11) WhatsApp Transition is Still Filled With Questions

As of now, a lot is still up in the air about Facebook’s decision to merge WhatsApp with Messenger and (of all things) Instagram. Our earlier item mustered several insightful comments. See those at…


One Brigada participant tried to speak my language with his anonymous comment. “There’s a lot of information that’s missing overall.  Because WhatsApp was phone number based, I was always skittish about it to begin with. The purchase by Facebook didn’t help. This isn’t THE nail in the coffin, but it sure seems to be attaching another side panel at the least. IF they actually do bring true end-to-end encryption, and not end-to-server encryption or some other such word twist, to the other platforms then that is somewhat hopeful news. However, I have a feeling that there will be a good amount of meta-data leakage in whatever they create. From what I understand, most find that it’s connections, not the content, that is of the most value. Those connections, the meta-data, are things like who’s talking to whom and what are the relationships that are in common between the groups.  Having the phone number is a valuable piece of meta-data. [And here’s the part in which he started talking my language. : ) ] Being able to say that this phone number likes M&Ms and talks to this phone number who likes M&Ms, and all these M&M lovers like to watch Jack Bauer, so these phone numbers will probably like Jack Bauer, is essentially marketing gold. Now replace M&Ms with a street drug and “like Jack Bauer” with “have a police record”. Take it a step further with your imagination regarding a Police State….” I get his drift. I’ll leave his name out of this discussion (because, as you can see, he’s security conscious, but the truth is — he’s spot-on. Time will tell. Either way, with all of the security lapses of which Facebook was accused over the past year, can we really believe they’ll pull off this kind of confusing merger and make it secure? That’s the question.

12) Appreciate WhatsApp’s Security? Enjoy it While You Can

Turns out WhatsApp might have sold its soul to the devil. Imagine a day that you write someone on WhatsApp, only to discover that the recipient is reading it on a Facebook Messenger site. It might not be that far into the dismal future. Note that, for now, WhatsApp does have end-to-end encryption. But as this article points out, Instagram does not — nor does it seem to be in the cards. And with Facebook, the user would have to activate (turn on a switch) for privacy. What percentage will remember to do that? Either way, if you ask us, WhatsApp was good while it lasted.


It’s time to take stock of WhatsApp.

Follow-up on Secure (on Not) Email

A few weeks ago, we asked which is the most secure email. See the original item here…

One reader felt that Hushmail was no longer any more secure than the rest of the pack. Is that your understanding? If so, what are our options these days? One reader, Ed, mentioned he was using an encryption tool with Gmail. But I would think that slows down the very reading/composing/sending process that has helped make Gmail so popular. Another reader felt we had been a bit biased when we used the phrase “made a deal with the devil.” If you felt the same, please forgive. We just wish/hope that some company can create truly secure communication. Do you know of one?

9) Morton Security Solutions is ready to Evaluate, Educate and Empower

Looking for a security assessment in your field or in your church? Morton Security Solutions specializes in providing commercial and non-profit organizations with the resources necessary to avoid crisis situations. They facilitate safe international travel by helping you understand global threat situations, along with how to mitigate the risks associated with them. Learn more at…

1) Security Seminar for Faith Based Organizations

This is your last chance to sign up for the upcoming Travel Security Seminar by Morton Security Solutions in Northern California, before it
kicks off on October 16, 2015. If you are interested in realistic and relevant safety and security training for short term and long term missions, then you should attend this seminar. Speakers include Scott Brawner the founder and director of Concilium and appointed founder of the faith-based working group at the State Department as well as Morton’s team of trained security and intelligence professionals. Experience realistic scenario based training in the field (that don’t always end in kidnapping, i.e. realistic) and empower yourself and your organization to deal with a variety of crisis situations as they arise. Seats are filling up fast and there is a deadline of September 1st. For more info go to!thars/c72c.

4) What if Someone Attacked your iPhone? Would you Know it?

lookout-for-iphoneIf you had a Lookout, you would. If we thought the iPhone had no vulnerabilities, maybe we should peruse this article:

Well now there’s decent app to protect your iPhone called, appropriately enough, Lookout.

It has a process monitor which automatically checks running apps for malicious processes. It has built-in theft protection, sending “theft alerts” and issuing a “Signal Flare” feature that saves your last location, thereby helping you find it even when your battery is dead. It will even post a “lost message” on your phone’s screen to help you get your device back. Well worth considering.

5) Morton Security Solutions is launching a new Travel Risk Management Portal (TRM Portal)

Morton Security Solutions is launching a new Travel Risk Management Portal (TRM Portal), giving your organization as a whole, the ability to educate, prepare and monitor your personnel, anywhere they operate. They have identified three key things that you need in order to maintain organization continuity and fulfill your stewardship obligations to your personnel and volunteers. They are; Provide Situational Awareness (Information), Maintain Accountability and Provide Rapid Response Capabilities. They now offer you these capabilities through enterprise solutions, tailored to fit your organizations specific mission and goals. Through the TRM Portal, you are able to create profiles for your personnel, upload itineraries and receive specific risk assessments and risk mitigation recommendations from expert intelligence and crisis management analysts. This is a great tool for providing peace of mind to volunteers and personnel who are apprehensive about traveling (or allowing their children to travel), in an increasingly chaotic world. It also provides enhanced liability coverage for non-profit organizations. Check out their short tutorial video:

Contact Morton Security Solutions to find out how you can enroll your church or international outreach program and receive 35% off the enrollment fee:!services/aboutPage

11) Muslim Convert Reportedly Sues Tulsa Church

muslim syriaThe story was reported by KOKH-TV in Oklahoma City. It sounds legitimate enough. See the whole story at…

I suppose this should give pause to anyone become lax about security and sensitivity to the Muslim world. Gulp. (Thanks for putting us in touch with the sobering story, Caleb. Travel safely.)

1) Critical Information for Travelers

morton secureThere is now a free app called Travel Secure by Morton Security Solutions, that gives travelers up to date information on areas of travel, travel alerts and security resources that can be very helpful in avoiding and responding to all types of crises while trekking and working around the world. The app is available on Google Play for Android users and will be available on the Apple Store for iPhones, within the next few weeks. The app pulls feeds from local and global news, government travel alerts and intelligence collected by Morton Security Solutions, providing you with multiple sources of information, critical to operating effectively in a foreign country. Download it here

It’s Free!!

5) Travel Secure App by Morton

morton secure8Now you can download a travel secure app by Morton Security Solutions. Use this app to receive security alerts, research an area and reach out for help from a security professional at MSS. Morton Security Solutions provides crisis management program development, secure travel services, international communications capabilities and training programs. Their services are tailored to your specific organization or church, as well as your strategic goals. They want to enable you to continue to be effective and safe, regardless of where you operate. Find it in the Google Store at…

And look for it on iPhones by searching for “Travel Secure” and the Morton logo.

6) What Are You Really Made Of? (Security Training) —

securityWe all know that there are dangers associated with Missions, one of the greatest being the inability to make the right decisions under extreme pressure. Morton Security Solutions is offering Field Training for Faith Based Organizations through their Leadership Development Course in Tucson, AZ, on June 27th and 28th. This is a two-day training consisting of classroom instruction, tabletop exercises and hands on scenario based training. All of the scenarios are relevant and aimed at making prepared leaders and good stewards. All of their instructors are prior or current Special Forces Operators, Military Intelligence Officers, Customs and Border Agents and other Federal Law Enforcement Officers. They are all very professional, well-educated and dedicated to His word. They are taking 25 students for the June course. Sign up before June 1, 2014,!field-training/cbwp

11) How to Protect your SmartPhone from Prying Eyes —

pryingeyesSo you work in a sensitive land and you’ve secured your laptop with encryption, a VPN, and secure email. But what about your phone? Because now you’ve got apps, pictures, and lots of SMS messages. Well here’s an option:

NQ Vault comes highly recommended by the folks at (part of the Christian computing group that assists cross-cultural workers). Using this app, you should be able to keep most anything from prying eyes. Give us your feedback here after installing please. Android users can try the same app at…

(Thanks for pointing me to the resources, Greg!)

4) Track and Communicate with Your Staff in Sensitive Fields

Morton SecurityIf you’re looking for secure, affordable emergency communications devices/applications, some have found them at Morton Security Solutions. MSS offers a multilayer redundant approach to emergency communications and people tracking, using satellite and cellular networks. MSS has two apps that you can download on your iPhone, Blackberry or Android, consisting of an SOS app and a Check In app that allows MSS to securely track its customers. Both apps are highly encrypted and MSS does not broadcast any personal information, using ID numbers instead. They also offer Satellite GPS rentals of SPOT and Delorme as well as Iridium Extreme Sat phones. Go to

to find out more or call them at 1-855-572-3156. Their site looks like it’s geared for commercial organizations, but there is a reason for that and we all know what it is. According to its founders, this organization is dedicated to serving you.

10) Cool Tools: Secure Your Email —

If you’re using Gmail or the equivalent (seems like almost everyone has switched), you’re probably good to go. Many vendors (like Gmail) are fairly secure now, if you’re logging on to their server (and you trust their staff). Look for the “padlock” or “https” address in your browser’s URL web address box. We previously recommended Hushmail — and while it’s still a great option, in spite of a few recent interface polishes, Hushmail is looking a bit old-fashioned compared to Gmail. And Gmail seems always to stay ahead on the secure online storage offered for free — remind me again why we’re paying for Hushmail? :-)

For my own purposes, I refuse to switch to a web-based email solution like Gmail as my primary email client because I want to be able to even when I can’t find a source for Internet. I realize I’m probably in the minority these days, but for my life, it still makes sense. If yours is similar, make sure you’re logging on to a secure email server. Check yours and take the necessary action. Or surround your entire computer with a secure “wall” by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). StrongVPN


are both great solutions. StrongVPN seems to have better customer service. Not only will a VPN keep prying eyes from seeing your internet (as it leaves your computer all the way to your VPN-provider’s server), but it will also likewise secure your web-browsing as well. Find out where your VPN is based (for example, Sweden or Vancouver). If a secure route out of your sensitive field is all you need to “get into the clear,” then you’re golden. If you need end-to-end encryption with your home or office, look for a tech that can hook you up with a home-brewed VPN. Be prepared to manage the extra technical needs. As with everything else, sort all this out before you board the plane.

11) Cool Tools: SatPhones – Love ’em or Leave ’em?

If you’re working in a sensitive location and/or you’re unsure about relying on cell coverage for any reason, talk to vendors like…

The cost will likely be prohibitive for many of us… unless you’re about to be kidnapped and you need to get a call out. Then the cost will be minimal. :-)
Why? With a satphone, you have the ultimate “high ground.” If the bottom drops out of the government and cellphones become useless, satphones still deliver.

Why might you not want to rent a satphone?
*** Some have ventured a guess that it raises one’s profile with immigration and customs officials (to my knowledge, this is totally undocumented, by the way). They might think of you as “C.I.A.” or, just as bad, a drug runner.
*** Satphones are expensive. Phone rental might be $8-15/day. Airtime will likely run another $1/minute, even with the newest plans (such as those from “Spot”). Incoming calls are free, along with text messages. But it’s usually the outgoing text or call that means the most (e.g., “We landed and we’re fine.”) (Note: there are now other, less expensive solutions for this purpose. See SpotMessenger, for example.)
*** Satphones have to “see sky” to function well. This can be unhandy in winter climates or in sensitive situations.

Remember, “Half a sky” won’t do. (You can’t call from indoors or in a car unless you install an external antenna.) Costs will run somewhere in the $6-12/day, depending on the unit you choose… and throughput charges are extra. Plan on $6/megbyte. For perspective, your 10 mega-pixel camera probably captures a 5-megabyte image. Ouch. Expensive. Use a SpotMessenger-type beacon if it will get you by.

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