Now that it’s been officially announced, I’m excited to invite you to join me for a discussion about “Getting Real Business Results from Your Content Marketing Efforts” at WordCamp Miami!
The event runs March 24-26 (Friday through Sunday) at Florida International University in Miami. The Miami gathering is one of the longest-runningÂ and most well-respected events in the WordCamp series, and it’s an honor to be invited to participate.
Lastyear, the weekend was outstanding, and my lovely wife, Jill, and I are truly looking forward to another spectacular time in South Florida!
Since none of us use cash anymore (except for that one guy in accounting), often your PIN code is the only thing standing between a would-be thief and the piles of treasure you have stashed in your checking account.
Actually, the card plus PIN number is a reasonably good, if simple, implementation of the “something you have” plus “something you know” principle of security. Neither the card nor the PIN number is much good without the other. (We’re ignoring the fact that most debit cards can also be processed as credit cards for the moment.)
Obviously, hanging on to the card itself is a good start, so that covers the “something you have” side of the equation. But sleight of hand, accidental drops, and old-fashioned purse-snatching still happen today.
So that leaves us with the “something you know“Â piece: your PIN.
Why Be Concerned About Infrared PIN Theft?
Being a security-minded person, I’m sure you’re already in the habit of covering your fingers when entering PIN numbers. After all, it takes only a tiny bit of effort, and it prevents cameras and sneaky eyes from catching what you’re entering, right?
But what about heat?
YouÂ did know your fingers transferred heat to those keys, right?
And since heat dissipates at a linear rate, the heat signature reveals not just which keys got pressed, butÂ also theÂ orderÂ in which they were pressed!
But that’s not really a problem, right? After all, who has equipment that can detect heat?
Until recently, the ability to walk up to a PIN pad and detect which buttons hadÂ just been pressed required an expensive (and bulky!) infrared camera that would pick up the heat signature left by your fingers.
But with the advent of relatively inexpensive ($349) iPhone attachments, Â infrared smartphone camera technology is easily within reach of a ne’er-do-well… especially since they might recoup that much or more in just one ATM transaction. But even for one who’s looking for something less expensive (or who uses an Android device instead of anÂ iPhone), there’s this Kickstarter project, or even a tutorial on how to build one with an old floppy disk! (…for the Macgyver types, evidently).
In other words: stealing your PIN even up to 1 minute after you enter it is pretty easy these days.
So What’s the Solution?
It’s pretty simple, really. Just touch your fingers to several buttons and hold them there while you’re entering your PIN.
Heat multiple buttons up, obfuscate the ones you pressed.
Not so sure about all of this? Mark Rober made this video to demonstrate:
Oh yeah… and don’t use PINs that are easy to guess!
I took the family to Tampa’s new Sheraton (Sheraton Tampa East Hotel) this past weekend and was immediately blown away by the beautiful design and decor of this hotel. My first impression was that an artist must have designed this space. The lobby feels huge, bright and inviting; there are unique nuances to the architecture that compel you to stop and just enjoy the view before checking in to your room. There were so many areas for guests to sit privately or in large groups within the lobby and multiple computer stations. This is a great feature for business-minded people staying at the hotel.
Although this particular trip was for pleasure; as an event planner, I never miss an opportunity to scout an entire property to establish which types of events would do well at the location. Most hotels areÂ designedÂ around a certain type of audience and event, so they can’t accommodate anything outside of that target audience – at least not well. Â However, the Sheraton Tampa East has meeting space for every kind of event and the meeting spaces are separated in such a way that multiple events could be taking place simultaneously without interfering with one another. There were board rooms, a grand ballroom, smaller dining areas and a hallway of smaller meeting spaces that would be great for break-out sessions. It is difficult to find spacious pre-function areas for receptions or event registrations anymore because many hotels have chosen to condense those spaces into crowded hallways. I was delighted to see multiple pre-function options thatÂ wouldÂ add class Â and efficiency to any event. If you’re an event planner, contact Judy Hollister at (T-Â 813-246-7120Â Â M -Â 813-957-3380). She took the time to give me a full tour after normal business hours on a Friday – very nice!
The staff gave impeccable service from the registration desk to the extreme cleanliness of our room. They made us feel like welcomed guests. This hotel offers aÂ complimentaryÂ shuttle service to many area restaurants and attractions. We took advantage of this service on our first night and the driver was veryÂ knowledgeableÂ about the local area. He asked about the kind of evening we wanted and made recommendations accordingly. We chose dinner at The Cheesecake Factory at The Westfield Brandon Mall, which was only minutes away from the hotel.
We also enjoyed the lovely pool area, which was very clean and set in a relaxing atmosphere. Just off of the pool deck was the large fitness room, filled with many workout options. Admittedly, I did not work out; but keep in mind, this was a pleasure trip. A couple of other notable features are the well shadedÂ complimentaryÂ parking lot, the computerized reader board for searches of the local area and things happening on-site, the excellent food served in their upscale Panfilio’s Bar and Grille restaurantÂ and one of my favorites: a 100% non-smoking facility policy.
It may seem like I have gushed a bit too much here, but I am not usually impressed by a hotel and the Sheraton Tampa East Hotel was a first class experience. I would highly recommend that you book a room and check it out for yourself. Then feel free to let me know if I am way off base or, as usual, spot on with my assessment.