Vancord CyberSound Podcast

The Era of Digital Innovation: Navigating Valentine’s Surprises

In this episode of CyberSound, hosts Jason and Michael embark on a humorous yet insightful exploration of the complexities of planning a surprise for Valentine’s Day in the digital age. From the initial dilemma of keeping plans secret amidst shared online accounts to navigating the intricacies of incognito browsing and secure payment methods, the team offers practical tips to keep your gifts a secret on February 14th.

Delving into the nuances of online privacy, they ultimately advocate for a return to simplicity by embracing offline shopping and direct transactions. Jason and Michael remind us to stay vigilant in matters of cybersecurity while celebrating this holiday.

CyberSound ep96

Episode Transcript

This is CyberSound, your simplified and fundamentals-focused source for all things cybersecurity.

Jason Pufahl 00:14
So, I’m used to talking to you, Mike, about CyberSound topics.

Michael Grande 00:18

Jason Pufahl 00:18
You know, usually pretty serious ones. But we were chatting, and we know Valentine’s Day is coming up,

Michael Grande 00:25
Fast and furious.

Jason Pufahl 00:26
Fast and furious. And I’m not the best planner. But, so I want to start thinking ahead a little bit. And I want to get my wife a surprise, but I don’t want her to know about it. So, but everything we do is online, right?

Michael Grande 00:40

Jason Pufahl 00:41
Trackable. We got shared credit cards. And obviously, we live in the same house. So you, how do I go about this? Like, what’s my first step for trying to keep our plan secret?

Michael Grande 00:52
Well, the first step is, you know, we’ve got to figure out what she wants. So you’ve got to have the gift idea, right, before we can figure out our plan. So should we just assume there’s been overtures? It’s been made clear?

Jason Pufahl 01:11
Because we do talk, hopefully, she told me something.

Michael Grande 01:14
So maybe she said, hey, you know, this would be a nice idea. Or, you know, maybe Cupid can bring this by at some point. So I have this sneaking suspicion, you’re thinking, take a look at the computer? Well I’m thinking yeah, exactly that because if you’re lucky enough to be, you know, in a great communicating relationship, and very open with, hey, this would be great. I would like this, you know, maybe we can exchange gifts. And this is what I have in mind. That’s very helpful. But sometimes you just don’t have all that information. And you’ve got to do a little reconnaissance.

Jason Pufahl 01:46
So what are you suggesting?

Michael Grande 01:48
Well you know, we’re certainly not advocating any violations of privacy, but you know, same home, shared assets, and understanding that there’s going to be information potentially available, you know, maybe you’ve got some search history, to understand maybe there’s some frequent ads that the algorithms are throwing off on social media, you know, maybe you’re seeing or hearing the same commercial. If you’ve got, you know, one of these connected home, Alexa or Google Home type things going on, and you’re listening to, to your favorite Pandora station, and same ad keeps coming on, who knows, but it’s being personalized somehow. So the idea is there a little cookie crumbs somewhere that are being left? So let’s, let’s move past that.

Jason Pufahl 02:34
Yeah, that’s a little nefarious, right?

Michael Grande 02:36
Slightly, but we have to make these assumptions. And so now we’ve got a gift idea. Now, how do we execute without getting caught?

Jason Pufahl 02:44
Well, so actually, here, here’s that, I guess that’s fair. So now we know, we know. So I’ve decided what I’m buying. And and I think I’ve decided where we’re going. Right. So I want, we’ll start with the buy in part. You’re suggesting I think, open it up, your favorite browser, probably go into incognito mode. And trying to at least purchase in a in sort of that that browser tab that you think is private?

Michael Grande 03:13
Yeah, I think the first assumption has to be that whatever potential thought or activity that you may have employed to get the gift idea could be, you know, turn around is, is fair play, right. So you have to expect that that may come your way. So you have to be very secretive with your activities here. So yes, incognito mode, for sure. You know, making sure you’re not being tracked to the best that you can, but, you know, does incognito mode, guarantee your privacy? You know, there’s some steps that would say, maybe the ISP knows, but they’re not going to ruin the surprise.

Jason Pufahl 03:54
No, right? I mean, she’d have to make a formal, legal request for that data. So that’s going to that’s going a step further.

Michael Grande 04:00
So now you’re in incognito mode. You’ve done your search. You’re on the website. How do you pay?

Jason Pufahl 04:06
Yeah, I mean, you can’t log in. Okay, the minute you log in, now the site knows, right.

Michael Grande 04:13
So, you know, you’ve got a credit card. You’ve been using the credit card pretty actively for the last number of years. Maybe a few trips?

Jason Pufahl 04:24
Yeah, yeah. We’ve had the same one for 20 years, probably.

Michael Grande 04:26
You’ve got some points accrued?

Jason Pufahl 04:28

Michael Grande 04:28
Well, what about getting a gift card using some of those points? No transaction takes place. You might have to watch the mail for it ahead of time. Or maybe it’s an e-gift card that gets emailed direct to you. So you’ve got your code. So now you’ve got your payment mechanism in place.

Jason Pufahl 04:47
Right, because we because we know you’re not probably not walking around with cash.

Michael Grande 04:51
Probably not walking around with cash.

Jason Pufahl 04:52
And you’re probably doing something with like an e-retailer, right?

Michael Grande 04:55
And you’re probably not going to the store, obviously go into the store. Old School, you know, who knows, there could be, you know, all sorts of experiences going into the old bricks and mortar. I’m an advocate of bricks and mortar, but they don’t want to go, they want to stay in their house and do all their activities. So, alright, so now we’ve got a gift card, an e-gift card even better, purchased from somewhere. And now you’ve got your financial means. You’ve got your idea. You’ve got the website, you’re you’re using your incognito mode.

Jason Pufahl 05:13
So what website though? So like, I can’t go to Amazon, because we share our account there. So now I have to try to find some place that it’s unlikely that anybody else is going to visit.

Michael Grande 05:40
Yeah, this could take a few dark turns here. So I’m trying to figure out exactly how we can navigate to the right place, we have to make a few assumptions that maybe what you’re looking for, yes, it might be sold on Amazon. But maybe it’s available from another website that doesn’t need, you can complete your transaction as a guest. Right? You don’t need to enter all your personal information they will need to know. They actually need to know a lot of your personal information, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be stored. Perhaps, you could have it mailed somewhere else. I assume it’s a tangible gift.

Jason Pufahl 06:17
Yep. So I think you have to do that. Right. Otherwise now, because you just got it come to the house. I mean, I know that you’re,

Michael Grande 06:25
In the onslaught of all the other boxes, will it just get mixed in?

Jason Pufahl 06:28
Not in our house. Like they just get opened, for the most part. So there’s no like, hey, it’s addressed to Jason, I’m going to leave that be, right. It could be that they just made a mistake and threw my name on there and sent it anyway. So yeah, I think it has to go somewhere else.

Michael Grande 06:42
So, now you’ve got it shipped somewhere else, you’ve used a secure, but not trackable means of payment. You did your search, under the auspices of incognito mode. I mean, I think you’ve checked all the boxes now. Now you’ve got this delivery coming. You’ve got to be prepared for it. And then the hardest part is, you know, do you do your own wrapping? Yeah, I mean, I mean, this is where the wheels could really fall off.

Jason Pufahl 07:11
I mean, that right there. I’m discouraged from from buying the present to begin with. Yeah, so I want somebody else to wrap it.

Michael Grande 07:16
Making a late night run to CVS and buying whatever pre made gift bag they have and throwing some paper. And I’m not saying I’ve done this, but maybe I have, you know, and then magically, on the 14th morning, the present0 arrives, the present sitting there ready, the thought has gone into it, all of the effort has been made, and no one is the wiser.

Jason Pufahl 07:39
So I’m listening to this, I find myself thinking two things. One, boy, buying a gift is a lot of a lot of work, right? So I’m not, but then I also think all the conveniences of doing it online, we basically throw out the window, because we had to figure out how to get our payment method. Yeah, that was a pain. Yeah, do all the searching in a secret way, which was generally more work.

Michael Grande 07:59
And potentially do some spying, to get to the search and not advocating again, but just saying, we had to get the info.

Jason Pufahl 08:07
And and it had to be shipped somewhere. So now you’re probably driving to get a gift card, you’re probably driving to go pick the gift up. I wonder if it just simply to go to a store and buy it directly there. Anyway, and then nobody really knows what’s happened.

Michael Grande 08:22
Nobody knows. Find some of those, you know, those, the greenbacks and, and put them to work and keep keep our currency in circulation.

Jason Pufahl 08:31
So you simply pay in cash at a brick and mortar. And you take one trip,

Michael Grande 08:36
You take one trip, and you’ve got your gift and you you keep the local economy strong. You shut your shop small, perhaps if you can, and yeah, they’ll even do the wrapping for you.

Jason Pufahl 08:47
But it seems to me, like this is January 11th? So I’ve got a month to actually ask a couple of questions to figure out what the gift is too, which is probably actually strengthening communication. Yeah, I mean, I could take technology out of this altogether if I really wanted to.

Michael Grande 09:05
Yeah, and when in doubt, chocolate and flowers.

Jason Pufahl 09:10
When in doubt, chocolate and flowers. Fair enough. So hopefully people get some some utility out of that. If nothing else, right, they recognize incognito is probably not that secure. And this whole process is a lot of darn work and just go to the store.

Michael Grande 09:25
It’s probably the best way to go with all this technology that we have. Yeah.

Jason Pufahl 09:29
Thanks, Mike.

Michael Grande 09:30
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jason Pufahl 09:31
Happy Valentine’s Day.

We’d love to hear your feedback. Feel free to get in touch at Vancord on LinkedIn. And remember, stay vigilant, stay resilient. This has been CyberSound.

Request a Meeting

Episode Details


Work with a Partner You Can Trust

Our goal is to provide an exceptional experience to each and every client. We learn your business and protect it as if it were our own. Our decades of experience combined with our expert team of engineers and security professionals provide you with guidance, oversight, and peace of mind that your systems are safe and secure.

Cybersecurity Tips In Your Inbox.

Get notified when we have something important to share!

Related Episodes