enthusiasm and that I was entertaining (Dane Cook, watch out!).

Gretchen drove me to the hotel, which was literally across the street. I checked in, ordered room service (this was at 9 pm and I was starving), called Chris, ate and pretty much collapsed in bed.

The next morning I got to enjoy the mild weather - in the 30s. Which is bathing suit weather compared to the below freezing we've been having, ha ha. Enjoyed some danish and coffee in my room, then packed for my next adventure, er, speaking engagement, as a trainer at the DoD Cyber Crime Conference in St. Louis.

Back to snow and cold weather. Brrrrr.

Monday, January 26, 2009

WHOA Newsletter - January 26, 2009

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .and his accomplice was a sheep

Nigerian police detain goat over armed robbery
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090123/od_uk_nm/oukoe_uk_nigeria_robbery_goat;_ylt=Ag9MWTkMOFBjrlG4AYZs4o_tiBIF
Police in Nigeria are holding a goat on suspicion of attempted armed robbery.

Vigilantes took the black and white beast to the police saying it was an armed robber who had used black magic to transform himself into a goat to escape arrest after trying to steal a Mazda 323.

"The group of vigilante men came to report that while they were on patrol they saw some hoodlums attempting to rob a car. They pursued them. However one of them escaped while the other turned into a goat," Kwara state police spokesman Tunde Mohammed told Reuters by telephone.

"We cannot confirm the story, but the goat is in our custody. We cannot base our information on something mystical. It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat," he said.

Belief in witchcraft is widespread in parts of Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation. Residents came to the police station to see the goat, photographed in one national newspaper on its knees next to a pile of straw.

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Visit WHOA on the web at http://www.haltabuse.org

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NEWS TO USE AND PASS ALONG!

(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

Social Web sites encourage cyberstalking - 01/26/09
http://media.wildcat.arizona.edu/media/storage/paper997/news/2009/01/26/News/Social.Web.Sites.Encourage.Cyberstalking-3597164.shtml
Many college students use Facebook.com daily without being aware of the cyberstalking threat.
When students put their phone numbers, addresses and other personal information on a social networking site like Facebook, they increase their chances of being a cyberstalking victim, said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance.

Stalking called underreported, high-tech crime - 01/26/09
http://www.post-trib.com/news/1396903,lcstalk.article
Karen's stalker was relentless.
"I'd come home from work and open the garage door and he'd come around the corner. He'd be in the garage with me trying to get me to let him in the house," said the 55-year-old Schererville woman.

Putting a stop to stalking - 01/26/09
http://media.www.indianastatesman.com/media/storage/paper929/news/2009/01/26/Opinion/Putting.A.Stop.To.Stalking-3596885.shtml
This January commemorates the fifth anniversary of the observance of National Stalking Awareness Month. This should stir awareness about one of America's most prevalent crimes, as supported by a 2005-06 study done by the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The dating trap - a whole new set of rules - 01/25/09
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=10553423
Step into a crowded bar and you'll feel it; a wary tension, jungle-coiled, eyes flashing. Part of it is sexual, but there's something else. Anger. Hurt. Frustration. A misdirected chat-up, a misread signal, a clumsy grope could trigger a lethal knockback fuelled by a bitter backlog of disappointments and disillusionment.

What A Nigerian Facebook Scam Looks Like - 01/24/09
http://www.alleyinsider.com/2009/1/nigerian-scammers-still-roosting-on-facebook
Facebook is arguably one of the safer corners of the Internet, with fairly complex security and privacy controls. But when passwords get busted, even on Facebook, not everyone is whom they're pretending to be. Like a Nigerian scammer, posing only slightly convincingly as one of your real-life friends, trying to get you to send them a $900 wire transfer.

Mayor takes on cyberstalkers - 01/22/09
http://kob.com/article/stories/S758147.shtml?cat=500
New Mexico is taking another look at cyberstalking with legislation that could mean serious prison time for those who use the Internet to harass someone.

Oxford Gossip website returns - 01/22/09
http://www.cherwell.org/content/8333
Oxford Gossip, the infamous Oxford internet forum, reopened at the beginning of this week. The site, opened in 2003, provided a forum space for Oxford students to discuss the University's social life and gossip.

Facebook Slow to Respond to Phishing Scam - 01/22/09
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2009/01/22/facebook-slow-to-respond-to-phishing-scam/
The latest phishing scam on Facebook has raised the question yet again as to whether the social networking site is dropping the ball on security measures and properly responding to privacy complaints.

Local police using Facebook more in investigations - 01/22/09
http://media.www.dailyiowan.com/media/storage/paper599/news/2009/01/22/Metro/Local.Police.Using.Facebook.More.In.Investigations-3593394.shtml
When Alyssa Strittmater went missing last week, Iowa City police tried every traditional option available to them. However, something less traditional - a Facebook message - closed the case, authorities said.

Nasty worm wriggles into millions of computers - 01/21/09
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090121/ts_alt_afp/usitinternetsoftwarecrimedownadup;_ylt=ApXNbMt704a1DwvrVMYT77KDzdAF
A nasty worm has wriggled into millions of computers and continues to spread, leaving security experts wondering whether the attack is a harbinger of evil deeds to come.

The high cost of modern technology - 01/21/09
http://www.komonews.com/news/38123864.html
Do you know where your husband is? Do you know how fast your teens are driving when they're behind the wheel? And how about Fido -- ever wonder where he wanders off to?
These questions can be answered in no time, thanks to global positioning technology now infiltrating our lives.

How big brother can watch you without being a jerk - 01/21/09
http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/home/News.asp?id=51687&cid=7
Employee monitoring can be a double-edged sword. It has many benefits, but if done improperly and with inappropriate tools, it can actually do more harm than good. How do you minimize the pitfalls and maximize the benefits of staff monitoring? Experts share insights, tools and strategies.

Cyberstalker Busted for Threatening TV Station Employees - 01/20/09
http://www.televisionbroadcast.com/article/73152
A man alleged to have posted more than 800 threatening and offensive messages on the KTBS-TV Web site has been arrested, according to the Shreveport Times. Keithville, La., resident Russell Davenport was arrested Tuesday at his home, where four computers were seized. He was booked on eight counts of cyber stalking; his bond was set at $400,000. Local media reported that Davenport started his correspondence last May. The station blocked his IP address, but he kept creating new ones to make blog postings.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

With apologies to Blake Shelton. . .



We went to Best Buy yesterday and bought AC/DC's black album CD and the newest Blake Shelton CD. Chris had taken the Jeep out of storage, so we were tooling around Portsmouth listening to the AC/DC CD and having a blast. We stopped off at our favorite candy store, Yummies and got way too much candy, then headed home.

We fed the dogs and decided that since the last month we've been doing snowplowing, snowblowing and shoveling just about every weekend and there was no snow predicted for this weekend, we'd treat ourselves to a night out. We had a $50 gift certificate to our favorite restaurant, Lobster Cove, so we were psyched.

We fed Bandit and Phoebe, took them out to do their business, then left for the restaurant. I put the Best Buy bag on the couch. I had twin lobster dinner (just $18.99 with all the fixings) and Chris got prime rib. The food there is always delish! We then headed over to the American Legion (I'm a member of the Ladies Auxiliary) at their brand spanking new location to meet our friends Bob and Robin. They brought Robin's sister and brother in law and we had a great time. We couldn't remember the last time we'd gone out like that.

About 10 pm, we got home. The Best Buy bag was gone from the couch. Bandit was snoring in his bed, Phoebe was innocently looking at us from hers. All around her were bits and pieces of the Blake Shelton CD case. And the chewed on CD. Chris was really mad, but because we don't know if she was abused in the past, we just said "No!" and "Bad girl!" in angry tones. I think she got the message.

I cleaned up the bits and pieces and started giggling. Chris didn't see the humor, but I did. I guess Phoebe's just not a Blake Shelton fan.

And it actually didn't cost us anything, because I'd used a gift card we got from Christmas to buy it.

So, apologies to Blake Shelton for my dog's taste in music.

Now for another funny thing. I bought two gallons of ice cream at the grocery store, one of Hood's orange sherbert, the other Hood black raspberry. Put them in the freezer. Chris had a hankering for ice cream the other night, looked to see what I'd bought, then burst out laughing. He said he didn't know Mrs. Mayor and her assistant worked at Hood. Confused, I went to the kitchen and he pointed at the two gallon containers.

On the top of the sherbert was the info on when the ice cream had been made and who had packaged it. The name printed on it was Robin. The other gallon had the name Joanne printed on it. I burst out laughing.

Robin, one of my good friends, is teasingly nicknamed the Mayor of York because she works at the local post office and knows everyone in town. Anytime we go out for lunch, it seems like everyone says hi to her. Joanne, our other good friend, just knows everyone here, so we nicknamed her the assistant Mayor.

Talk about a small world and one of those "Twilight Zone" moments, eh? Here are the photos. Enjoy!






Monday, January 19, 2009

WHOA Newsletter - January 19, 2009

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .She was dyeing to get there

Police: woman goes to hair appointment after crash
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090117/ap_on_fe_st/odd_crash_hair_appointment;_ylt=AqJ1ABIro9ioppKDxWT7hbQsQE4F

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – An elderly woman in Palm Beach County crashed with her vehicle into a man on a scooter and then kept driving to make her hair appointment, police said.

Louise Davidson, 77, was arrested Thursday for leaving the scene of an injury crash, Boynton Beach police said.

Police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said the woman was turning right when she veered into the path of the oncoming scooter that had the right of way. The man was thrown by the impact onto the windshield and then fell to the road, she added.

Police said they later spotted the woman's car after she had her hair appointment.

Authorities said the man suffered abrasions all over his body but the injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

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Visit WHOA on the web at http://www.haltabuse.org

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
NEWS TO USE AND PASS ALONG!

(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

Stalking by Texting is on the Rise - 01/17/09
http://www.opednews.com/articles/Stalking-by-Texting-is-on-by-Sitafa-Harden-090117-457.html
The results of a new survey by the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics revealed that an unprecedented number of Americans have reported being stalked in recent years with stalking by texting on the rise.

Study Accused of Exaggerating Kids' Online Safety - 01/17/09
http://www.pcworld.com/article/157910/study_accused_of_exaggerating_kids_online_safety.html
A report released last week by a task force set up by MySpace Inc. paints a surprisingly benign picture of the online security and privacy threats faced by children. But the report's conclusion -- that some of the common concerns about those threats may be overstated or misplaced -- is drawing sharp criticism from some quarters.

'Burger Off' Facebook Ad Dropped - 01/17/09
http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Burger-King-Pulls-Facebook-Campaign-Giving-Free-Whopper-For-Every-10-Friends-Dropped/Article/200901315205315
Burger King has pulled an internet campaign that gave Facebook users a free Whopper for every 10 friends they dumped.

Conficker Worm Attack Getting Worse: Here's How to Protect Yourself - 01/16/09
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090116/tc_pcworld/confickerwormattackgettingworsehereshowtoprotectyourself
Millions of Windows computers have been infected by a new computer worm dubbed "Conficker." The situation is "not getting better," but rather is "getting worse," according to security software vendor F-Secure.

Cicero man arrested in blackmail scheme - 01/16/09
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-emails-blotter-sw-16-jan16,0,5806499.story
A Cicero man was arrested and charged with harassment through electronic communication after he sent an e-mail photo of his genitals to an Orland Park woman, then attempted to blackmail her into sending him a nude photo of herself, police said.

Pastor's lawyer disputes account of assault - 01/16/09
http://lohud.com/article/2008901160345
An attorney for a Yonkers minister charged with assault at a New Jersey school is disputing school officials' account of the circumstances leading up to the minister's arrest.

Facebook 'joke' becomes focus of school investigation - 01/16/09
http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/1493938.html
Confrontations between students occurred face-to-face or through written notes and prank telephone calls two decades ago. Today, however, the harassment and bullying of peers occurs electronically, whether it be through instant messages delivered via MSN Messenger, Facebook, MySpace or text messages sent from cell phones.

Man reports threatening e-mail to police - 01/16/09
http://www.chroniclet.com/2009/01/16/man-reports-threatening-e-mail-to-police_122/
Police believe a Lorain man may not be the only one who received an e-mail warning the victim of a plot to kill him.

Cyberstalk Your Ex Like a Pro - 01/16/09
http://www.momlogic.com/2009/01/cyber_stalk_your_ex_like_a_pro.php
Hi, my name is Theresa, and I am a full-blown cyberstalking junkie.
If you have a Facebook profile, MySpace account or just access to the Internet, I bet you suffer from the same addiction. I embrace it and will help you develop your own habit.

Bremerton Teen Accused of Posting Nude Pics of Ex-Girlfriend on Web - 01/16/09
http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2009/jan/16/bremerton-teen-accused-of-posting-nude-pics-of/?partner=RSS
A 17-year-old Bremerton boy has been charged with cyberstalking, a gross misdemeanor, after his ex-girlfriend told police he posted nude photos of her on the Internet.

More Adults Have Profiles at Social-Networking Sites - 01/15/09
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/nf/20090115/tc_nf/64069
The percentage of adults using social-networking sites has risen dramatically in recent years, reports the Pew Internet and American Life Project. More than 35 percent of the adults the organization surveyed last year report having a profile at one or more social-network sites -- up from just eight percent in 2005.

More S.D. stalkers turning to technology - 01/15/09
http://www.argusleader.com/article/20090115/NEWS/901150335/1003/BUSINESS
Victims of stalking in South Dakota increasingly are being harassed via text messages and instant messaging, local law enforcement officials and state victims advocates say.

Judge dismisses spring break smut suit - 01/15/09
http://www.ajc.com/services/content/news/stories/2009/01/15/spring_break_suit.html
When Julie Amanda Tilton went to Daytona Beach during spring break, she competed in a number of risque contests at a local motel before hundreds of observers, some taking photos.
The Florida woman eventually filed a federal lawsuit after learning that footage of the contests had been posted on the Internet.

Demand for "best job in the world" crashes website - 01/14/09
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090114/od_nm/us_dream_website;_ylt=Akx_iLt7kdTaJLofS5MbESHtiBIF
The chance to be the caretaker of a tiny tropical island in Australia has sparked so much interest around the world that a rush of applications crashed the website advertising the post.

Cops: Alleged e-mail threat against Port Jeff trustee - 01/14/09
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/suffolk/ny-liport145998218jan14,0,7313709.story
Suffolk police are investigating a Port Jefferson Village trustee's complaint that a business partner of the mayor sent a threatening e-mail to him and another trustee.

Former Tempe officer gets probation for computer tampering - 01/14/09
http://www.azcentral.com/community/ahwatukee/articles/2009/01/14/20090114tr-cop0116.html
A former Tempe police officer who pleaded guilty to one count of attempted computer tampering was sentenced to three years of probation on Wednesday in Maricopa County Superior Court in Mesa.

NBA won’t punish Portland for Darius Miles related e-mail threat - 01/14/09
http://www.stlamerican.com/articles/2009/01/14/sports/local_sports/sports000000000001.txt
The Portland Trail Blazers will not be penalized or punished by the NBA for sending a threatening e-mail to other teams warning them not to sign Darius Miles.

Man arrested for sending harassing messages - 01/14/09
http://www.katc.com/Global/story.asp?S=9670218
A Keithville man is in jail after he allegedly sent threatening and harassing messages to employees at a Shreveport television station.

Facebook post leads to arrest - 01/14/09
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2130006.ece
A SAFE burglar has been arrested after cops tracked him down on Facebook.
Police posted CCTV footage and snaps of the man trying to break into a pub's safe on Monday on the social networking website.

YouTube video of man blasting couch with rifle shown at weapons trial - 01/13/09
http://www.timescolonist.com/Technology/story.html?id=1170232
YouTube videos of a Victoria man blasting a couch with an assault rifle in the woods near Jordan River were entered as evidence in a trial yesterday in B.C. Supreme Court.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Losing Face

This web site is a must-read for anyone contemplating plastic surgery:

http://www.losingface.net/

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cyber Crime Expert Endorses National Stalking Awareness Month

Press Contacts:
Jayne Hitchcock,
President of WHOA
whoa@haltabuse.org

Dee Andersson
WHOA PR
whoapr@haltabuse.org
WHOA Press Release #2009-1

NATIONAL STALKING AWARENESS MONTH
cyberstalking awareness/education highlighted


January, 2009 - A Congressional resolution introduced in July, 2003, following the stalking and tragic murder of Peggy Klinke in California, promoted supporting a National Stalking Awareness Month (NSAM). This year, in January, marks the sixth consecutive NSAM, a time when all efforts are encouraged to increase public awareness and understanding of the crime of stalking. Jayne A. Hitchcock is president of Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA) and WHOA-KTD (Kids/Teens Division), all-volunteer organizations that help victims of online harassment and cyberstalking. A former cyberstalking victim herself, Hitchcock understands the nature of this crime and strives to fulfill what she feels is her responsibility to educate, counsel and support other victims of cyberstalking. The theme for 2009 is “Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It.” and it appropriately challenges everyone to combat this dangerous crime by learning more about it.

The National Conference of State Legislatures attributed electronic communications as a factor in from 20 to 40 percent of all stalking cases. Forty-five states currently have (or have pending) legislation that explicitly deals with electronic forms of communication within cyberstalking or harassment laws. It is estimated that 1.4 million victims a year are stalked and that 78% of stalkers use more than one means of contacting the victim. The Violence Against Women Act, passed in 2000, made cyberstalking a part of the federal interstate stalking statute. The more that can be known about stalking, the more that can be done to protect against it. According to WHOA’s proprietary statistics released in 2008 (for the previous year), email was the primary way victims were contacted by harassers, no matter where they encountered their harasser previously. Email was followed by message boards (which included forums, groups and usenet), Instant Messaging (IM), Web sites, chat, Myspace and eBay. Other ways harassment began included Craigslist, photo Web sites, online dating, online gaming, blogs, forged profiles and Facebook.

Cyberstalkers can be difficult to stop and their methods include many forms. Social networking sites (such as Facebook and Myspace) get mixed reviews on safety issues. Participating safely in any social site depends on the amount of information that is made available to the general public. There is no doubt predators look for victims and that predators present themselves to be innocent, young, harmless would-be buddies. On the positive side, social networking sites provide an opportunity for friends to communicate all across the world, friends they would otherwise never have been able to meet. Other forms of cyberstalking could be email that is often threatening or obscene, spamming that includes sending a multitude of junk email, live chat harassment (verbal abuse), flaming, leaving improper messages on message boards or in guest books intended to humiliate and diminish the victim, sending electronic viruses, sending unsolicited e-mail, registering a victim’s name with porno sites, tracing another person's computer and Internet activity, and electronic identity theft.

“The important thing to remember,” according to Hitchcock, “is that the Internet is never going to go away. Everybody needs to learn how stay to be safe if they want to conduct business and socialize online. There is no sense in parents banning the kids from social sites instead teach them to never give out personal information, such as real name, address, phone number, class schedule and social plans, to strangers who may be predators. Make sure that privacy settings for profiles are set high. Also, people have to begin to understand that you can’t take back anything you put online, so do not put anything online that could harm you in the future. Future employers may be adversely influenced by things an applicant was involved in on the Internet.”

For victims suffering psychological trauma, online stalking is every bit as terrifying as offline stalking because the victim never knows when the online stalking might escalate to offline stalking. According to Hitchcock, “it’s like waiting for that other shoe to drop – victims stay in a tense state of watchful waiting.” Victims may demonstrate mood changes and severe depression, social dysfunction, insomnia and eating pattern changes, nightmares, hyper vigilance, anxiety, and they may appear fearful.

According to The National Center for Victims of Crime, cyberstalking victims should:

1. Victims under the age of 18 should tell their parents or another trusted adult about any threats.
2. If the stalker is known, send one clear written warning to stop. Under no circumstances communicate with the stalker again.
3. Collect all evidence and document all contact by the stalker, save all electronic communications and make hard-copy documentations.
4. Document how the harassment is affecting their lives and what steps they have taken to stop the behavior.
5. If the stalker continues contact, file a complaint with the stalker’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) and contact their own ISP for any help they can provide.
6. Victims may want to file a report with local law enforcement to see if any charges can be pursued. Save copies of police reports.
7. Consider changing email address, ISP, home phone number.
8. Become educated about steps that can be taken or software that can be used to encrypt or use privacy programs.
9. Contact online directory listings such as www.four11.com, www.switchboard.com, and www.whowhere.com to request removal from their directory.
10. Never agree to meet with the stalker face to face. Meeting a stalker in person can be very dangerous.

Jayne A. Hitchcock is a cyber crime expert who trains law enforcement from the local to federal levels, and assists the US Department of Justice Office (USDJO) for Victims of Crime and National Center for Victims of Crime. She trains advocate groups, conducts seminars, raises awareness of cyber crime and harassment and lectures educators, librarians, parents and students at middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities about the dangers of bullies, predators, stalkers and online social networking sites. She has appeared as an expert in various media, including America’s Most Wanted, PEOPLE magazine, Primetime Thursday with Diane Sawyer, TIME magazine, the Associated Press, The Montel Williams Show, A&E’s Investigative Reports, 48 Hours, Ladies Home Journal, Campus Security Reports, Inside Edition, Good Morning America and CNN. Her latest book, Net Crimes & Misdemeanors 2nd edition (netcrimes.net), highlights online crimes, how to be safer online and what to do if you are victimized. Video Professor recently released a 3-CD tutorial based on the book.

To schedule an interview with Hitchcock contact her at whoa@haltabuse.org. To learn more about WHOA, the oldest and largest all-volunteer online safety organization that has been continuously helping adult victims of cyber stalking since 1997, and Kids/Teens since 2005, or if you know someone who needs help, please visit www.haltabuse.org and www.haltabusektd.org

Monday, January 12, 2009

WHOA Newsletter - January 12, 2009

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Stupid, stupid, stupid

Police say masked man waited in line to rob bank
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090110/ap_on_fe_st/odd_masked_robber;_ylt=AvWMAmpZo5gDf2iMwbf7Qe3tiBIF

A man may have tipped his intentions when he stood in line at an Ohio bank wearing a ski mask before staging a holdup. Police in Stow near Akron say 24-year-old Feliks Goldshtein of Highland Heights was arrested minutes later on Thursday following a brief car chase.

Police say the teller asked the man to take off the mask before being served. At that point the man displayed what turned out to be a toy gun and told the teller to give him all the money. He made off with an undisclosed amount.

Police Captain Rick Myers says it's unusual for a masked robber to wait in line at a bank.

Goldshtein was held at the Summit County Jail Friday on charges of aggravated robbery and failure to comply with a police order. Municipal Court records don't identify an attorney for Goldshtein.

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Visit WHOA on the web at http://www.haltabuse.org

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
NEWS TO USE AND PASS ALONG!

(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

Cyberstalking arrest in New Iberia case - 01/11/09
http://www.iberianet.com/articles/2009/01/11/news/doc49696eac52e45461452003.txt
A Lafayette woman was arrested Wednesday for cyberstalking after she reportedly sent threatening e-mails to a New Iberia woman dating her estranged husband, according to police records.

Stalking a real threat, real problem - 01/10/09
http://www.norwichbulletin.com/lifestyles/health/x2094359391/Stalking-a-real-threat-real-problem
Stalking is real. It can happen to anyone. It is dangerous and it is a crime.
Every year, more than 1 million women and nearly 400,000 men in the United States are victims of stalking. It may begin in a very simple way, but can escalate to an extremely dangerous situation.

CyberPatrol Announces Free Scanner, ChatGuard Enhancement - 01/09/09
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/zd/20090109/tc_zd/235846
At CES on Friday, CyberPatrol announced Threat Detector, a new free online assessment tool that will help parents check for any problems with their children's surfing habits. CyberPatrol also announced that the IM ChatGuard feature of its flagship CyberPatrol Parental Controls product has been enhanced to specifically guard against cyberbullying.

Thieving hackers' eBay con - 01/09/09
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2112403.ece
THIEVES have been hacking into eBay accounts to buy items using other people’s credit card details, it emerged yesterday.
And because the crooks brazenly turn up and collect the goods in person the seller is not covered by the PayPal fraud guarantee.

Hackers Deface NATO, US Army Web Sites (PC World) - 01/09/09
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090109/tc_pcworld/hackersdefacenatousarmywebsites
Hackers have taken down two high-profile targets as they continue their ongoing Web attacks in support of Palestine, defacing Web sites run by the U.S. Army and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Girls suspended for teacher jibes - 01/09/09
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/7821358.stm
Dozens of girls were suspended from a C of E school for setting up a defamatory Facebook site about a teacher.

Student is charged with threatening violent act - 01/09/09
http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_11411857?source=most_viewed
A Lamar University doctoral student has been indicted for allegedly sending an e-mail threat to disrupt the school's commencement ceremony last month, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

Experts warn users to read website terms carefully before clicking ‘Accept’ - 01/09/09
http://www.portagedailygraphic.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1381384
It’s become a routine of signing up for e-mail, online dating services or social networking websites: casually clicking ‘‘Accept’’ below several pages of dense legalese that none of us ever read.

Web site critical of Lorain County home builder wins court battle - 01/09/09
http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2009/01/web_site_critical_of_lorain_co.html
Web sites are a great way to spread the word about a business.
As for spreading the bad word about one? That can have mixed results.
A Web site dedicated to criticizing a Lorain County home builder won a court battle last month to stay on the Internet. Just as significantly, the owner maintained his ability to run the Web site anonymously.

Web Designers Admit to Trashing Client's Web Site - 01/08/09
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090108/tc_pcworld/webdesignersadmittotrashingclientswebsite
Executives from a Seattle-area consulting company are facing prison time after pleading guilty to charges that they wiped a client's Web site off the Internet following a contract dispute.

The Five Most Dangerous Security Myths - 01/08/09
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090105/tc_pcworld/thefivemostdangeroussecuritymyths
Still think that today's computer viruses and other malware come from some maladjusted teen out to vandalize your PC to make a name for himself? Think again. The persistent myth is a holdover from days long gone, and it's important to dispel it if you want to know what you're up against - and how to protect yourself.

Man Pleads Guilty to Cyberstalking from Fort - 01/08/09
http://www.kansascity.com/115/story/970103.html
As Shawn D. Memarian remembered it Wednesday, his relationship with a woman he met online in 2006 “ended in a sour way.”
Classic understatement.

Meeting minutes say Troiano admitted to viewing porn on town laptop - 01/08/09
http://www.wickedlocal.com/hopkinton/news/x512376503/Meeting-minutes-say-Troiano-admitted-to-viewing-porn-on-town-laptop
Closed-door meeting minutes released by selectmen Tuesday night show that former Town Manager Anthony Troiano resigned after a hostile work environment inquiry and an admission that he viewed porn on a town laptop.

Mafia bosses prove a hit on Facebook - 01/08/09
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/4175660/Mafia-bosses-prove-a-hit-on-Facebook.html
Mafia investigators have accused Facebook of giving support to convicted Italian mobsters by allowing them to maintain profiles from their cells.

Thailand blocks thousands of websites for 'insulting' king - 01/07/09
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/thailand/4140425/Thailand-blocks-thousands-of-websites-for-insulting-king.html
The Thai government has blocked 2,300 websites deemed insulting to the country's monarchy and is planning to block 400 more.

Social Networks Link Terrorists - 01/07/09
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090107/tc_pcworld/socialnetworkslinkterrorists
A new breed of terrorists are using online forums to recruit people who align themselves with the mission of Al Qaeda, creating global networks of would-be terrorists who pose a growing threat, a senior cyberterrorist researcher warned this week.

Sex, drugs and surfing: Teens reveal a lot online - 01/06/09
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Features/2009/01/06/7938461-ap.html
Many teenagers cleaned up their MySpace profiles, deleting mentions of sex and booze and boosting privacy settings, if they got a single cautionary email from a busybody named “Dr. Meg.”

Cyber-bullying a nightmare - 01/06/09
http://www.bclocalnews.com/surrey_area/peacearchnews/lifestyles/37155984.html
The dictionary describes a “predator” as one who victimizes, plunders, or destroys.
Predators are an unfortunate part of today’s society. Driven by a multitude of motives, these dangerous individuals leave a long trail of grief for their victims and their families.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Things that stick in my craw. . .

Companies who don't honor their warranty. I bought a Cub Cadet shredder/chipper in September. Chris was cleaning up the yard and an acorn went the wrong way and the impeller shattered, damaging the engine. This was in November before it started snowing. So we finally got around to taking it to Home Depot for warranty work (it has a 3 year warranty) last week. Cub Cadet calls today and says because a "foreign object" hit the impeller, it wasn't covered and would cost $600 to repair. Mind you, new it cost me $499. Hello? I told the warranty person it was an acorn (maybe two or three). She said acorns were foreign objects. Chris got upset and pulled out the manual and right on the front it says to put the settings on low to pick up ACORNS. So he called her back and she said it was a foreign object and refused to budge. We'll never buy a Cub Cadet product ever again.

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People who pass me on the right on the highway (or on the shoulder on a two lane road). If I'm in the middle lane on a three lane highway and the speed limit is 65 and I'm going between 70-74 and you feel I'm not going fast enough and there is no one on either side of me, do NOT pass me on the right. It's not only annoying as hell, but it's dangerous, because I may decide to pull over because you're riding my bumper.

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People who have three items and are behind me in the 14 items or less lane when I have five items and have the gall to ask me to let them go in front of me. NO. If I had 14 items, *maybe* I'd let you squeeze in front of me. But when you and I have almost the same amount of items, just cool your jets and wait your turn (while I hope beyond hope a price check is in the cards for me, just to piss off this wanker).

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So-called dogooders who freak out at me because I left my dog in the car for 10 minutes while I ran into the store to to get a few things. This is not in the middle of a hot summer day or a really frigid one, but a regular day when it was in the mid to late 30s. My dog is a Siberian Husky that I rescued. They are bred to be sled dogs in Alaska (and elsewhere where it's very cold) and being curled up on the front seat of my car is like heaven compared to how some of those sled dogs live. If you're so concerned about "abused" animals, then volunteer at your local animal shelter.

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Creditors who demand full payment on a balance two weeks before Christmas. This happened to me. I explained I'd been out of work since the summer (except for one job that I'm *still* waiting for a check for) and that I was barely making my mortgage and car payments. This doctor wanted $1970 *right now.* He didn't give a crap about my situation. And he obviously doesn't watch the news about how the economy has been going down the tubes, people are out of work, etc. I told him I couldn't afford it and could pay him $25 a month until I got caught up when I began working again. No way, Jose. He had his wife (who is his accountant) call and offer me a "generous" 30% off so that I'd "only" have to pay $1379 dollars. This was the week before Christmas. I talked it over with Chris and we scraped together enough for $1,000 - meaning no Christmas for the two of us. I called her and told her it was all I could afford and she said as long as the payment was received by December 29th, that would work. So I sent the money out. And seriously, we didn't give each other a darned thing because we couldn't afford it. No tree, no big Christmas dinner, nada. Then our gas oven stopped working the day before Christmas and that cost us $250 to get fixed. So Merry Fu--ing Christmas to you, Doctor. Hope you had a lovely one. And I hope karma bites you in the butt soon.

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People who go to my organization's web site, WHOA, and have no trouble going through several pages on the site to find the comment form or newsletter submission form to ask for help, but seem to have trouble seeing the HUGE RED words "NEED HELP?" on the main page which takes them to the questionnaire to fill out so that they'll get the help they need.

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Or the people who go to our site and email me demanding me to telephone them. We don't do phone calls. If we did, a phone number would be listed on the web site for this purpose. Why don't we do phone calls? For legal reasons - if a victim comes to us for help and all communication is via email and the victim then needs to go to court, they can prove what we did to help them. A phone call is hearsay and not admissable. Then there are the morons who actually find a number on our site, but it *very* specifically states that the number is for media requests ONLY and NOT for victims. But I still get voicemail messages from victims begging me to call them. Why can't people follow instructions?

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That's all for this time. . .

Monday, January 05, 2009

WHOA Newsletter - January 5, 2009

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Job interviews next?

No shoes? No problem for this college interview
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20081231/ap_on_hi_te/online_college_interviews

RALEIGH, N.C. - For her college interview, Avery Cullinan put on her best outfit but didn't bother with shoes. She sat in her living room, smiled into her computer's webcam and told an admissions officer more than 800 miles away that Wake Forest University was right for her.

"It's hard to part with money for a half-hour interview," said Cullinan, who avoided a costly trip from her home in Newburyport, Mass., thanks to the pilot program at Wake Forest. She was later accepted to the Winston-Salem, N.C., school.

The online interview was part of a push that started in May at the university. Admissions director Martha Allman said she eventually wants to give each applicant ­ more than 9,000 of them each year ­ a more individualized review before inviting them to Winston-Salem as part of the school's 1,200-student freshmen class.

(read the rest at the link)

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Visit WHOA on the web at http://www.haltabuse.org

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NEWS TO USE AND PASS ALONG!

(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

Email threats of attacks sent to Infosys and Wipro - 01/05/09
http://www.cio.co.uk/concern/resources/news/index.cfm?articleid=3420&pagtype=allchandate
IT companies in Bangalore, including Infosys Technologies and Wipro, received an email last week threatening to blow up their facilities, according to police officials. The email was addressed to six companies in Bangalore, said the Bangalore Joint Commissioner of Police, Gopal B. Hosur, on Monday. The mail was sent from a location in Bangalore, and police are working on tracking the sender, he said.

Phishing Scam Targets Twitter - 01/05/09
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2337833,00.asp
Micro-blogging site Twitter was the victim of a phishing scam over the weekend that took control of users' direct messaging capabilities.
Scammers have been taking control of users' accounts and sending direct messages to their followers. These messages include links to what looks like the Twitter sign-in page, but is actually a phishing site that will steal account information once a user has signed in, then add the user to the list of accounts being used to extend the phishing scheme.

Cyberstalking case linked to state law from 1990 - 01/04/09
http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2009/jan/04/cyberstalking-case-linked-to-state-law-from-1990/
A federal jury in Los Angeles recently largely rejected a landmark, cutting edge cyberbullying prosecution against a woman charged in the suicide of a teenager she had tormented online through the social networking Web site MySpace.

Police set to step up hacking of home PCs - 01/04/09
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article5439604.ece
THE Home Office has quietly adopted a new plan to allow police across Britain routinely to hack into people’s personal computers without a warrant. The move, which follows a decision by the European Union’s council of ministers in Brussels, has angered civil liberties groups and opposition MPs. They described it as a sinister extension of the surveillance state which drives “a coach and horses” through privacy laws.

U.S. Chess Federation Seeks to Oust 2 Board Members - 01/03/09
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/crosswords/chess/04fight.html
Chess may be genteel, but a rift among the board members of the United States Chess Federation, the game’s governing body, has led to a series of lawsuits that has all the bad blood of a professional wrestling rivalry. The cases involve sexually explicit Web postings, accusations of stolen e-mail messages and allegations of harassment and slander.

Fake Facebook profile angers Guyana president - 01/02/09
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/02/facebook-guyana-president-bharrat-jagdeo
There are hundreds of George Bushes, scores of Fidel Castros, and dozens of Hugo Chávezes, all with prank profiles on the social networking website Facebook, but when someone tried to pass him or herself off as the president of Guyana the real president didn't see the funny side.

Sex Offenders in Georgia Stripped of Privacy, Must Hand Over Passwords - 01/01/09
http://www.dailytech.com/Sex+Offenders+in+Georgia+Stripped+of+Privacy+Must+Hand+Over+Passwords/article13832.htm
Privacy advocates concerned about a strict new law in Georgia which removes sex offender's online privacy The latest scuffle over online privacy is brewing up in Georgia. An aggressive new law is set to take effect today which will force sex offenders to hand over their internet passwords, screen names, and e-mail addresses to the government for monitoring purposes. Several other states also have efforts that track sex offender's email and screen names. However, Georgia, which has 16,000 registered offenders, will be the first state to demand the sex offenders’ passwords as well.

Terrorists launder cash through online gambling - 01/01/09
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/technology/4060727/Terrorists-launder-cash-through-on-line-gambling.html
Islamic terrorist networks are using online gambling websites to launder money for attacks, security analysts have disclosed.

The Washington Post: In several states, a push to stem cyber-bullying - 01/01/09
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/430371
In California, a hateful Internet campaign followed sixth-grader Olivia Gardner through three schools. In Vermont, a humiliated Ryan Halligan, 13, took his own life after being encouraged to do so by one of his middle school peers. And in perhaps the most notorious case, Lori Drew, 49, was recently convicted on misdemeanor charges for posing as a teenage boy on MySpace to woo and then reject 13-year-old Megan Meier of Missouri, who later hanged herself in her closet.

13 Accused Of Violating City Computer Policies - 12/31/08
http://www.wpbf.com/news/18389177/detail.html
Four West Palm Beach city employees were fired and nine others resigned this week after an investigation revealed they used city computers for sexual content or religious slurs, officials said.

British missionary couple sentenced to one year's hard labour for 'criticising' Gambian government - 12/31/08
http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1103029/British-missionary-couple-sentenced-years-hard-labour-criticising-Gambian-government.html
Two British missionaries were yesterday sentenced to a year's hard labour in the Gambia after they wrote emails critical of the country's president.
David and Fiona Fulton admitted sending round-robin emails to friends and organisations which authorities in the West African country deemed to be seditious.

Facebook godfather groups spark mafia victims' ire - 12/31/08
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/cnet/20090101/tc_cnet/8301102331013010693
Facebook has sprouted pages that pay tribute to notorious mafia bosses, and relatives of mafia victims are none too happy about that fact, according to the U.K. publication Times Online.

Researchers Show 'Secure' Sites May Not Be Safe - 121/30/08
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/nf/20081230/tc_nf/63795
The small image of a padlock in the corner of your browser may not accurately indicate that a Web-site connection is secure, according to new research. A team of U.S. and European researchers used a computing grid of more than 200 Sony PlayStation 3 video-game machines to create fake certificates and fool a browser into thinking it had a secure connection with a trusted site.

Teens jailed after Facebook feud sparks youth club shooting - 12/30/08
http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/news/article-1103206/Teens-jailed-Facebook-feud-sparks-youth-club-shooting.html
A feud between two women on Facebook culminated in a shooting outside a youth club, a court heard. Sasha Radford, who is now 20 but was 19 at the time of the shooting, had been abusing a 22-year-old woman - who has not been named - on the social networking site Facebook.