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ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of www.IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.


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Karate Woman breaks Assailant’s Nose

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“I had my earphones in and didn’t know he was there until he threw me to the ground,” says Taela Davis, 25, of Australia in a heraldsun.com article.

1SDBig Mistake: Wearing earbuds while walking about in public. Even if you’re a big bruiser MMA fighter, you should not compromise your ability to hear what’s going on around you. You may miss the sounds of a woman or child screaming (and you, being the good Samaritan you are, would definitely want to help out).

But even if you wouldn’t help out, there are other things that compromised hearing could get you in big trouble for: the sound of car wheels screeching as the car comes careening towards you, thanks to a texting or drunken driver losing control.

Keep your ears clear so you can hear!

Back to Taela: The man forced her on her back and began pulling at her clothes. She checked for signs of a weapon and saw none, then kneed him in the ribs and punched his face, believing she’d broken his nose. Taela has a black belt in karate. Oddly, the punch didn’t stop the man, whom she believes was on drugs, but blood was “running down his face.”

She tried to flee but he caught her ankle and yanked her back to the ground. At that point she was about to “beat the crap” out of him when a stranger stepped in and scared the man off (aw shucks! I wanted her to “beat the crap” out of him!).

Though the stranger scared off the man, kudos to Taela for maintaining wit and presence of mind, things she learned in her karate lessons where she had to break free of simulated attacks. Instead of screaming and scratching, Taela calculated and began striking.

  • Though screaming has been known to send assailants running, often it only pisses them off and they cover the victim’s mouth or punch her hard there.
  • Learn to fight back rather than scream. Rapists expect women to scream and often are prepared to muffle the noise. They don’t expect to get a broken nose, kneecap or be put in a chokehold, and hence are not prepared for these reactions.
  • Martial arts training teaches not only how to deliver effective strikes and moves, but teaches presence of mind.

Robert Siciliano CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

Filed Under: security

Rapist runs off when Victim bites Him in Neck

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Whoever said that fighting back at a rapist will probably create more problems for the victim might want to rethink this idea. How disabling can a bite to the rapist’s neck be when the biter is a human?

10DI mean, we’re not talking about a dog biting the man. When it comes to biting, humans are pathetic when compared to other animals. Yet a human bite was scary enough to frighten off the man who was sexually assaulting the woman who bit him on the neck, says an article at thedenverchannel.com.

The incident occurred at 1 a.m. in Eagle County after the victim left a party and was walking home. During the struggle, the woman managed to plant a good bite on the attacker’s neck, sending him running.

Points to Reflect Upon

  • Never walk home alone late at night (or anywhere). See if someone at the party will accompany you—someone you know.
  • Or, prior to going to a party, arrange a ride home.
  • If nobody is available to drive you home, call a cab; get the number of a cab company ahead of time and make sure they are operating at the time you think you’ll be leaving the party.
  • Never take your eyes off your drink at a party. You just never know whether or not someone will slip the “date rape” drug in there.
  • If you foresee you’ll be walking home alone, don’t get drunk. And bring with you pepper spray. Hold your keys between your fingers.
  • If you’re being attacked, there are many things you can do to escape. The man in this case had earrings. Pulling down on one, let alone two, will surely send an assailant packing. And I don’t mean tugging, but with enough force to rip the earring through his ear, tearing the ear. It’s extremely likely he’ll release you and holler in pain, hand to his torn earlobe. And that’s your escape window.
  • Sign up for martial arts lessons.

Robert Siciliano CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

Filed Under: security

Woman slams Staple Gun into Intruder’s Head

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If you’re ever confronted by an assailant in your garage, you may have any number of highly effective weapons within your reach. A woman in Indianapolis identified as Carol found that out soon enough when she arrived home in February of 2016.

1SDA man was waiting in her garage. The 52-year-old questioned what the man wanted. He said he had a gun and demanded her purse.

She replied he could have the purse and it was in her car. Then he lunged at and grabbed her—pinning her against a toolbox (big mistake!).

“So I grabbed a staple gun and smacked him on the side of the head,” the story at fox6now.com quotes Carol. “He went down to his knees.”

The man must have been pretty hard-headed because the blow didn’t keep him from charging her a second time. However, Carol grabbed two staple guns and told him, “I will crush your skill in if you touch me again.”

The bleeding man left.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Preventing an intrusion is the first thing. How did this man get in the garage? The story doesn’t describe the type of garage, but perhaps he simply lifted the door open. But it’s also possible he got into the house from a back door or window, then made his way to the garage and waited.
  • All possible entries to your house should be as intrusion-proof as possible.
  • If you find yourself being pinned by an assailant, keep level headed and make a fast assessment of what’s within reach that could be a weapon—then slam it into your assailant’s head.
  • Unlike what you’ve probably seen on TV hundreds of times, all it takes is one good slam to disable the assailant enough for you to make your escape. The side of an angry man’s head is fragile simply due to the fact that it’s the side of a human head.
  • Even striking with an office stapler can daze an assailant.

Do not hesitate to deliver a second blow if he comes at you after the first blow.

Robert Siciliano CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

Filed Under: security

9-Year-Old Kidnap Victim convinces Abductor to Release Her

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Jeannette Tamayo was nine when she was abducted in June 2003, and exhibited a presence of mind that few adults would have in a similar circumstance.

10DHome from school, Jeannette entered her house, unaware that a man had been following her; he entered too, and that’s when the nightmare began. Soon after, her mother and brother arrived but were promptly beaten up by the man, and he then handcuffed the girl and crammed her inside a box inside his car.

The man took her to the second story of a house where he raped her for a few days and threatened to kill her. As a story on abcnews.go.com reports, Jeannette realized that her only chance of survival was to gain the man’s trust.

Predators see their victims as objects more than as human beings. Instead of constantly screaming and crying, Jeannette communicated with thoughtful words and kept her cool. To her abductor, she wasn’t some shrieking, pleading object. She was a person who started conversation. This approach is highly tactical and is considered a life saver in many abduction and hostage cases.

The young girl said she treated the man like a “normal” person. Soon after that decision, he took off her handcuffs, even allowing her to roam the house. The girl was too infuriated to let Stockholm syndrome poison her, but she continued keeping collected, even sharing with him her plans for the future.

While watching TV Jeannette saw something about asthma tests. She told the man she had asthma and would die without her medication. Next thing she knew, he drove her to a street corner and dropped her off.

However, Jeannette had made a point during the ride to his house to imprint the directions. She relayed them to the police and they arrested him.

Who knows, this could have ended up a Michelle Knight or Jaycee Dugard type situation. Instead of being blindly compliant, this little girl was strategic. Had she been nothing more than a crying, shrieking object, it’s easy to believe that her captor, David Montiel Cruz, who was sentenced to 100-plus years, would have killed her or kept her hostage for years.

Robert Siciliano CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

Filed Under: security

Faulty Tire Repair could break your Neck

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Roy Chattelle was on a road trip in 2008 and suffered what seemed like a minor tire leak. So he got the tire repaired. Many people think nothing of pulling into the nearest tire shop and getting that little puncture or tear repaired or “plugged.”

7HA few months after this routine repair, the tire blew, causing the vehicle to flip five times. Chattelle and his kids recovered from their injuries, but wife Gwen had a very different outcome: She was rendered permanently paralyzed from the neck down.

An investigation into what caused this tire to blow out revealed that the tire shop was negligent: faulty repair and installation, leading to a thread belt separation. The Chattelles were awarded over $13 million.

According to an article at boston.cbslocal.com, many tire shops repair leaks from the outside of the tire. Glen Wilder of Wilder Brothers Auto is quoted as follows: “They just jam rubber into it until it stops leaking.”

When you take your slowly leaking tire, or tire that has a little nail in it, to the tire shop, do you really know what the employee there will do to ensure that the repair means a perfectly safe tire to drive on?

Wilder explains that the inside of the tire needs to be inspected. Sometimes tire shops won’t do this, upping the risk of a blowout. Repairs should be made with a plug-patch and also with a rubber sealant—and not all tire shops follow this recommendation, which comes from tire manufacturers.

Not only that, but there is no law making it illegal for tire shops to deliver substandard tire repairs. It’s legal to perform a shoddy repair using superglue, for instance.

In fact, bad tire repairs are common, says an article at newyork.cbslocal.com. “This is a dirty little secret,” says Robert Sinclair, AAA spokesman. Anything goes, he says, because there’s just no law that requires a minimum standard of tire repair. He points out that some tires are repaired with spit and tape, sawdust or “whatever is laying around.”

A punctured tire should be removed from the rim and inspected. Al Eisenberg, a tire repair expert for 30 years in Long Island, notes that shoddy repairs are a ticking time bomb. “It’s not a matter of if, but when that tire will blow.”

So what should you do?

Just buy a new tire. Forget worrying about whether or not the punctured or gashed tire was repaired effectively. If your circumstances leave you with no choice but to have the new tire installed at a shop other than the one at your vehicle’s dealership, then as soon as possible after the repair, take your vehicle into its dealership to have the new tire installation inspected to make sure it was done properly.

Robert Siciliano CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

Filed Under: healthcare Personal Security

Step by step how to reinforce Door Locks

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Don’t let the idea of reinforcing your house’s doors intimidate you. Here is step by step instruction on installing new stronger locks.

2HYour House’s Door Parts Inventory

  • Any door without a deadbolt gets a deadbolt, which should be a grade 1 or 2.
  • Are the screws of any existing deadbolts tight?
  • If you open the door and turn the knob, the deadbolt’s throw-bolt will pop out the side of the door. It should be at least one inch and appear secure.
  • The screws in the strike plates and deadbolts should be at least three inches.

Deadbolt Replacement

  • Chances are, your inferior deadbolt is held by four screws total.
  • Take the measurement of the distance between the center of the cylinder hole and the edge of the door. Write these down; you’ll need them for your new deadbolt.
  • Notate the horizontal and vertical center of the new hole.
  • Now drill, and slowly. Then test out the deadbolt. You may have to make refinements to the hole if the deadbolt doesn’t fit perfectly.
  • Before attaching the deadbolt, see if the attached throw-bolt strike plate has a flush fit.
  • Do not use a power drill to put in the screws, as this could strip the wood.

Lockset Strike Plate Replacement

  • Your new strike plate should be attached with three inch screws.
  • If the hole, through which you’re driving the screws, is too small, you’ll need to drill it out for a good fit.
  • The screws should be slightly angled to catch the framing.

Deadbolt Strike Plate Replacement

  • Your new deadbolt, upon purchase, will come with a strike plate. A very sturdy strike plate requires four screws.
  • Mark the old deadbolt strike plate’s center.
  • The new faceplate will be temporarily put in so that you can mark its position.
  • After taking out the plate, make sure that the holes through which you’ll be drilling screws will fit the screws. You may need to make adjustments to enlarge the holes.
  • Using a wood chisel, remove the wood so that the faceplate and strike box fit.
  • You’re now ready to mount the plate and box, using four screws of three inch length.

Installing strong locks is just one step in the process. However, I must say this: Kicking in a typical house door is a lot easier than reinforcing your door to make it kick-in-proof. A burglar needn’t be a karate expert or soccer player to kick open a locked door that’s inadequately secured.  Watch this video “Anti-Kick door reinforcement” on how to secure your doors with door jam reinforcement technology.

Robert Siciliano is a home and personal security expert to DoorDevil.com. Disclosures.

Filed Under: home security home security tips

World’s dumbest Rapist: Tells Victim to call Boyfriend

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What’s sicker than raping a woman? Ordering her to phone her boyfriend so he could listen to the rape. But that was a good thing for a woman who was kidnapped last year. Her abductor drove her to the parking lot of an adult entertainment store in Georgia with the intent of raping her, reports WSB-TV.

1SDBut the abductor, Robert Giles, first ordered her to call her boyfriend so he could listen in. Smart move, dude: The victim called 911 instead. However, she pretended the man on the other end of the call was her boyfriend.

The victim explained the circumstance to her “boyfriend,” who quickly realized what was actually happening. And the 911 operator, Deonte Smith, went along with it, posing as her boyfriend, all the while gathering data to locate Giles.

Soon, the police nabbed Giles on the spot.

What can we learn about this event?

  • If you’re abducted, keep your cool and think hard. Do not be afraid to be strategic.
  • Of course, you want to prevent ending up in such a situation in the first place. A man doesn’t just randomly abduct a woman. He observes them first, to see who seems like they’d put up the least resistance.
  • If you are ever abducted, holler as loud as you can, “Fire! Fire!” People are more likely to come bolting out of the woodwork to help out when they hear “Fire!” rather than hearing just screaming. Even if you yell “Rape!” there’s bound to be a few listeners who will think this is a prank. Yelling “Fire!” is not associated with pranks.
  • If you notice a man following you, throw a curve ball. Predators are easily stunned by curve balls and paralyzed with confusion and trepidation. For example, if he sees you spit on the ground as he’s walking behind you, this will likely make him hesitant to grab you.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings. Never text while walking in public! Take out the earbuds and keep your ears on high alert.
  • Sign up for martial arts/self-defense lessons. Yes, they really work when taught by a highly qualified instructor.

Robert Siciliano CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft preventionvideo.

Filed Under: security security issues sex offender

What is the Signaling System No. 7 Network?

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The iPhone has a vulnerability called the Signaling System 7 (SS7) that allows crooks to hack into the device.

4WThis was demonstrated on a recent “60 Minutes” episode in which a U.S. congressman (with his permission) had his iPhone hacked by German cybersecurity experts. The white-hat hackers got his phone number and eavesdropped on the conversation.

Penetration of the flawed SS7 makes it possible to listen in on conversations, intercept texts and track the victim’s movements. The congressman subsequently called for an investigation into the vulnerability.

The vulnerability was initially unearthed in 2014 at a German hacking conference. This SS7 flaw is not just a U.S. phone carrier problem, either. Mobile device carriers around the world are affected by this as well. A global attack on this vulnerability is very much warranted.

The criminals who carry out these attacks have a strong preference for targets who are not the regular Joe or Jane, but people of political significance or who represent major organizations.

So regardless of how “important” you are, what can you do?

  • Your mobile device should be fully equipped with security software.
  • Make sure that this software is always updated. Do not ignore update alerts.
  • You should not rely on just a single layer of security, no matter how strong.
  • Also keep in mind that skilled hackers can figure out ways to circumvent a layer of security. The more layers that your iPhone has, the less likely a crook will be able to penetrate it.
  • Load up on the layers of protection, which include a passcode and biometrics such as a fingerprint scanner. Go for depth.

Robert Siciliano CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

Filed Under: online safety online security

Mobile SIMs Hacks Cause Concern

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A crook can steal your identity by taking control of your wireless phone account—by pretending to be you in person at the mobile store. The villain can then buy pricey mobiles and sell them—and guess who gets the bill but not the profit.

4DSymptoms of Hijacked Account

  • Suddenly losing service
  • Your carrier says you went to a store, upgraded a few phones, then shut down your old device.
  • Or, the rep will straight-out ask if the problem is with your new iPhone—even though you never purchased one.
  • You were never at the store and never authorized any account changes.

If this happens to you, says an article at nbc-2.com, you’ll need to visit the carrier’s local store, show your ID and get new SIM cards. The carrier absorbs the costs of the stolen new phones.

But it’s not as simple as it sounds. What if in the interim, you need to use your phone—like during an emergency or while conducting business? Or your phone goes dead just as your teen calls and says she’s in trouble?

The thief, with a fake ID, waltzes into a store that does not have tight owner-verification protocols, and gets away with changing the victim’s account and buying expensive phones.

The nbc-2.com report says that this crime is on the increase and is affecting all four of the major mobile carriers: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint.

Here’s another thing to consider: The thief may keep the new phone, which still has your number, to gain access to your online accounts via the two-factor authentication process—which works by sending a one-time numerical text or voice message to the accountholder’s phone.

The thief, who already has your online account’s password, will receive this code and be able to log into the account. So as innocuous as stolen phones may seem, this can be a gateway to cleaning out your bank account. The thief can also go on a shopping spree with mobile phone based shopping.

We’re all anxiously waiting for mobile carriers to upgrade their store security so that people just can’t strut in and get away with pretending to be an accountholder. Biometrics come to mind. Photo IDs are worthless.

In the meantime, accountholders can create a PIN or password that’s required prior to changing anything on the account.

Robert Siciliano CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

Filed Under: hackers mobile phone security passwords

How to digitally detox on Vacation

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Many years ago when you were on vacation, before Facebook, Instagram and Twitter were invented (assuming you were an adult then), you had a great time, right? You weren’t “connected,” because there was no social media to be connected with.

2DIf today you can’t imagine being disconnected from social media while on vacation, ask yourself how this can be, if years ago, you never missed what had not yet been invented.

And what about constantly checking e-mail while on vacation? Or constantly perusing various websites with your mobile while at the beach?

Intel did a recent study:

  • 55% of Americans can’t disconnect while vacationing.
  • Two-thirds actually wanted to disconnect (detox), but less than half actually did so.
  • But when they did disconnect, 88% reported feeling okay about it and connecting better with travel mates.

Motivation to Detox

  • Know that cybercrooks are banking that vacationers do not disconnect.
  • Vacationers are especially vulnerable when they use public Wi-Fi, as cyberthieves can “snoop” on login entries and steal login information (such as to your bank, or get your credit card number when you online shop at the coffee house).
  • Can’t stay away from your e-mail when vacationing? Cybercrooks can gain access here, too.
  • Though installation of a virtual private network will prevent cyber snooping, it won’t prevent shoulder surfing, or thieves using high powered cameras to capture what you’re doing across the coffee house.
  • Of course, your devices should have security software that’s always updated.
  • Your devices should be password-protected as well.
  • Before embarking on your vacation (and not a few days before, but a few weeks before), practice disconnecting for 24 hours. If you must check your e-mail daily for business purposes, at least practice disconnecting from social media for 24, even 48 hours. Can you do it?
  • Can you stay off your mobile device while waiting at the dentist’s office or at the motor vehicle agency?
  • These “home” practice sessions can help you overcome withdrawal symptoms of not checking Twitter, Facebook or e-mail every 10 minutes.

Robert Siciliano CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

Filed Under: online security
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