How Safe Are Online Job Searches From Identity Theft?

Social Security numbers are like shims in the hands of identity thieves—along with names and home addresses, they’re part of the “Holy Trinity” of information used by identity thieves to plunder credit card accounts. Names and addresses are simple to find, so Social Security number privacy is the last bastion of consumer fraud protection.

If you want to be an identity thief, masquerading as an employer is not a bad way to get this kind of identifying information.”  --Latanya Sweeney

Back in 2001, before large-scale reporting of high-profile government and corporate security breaches made “Identity Theft” a media buzzword, Carnegie Mellon computer science instructor Latanya Sweeney presented graduate students enrolled in her privacy technology course a simple challenge: figure out where thieves might find Social Security numbers. Universities had long posted them to distribute grades “anonymously,” and some even printed the numbers on university-issued identification cards. With online commerce and a rise in the use of credit cards opening the floodgates for an expected surge in fraudulent credit activity, Sweeney thought it would be useful to figure out where dangers lie.Internet flooded with Social Security numbers:

One of the students created a simple program to scour the Internet for the nine-digit numbers. It eventually discovered a goldmine for would-be identity thieves—an online job bank in which 30,000 applicants had freely offered up their Social Security numbers right alongside their names and addresses—it was a one-stop shopping center for fraudsters. “Obviously an alarm went off,” Sweeney later recalled. “If you want to be an identity thief, masquerading as an employer is not a bad way to get this kind of identifying information.”

In the not-so-distant early days of online transactions, employers and employees alike didn’t realize Social Security numbers were an invitation for fraud, so job sites proliferated with ready-to-rip identities. Businesses needed these numbers if they wanted to do a background check on a job candidate or, if that person was hired, to process payroll. Job site administrators figured they might as well require them in order for people to post their resumes. What they failed to take into consideration, however, was that once a resume is posted online, it can live in perpetuity, thanks to search engine caching and organizations that take regular “snapshots” of the internet and archive all online content. In light of the growing number of identity thefts, they failed to realize that the Internet wasn’t the best place to be putting Social Security numbers.

“How do you construct privacy-enhancing technology that does the same thing as the privacy-invasive technology, but does it with privacy guarantees? We're not talking about standard credit monitoring here” –Latanya Sweeney

“So, the next year, we went to find some [resumes] that were readily available online and contact the person to see what would happen,” Sweeney says. She and her staff of student volunteers began contacting those whose private information had been exposed. “People didn’t know what we were talking about,” Sweeney laughs. “Some of them were threatening us—if you try to steal my identity I’m going to sue you. We’re saying no, no we’re trying to help you. They didn’t get it at all.”

A scientific approach to identity theft:

She called her program “Identity Angel” and after working through some initial kinks, she made her second big run in 2004. “The results were amazing,” she says. “People got it. We got all these ‘thank yous.’” She tried to secure National Science Foundation funding for the project but was turned down because it wasn’t “scientific”— it didn’t purport to solve a scientific problem. “Maybe I wasn’t able to convey it in a proposal,” Sweeney admits, but she says the problem of identity management has a scientific basis, indeed. “I think if I submitted that same exact proposal today I’m 90 percent sure that it would be funded.”

Though she hasn’t been actively shopping her Identity Angel technology, Sweeney is open to the possibility of selling or licensing it to a private or public organization. In the meantime, Identity Angel continues to coast along the information superhighway. Last summer, the program found 6,000 resumes in 24 hours. But given the limitations of her all-volunteer staff, she can only contact affected customers 100 at a time. “For every 100 you send out, 50 are going to send back questions,” Sweeney says. Fortunately, Sweeney is happy to address these questions and others that extend even beyond the realm of identity theft. Other topics on her research plate include fingerprint technology and bioterrorism surveillance.

“How do you construct privacy-enhancing technology that does the same thing as the privacy-invasive technology, but does it with privacy guarantees?” she asks. “How do you prove that you can develop technology that can still be useful but still can provide privacy?” The verdict may yet be out, but we’re happy to defer to Sweeney for answers in the meantime.

Job Search Tips

*Experts say the information contained on your resume should be no different than what you might list in a phone book: a name, address, telephone number and e-mail are all the information needed by a would-be employer. Never post a Social Security number online. *If an employer asks for a Social Security number for a background check or because you’ve been hired, you should first check into the legitimacy of the organization. It’s best to do this through a face-to-face meeting at the workplace. If this isn’t possible, call the company’s human resources department. Make sure that the person you are dealing with is, in fact, a legitimate representative of the business.

My Hoover U8371900 WindTunnel 2 Review

Hoover U8371900 WindTunnel 2I just picked up one of these Hoover vacuums and wanted to write up a quick review on my blog. 

The Dirt Finder sensor is once again used, as it has proven a valuable aid in the fight against dust and dirt. The green light will let you know when an area is finally clean, and you can move on.

By cleverly ducting away dirt particles from the spinning agitators to ensure they’re captured in the bagless dirt cup, the vacuum pick up more dirt than other vacuums, and this technology is called Wind Tunnel by Hoover.

The 12 amp motor provides plenty of power, and the HEPA filter ensures that all allergens and dust particles are collected from your carpets.

It has a 31 feet power cord which is more than enough for rooms of all sizes, and the large cleaning path means you have to vacuum less, to clean a large sized room, than you would with another vacuum.

The Hoover WindTunnel Bagless Upright has received numerous poor reviews due to its poor build quality and heavy weight. The problems that previous models had with the filters, are present here as well.

Suction power

The 12 amp motor is more than enough for most users, as the suction power provided is much more than users were expecting from it. Users warn others that for this suction power to remain the same, the filter must be cleaned after every use, or the dust will gather and seriously reduce its effectiveness. This isn't necessarily the best hardwood floor vacuum, but it does work ok on hard surfaces.

Noise level and build quality

Users report that the noise level is quite high, and they don't think they'll ever get used to it. Build quality is once again the number one cause for poor reviews. Users also have a problem with the auto-cleaning HEPA filter which is prone to breaking, and the messy cleaning process still remains a problem.


The cord length is more than enough for all users, and even large rooms are easily cleaned without moving the vacuum to a different plug. Users find the Dirt Finder sensor to be excellent, and report that it really functions and knows precisely when a carpet is finally clean.


The Hoover WindTunnel Bagless Upright has almost no improvements over the previous model, yet is more expensive and suffers from the same design flaws. Once again, users would not recommend this vacuum to others, saying that while it does a fine job of cleaning your house, it fills it with dust even quicker, when trying to be cleaned.

Understanding all the Hoover WindTunnel Bagless Upright Models:
Features Model: U8361950 Model: U8371900 Model: UH40020
12 amp motor X X X
15 amp motor      
13" cleaning path      
15" cleaning path X X X
31' cord X X X
35' cord      
Dirt Finder sensor X X X
Self Cleaning HEPA Filter X X X
  • liant Headlight Cord
  • ind Lifetime
  • t Soft Wheels
  • dded DirtFIN
  • System Pet Hair Cleaning To
love to clean my carpet
Review Date: October 17, 2008
Reviewer: anime girl 70, Florida
This is a great vaccuum. It even tells you when your carpet is clean. The only problem I have with it is finding the bags. I have only been able to find them at Best Buy. It is the best vaccuum I have ever used at such a reasonable price. I didn't want the bagless type because they are messy and hard to clean but the bags on this close when you take it off and you just toss it away.


Hoover U8371900 Windtunnel 2 Complete Bagless Upright Vacuum. Patented WindTunnel 2 Technology, located in the floor nozzle, forces the rotating brushes and airflow to work in harmony. It lifts and traps the dirt, so it will not scatter back into your carpet. Dirt ends up in your cleaner, not on your floor. Surface Command electronic carpet height adjustment and brush shutoff for hard surfaces - move from surface to surface without stopping. Simply turn the dial for the desired setting. Real-Time tool system with Tag-Along grip makes tool use easy with handle that instantly converts to telescopic wand and Tag-Along grip to guide the cleaner. Self-cleaning HEPA filter cleans itself every six seconds to maintain cleaning power. You never have to touch or replace the filter. Embedded DirtFinder display alerts the user to areas of the carpet that may need more cleaning attention. Pet hair cleaning tool - powerful suction and rotating brushes easily clean stairs and upholstery. Adjustable handle height - easy for people of all heights to use comfortably. Brilliant headlight illuminates the cleaning path. Telescoping quick-release wand and super-stretch hose combine for 12 of cleaning reach. The wand reaches all the way to the floor. Bottom-release dirt cup - no bags to replace. Simply remove the cup and empty contents into the trash. Automatic brush shutoff automatically stops the brush when in the upright position - all the power is focused in the hose. Lifetime belt - no need to replace, ever. Size: 15W x 44H x 11D.



Quick tips for moving

Let's face it, moving sucks.  Even if it's into your dream home, moving is never much fun. Moving can undeniably be challenging and daunting task. There is nothing tougher to than to relocate. However, it can be tolerable if you do some vital things to make your relocation easier. Read further to know some quick tips for moving, which can aid you have successful moving.Factors to consider

Image result for moving truckThe first thing which you have to do is to gather sufficient number of moving boxes. More the boxes, better it could be to have proper packing. You do not need to have to go in search of these boxes all around at last minute. Some most common places to check for boxes are grocery stores, or can ask your neighbors or friends. If you regularly visit any department store then simply ask them to give some boxes, they certainly have loads of extra boxes. If in case, the aforesaid options doesn’t work then you have to purchase some new boxes. Look online to get it at affordable prices. The next thing is to pack all the essential items which you desire to relocate to your new destination properly. Ensure to pack every item carefully, you can otherwise hire professional packing company who can pack all your belongings quickly and systematically.

Another aspect to consider is, if you are relocating yourself and renting a truck would not go cheap on the relocating supplies. Rent the dolly and even the furniture movers. It would make moving bulky and heavy items very easier and would save lots of money as well. However, the few extras dollars which you spend for these are factually worthy. Also, move ahead and get blankets to safeguard all your fragile and antique furniture items.

Packing is the vital thing that you need to consider while relocating. The packing process of all your valuable items and relocating them to the new destination could be certainly stressful if you do not consider the packing tips for moving. You need to utilize durable packing boxes which can handle every sort of things very well.

The other essential tips for moving to consider is to pack either a box of items or overnight bag which you would need immediately. This would aid you in finding the essentials items easily and quickly. Some most common things that you will have to put into such a box are vital paperwork, change of clothes, toiletries and anything else that you would require within a day immediately after your move to new place.

Professional help

If you are moving abroad, then it is vital to prepare the required paperwork such as visas and passports, and pack all the important documents, understand the customs and cultures of the country which are relocating to, and lots more. Relocating task can be done easily only if you prepare early. If you desire to make your moving easier, you can even seek the aid of professional relocation company to make your task much easier. This is because they handle every task starting from packing to unpacking all your belongings in the desired destination. However, it is vital to spend time to choose the best relocation company.

Earthwise 50214 14-Inch Electric Mower Review

 Earthwise 50214Every homeowner knows the value of a perfectly mowed lawn. The lawn is the most essential part of the yard and therefore it requires a lot of care and maintenance. In order to properly handle your lawn, you will obviously need to have the proper equipment – a lawnmower.

However, there are many types of lawn mowers and it is often difficult to select the best one from the numerous options available. A solution that is perfect for just about any lawn is the Earth wise 50214 14-Inch 8 Amp side discharge/mulching electric mower.

With this tool you will be able to keep your lawn looking great for long periods of time without any hassle whatsoever. There are many advantages that this product will provide; therefore this might turn out to be the best investment you have ever made.

Electric Motor Characteristics

Owning a mower is not just about trends. It has become a necessity, and being able to rely on the best mower on the market is truly a reassuring thought. The lawn tools that are more effective and advantageous are the electric ones.
This is exactly why the Earth wise 50214 is a great solution. The electric motor with which the tool is equipped is more than sufficient for it to handle any type of grass. The other advantages are that the electrical motor requires less expense.

There is no need of fuel refills because the engine relies on electrical power. Moreover there is no need for cleaning a spark plug or even interrupting your work because you have run out of fuel. When you don’t spend on gas, the expenses for mowing your lawn are far less.

Comfort and Convenience Features

One of the best comfort features that you will get with this unit is the height adjustable mowing. With the help of only a single lever, you will be able to change the height of the mower and thus you will manage to mow your lawn according to your personal preferences and to your yard’s terrain.

The action of turning the mowed grass into mulch is another practical feature. With this tool, you can gather compost that is rich in nutrients. Thanks to the side discard feature, you can use the compost at the same time as mowing your lawn.
You can also install a collective bag that will gather it for you to later storage. The final comfort feature, which is also important, is the convenient handle that comes with a cushion grip. The overall operation and handling of the machine is in fact very easy, making this lawn tool a perfect fit for anybody.

Features and Specifications

  • Cordless, electric lawn mower, with no pollution and noise
  • Compact with a two in one system and a side discharge feature
  • Comfortable V-shaped handle
  • Adjusting system with a single lever

The Reviews

This outstanding lawnmower has a great response from customers. The reviews for the Earth wise 50214 Cordless Electric Mower are more than satisfying with a rate of 4.5 out of a total of 5.0 stars.