Mindset Monday: Bad Tech & Hard Times
More and more, bad tech and hard times seem to be going hand in hand. In recent weeks, cybersecurity has been headlined in the news. Hackers, especially Russian hackers, have become a concern for America’s critical infrastructure. Our banking system, our electrical grid, our water system… we are a vulnerable country. The government has issued warnings and encouraged businesses to concentrate their efforts on securing their systems. But what can we do ourselves to prepare?
Does My Choice of Browser Matter?
Last week Google announced on their official Chrome Blog that they were hit by another 2022 zero-day hack. This form of attack is the most dangerous because the vulnerability is known to the hackers before Google can issue a fix for it. This attack exists “in the wild” so every Chrome user is vulnerable. This serves as a reminder to always download the security patches when they become available.
Consider using Brave as an alternative browser. It can be downloaded at Brave.com. Brave is privacy-focused, free, and does a lot of the things that Google Chrome can do because it’s based on open-source programming. Open-source simply means that anyone can go in and inspect the programming.
Brave has their own search engine. Where Google is driven by ads and trackers, Brave is not. Try searching for something on both and compare the recommendations you get. They will be different.
In an article on MakeUseOf.com, they list 10 reasons why the Brave browser is becoming so popular.
- Allows us to move away from Google tech companies
- Respects privacy
- Faster browsing experience
- Open-source information and programming
- They are against censorship
- Blocks trackers for web surfing habits
- Offers a rewards program that allows users to collect crypto credits to award to Brave users.
So check out Brave and see why it’s becoming a popular alternative in a world of bad tech.
Is a Drone Really Bad Tech?
The drones we currently see are behind in technology compared to what is actually out there. For example, a switchblade drone has the ability to not only watch you, but can also carry a warhead and deliver it. Check out the article at https://mind4survival.com/how-to-spot-a-drone-at-night/. Brian goes over how to spot a drone, what to do if you find one is watching you, and some of the different types of drones.
Is My Cellphone Safe?
Joe Rogan spoke with Gavin de Becker, owner of his own security firm and author of “The Gift of Fear”, on his podcast episode #1800. They discuss an article published by The Guardian about Jeff Bezos’ phone being hacked by the Saudi crowned prince. Bezos and the crowned prince, Mohammed bin Salman, are acquaintances and have exchanged phone numbers. “MBS” – as the crown prince is known – sent Bezos an encrypted WhatsApp message with a malicious file that infiltrated his phone.
Pegasus2 is spyware designed by an Israeli company that allows the government to get into your phone and gain full control of it. They can do anything on your phone from thousands of miles away that you can do with it in your hand. It doesn’t download immediately when it infects your phone. It simply embeds a small executable file that reaches out to the main program. You don’t need to receive a text or email to allow Pegasus2 into your phone. It is a no-click incursion. All they need to get in is your phone number.
There are 2 types of countries in the world – the original developers of the spyware program and the countries that purchase the spyware. Currently, due to the cost, the government is the only organization able to utilize Pegasus2. However, it’s just a matter of time before others are able to use it or use software like it.
Pegasus2 is extremely well hidden. You may not know it happened and go on for months and months without realizing someone is in your phone.
How can you find out if it’s been installed? It depends on the circumstances. Most of the time you never know. Other times you only find out when your phone information is exposed and investigated. Pegasus2 gains access to your private texts, messages, pictures, browsing history – everything on your phone.
Other Bad Tech Facts and Tips:
- Don’t use What’sApp. It is particularly vulnerable to spyware. Pegasus2 can be put on your phone even if you have deleted the What’sApp software.
- If you think something is sketchy and you don’t want to use your phone anymore, you can’t just turn it off and stick it in a drawer. Pegasus2 is designed to know when your phone isn’t being used anymore. When it does it self-destructs and leaves no trace that it was ever on your phone.
- Don’t click on links in emails or texts. Get the name of the article or video and look it up yourself.
- Be extremely careful when you receive message requests from friends on Facebook. These may contain an embedded link.
- Remember that anything you put on social media platforms will be on them for years or, in some cases, forever.
- Understand that if a government agency wants you from an informational standpoint they are going to get you. There is no way to stop that.
But you can protect yourself by monitoring how you use your phone. Treat your phone as if all the apps on it are compromised. Use the “Signal” app for messaging. Signal uses disappearing messages. It won’t protect you if the government wants you, but it will help with your privacy.
Thinking about how far technology has come in the past 20 years, where will it be in 30 or 40 years? What will that mean for us and for our privacy? This is something we need to wrap our minds around now and find a way to apply it to our lives.
Is Food Rationing on the Horizon?
Lastly on the podcast, Brain shares On April 1, 2022 the Epoch Times published “Doomsday Preppers Warn of Hard Times Ahead as Preparedness Goes Mainstream”. This article warns that we are facing food scarcity, food vouchers, food riots, and flash mobs at the grocery stores. Grocery stores will respond with checkpoints, security, and rationing, particularly of meat products. Rationing will be enforced using something similar to a vaccine passport. We will use a food rationing app.
While a food rationing app may sound a bit far-fetched, Brian does feel that one certainty is that there will be shortages in the stores. We are already experiencing those. As preppers, we have been saying and preparing for this all along. Brian doesn’t recall a time in his lifetime when things have been this bad in so many areas. Although he doesn’t want to promote doom and gloom, this summer and the next 2 years are going to be very hard.
Will Hard Times Improve Anytime Soon?
One of the shows Brian listens to predicts over the next 30 days we will see a 10-15% increase in food pricing. This is due to the fact that everything is more expensive and every time something is touched there is a trickle effect cost that the consumer must pay. Fertilizer and diesel prices have gone up so much that some farmers are not able to plant food. With the situation with Europe and the supply chains, the world’s supply of grain is going to become limited. This will begin around August and will last until the end of the year. How the government reacts will determine if it lasts throughout 2023.
Shortages, disruptions, and price hikes are here to stay and more people are stocking up. Demand for survival food has been on the rise. Ukraine is a big supplier of parts for solar energy. As a result of the invasion, solar power prices are going up and the parts supply has decreased.
Every dollar spent on preps today is exponentially higher than it was 3 years ago. Waiting to prepare only means you will be able to buy less and less with your dollar. There is going to be a wave up people trying to stock up on survival supplies. Hungry people become desperate people. And desperate people become dangerous.
What Can We Do?
Always work to improve. Training and skills are always accessible. Go through scenarios and find ways you can do things better. Keep your eyes and ears open for bad tech, and you can help to make the upcoming hard times a bit easier.
One way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe is by bugging in. In next week’s podcast, Brian will talk about bugging in and how to prepare for it.