Hiding Your eMail: 172 Ways to Keep Everything You Do Online, Secure

Realistically, anyone with access to data dumps from fiber-optic lines belonging to American telecom carriers will eventually be able to read your communications. However, it’s entirely possible to make it much more difficult for anyone to be able to pinpoint and decipher your movements online. When you can hide a message so that no one even suspects it exists, that is most secure, and if you can use a less traveled path of connection it also helps hide your tracks.Some people have figured out smart ways to stay invisible, but connected.

But if you’re like most of us and still using the public telecom system for browsing and e-mail, you’ll want to try out many of these 172 privacy tools to anonymize your web presence, encrypt your data, and erase your tracks.

  1. SSL – Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol is a layer of software that operates between HTTP (internet protocol) and TCP (protocol for moving internet data from point to point), and it preserves security in internet transmissions by using RSA encryption.

    Socket wrench, universal joint and sockets. Courtesy of Kae, 9 December 2008

  2. NoScript – NoScript is an extension for Mozilla-based browsers that uses a whitelist to decide which sites can use plugins like JavaScript, Java, and Flash. It also lets you control cross-site scripting and clickjacking.
  3. HTTPS Everywhere – HTTPS Everywhere is an extension that works with either Firefox or Chrome, and the “S” means your HTTP connection has been secured by encrypting data that passes between your computer and other network locations.
  4. CyberGhost – CyberGhost advertises itself as a free utility permitting anonymous web surfing, and it also encrypts all your transmissions, which is perfect protection for any public location.
  5. LastPass – LastPass is a secure password manager that gives you one master password to access its interface. LastPass will then use your stored credentials to log you into any other site you request.
  6. LongURL – LongURL is a web interface that expands short URLs so you can see where a link is taking you. It supports a number of formats like TinyURL and bit.ly.
  7. Trusteer Rapport – Trusteer Rapport’s endpoint security software performs ongoing data collection to power its behavioral algorithms in order to block phishing attacks and installations of Man-in-the-Browser malware.
  8. Two-step verification – Two-factor or two-step authentication adds security to your login by requiring two pieces of virtual identification from you. Google’s version asks for a password plus an on-the-spot phone code.
  9. VirusTotal – VirusTotal is a free online utility that lets you scan dubious-looking files (maximum size is 64 MB) and URLs. VirusTotal records scan results and makes that dataset available for searches.
  10. Tor – Tor keeps your browsing anonymous by using onion routing, a network of virtual tunnels which screens your location and activity within the network to make sure no one eavesdropping on the network knows who’s communicating.

    Barbus tor or Tor tor (Hamilton, 1822) from the Bhavani river. Courtesy of Henry Sullivan Thomas, The Rod in India, 1897

  11. Duckduckgo – Duckduckgo is a search engine that keeps your searches private by refusing to collect or share any information about you and what you search for on the web.
  12. StartPage – StartPage is another private search engine that functions as a go-between, removing any data on you from your web queries before sending them to Google and relaying Google’s answers back to you.
  13. Smart Referer – A Firefox add-on called Smart Referer lets your browse anonymously by removing any information about where you came from when you use a link to move from one site to another.
  14. Bitdefender QuickScan – Bitdefender QuickScan is an online virus scanner to detect any malware currently running on your device. Don’t ever permit this kind of scan from an unknown agent, but you can trust Bitdefender.
  15. HTTPS – HTTPS is a secure network communication protocol that adds HTTP programming, for hypertext capability, to SSL/TLS programming, for security. Security includes encryption and certificates used to identify the sender and receiver of transmitted data.
  16. Sophos Virus Removal Tool – Sophos Virus Removal Tool is a free download that looks for viruses, spyware, rootkits, and the Conficker worm. It checks not only files but also both user and kernel memory .
  17. Microsoft Safety Scanner – There’s no charge to download the Microsoft Safety Scanner, and its 10-day expiration date means it’s intended for one-time use, to address a specific infection.
  18. VPN – A VPN, or virtual private network, provides private communications between computers using the public telecom system. This is achieved using tunneling, and it’s a cheap substitute for a secure private line.
  19. Dropbox – Dropbox is a free cloud service with security features (SSL and AES-256 bit encryption) that lets you save and share files. When you save a file on Dropbox, Dropbox in turn saves that file on all your devices.

    VR pillar box in George Street, Oxford, England. Courtesy of Motacilla, 11 October 2011

  20. FTPS – FTPS (secure FTP) is a new version of the old FTP (file transfer protocol), updated to add security. It’s a file transfer utility that moves data over an encrypted channel.
  21. TLS – TLS (transport layer security) is a secure communications protocol intended to supplant the older SSL, using symmetric cryptography for privacy and an MAC data integrity check.
  22. CuteFTP – CuteFTP is an FTP program that consolidates all older versions, including Pro, and offers a new mobile service called TappIn that gives you instant secure FTP connections among all devices on your network.
  23. ShareFile – ShareFile is a Citrix product, a top-end secure file transfer package with a high file size limit (10 GB). Data storage meets SSAE 16 guidelines.
  24. Core FTP LE – There’s no cost to download Core FTP LE, a file transfer utility that lets you choose among five different security protocols. It has no nags, ads, or registration.
  25. IronKey(tm) – IronKey(tm) secure flash drives have a Cryptochip feature to ensure drive encryption and password requirement. Certified to meet Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-2 Level 3 standard.
  26. Keystroke Interference – Keystroke Interference thwarts keylogging software, which records your keystrokes, by adding random characters to all your input. It includes AI to learn and camouflage your personal style of typing.
  27. HouseCall – HouseCall from Trend Micro is a free online scanner that targets viruses, Trojans, worms, harmful browser plugins, and malware. Now has added ability to specify files and folders.
  28. Check Point GO – When you plug in a Check Point GO secure flash drive, it creates a protected environment so you can work from someone else’s PC without risking your data. Includes VPN client.
  29. Linux – Linux the operating system boasts two strong security advantages. Different levels of access shield sensitive data, and varied distribution details mean one virus design can’t affect all Linux users simultaneously.
  30. Wontok SafeCentral – Wontok SafeCentral is a packaged solution for businesses that ensures safety by preventing applications from interacting with anything other than Trusted Security Extensions, thus foiling malware.
  31. SecureAnywhere(tm) Complete – SecureAnywhere(tm) Complete gives you continual anti-virus protection for all types of devices, including browser warnings. It even protects you while you’re signed into Facebook and Twitter.
  32. Firesheep – Firesheep is an extension for Firefox that shows users which of their HTTP connections (e.g. to Facebook or Twitter) inadvertently reveal their account information. In public wireless tests, Firesheep listed all insecure accounts of users in the vicinity.
  33. HTML Purifier – HTML Purifier is a HTML filter library that uses a whitelist to block cross-site scripting (XSS). It’s a handy open-source tool for anyone who has to produce secure HTML pages.
    HTML Purifier

    Tata Swach is a low-cost water purifier that works on the principles of nanotechnology. Courtesy of Globalfunky, 27 May 2010

  34. Proxy server – Proxy servers are the core of anonymization on the web. Any direct communication between your computer and another network location may compromise your data, but if you communicate only with a proxy that proxy will relay your requests to the outside world and bring the responses back to you.
  35. Windows Defender – Windows Defender was originally designed to combat spyware, but has been expanded in scope to cover all malware. Your PC may not have shipped with Defender turned on, so make sure to check its status.
  36. Spybot – Search & Destroy(r) – Spybot – Search & Destroy(r) is a perennial classic in spyware detection, and even though it’s added anti-virus protection it’s still free. Use the Immunize function to strengthen your browsing defenses.
  37. MailWasher – MailWasher blocks spam and the viruses it can contain by letting you preview e-mail safely. You can examine what’s on your remote e-mail server and download only the mail you know to be no threat, deleting the rest.
  38. Active Spam Killer – Active Spam Killer (ASK) is for Unix and Linux installations. It filters out spam by sending a confirmation request when it receives e-mail from an unknown source, then whitelists the senders that reply.
  39. McAfee SpamKiller 4.0 – McAfee SpamKiller 4.0 is a standalone spam filter that lets you filter and review e-mail that’s on your remote server before you download it, so you don’t have to risk bringing questionable mail onto your own computer.
  40. Wireshark – Wireshark is a network security tool that allows you to analyze your network traffic by capturing and displaying packets of data in a comprehensible format as they pass through your network.
  41. Snort – Snort detects and prevents network intrusions. It’s free, it’s open source, and it can be used as a packet analyzer, packet logger, and threat defense system.
  42. SpiderOak – SpiderOak secure cloud storage provides an online home for data stored on all kinds of devices. It’s instantly accessible, completely private, and includes synchronization for file-sharing.
  43. TrueCrypt – TrueCrypt provides free disk encryption software for Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can encrypt any of the following: virtual disk, partition, flash drive, or OS partition.
  44. Cain & Abel – The best way to determine password strength is to test it using a password cracker, and Cain & Abel provides that service for any Microsoft OS.
  45. John the Ripper – John the Ripper was designed as a fast password cracker targeted at identifying weak Unix passwords, but you can also use it to test passwords for other operating systems like Windows and DOS.
    John the Ripper

    Image: A Suspicious Character, collection: Illustrated London News, With the Vigilance Committee in the East End, October 13, 1888. Courtesy of Illustrated London News, artist unknown, uploaded by Jack1956

  46. fgdump – fgdump is an updated version of an old favorite password tester called pwdump, and it specializes in Windows-resident NTLM and LanMan passwords. Requires administrator access.
  47. KeyScrambler – KeyScrambler’s different versions support anti-keylogging measures in between 32 and 200 browsers, depending on how much you pay. Premium also protects your keystrokes in cloud services Dropbox, Google Drive, and Sky Drive.
  48. Tcpdump and libpcap – Tcpdump and libpcap together form a perennially loved and used network traffic analysis package, in which tcpdump captures packets as a command line utility and libpcap is a complementary C/C++ library for that traffic capture.
  49. Kismet – If you need a program that performs packet analysis for wireless networks, try Kismet– it can detect other networks and tell you whether anyone’s breaking into your network.
  50. OpenSSH – If you ever experiment with building your own internet communications system rather than using a third-party browser and e-mail application, you’ll need a basic encryption tool like OpenSSH to shield all your data traffic.
  51. PuTTY – PuTTY is a perfect example of a simple internet transmission program that goes through telnet and uses SSH for security. What PuTTY does– open a secure channel through which your computer can access another directly– is how the peer-to-peer internet used to work, and the privacy advantage is obvious.
  52. SSH – SSH, or Secure Shell protocol, provides guidelines for secure and private login and exchange of information over the insecure public telecom system. It replaces the old telnet protocol.
  53. Ettercap – Ettercap lets you stress-test your own network by launching man-in-the-middle attacks in which it intercepts and alters communications. Don’t miss the countermeasures section to help you use what Ettercap teaches you.
  54. IP identifiers ping, dig, and traceroute – Any time you need to know the identity of an IP making unsolicited contact with your computer, remember these three basic tools that can help you track down the offender: ping, dig, and traceroute.
  55. Paros – Not sure whether one of your web applications has been secured? Test it with Paros, a Java-based proxy that reveals vulnerabilities to frequently used attacks like cross-site scripting.

    The Paros seafront in Greece. Courtesy of Dimorsitanos, August 2009, cropped by Beyond My Ken 20 September 2010

  56. Fake AP – If your wireless network has suffered unauthorized activity, or has shown up on a public detection map without your consent, you can camouflage your location by erecting a screen of short-lived access points with Fake AP. For defense purposes only, please.
  57. Google Hacking for Penetration Testers – Google Hacking for Penetration Testers: This remarkable paper on revealing your system’s vulnerabilities by using Google queries will show you how easily an attacker can view website pages you thought were securely hidden.
  58. Procmail Sanitizer – Procmail Sanitizer is a behavioral e-mail security tool. Instead of checking for viruses, it lets you choose a set of rules such as “attachments cannot access the registry or execute code” limiting what your e-mail and its attachments are permitted to do on your system.
  59. Sender Policy Framework and Sender ID – Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and Sender ID are similar methods of validating IP addresses permitted to send mail from your domain name, used as authentication that distinguish between legitimate mail generated by you and spam.
  60. Tails – Tails is a portable OS that lives on a DVD or flash drive. It includes a number of built-in applications like a browser and an e-mail client, and it’s designed so you can use any computer to surf anonymously.
  61. S/MIME – Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) protocol secures your e-mail by laying out rules on how to encrypt mail, ensure message integrity, and authenticate senders using digital signatures.
  62. SonicWALL(tm) – SonicWALL(tm) Email Security is a strong, scalable business package by Dell that includes controls for each end user mail account, so you can tailor user permissions individually.
  63. Barracuda Email Security Service – Barracuda Email Security Service (BESS) offers secure cloud e-mail to businesses that want to host their own e-mail but pay a third party to provide spam filtering and malware protection.
  64. Norton AntiVirus – Norton AntiVirus is a gray eminence in the world of paid malware protection, and while its 2014 product is double the price of the original, the software is still reliable.
  65. Enigmail – Enigmail is a plugin for Thunderbird and Seamonkey that adds OpenPGP protection to your e-mail by way of both encryption and digital signature authentication. Requires the free GNU Privacy Guard.
  66. Cloud Security Readiness Tool – Microsoft’s Cloud Security Readiness Tool requires you to answer a set of questions about your current IT setup to generate a report in response, aimed at exploring how moving to the cloud can help secure your business data.
  67. Trend Micro SecureCloud 1.1 – Trend Micro SecureCloud 1.1, for users of Trend Micro’s Beta Portal, provides encryption for your cloud storage. Service includes your choice of AES encryption type.
  68. CipherCloud for Google Gmail – CipherCloud protects your all business data traveling through Gmail by providing a secure reverse-proxy interface and a mail transfer agent that adds encryption for inbound mail.
  69. Porticor Virtual Private Data – Porticor Virtual Private Data is a cloud system that uses encryption to guarantee data security that will meet regulatory requirements for safeguarding sensitive customer information.
  70. CloudPassage Halo – CloudPassage Halo offers secured cloud storage geared at businesses that must comply with regulatory requirements for protecting their data. Halo lets you automate your security policy while adjusting the parameters of your storage at will.
  71. The Bat! – The Bat! comes in several flavors and offers e-mail encryption plus secure authentication. SecureBat! is now The Bat! Professional, and its addition of hardware tokens produces very strong security.
  72. The Anonymizer – As you gathered from the “legacy content” notice, the original Anonymizer was one of the first anonymous surfing services appealing specifically to users who objected to being tracked. You can pay for today’s Anonymizer, or treasure the memory.
  73. Proxymate – If you’ve always wanted to access websites that are forbidden to U.S. surfers, try a proxy based in another country. You can gamble on British sites by routing your traffic through Proxymate.
  74. Onion routing – Onion routing, like so much of web technology, originated with the U.S. military as a DARPA project. It was devised as a means of hiding location information, and that’s the same function it performs today in anonymous surfing.
  75. HidemyAss with PPTP – HideMyAss is an anonymous surfing service that employs Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) to give you an encrypted VPN connection, and supplies clear instructions on how to set up a PPTP connection with a dialer.
  76. Guardster – Guardster has several different proxy products aimed at privacy, including a free online proxy service and two subscription services, an encrypted SSL proxy and a secure SSH tunnel proxy using the SOCKS, or Socket Secure, protocol.
  77. iPhantom – The iPhantom proxy service keeps you anonymous during your contact with other web locations, and for further privacy does not store any of the identifying information describing your contact with the iPhantom server.
  78. IP Hider – AllAnonymity’s IP Hider inserts a proxy server to relay your web requests, meaning the IP visible to marketing trackers belongs to that proxy rather than your computer.
  79. AVG – AVG Free is one of the anti-virus programs that offered enough quality to break the grip of paid services like Norton. Those companies used to sell AV software with free updates, and when they converted to a package-plus-subscription model they inadvertently sparked the boom in AV freeware.
  80. avast! Free Antivirus – avast! Free Antivirus is a justly favored product, delivering sturdy detection and removal at no cost for a full quarter of a century. Happy Birthday, avast! Many people team avast! with AVG because what little one might miss, the other usually catches.
    avast! Free Antivirus

    Capture of the Pirate, Blackbeard, 1718 depicting the battle between Blackbeard the Pirate and Lieutenant Maynard in Ocracoke Bay. Courtesy of http://www.neatorama.com/2007/10/22/pirate-lore-7-myths-and-trrrrruths-about-pirates/,
    by American painter Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, 1920

  81. Panda Cloud Antivirus – Panda Cloud Antivirus protects your stored data from viruses and spyware. It uses behavioral analysis to recognize and stop new malware and includes community firewall protection.
  82. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free – Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free specializes in removing all kinds of malware, but is particularly effective against worms, trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, and spyware. You can automate updates and scanning.
  83. Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ – Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ adds anti-virus capability to its classic spyware defenses. It now prevents malware from being written to disk in an inadvertent download, and runs unknown executables in a safe sandbox environment.
  84. Comodo Antivirus – Comodo Antivirus offers a free edition that keeps viruses and other malware of all your devices. It employs cloud-based scanning to find questionable hidden files.
  85. Comodo SSL Certificates – Comodo SSL Certificates are your way of guaranteeing your web customers safe contact with your site, using SSL to shield customers’ personal financial information. Comodo has been in the SSL certificate business since 1998 and provides good client support.
  86. Emsisoft Emergency Kit – If you have ever been confronted with an infected PC and encountered difficulty controlling its behavior, you’ll welcome the Emsisoft Emergency Kit. It downloads onto a flash drive, and you can plug in the drive to scan your PC for viruses.
  87. Avira Free Antivirus – Avira Free Antivirus provides not only broad-spectrum malware protection but also adds two extra features by way of a toolbar to block tracking in your browser and rate the security levels of sites you visit.
  88. Rohos Mini Drive – Rohos Mini Drive lets you password-protect your flash storage with a hidden, encrypted partition. The Portable option lets you use a similar secret partition on any PC.
  89. Kryptelite – Kryptelite is freeware that provides basic encryption and decryption ability, and if you upgrade to other Kryptel products you can get more advanced features like encrypted backups and scripted encryption.
  90. Pismo File Mount Audit Package – Pismo File Mount Audit Package lets you mount several file types as virtual folders, including encrypted, password-protected private folders which let you conceal data on your drive.
  91. Free File Camouflage – Free File Camouflage is a steganography tool that lets you hide your messages inside a .jpeg image file. The goal of steganography is not only to encrypt but to let your messages escape notice altogether.
    Free File Camouflage

    Mgr Patrick Le Gal, évêque aux Armées françaises. Courtesy of Mangouste35, 06/08/2008

  92. Ad-Aware is no longer safe as of testing September 9, 2013 – Hearts all round the world broke when Lavasoft, producer of once beloved antispyware stalwart Ad-Aware, inserted unwanted toolbars and even a browser hijack into free Ad-Aware downloads. You can avoid lengthy and painful removals by avoiding Ad-Aware altogether.
  93. CTI Text Encryption – CTI Text Encryption is a free text encryption tool with support for multiple languages, including those read from right to left. Recommended for creating strong passwords.
  94. AxCrypt – AxCrypt is an open source file encryption project designed for Windows, and it includes the following capabilities: password protection, encryption in the right-click menu, double-click to work with encrypted files, and automatic re-encryption after editing.
  95. Anti Tracks Free Edition – Anti Tracks Free Edition removes all traces of your computer activities from your hard drive, including browsing history, temporary files, installation logs, and other telltale signs of your passage.
  96. ToolWiz Bsafe – ToolWiz BSafe offers file encryption with simple features that produce advanced results. Its ability to mount an encrypted folder as a virtual drive is described as “opening the safe,” because the only time that hidden data is accessible is while you’re working on it.
  97. BCTextEncoder – BCTextEncoder presents its free e-mail encryption program as a way to avoid the embarrassment of sending an e-mail to the wrong recipient. Uses public key and password-dependent encryption.
  98. Anonymize.Net – Anonymize.Net provides anonymous web browsing using a VPN (virtual private network), with one offshore proxy in Panama and a continental proxy in Canada. Use their handy WHOIS page to see your own IP revealed, and then check the difference when you view the page by proxy.
  99. the Cloak – the Cloak functions as an online proxy service, and has published a clear and helpful explanation of how a proxy can help you refrain from displaying your private information to web trackers.
  100. Internet Anonym – Steganos has a line of anonymity/privacy products, perhaps the best of which is Internet Anonym. Internet Anonym protects your IP even when you have to use public WiFi , letting you choose details of false information displayed by your browser.
  101. Idzap – IDzap offers three ways to protect your privacy on the internet. You can choose IDzap Free Anonymous Browsing Service, you can pay for a fully featured version called IDsecure Anonymous Browsing Service, and you can add encrypted e-mail with IDseal Secure Email Service.
  102. CryptoHeaven – CryptoHeaven provides a suite of secure encrypted e-mail services, encrypting not only the messages themselves but also the hosting and online storage features. CryptoHeaven’s goal is leaving no weak points in its data security.

    The Great Last Judgement, Peter Paul Rubens. Courtesy of L’Alte Pinakothek di Monaco

  103. Snoopblocker – Snoopblocker is a free online web proxy service that lets you enter a URL and browse anonymously, with several encryption options neatly arranged in checkboxes.
  104. Z1 SecureMail Gateway – Z1 SecureMail Gateway is billed as a “virtual mail room” that handles all encryption, decryption, and digital signature authentication for your e-mail. You can tailor individual security policies by using the console.
  105. Hushmail – Hushmail is an encrypted e-mail service based in Canada, it promises not to display any third party ads, and it gives you a free trial period. The Personal option is expensive, but service is reliable.
  106. Lawdex Secure Document Exchange – Lawdex Secure Document Exchange (SDX) is designed for businesses that need to keep client records in strict confidence, particularly law firms, medical practices, and financial services companies.
  107. Mutemail – Mutemail bases its secure e-mail service offshore, and if you already use a secure client (Mutemail specifies Secure Bat! and Thunderbird as examples), you can use that program through Mutemail’s SSL interface.
  108. NeoMailbox – NeoMailbox, hosted in Switzerland, offers secure e-mail plus anonymous browsing with IP concealment, SSL connections, and even disposable e-mail addresses if you prefer to communicate with that level of anonymity.
  109. ShareMeNot – Whenever you see embedded buttons from companies like Facebook or Google, those companies are tracking you. ShareMeNot disables the tracking until you deliberately click one of the buttons in order to share.
  110. Greasemonkey – Greasemonkey is unquestionably the most helpful of the Firefox extensions because it lets you add scripts to Firefox to achieve any goal you like, including user security and anonymity. It will also accept .js files that you create.
  111. Don’t Facebook – Don’t Facebook, EVER, if you wish to keep your private information out of the public eye. That being said, if you must Facebook at least keep up with your privacy settings, and to do that you have to stay apprised of the latest policy updates.
  112. Ghostery – Ghostery is not only effective in blocking web trackers, it’s a lot of fun to use. You will be shocked at the number of active trackers you find, and you’ll enjoy killing them off. Firefox addon.

    Edwd Kelly, a Magician. in the Act of invoking the Spirit of a Deceased Person. Courtesy of fromoldbooks.org, taken from Astrology, A New and Complete Illustration of the Occult Sciences by Ebenezer Sibly, M.D. F.R.H.S., Embellished with Curious Copper-Plates, London, 1806. Engraved by Ames of Bristol, original drawing by Sibly.

  113. DoNotTrackMe – DoNotTrackPlus has grown up to be DoNotTrackMe, but it still gives you a free and simple way to block more than 600 online trackers from following you around the web. Firefox addon.
  114. TrashMail.net – TrashMail.net creates junk e-mail addresses that forward mail to you, then terminate automatically after catching a certain amount of mail. You can sign up with insecure sites without risking your preferred address. Firefox addon.
  115. Ultimate Privacy – Ultimate Privacy offers a complete privacy and anonymity service that lets you perform all your online tasks safely. Includes browsing by proxy, disposable e-mail addresses, and PC eraser. In business since 1997.
  116. SpamAvert – SpamAvert offers an interesting disposable e-mail service online. You choose a word to serve as a one-time junk mail address, then come to SpamAvert to pick up your mail.
  117. Adblock Plus – Adblock Plus was born in 2006 as a free Firefox addon, and it’s been blocking annoying ads all over the world ever since. You choose which ads to block based on filter lists.
  118. CsFire – CsFire guards against cross-site scripting, whether the problem is a Cross-Site Request Forgery attack or simply an attempt to track your browsing habits. Firefox addon, now available for Chrome.
  119. SmartScreen Filter – SmartScreen Filter uses blacklists of phishing sites, malware sites, and malicious files to vet your browsing and downloads, displaying warnings when appropriate. Built into Internet Explorer 8 and above.
  120. PrivacyChoice – PrivacyChoice helps you stay private on the web with free online scanning for your website or app. Software offerings include Privacyfix to manage your privacy settings on sites like Facebook and Google.
  121. Boss Key – Boss Key is a child’s trick that might save your job by letting you hide that browser or game with a simple keystroke, including cutting the sound and changing screen resolution if necessary.
  122. Certificate Patrol – Certificate Patrol is a Firefox addon that inspects certificates and certificate hierarchies to make sure a site is safe to visit. Inspections are also performed for individual parts of each page.
  123. Telex – Telex is the old communications system that uses automated teleprinters (think Western Union in the mid-20th century). Today, web customers in censorship zones use secret Telex requests hidden in HTTPS connections to escape the zone and surf freely.

    Telex machine T100 manufactured by Siemens. A sign inside said ‘T.grpl.82, T100; nüral F5230.’ Courtesy of Flominator, 11 February 2005

  124. Long URL Please – Long URL Please expands short links within a page while truncating the new long link to keep the page formatted properly. You can set options for how you’d like your links to change, and Long URL Please works with most types of short links. Firefox addon.
  125. Disconnect – Disconnect is a tracking blocker that actively keeps up with new trackers as they are added. There’s a small toolbar button showing overall status and a dropdown to give you more detail.
  126. ScriptNo – ScriptNo is a Chrome extension that tells you about scripts that have been, or could be, blocked on every page. Uses whitelists and blacklists to help you set preferences.
  127. Ccleaner – Ccleaner from Piriform cleans up your Windows system, making it harder to track you online with cookies and sweeping out temporary files, download history, and Autocomplete settings.
  128. HOSTS file – A Windows HOSTS file is a list of host names that match to IP addresses, and a specially edited HOSTS file can make your browser skip downloads of web flotsam like cookies and banner ads. You can download such a file from MVPS HOSTS.
  129. Pidgin – Another secure messaging client that uses OTR is Pidgin, which is free and open source. You can use the Pidgin interface to manage your other IM applications.
  130. Don’t Google – Don’t Google, EVER, because Google has no respect whatsoever for your web privacy, and makes no bones about invading it in order to monetize your personal data. A quote from Google’s recent court filing: “a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.” Ouch!
  131. Gibberbot – Gibberbot uses existing messaging applications like Google Chat and Facebook Chat to offer an unlimited free communication option that’s encrypted using the OTR (Off-The-Record) standard.
  132. GnuPG – GnuPG, or GNU Privacy Guard, is the Gnu project’s version of OpenPGP, as laid out in the 2007 specifications called RFC 4880. It’s a command line tool you can insert in code for your other applications.

    Gnu. Photo taken at Kliprivier Nature Reserve, Johannesburg. Courtesy of derekkeats, Flickr: IMG_4955_facebook, 9 May 2009

  133. GSMK CryptoPhone 500 – The GSMK CryptoPhone 500 gives you strong encryption plus full source code access so you can verify your level of protection. Includes voice encryption and secure messaging.
  134. Speak Freely – Speak Freely is a VoIP program for Windows, meaning you can use it to call another PC and have a voice conversation over any network that uses TCP/IP. Special instructions for encryption are available.
  135. Zfone – Zfone is a VoIP program that lets you use the internet to make encrypted phone calls. It uses the new ZRTP protocol produced by the same engineer who designed PGP.
  136. Mil Shield – Mil Shield not only erases but also shreds your computer’s history files, removing not only browsing history and Autocomplete information but also index.dat files and Flash cookies.
  137. Private Eye – Private Eye is a handy utility that lets you see and edit what’s in your protected storage area, which holds data about what you’ve been doing on your computer (including browsing).
  138. Sookasa – Sookasa is an encryption program that works with Dropbox, creating its own folder in your Dropbox directory and automatically encrypting any files placed therein. Designed for businesses who want to remain data-compliant in the cloud.
  139. PC-Encrypt – PC-Encrypt has several encryption products. A-Lock encrypts e-mails, PC-Encrypt encrypts your files and folders, and a utility called PC-Docmail even sends encrypted files directly from your desktop to recipients.
  140. Mixmaster – The Mixmaster remailer protocol involves sending packets of equal size in rearranged order to make them less traceable, which explains the name. Mixmaster protects against packet analysis and provides anonymity.

    This is a hand-held electric beater (also known as a hand-held electric mixer). Courtesy of Donovan Govan, taken using a Canon PowerShot G3, 24 April 2005

  141. Pretty Good Privacy – Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is an an email encryption program originally distributed by MIT, and when it was released in 1991 it spread around the world, enraging the American government. Today PGP is the guiding principle of most secure e-mail communication.
  142. PirateBrowser – PirateBrowser bundles the Tor client with a proxy-enhanced version of Firefox and adds some special configuration to produce a means of eluding the web censors in those countries so afflicted.
  143. PGPdisk – PGPdisk is a utility that creates encrypted disk partitions, and it is now distributed as part of PGPfreeware 6.0.2i. Later versions beginning with PGPdisk 6.5 can only be found in paid programs, but the plan is to keep older PGPdisk free.
  144. Symantec Drive Encryption – Symantec Drive Encryption provides full disk encryption that includes the following types of files: user, swap, system, and hidden. Works on not only computers but also removable media.
  145. Check Point Full Disk Encryption Software Blade – Check Point Full Disk Encryption Software Blade (yes, it’s a long name) protects everything on your hard drive, including personal data, OS files, and temporary files.
  146. Neo’s SafeKeys – Neo’s SafeKeys lets you use a virtual keyboard displayed on your monitor to input sensitive data like personal information and passwords. That means there’s no way to record your keystrokes, because no keystrokes are used.
  147. SecureDoc – SecureDoc makes sure your data stays secure with full disk encryption, multi-factor authentication instead of single passwords, encryption of removable media, and basic file and folder encryption.
  148. File Shredder – File Shredder is a free application that thwarts software designed to retrieve deleted files from Windows computers by overwriting the deleted files several times, making it impossible to recover them.
  149. AbsoluteShield Track Eraser – AbsoluteShield Track Eraser is a comprehensive data removal system capable of erasing all of these: browser cache, history, cookies, typed URLs, autocomplete information, and saved passwords.
  150. Burn 2.5 – Burn 2.5 overwrites deleted Mac files using the same overwriting process recommended for shredding Windows files. Burn is a free utility and recommended for use with encryption software Enigma.
  151. E3 Security Kit – E3 Security Kit is the privacy subset of the Windows tool package Extreme Power Tools (XPT). It’s built around the ShredPerfect+ utility, described as a long, dull, highly effective process that’s guaranteed to destroy your files completely.
  152. Eraser – Eraser is a free application that not only overwrites individual files but also ensures any extra copies are removed by erasing any free space on the disk.

    Standard pink erasers, made by Sanford. Courtesy of Evan-Amos, 09-28-98

  153. Evidence Neutralizer – Evidence Neutralizer cleans traces of your activities off your PC, making it difficult to follow you by using temporary files, Autocomplete information, browsing history, and even index.dat files.
  154. SDelete – SDelete is a data overwriting tool written by a Microsoft employee that you can download at no charge and use anywhere you’d normally use a command-line utility.
  155. Privacy History Eraser – Privacy History Eraser removes all your internet history, including sites you visit, recently used files, downloads, cookies, and temporary files. It looks for items left behind by Windows programs like Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player.
  156. Pwgen – Pwgen, or Password Generator, creates random, secure passwords that are deliberately easy for you to memorize, because you can pronounce them. The utility was written by a Linux open source coder.
  157. AutonomyCentral – AutonomyCentral is an e-mail client secured with both RSA public key and 256 AES encryption, and it works with the privacy-oriented Vaultlet Mail application. You can send and receive messages from your flash drive.
  158. Random Password Generator – Random Password Generator is an online utility that produces a nonsense word you can pronounce which ends with a number. There’s also a version for iPhone and iPod.
  159. Sectéra(r) vIPer(tm) Universal Secure Phone – If you’re looking for extra strength in phone security, the Sectéra(r) vIPer(tm) Universal Secure Phone by General Dynamics can provide privacy that’s suited to classified information. The phone is recommended for government use.
  160. ZoneAlarm Free Firewall – ZoneAlarm Free Firewall gives you unobtrusive protection against hackers and malware at no cost, and it’s designed to work well with other antivirus programs. Includes privacy toolbar.
    ZoneAlarm Free Firewall

    Wheelock MT-24-LSM fire alarm horn. Photographed by Ben Schumin on November 23, 2002. Courtesy of Ben Schumin, edited by ZooFari, edit April 17, 09

  161. Tonga Remailer – The Cypherpunks are encryption-oriented privacy strategists, and one of their efforts is the Tonga Remailer. The Tonga Remailer is based in the country of Tonga, and it’s an anonymous remailer that uses the classic Mixmaster protocol.
  162. Firewall Free – Comodo’s Firewall Free gives you basic firewall protection, including anti-virus capability, warnings about particular files, and automatic updates if desired. There’s also a free version of a similar Mobile and Tablet Security program for your other devices.
  163. CNET is no longer a trustworthy download source – There’s bad news from the free download front: CNET is no longer a trustworthy download source. It’s developed a bad habit of forcing unwanted utilities like junk toolbars and adware on downloaders, and its use should be avoided.
  164. Online Armor – Online Armor Free gives you basic firewall protection at no cost, including spyware defenses, browser safety, and meaningful messages. Added features include HOSTS file checking, control over start-up programs, and keylogger blocking.
  165. AntiLogger Free – Zemana AntiLogger Free instantly encrypts all your keystrokes so keyloggers are presented with unreadable, secured data. It works for every application you use rather than just your browser.
  166. SpyShelter Personal Free – SpyShelter Personal Free baffles keyloggers while protecting your system and defeating capture of any data from your screen or clipboard. There’s also a paid Premium option.
  167. MyPrivateLine – MyPrivateLine provides disposable phone numbers that you can give out to anyone without worrying about revealing your identity or location. The disposable number forwards to one of your real numbers.

    Western Electric Company Princess phones. Green one is rotary dial, has hardwired handset cord, and dated November, 1973. Yellow one is Touch Tone dial, has a modular handset cord, and dated June, 1984. Courtesy of User:KansasCity, 15:30 24 February 2006

  168. KeePass – KeePass is a password manager, free and open source, that lets you keep all your passwords in a single database secured with a master key file.
  169. 1Password – The 1Password generator not only creates strong passwords for you but also stores them securely, recalling them into your browser at your command. Available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
  170. Encrypting File System – Did you know Windows has its own file encryption utility? It’s called Encrypting File System (EFS), and unfortunately it’s available only in Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions. It exists in the file right-click menu’s Properties, and it’s very easy to use.
  171. Vormetric Data Security Manager – Vormetric Data Security Manager is a piece of hardware that manages security for your server installations of Vormetric Encryption Expert Agents. It generates and distributes keys, and it can also provide encryption.
  172. Vasco Online Application Security – Vasco describes itself as “the authentication company,” and its active and passive authentication services will secure your online applications that handle sensitive financial and health-related data.

50 Best Law Enforcement Blogs of 2013

Crime news fills newspapers and dominates nightly news broadcasts, but these are not the only sources of relevant police information.  Too often, the perspective of enforcement officers is left by the wayside, as sensational crime stories focus on perpetrators and victims.  But police have a lot to offer beyond cleaning up other people’s messes.  In fact, many individual officers and some law enforcement agencies maintain blogs that keep interested readers informed about criminal justice, and offer recommendations for improving personal safety.  The following examples highlight a few of the interesting police blogs found on the World Wide Web.

  1. Think Different – Kristen Ziman is a Commander with the Aurora, IL Police Department, in charge of the Patrol Division.  She operates this blog as a personal outlet for some of her thoughts about criminal justice.  She carries credentials to back her police credibility, including a Criminal Justice Degree and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Management.  She has participated in numerous other training programs as well, and is a graduate of the prestigious FBI Academy.  Her work leading to her current position as Commander included stints with several divisions within the force.  The articles presented on her blog offer insight into criminal behavior, attempting to teach readers how to remain safe and avoid becoming victims.
  2. The Police Perspective – The introduction of this is blog is immediately engaging, comparing the positions of police officers to those of hated minorities.  The notion is used to illustrate that men and women in blue are somehow easier to judge harshly than regular citizens.  It is an interesting hypothesis that the blog’s author, Joel Shults, supports with first hand evidence.  He attributes the phenomenon to several societal conditions including, media coverage, power envy and the actions of hate groups targeting cops. Shults posts infrequently, but the thought-proving entries are worthwhile for the unusual perspective they provide.
    Photo by Tobyotter on Flickr

    Photo by Tobyotter on Flickr

  3. Second City Cop – As should be immediately apparent, this blog is maintained by a Chicago Police Officer.  At least it was, before he retired, so now it is a former police officer pulling the strings to inform readers about police issues in the Windy City.  The content is general commentary, but slanted toward Chicago happenings.  The author provides insight into problems facing the Chicago Police Department, devoting an entire section of the blog to his take on the Chicago force.  A recent article, for example, lambasted an attempt to cut the department budget by 10% next year.
  4. The Enforcer’s Notebook – The author of this blog voluntarily gives up his right to remain silent, instead offering musings about police work.  Stories convey the details unfolding at real police calls, each seasoned with the blogger’s first-hand police perspective.  They are presented sporadically, with no rhyme or reason, but the officer behind the content manages to post monthly or so.  The Enforcer is unapologetic about the content found on his site, inviting readers to get lost if they don’t like it.
  5. Officer “Smith”:  Thought From Behind the Badge – Officer Smith is a seasoned police enforcement agent with more than thirteen years on the job.  “Smith” is an alias, and he is known to work somewhere in California.  Aside from these tidbits, readers must simply take the content of his blog at face value.  Articles focus on issues arising during the course of service, ranging from ways the officer has helped civilians in the past, to notifications about laws on the California books that readers might not be familiar with.
  6. Officer Resource – This unique compendium of articles is different than many police blogs, which offer information about cases or policies.  This site is maintained for the officers themselves, by police enforcement officials who know where cops are coming from.  Secure forums provide places for law enforcement professionals to exchange information with other cops, where only officers are allowed to participate.  There is also a case law reference section provided for police officers visiting the site, so they can consult legal precedent for information about their own active cases.  Officer safety is another key concern of the blog administrators who are devoted to promoting true blue causes.  Investigation tools are also furnished to help officers clear cases, especially rookies seeking guidance from experienced officers.  The site serves as a conduit for public engagement where officers interact with citizens in positive ways.
  7. SGT Says – Run by a volunteer reserve police officer, this collection of articles shares stories taken from 35 years of police experience in public and private law enforcement.  Entries discuss shootings, riots, protests and real life accounts of what happens on police calls.  Common enforcement weapons are also discussed, including Tasers, batons, shotguns and handguns.  Discussions are frank and to the point, covering news stories and other social conditions through the eyes of an experienced law enforcement agent.  Practical information is also present, like a recent series of posts dealing with disaster preparedness.
  8. Motor Cop Blog – Motorcycle officers are a unique breed, bringing their two-wheeled perspective to this blog administered by a California motor officer.  Topics are drawn from the news, including recent analysis of the Zimmerman case and other high-profile criminal justice events.  The site advocates for law officers and looks at current events through the lens of working police officers.  Motor Cop also responds to questions from readers of the blog in a regular feature entitled “Ask MC”.  A recent response helped a reader understand Miranda rights and the role they play in criminal justice.
  9. A Police Wife – Spouses of law enforcement officers are represented here, benefitting from the targeted information presented at A Police Wife.  Blog entries follow news articles, commenting about those which impact wives of police officers.  Human interest posts, like a recent call for police patches to replace some lost by a child, provide lighter topics for readers.  Interested visitors to the site are invited to complete online polls and to participate in research studies.  Posts are somewhat sporadic, but there are also links to other blogs which update more frequently.
  10. Cop Thoughts – Provocative posts to this blog stimulate readers to look at everyday situations through the eyes of a police officer, fostering better civilian understanding of what law enforcement officers face every day on the job.  Pointed entries are directed at the public. Presented in conversational ways that inform readers about laws and the differences between police officers and regular citizens, the thoughts are not filtered or toned-down.  Sarcasm and irony are used by the officer/blogger to drive home points about how citizens can make the jobs of cops easier.  While the tone is not for everyone, some readers will experience “light bulb moments” as they read the content provided.
  11. Written on Her Heart – Maintained by the spouse of a police officer, articles presented here touch on a variety of issues impacting police wives.  The site is divided into several categories, many of which do not relate to police work.  The section called Police Wife collects all the posts dealing with issues overcome by law enforcement families.  Advice helps readers tackle common practical matters that impact police, like what to do with the kids when dad has to work overtime for a developing case, and how to communicate with your police officer husband.
  12. Discover Policing – Helping match law enforcement candidates with employment opportunities for officers is a prominent objective of this blog.  Weekly job posting are included as regular posts, enabling visitors to peruse nationwide job openings for law enforcement personnel.  In addition to job openings, articles presented on the site furnish in-depth looks at criminal justice, including a recent entry that followed a school resource officer as he performed daily duties associated with his liaison role.  Education and what it takes to land a good job as a cop are also discussed in recent posts, asking the question: “Do you need a criminal justice degree”?
    Photo by Robert Thivierge on Flickr

    Photo by Robert Thivierge on Flickr

  13. From Cop to Mom and the Words in Between – Kathleen A. Ryan is a retired police officer turned mother whose interests now lie primarily in writing and publishing.  She does maintain updates related to police work, and her novels reflect police themes gleaned from years on the job.  Posts are arranged in categories, including a section covering police-related articles.  The topics in the police section vary, taking some themes from prevailing headlines, but also looking into historical criminal justice concerns.
  14. Improving Police – This former police chief’s lifelong motivation has been to improve police and departments.  His own story is one of a patrol officer rising through the ranks to become chief of police.  What makes this blogger’s story unusual is that it occurred in just seven short years.  David Couper is a published author, whose book deals with the same subject matter presented on his blog.  His historical accounts of policing look at the development of enforcement agencies over time, with particular attention paid to the many missed opportunities that provided inroads for improving police departments and officers.
  15. 10-8 Double A – This personal blog is topically diverse, dragging readers along through the random thoughts of the site’s administrator.  Content explores criminal justice issues and provides links that can be used to access deeper material about issues presented in blog articles.  The site contains links to product reviews conducted by the blog owner, offering evaluations of police equipment and firearms.  Other articles pay tribute to fallen officers, naming them individually to honor their service as peace officers. Personal posts on the site seem authentic, sharing the feelings associated with responding to various disturbing crime calls.
  16. The Boogie Man is my Friend – This entertaining blog follows the life of an atypical former police officer, offering looks behind the scenes, as well as providing information for staying safer.  The unique perspective comes from the fact that the blogger is a female police officer, who is also older than most female law enforcement bloggers.  Her no holds barred approach does not mince words, providing uncensored looks at police work and what comes after retirement from the force. Momma Fargo, as the blogger is known has moved on to other things, but her interests in police work and firearms handling has not waned.
  17. A Cop’s Watch – Going beyond local law enforcement issues, this blog also discusses world affairs and politics.  In addition to content of this nature, regular posts speak to the personal interests of the blogger maintaining the site.  Tributes to fallen officers and other features honoring the blue code are included too.  National security interests are explored in-depth, including period reports about hotspots like Lebanon and Syria.  Legal cases are evaluated locally alongside national features about United States sovereignty.  Regular posts outline inconsistencies within the criminal justice system, challenging readers to figure out why they exist.
  18. Amherst Police Blog – This blog is an example of those maintained by law enforcement agencies, rather than individual bloggers with things to say about cops.  The site is maintained by the Amherst Massachusetts police department.  Entries look at police issues beyond what happens on the beat, focusing on other department activities like fundraisers and public service events.  Training programs and other opportunities for citizens to interact with officers are included in blog entries, which are posted several times each month.  Anti-drunk-driving campaigns and neighborhood crime watch efforts furnish cooperative efforts for local residents and police, strengthening the community bond between officers and local civilians.
  19. Cops Alive – Cops helping cops is the fundamental theme of this informational resource aimed at law enforcement professionals.  Strategies for successful careers as public servants are outlined alongside information about issues commonly impacting men and women in blue.  For example, a recent post discusses post-traumatic stress disorder and refers officers to resources helping them cope with PTSD.  Additional topics are widespread, including advice about tools and equipment used by police.  Guest posts expand on related topics, adding even greater diversity to the content found on the site.  A special section of the site is dedicated specifically to police news stories taken from the headlines.
  20. Suburban Cop – Entries to this blog cover current events related to police work.  Posts are updated several times annually, providing recaps of news items related to fugitives, criminal justice and legal system outcomes.  The site is maintained by a suburban law enforcement professional who welcomes the change after serving on the New York City police Department for 8 years.  His opinions about security, police matters, and prepping for disaster are also colored by his time serving in the United States Army Infantry, which includes a combat tour in Afghanistan.  He also furnishes product reviews for certain tactical equipment used by police on the job.
  21. Suddenly Cop Wife – Following the events in the life of a law enforcement spouse, this blog contains posts on a range of topics.  The articles presented are mostly personal opinions of the author, rather than hard law enforcement news.  Current events impacting police, and their wives, are explored in entertaining posts peppered with humor.  There are some news items featured, especially those impacting local police, which are interspersed with personal posts detailing regular daily living in a police family.  For additional news coverage, headlines are featured in a clickable sidebar that opens into a special section dedicated to headlines.
  22. The Badge Guys – Dedicated to security issues, this blog carries regular contributions from several experienced security professionals.  School and campus security, as well as the debates surrounding campus carry laws and other educational security concerns are on the front burner here.  Facilities security and emergency preparedness are also discussed, with particular attention paid to crime trends in these areas.  The “guys” behind the blog are men and women with various credentials related to law enforcement.  Greg Stephens, for example, is an expert on workplace security and armed response laws.  Julie Adcock, another contributor, is a former Florida Sherriff’s Department employee bringing on-the-job experience to her blog entries.
  23. The Lollipop Tree – Maintained by a dispatcher responsible for more than one Massachusetts town, this blog has been active since 2007.  Bringing her on the job experience to the internet, posts are updated several times monthly, containing lots of photographs and human-interest-type content.  As an EMS dispatcher, the blogger is inherently familiar with many aspects of police work, but the blog entries she maintains are not what would be considered hard criminal justice news.  Instead, the content is lighter, containing vivid imagery.
  24. OCSD Newsroom Headlines – As a service to the general population and a resource for law enforcement professionals, the Orange County Sherriff’s Department maintains this blog.  The content is centered around local issues, particularly developments within the department.  As an interface between the agency and its public, visitors have access to several helpful features.  Recruiting announcements for new officers are posted on the site as well as support staff positions for hire within the department.  Updates about special police initiatives like a Labor Day Anti-Drunk Driving effort are included in regular posts.  Staff announcements, like a recent article about some retiring police dogs are also provided by contributors. The blog is highly active, receiving several posts daily, which are archived for ongoing access.
  25. The Restless Sleep – Giving readers a deep look at the New York Cold Case Squad, contributors’ areas of expertise fall across a range of criminal justice and law enforcement disciplines.  Participants like Vito Spano, former director of the Squad, provide first-hand insight into what it takes to solve cold cases.  Pathologists and crime scene investigators contribute forensic input, and several active officers and detectives bring perspectives from the beat.  Recent articles explore missing persons cases and discuss evidence gathering techniques for unsolved homicides.
    Photo by nereocystis on Flickr

    Photo by nereocystis on Flickr

  26. Homicide Watch DC – The narrow subject matter of this police blog centers on Washington D.C. murders.  Driven by community support, the blog attempts to follow every DC murder from the crime through the conviction of the perpetrators.  Court documents and the original news stories covering events provide source material for the entries, as well as input provided by friends and family members of victims.  Social media is also employed to link witnesses, investigators, and media representatives to paint comprehensive pictures of District of Columbia homicides.
  27. Waiving Miranda – Here, a sex crimes detective offers inside information in regularly updated posts, which contain details about cases he worked on.  The site is divided into distinct categories, allowing readers to hone in on topics of interest to them.  The blog host writes fiction too, so some of the articles posted are chapters taken from his work.  In the sections about interrogation and other police work, he chronicles the experiences he had working cases and interviewing suspects.  Waiving Miranda’s title refers to the authors desire to be truthful about his police work, even if the content becomes more difficult for civilians to read comfortably.  Additional reflections are placed in the police commentary section, for general observations and law enforcement information.
  28. Industry Insights – Found on officer.com this blog contains entries from several regular contributors tied to law enforcement.  Blog entries discuss myriad police issues, ranging from officer safety to criminal justice legislation.  Some entries are lighter than others, each providing insight into law enforcement vocations.  Training methods and standards for law enforcement personal provide topics for regular posts, which also encompass wider issues of national importance. The blog area is only one feature of the site, which includes additional resources and links for police officers.
  29. Women in Law Enforcement – Police magazine maintains this blog devoted to unique law enforcement issues facing women employed by law agencies.  Recommendations for female readers include ways to land positions on squads they want, as well as input on how to handle pregnancy when you are a cop. One of the site’s primary contributors, Lt. Lynn Doucette, is a patrol supervisor for a Maine law enforcement agency who previously worked as an undercover investigator for the state.  Patricia Teinart also contributes regularly.  She is currently employed as a patrol officer in Texas, but she has previously worked in juvenile gang units and narcotics task forces.
  30. The Thinking Policeman:  A Former Police Officer’s Blog – A retired inspector posts here approximately one-half dozen times each month.  Topics include all manner of police related content, including general criminal justice commentary and observations about the way police work is conducted.  The unique UK perspective carries universal police themes, but also enlightens readers about international investigations and newsworthy events.  A recent entry discusses crime and punishment outcomes related to charges of rape, stimulating reflection on the issue.
  31. Duke’s Police Blotter – Daily posts from Duke keep readers informed about criminal developments across the country.  The blog leads with a regular feature called officer down, which contains entries about individual officers wounded in the line of duty.  The site administrator also offers to help with good causes raising awareness for police officers, and invites readers to submit information about events.  News stories from publications like the Chicago Tribune are put under the microscope at Duke’s to help readers understand what is happening in major U.S. cities.  Entries concentrate on Illinois criminal justice, but this is not an exclusive blog for any particular region.  Public policy is analyzed, especially as it relates to police pensions and other law enforcement concerns.
  32. Crime File News – A former Chicago Police Officer maintains this blog, and several others, concerned with law enforcement issues and police work.  The blogger behind the content is a private investigator now, utilizing skills learned in his former role as a policeman.  Posts cover current events related to law enforcement, as well as wide-angle national political issues.  The blogger has strong viewpoints, which he expresses unapologetically, providing solid supporting facts and details.  Recent stories take issue with Obama administration policy, pointing to inconsistencies between what the Commander in Chief says and what he ultimately does.
  33. The Things Worth Believing In – Hosted by a police lieutenant, this blog presents opinions and reflections related to the job – but not always.  The author maintains a philosophical tone throughout most of the site’s content, keeping a certain distance between himself and the reader.  Self-defense and security provide themes for many articles contained on the site, some with instructional videos attached.  The site administrator, a former SWAT enforcement officer, evaluates tactical equipment, including firearms and accessories.  Practical training sequences are also provided, instructing viewers about proper gun handling techniques and strategic behavior.  One recent post advocates active training, rather than passive education, for mastering self-defense and personal safety techniques.
  34. Leo Affairs – Officers accused of wrongdoing or otherwise deprived of their rights need outlets to help them respond to charges.  This blog started in that capacity, providing a forum for preserving officers’ rights.  The site has grown, however, to include additional content for police officers, like a message board area where officers can seek and discuss information without fear of retribution.  The site contains information designed for officers with questions, including resources about internal affairs, policeman’s bill of rights, whistle-blower laws and public corruption.
  35. DeKalb Officers Speak – This site is for officers to express themselves about issues related to their employment as law enforcement officials in DeKalb County.  Families and friends of local cops are also invited to participate, providing a venue for their discussions about law enforcement life.  News stories are analyzed in the blog too, providing another side to stories that sometimes get manipulated by the press.  An interesting feature of the site is its “Crime Tracker”, which allows users to see first-hand where the local crimes are being committed.  The Tracker places icons at the site of each crime, making trends very easy to see.
  36. 24X7 – This North American police blog operates under a slightly different premise than others.  The author is a technology minded police official that understands many interactions with police are not positive ones for citizens.  Victims are distraught when they interact with cops, and other face-time with police officers is often garnered because an individual has committed a crime.  The author here is driven by the desire to create a forum of information for civilians to access on their own time, which helps them understand what police are up to as they perform their jobs.  Daily activities from the streets are shared in the blog’s section entitled “Shift Diaries”, providing a good starting point for interested readers seeking a snapshot of police work.
    Photo by Robert Thivierge on Flickr

    Photo by Robert Thivierge on Flickr

  37. Police Issues – Maintained by Julius Wachtel, Police Issues is designed as a resource for law enforcement professionals, but it also serves educators and students of criminal justice.  Wachtel, who contributes most of the original content present on the site, has nearly twenty five years on the job in various law enforcement roles.  He spent 23 years as an ATF agent and supervisor, before retiring in 1998.  His case work was primarily in the areas of gun trafficking and bombing investigations.  In addition to blogging about police issues, he is a criminal justice consultant and lecturer on the subject.  He is also a published author, penning a book about Stalin last year.
  38. The Police Law Blog – Maintained by lawyers, for police officers, this resource provides legal information for cops.  Featured articles report news headlines, which are analyzed for the ways they impact police. Other entries support rights for law enforcement professionals, offering case studies gleaned from the courts.  The blog is updated sporadically, but the dense legal information contained in each post is significant, despite being scarce.
  39. Official Blog of the International Association of Chiefs of Police – Rank and file officers are not the only law enforcement officials seeking to be heard on the World Wide Web.  Chiefs of Police have their voice too, provided in part by the official IACP blog.  Blog posts follow industry conferences and events, furnishing announcements about important happenings as well as reporting about what occurs at the meet-ups.  Another important facet of the organization is bringing law enforcement agencies together to work on issues jointly.  For example, recent posts highlight multi-jurisdictional efforts to curb the number of highway accidents on Interstate 80.
  40. Anaheim Police Department Blog – The lead story recently, about a gun buy-back program implemented by the Anaheim Department is typical of the content found here.  The program netted 100 guns for which police gave out $14,000 as incentives to participate.  Other special events and police directives are reported on the site, providing access for local citizens seeking updates.  Anaheim residents are encouraged to take active roles in their own safety, by utilizing three distinct police department programs.  Neighborhood Watch is a widespread effort to bring neighbors together against crime.  In addition to this service, the department operates a Citizen’s Police Academy and a Cops for Kids program.
  41. Social Media Beat – As social media becomes more prevalent in society, it impacts the way law enforcement officials do their jobs.  The phenomenon presents opportunities, like enhanced communication abilities and rapid outlets for disseminating information.  But new development within social media channels also present challenges for police, leading to device thefts and new ways for criminals to exploit technology.  This blog, maintained by the IACP Center for Social Media, keeps officers and citizens up to speed about social media’s role in public safety.  Recent blog headlines state the importance of transparency in law enforcement, which can be reinforced using social media.
  42. Milwaukee Police News – Brew city police developments are covered by this news blog, which has an appealing modern design.  The site is a direct initiative from the Department to keep Milwaukee area residents informed about criminal activity in the city.   “The Source” section isolates individual cases, providing status updates about police investigations, arrests and other crime fighting efforts.  The city’s Chief of Police is featured prominently on the site, which also includes a section dedicated to Milwaukee’s most wanted criminals.  Posts also call out officers responsible for acts of heroism while conducting themselves on the streets.
  43. South Bend Police Blog – This official blog of the South Bend Police Department is not as active as some other metropolitan blogs, but the information presented provides a valuable resource for local residents.  Practical lessons are featured in some posts, including a recent discussion about excessive speed and hydroplaning on wet roads.  Additional alerts inform citizens about ongoing crimes in the area.  One such computer hoax provided the topic for a recent article included on the site.  Timely postings about specific regulations and statutes give guidelines for special conditions like fireworks use and other seasonal concerns.  The blog also maintains an “ask a cop” feature, allowing users to pose specific questions to members of the force.  Responses are archived, creating an ongoing resource.
  44. Santa Cruz Police Department – The Santa Cruz Police Department blog shares developments about crimes and perpetrators, including crystal clear images of bad guys taken off the streets.  Reports of attempted crimes are also included, reinforcing the prowess of the department in heading crimes off before they actually occur.  The blog also honors former members of the force who pass away in retirement, remembering them with tribute articles and photos from their time with the force.  Follow-up posting show how cases are resolved, including initial court dispositions for arrested criminals.  Property is also accounted for, especially when it is successfully recovered for victims.
  45. Law Enforcement Corruption – When the good guys become bad guys, this blog stands at the ready to hold them accountable for their misdeeds. In fact, a prominent banner located at the top of the page provides a clickable link for reporting police corruption.  The macro view of police corruption is presented on the blog, with analysis of global corruption trends, but articles also zero-in on specific regional cases, like a recent lawsuit filed by a Newport Beach police officer ostracized on the job for reporting inappropriate conduct.  Corruption investigations are also followed, providing information about outcomes for corrupt police.
  46. Police-Led Intelligence – Coverage provided here is wide in scope, including national security intelligence information as well as articles about local policing efforts.  The content is deeper than the boots on the ground type blogs maintained by local officers, including analysis of advanced investigative techniques and intelligence gathering methods. The blog is maintained by Dave Henderson and Nick Selby.  Mr. Selby is a law technology expert well-versed in information security and other modern law enforcement areas.
  47. United States Park Police Press Room – The United States Park Police carry a proud tradition as one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the U.S.   They are one of the only agencies with state and federal powers, operating primarily in Washington D.C., San Francisco and New York City.  Monthly posts to the official blog maintained by the agency recap department events, chronicling participation in special policing efforts.  Park police assigned to Washington D.C. play large roles in policing public monuments and area parks.  The Criminal Investigation Branch of the Park Police uses the blog to enlist public support solving cases, requesting information from potential witnesses and citizens with knowledge of crimes.
    Photo by cwwycoff1 on Flickr

    Photo by cwwycoff1 on Flickr

  48. Chief Brian Miller – Hammond, Indiana Police Chief Brian Miller maintains an active blog informing citizens about crime eradication efforts and other department developments.  Recent posts highlight multiple prostitution stings conducted by the department in recent months.  In some cases, female decoys lured potential customers into the waiting cuffs of Hammond cops, while other efforts were carried out using phony customers that were approached by working girls.  The detailed information presented by Chief Miller is bound to have an additional deterrent impact, listing each person arrested and including their photos on his blog.
  49. Arcadia Police Department News and Information Blog – The official blog of this California police department focuses on reporting developments surrounding the agency.  The blog is maintained by Tom LeVeque, who incorporates a number of helpful features into the resource.  Crime-mapping, for instance, visually illustrates exactly where crimes are occurring, providing detailed information for concerned local residents.  Notifications about road closures and construction projects also make their way into blog entries, furnishing alternate routes and project timelines.  Tips for staying safe are also provided, like common-sense warnings that open windows at ground level invite criminals in.  Breaking news is also posted to the blog, as developing crimes unfold.
  50. Police Brutality (and atrocity) Blog – This watchdog resource highlights cases in which police officers appear to act inappropriately toward suspects and others.  One recent article highlights the tragic death of a 95 year old man who police shot with a bean bag.  Accountability is a prevalent theme among blog posts here, reflecting the site organizers’ call for investigations of suspicious incidents involving death and injury to suspects.  As Taser use becomes more widespread, articles on the Brutality Blog involving Taser-related death are also growing in numbers.

50 Top Firearm Blogs of 2013

Gun laws are the subject of ongoing analysis nationally and in individual states, where most United States citizens have the right to apply for concealed carry permits.  Crime and violence take center stage on the evening news though, so arguments about guns are not going away.  To support their positions, passionate gun enthusiasts put forth opinions about safety and constitutional rights, while opponents point to growing numbers of gun crimes resulting in harm to children.  Wherever they fall on the gun control spectrum, people are engaged in spirited discussions about gun ownership, concealed carry laws and criminal justice outcomes for perpetrators using guns.  In addition to activists, there are also large numbers of firearm hobbyists who simply use the World Wide Web to share information and ideas about guns. The following examples include those typical of the gun and firearm blogs driving today’s political debates, as well as recreational blogs devoted to firearms.

Photo by Greta Caresini on Flickr

Photo by Greta Caresini on Flickr

  1. The Firearm Blog – Committed to firearms, rather than politics, this site includes several daily postings about guns.  The informational resource is centered on firearms and accessories, providing reviews and information about new products.  Home and personal defense products are also discussed, illuminating equipment and tactics for the best individual defense.  Ammunition, custom firearms and auctions where guns are sold also draw significant coverage from writers on The Firearm Blog.
  2. Gun Nuts Media – People are interested in guns for different reasons.  Some are curious, with little experience handling firearms, while others are confident with their knowledge of guns.  But the often overlooked reality is that people use guns recreationally, for hunting and competitions too.  Gun Nuts Media is devoted to firearm sports like target shooting and the equipment sportsmen use to participate.  Product reviews for rifles and target guns are included in regular posts, as well as historical looks at important firearms and events in the world of shooting sports.  Articles also look at prevailing gun news, providing analysis for readers interested in the legal side of gun ownership.
  3. 30 Cal Gal – Guns have a masculine association that sometimes brings men to mind when firearms are considered, but this blog puts to rest any sexist leanings tied to weapons.  The blog is maintained by a competitive long range shooter named Anette Wachter, who also happens to be female.  She carries a great deal of credibility in the sport, as a member of the United States Rifle Team and an NRA record holder shooting from 300 yards.  She competes in tactical rifle events as well as those involving multiple guns.  Her blog chronicles her adventures in the sport, inviting readers to accompany her through competitions via her regular blog entries.
  4. GunPundit – The name of this blog gives clues to its content, which is less about sporting issues and more about politics.  Posts are recaps of items taken from the news, with personal commentary provided by authors whose positions are decidedly pro-gun.  Legislative stories from around the country, including Colorado’s recent recall initiative and news about a Wisconsin gun manufacturer are supplemented with gun-related product announcements and human interest stories about firearms.
  5. The Weapon Blog – There is something here for everyone interested in guns, whether for sporting purposes or as a social issue worthy of exploration.  Recent articles include coverage of constitutional developments in the gun control argument, following Justice Scalia through recent comments he made about the future of gun laws.  Obama administration policies are also explored, with an eye toward preserving gun rights for Americans.  The lighter side of firearms is also enjoyed from a hobbyist standpoint, including a recent feature highlighting a new brand of vodka that is marketed in a machine gun shaped bottles.  The site demonstrates its commitment to Constitutional law by including links to documents drafted by the founding fathers.
  6. View From the Porch – VFP is a multi-faceted site reflecting the interests of the administrator, which run toward bikes and guns.  Articles look at social issues as they emerge in the news, providing analysis of how they mesh with civil rights and gun laws.  The blog is maintained by an Indiana woman who is a gun enthusiast and target shooting hobbyist.  Her entries are regular, and not always about guns, but there are tidbits throughout that relate to firearms and social policies about them.  The site has been active for 8 years, chronicling developments in gun culture and taking jabs at the Obama administration.
  7. Vuurwapen Blog – This highly technical blog looks at practical issues related to gun ownership and maintenance as well as self-defense equipment and methods.  Recent product reviews include an expanded analysis of several commercially available oils and lubricants for firearms.  The site administrator supports his opinions with examples from the field, as he does in all of the reviews and product evaluations found on the site.  The technical information has been offered here since 2009, and supports a training course offered by the author.  First-aid and other related topics are explored alongside firearms and gun training.
  8. Traction Control – Traction is a news blog not entirely devoted to firearms, but guns and related issues make their ways into the content regularly.  Articles cover gun-control events like rallies and speeches, informing readers about actual outcomes.  Gun-related security updates, including news from high-profile court cases, are included alongside posts about militias and personal defense.  The opinions expressed seem to support the call for gun rights, often taking issue with Obama administration actions and other gun control initiatives.
  9. The AnarchAngel – This security blog provides information and advice about personal and home security, including entries about firearms and their defensive uses.  The site also contains recommendations about computer security and ways to protect personal information.  The commentary is not organized in a particular order, and posts are interrupted periodically by random photographs and other musings of the authors.  There is factual evidence presented to back-up most of the claims made by Chris Byrne, the blog’s administrator.
  10. The Next Chapter – The site’s title refers to the author’s retirement, which prompted him to share his thoughts in blog entries.  The site maintains an extensive list of archived entries, each dedicated to a particular type of firearm.  The entries are thoughtfully written from a first-hand perspective, showing the user’s familiarity with the weapons he evaluates. Lots of concealed carry weapons are reviewed, as well as holsters and accessories for safe and effective gun safety management.  Some historical weapons are included in the commentary, which also stimulates readers to consider the future of personal security.  Recent entries also dissect Obama administration policy, especially as it relates to criminal justice and gun control. 
    Photo by Kevin Dooley on Flickr

    Photo by Kevin Dooley on Flickr

  11. Advanced Armament Blog – The blog entries here assume readers have a better-than-average knowledge of firearms, including entries dedicated to modifications that can be made to stock weapons in order to make them more lethal or better handlers.  Military style tactical weapons seem to be featured most prominently in posts, which also look at accessories like silencers, scopes and night vision equipment.  Cutting edge weaponry and gunsmithing techniques provide frequent blog topics at Advanced Armament, but new product releases and stories about killing wild game with tactical guns are also regular features.
  12. Day at the Range – The information contained here focuses on the machinery, rather than the thought-provoking political discourse present on other blogs.  The site administrator is more interested in sharing practical information with gun owners, including recall information and updates about new product releases.  Ammunition and other gun accessories are also evaluated in posts that feature new loads and discuss venerable stalwarts like the .44 Remington magnum.  Industry news from firearm manufacturing circles keeps readers on the cutting edge of emerging gun technology, and informs gun enthusiasts about research and development into the next great weapons.  Recent reviews include in depth looks at revolvers and semi-automatic handguns.
  13. Armed and Safe – There is no question about the intentions of these blog organizers, who place their mission statement front-and-center.  Gun rights advocacy is at the heart of the site, with many blog entries featuring themes about gun control.  The blog seeks to dispel myths about guns, supporting American citizens’ fundamental rights to carry guns for protection.  Regular updates about changes to individual state concealed carry laws keep readers informed about application requirements and legal ramifications of concealed carry.  Legislative activities in the House of Representatives and Senate are followed closely in blog entries, as well Obama administration policies toward firearms.
  14. Learn About Guns – Readers are faced with volumes of information about guns as they navigate this legal-oriented blog.  The organizers present information from a gun rights perspective, supporting Constitutional rights and legal self-defense.  The blog sets out to shatter myths about gun crime, by providing examples of lawlessness occurring without guns.  Facts are presented statistically, to reinforce the tales of successful self-defense conveyed on the site.  Other myths about gun sellers and patrons of gun stores are challenged from the perspective of traditionally maligned groups, like minorities.  Basic gun knowledge is present in abundance, alongside reviews of firearms and related accessories.  Links to pro-gun articles help support the advocacy endorsed by the site.
  15. Defense Review – The contact contained here might fly over the heads of casual readers without much previous firearm exposure.  Blog entries detail new equipment releases and provide up to date information about product accessories that are available for modern firearms.  Guns are reviewed, including feedback returned directly from the range.  Tactical equipment including survival gear and other high-tech attire are also put under the microscope in product reviews testing their functional performance.  Many of the items featured are very specific to the weapons they are used with, so not every article is light reading.
  16. Good Hill Press – Like many gun rights blogs, this site takes up conservative causes alongside the call for preserving fundamental constitutional rights.  The wide-angle view presented includes analysis of national policy issues and legal developments related to national gun control and criminal justice.  Recent posts discuss whether or not gun registration automatically opens the door to discrimination against gun owners and concealed carry applicants.  National stories also include features about sovereign security, like exploration of weapons of mass destruction and other political hot-button issues.
  17. Shall Not Be Questioned – The backdrop for this blog is constitutional law and the fundamental right to defend oneself.  The information provided by bloggers looks at laws currently on the books and the Obama administration’s push to impose greater gun control on American firearm owners.  Close scrutiny is paid to incremental developments, which contributors to this site feel are only the beginnings of total gun confiscation.   Whether readers agree with the possibility or not, the legal information provides food for thought and a refresher course in constitutional politics.
  18. Gunner’s Journal – Entries pay homage to the Model 1911, calling it America’s first handgun.  The gunner behind the site is a former police officer who worked more than twenty-five years on the job.  The blog bundles several of his interests into a single outlet for opinions and information.  Shooting, history and computing capture the interests of the retired cop turned blogger, who is also a certified firearms instructor.  Posts are not made frequently, but there are archived information present detailing previous posts, which includes gun reviews and discussions about accessories and related topics.
  19. Guns, Holsters and Gear – Gun enthusiasts are quick to share information about gun successes and failures, commenting on newly released weapons and accessories.   The material contained in this blog is a compendium of such information, evaluating guns and equipment as they find their ways to the market.  While the blog’s title covers three of the biggest concerns for gun lovers, the entries go beyond these three mainstays, providing reviews and information about other gun related equipment too.  Cleaning kits and ammunition are put to the test by reviewers, who share their opinions about value and efficacy of gun products.  Tactical arms and gunsmithing modifications are also discussed in recent posts.
  20. NRA Blog – Everyone captivated by an interest in firearms or by the laws surrounding gun control and concealed carry eligibility finds something of interest in the NRA blog.  The powerful organization is at the center of heated national debates about guns, but NRA members are also sportsmen and women interested in news about guns.  The blog shows the reach of the organization, highlighting contests and philanthropic efforts of the group.  Law enforcement sections, and other blogs maintained strictly for hunters and sportsmen round-out the articles present, including those dedicated to youth education and firearms training for hunting-aged teens.
  21. An NC Gun Blog – Ordinary citizens are eager to spread news and information about guns.  This blog is maintained by a hobbyist who is expanding his own understanding of firearms and sharing his revelations along the way.  Many of the posts challenge the gun control mentality, favoring constitutional protection instead.  The site is based in North Carolina, so content includes full coverage of state gun bills and legislative proposals.  Links are also present, to other blogs offering opinions and information about guns.  Articles tackle sensitive gun subjects like school security and background checks, stimulating active responses from blog readers.
  22. All Nine Yards – The host of this blog vows to hold nothing back, and when it comes to commentary about gun laws the site doesn’t mince words.  Regular posts keep tabs on gun legislation in states and in Congress.  Open carry, concealed carry and other legal issues are tracked through the court system, providing updates about changing gun laws.  The site also conveys news of gun recalls and other news from manufacturers about new releases and accessories.  Recent posts also touch on personal security topics like keeping your home safe and avoiding becoming a carjacking victim.
  23. Another Gun Blog – Legal cases and details about gun legislation are shared here by a law clerk who is a self-described gun nut.  Self-defense laws and other weapons-related controversies are followed with regular posts flavored with the host’s legal perspective.  Additional information about stand your ground laws and other state initiatives related to guns and personal defense are shared to keep readers informed about what is happening around the country, especially the East coast.  Equipment is also put under the microscope, with pictures and reviews of handguns.  Supreme Court cases and famous historical figures are quoted to support articles favoring constitutional rights.
  24. A Girl and Her Gun – This blog represents grass roots gun enthusiasm to show how firearms are integrated into the regular daily life of a female gun owner.  Posts are not all about guns, containing personal stories and articles from guest, but there is a common thread present throughout the content found here:  Personal responsibility.  The underlying mantra behind the site is to be prepared, regardless of your station in life.  In addition to firearms, the blogger advocates proficiency in other self-defense methods like hand-to-hand combat and using knives.  Stories about other gun enthusiasts and inspirational accounts of successful self-defense round out the articles posted on the site.
    Photo by Chris Gladis on Flickr

    Photo by Chris Gladis on Flickr

  25. God, Gals, Guns, Grub – Stories from the shooting range provide details about firearms handling, cleaning, and safe storage.  The organizers of this blog are committed to keeping citizens safe by sharing information about personal protection with guns.  Posts are filled with tips and instructive details about handling guns in real situations, as well as practicing with them at the range.  Equipment updates about guns, magazines, grips and other firearms accessories are also included in regular posts, featuring specs and test results for various pieces of equipment.
  26. Borepatch – Personal reflections about firearms and related issues furnish most of the content of this blog, but it is a personal journal more than it is a hard gun-news resource.  The author is a dedicated gun rights advocate, passing common-sense observations on to readers.  Stories detailing things people encounter in regular situations are dissected for their political and sociological implications, in an approachable and straightforward way.  Internet security information and safe firearms handling techniques are shared free of charge, keeping readers up to speed in both areas.
  27. Cocked and Loaded – The gun-rights message is heard loud and clear in posts contained within this conservative political blog.  While the politics behind the site are one-sided, the information contained in posts is dedicated primarily to the facts about firearms. Articles include updates about equipment and personal endorsements from contributors attesting to the quality of certain firearms.  Advice includes entries about which guns are the most important to own for particular situations and why.  Prepping for social unrest and other practical gun-related discussions include embedded YouTube videos detailing strategies for staying safe in society.  Larger security issues are also contemplated in features about national policies.
  28. Everyday No Days Off – Wide-ranging gun discussions are centered on equipment and laws influencing public opinion about firearms.  Open carry laws as well as concealed carry legislation are covered in recent posts, which advocate for gun rights. Combat news is also included in some posts, outlining developments in current military hotspots like Afghanistan and Syria.  Articles follow gun stories through the news cycle, offering updates about gun charges and other developments about people’s experiences with firearms.  Posts are supplemented with videos and photos appealing to gun enthusiasts, including recent entries containing footage of gunners blasting away at inanimate objects.
  29. From the Barrel of a Gun – The content here represents another personal blog about guns, offering insight and opinions from gun enthusiast contributors.  Commentary is not limited to firearms, instead tackling conservative topics that fall across the legislative spectrum.  Updates about state laws and changes to federal policy are examined with an eye toward their impacts on constitutional gun rights.  Practical tips about gun ownership are also included, like the four cardinal rules of gun handling and other useful information.  Timely posts draw headline news into the discussion, providing commentary about social and political milestones.
  30. Gun Free Zone – Despite a title that might lead readers down the wrong path, this blog is not an anti-gun destination.  On the contrary, the administrator chose the name to be ironic in his advocacy for constitutional gun rights and preserving each American citizen’s position to defend him or herself.  The pro-rights blog follows the development of a man who once believed guns were not necessary pieces of protective equipment.  As his viewpoints develop, readers are invited to share his posts and offer comments.  News stories involving guns are shared by the author, who looks for ways gun violence can be avoided.
  31. Newbie Shooter – Gun news and commentary is provided here by a relative newcomer to the shooting debate.  Contributing authors discuss ongoing issues within the gun-control camp, exposing inconsistencies with the arguments control advocates put-forth.  In addition to getting behind gun rights initiatives, the author supplies updates about court cases and gun related outcomes within the legal system.  In one recent post, he lists the contact information for key legislators involved in gun control debate, encouraging readers to make their pro-gun opinions known to elected officials.  The Newbie behind the blog wants to support others who are just getting familiar with firearms, even offering to take people to the gun range to try shooting.
  32. No Lawyers, Only Guns and Money – The organizer of this blog borrows lyrics from a popular Warren Zevon some to stimulate interest in his site.  Any news with a firearm component is fair game for the site, whether centered on legal issues or weaponry itself.  Recent posts discuss the shortage of ammunition, illustrating that it is an international phenomenon rather than one only impacting United States gun owners.  The series of posts includes video footage provided by ammunition manufacturers showing the steps they are taking to alleviate the ammunition problem and continue meeting demand.
  33. The Truth about Guns – Gun rights and self-defense are explored here with posts keeping tabs on legislative developments and gun stories in the press.  As news developments are followed, contributors offer opinions about how cases and bills are being handles.  Questions are posed hypothetically, to dial in potential solutions to ongoing problems of gun violence and personal security.  Recent posts ask pressing questions about society and guns, like:  “Should Starbucks employees be allowed to carry guns?”  Robert Farrago, who maintains the blog, also publishes practical self-defense tips and recommendations for steering clear of criminals.
  34. Gun Noob Blog – The information shared by contributors to this blog is designed for shooters in the novice to intermediate categories.  Gun reviews are abundant, with particular attention paid to handguns used for personal protection.  Reviews focus on whether particular guns are good choices as first weapons, rather than attesting to their general usability.  Safety standards for handling guns and general firearms information are maintained in another section of the blog, providing solid answers for beginners confused by the breadth of information (sometimes conflicting) about guns found on the internet.
  35. – This gun-friendly blog is maintained by a 22 year Navy veteran with an interest in firearms and gun laws.  The name references the fact that most of the blog entries are contributed by the female site owner, who is a self-described tomboy.  Information contained on the site delves deeply into gun rights issues with personal stories and updates about pending legislation.  Readers, especially women, appreciate the series of links provided for other gun=related sites maintained by female gun enthusiasts.  Lil Chantilly, the woman operating the blog is a contributor to other online gun resources as well.
  36. We Like Shooting – This resource is dedicated to all aspects of firearms and shooting, with particular attention going to equipment reviews and practical guides for becoming better shooters.  Legal developments and sociology of gun culture is also discussed, but the bread and butter areas of the site are devoted to equipment reviews and other practical tips.  Survival methods and tactical considerations are also abundant, offering proven strategies from qualified contributors.  Posts are arranged in accessible sections, allowing readers to target specific information, and the content addresses a wide range of experience levels among enthusiasts. Recent posts in the tips section provide opinions about what might be the best carry gun for women, as well as an entry describing 4 basic shooting rules.
  37. Nobody Asked Me – Contributions made here are homespun offerings stemming from the personal experiences of the site’s administrator. A recent entry, for example, chronicles his own exploration of three different ammunition rounds.  The information provided is first-0hand, from experiments conducted at the range.  The author enlists the help of additional reviewers, who accompany him on research trips.  The blog’s owner, W. Emerson Wright is a retired Navy pilot with interests in writing and shooting, combined here in his informative personal blog.
  38. Black Man with a Gun – Kenn Blanchard maintains this blog, with leanings toward preserving gun rights.  Reverend Blanchard is an author and broadcaster, as well as being a counselor to children and a leading gun rights activists for more than twenty years.  He has testified before Congress about gun laws, as well as appearing in several state legislative houses lobbying for gun rights and constitutional protection.  As a man of color, Reverend Blanchard is particularly interested in curbing gun laws seen as racist.  To that end, he has been a regular contributor to documentaries and broadcasts a regular podcast that has been downloaded over one million time to date.
    Photo by Pal Joakim Olsen on Flickr

    Photo by Pal Joakim Olsen on Flickr

  39. Loose Rounds – This technical blog speaks to gun enthusiasts with technical updates about guns and equipment.  Articles include straight-up reviews as well as product release information issued by manufacturers.  The blog is broken into sections containing targeted discussions about survival, personal safety, and firearm maintenance.  Editorial opinions are also shared by contributors passionate about gun causes.  Extensive comparisons are provided, keeping readers ahead of firearms developments, and alerting gun owners to recalls and other manufacturer news.  A recent pot discusses the stopping power of various handguns, putting forth unique arguments about the wounding power and effectiveness of certain guns.
  40. The Spent Round – This blog contains general information about firearms, including commentary about gun laws and education.  Recent posts discuss state legislation pertaining to gun control, as well as outlining the findings of a Harvard study linking gun control to no reductions in violent crime.  After limited exposure to guns during his youth, the site administrator was away from them until 2012, when he reintroduced shooting into his repertoire of interests.  His site features an interesting section defining anti-gun terms for readers unfamiliar with the argument. 
  41. Armory Blog – All things related to firearms are addressed by equipment-oriented blog entries found on the Armory Blog.  New guns and accessories are placed under the microscope for evaluations by experienced handlers, but novice viewpoints are welcomed too.  Recent guest posts include a primer about proper gun storage tips for beginners.  News, reviews and opinions take the form of practical commentary, alerting readers about new products and gun-related services.  Gear reviews focus on where deals can be found purchasing the latest and greatest gun accessories and firearms.
  42. The Gun Wire – Blog posts on The Gun Wire come in the form of YouTube videos, which include lots of footage taken at gun ranges.  The idea is to present first-hand verification about the performance of certain firearms.  Entertainment value is high in some videos, when enthusiasts take powerful handguns to range to shoot at watermelons and other dramatic targets.  On the site’s home page, readers can easily access links to news stories that go hand in hand with postings found in the blog.  The archived section of the site provides opportunities to click on historical dates to see exactly what the gun headlines were for specific dates in history.
  43. Romeo Tango Bravo – Reviews of firearms and accessories are conducted for interested readers, including those that look at newly released and even pending releases in the firearms category.  Guns are broken down into categories, like bolt-action, semi-automatic and other classifications before being reviewed.  Recent comparisons posted on the site contrast several left handed guns available for sale, providing handling details and product specifications.  The Rugar American Rifle, a newly released rimfire gun, was the site’s featured review recently, offering a wealth of information about the new gun.  Authors and firearms experts are invited to contact blog administrators about providing reviews and guest posts for the site.
  44. Armed Candy – Another resource with content provided primarily by women who enjoy guns, this blog covers wide-ranging topics that emphasize women’s role in gun culture.  In fact, the site administrator works with other female gun bloggers to strengthen their message. While the content on the site is varied, there is an emphasis placed on information helping shooters become more accurate and consistent with firearm performance.  Fun features, like a daily “whatsit”, challenging readers to identify an odd object, add a lighthearted feel that helps break-up the dense technical content associated with guns and ammunition.
  45. Guns and Ammo Blog – This perennial force in the firearms publishing industry provides gun news through its online blog channel.  Posts cover breaking news in the firearms industry, including first looks at new guns and accessories.  Reviews are also conducted at the range, complete with footage showing exactly how guns perform there.  Personal protection is the main gist of the content contained here, but articles cover just about anything related to firearms.  Television and Hollywood connections are not overlooked, with features about TV shows like Sons of Guns and analysis of weapons used in movies like World War Z.
  46. Massad Ayoob on Guns – This blog is maintained by a famous personal defense expert with experience handling guns.  The analysis is deeper than many online resources, because Mr. Ayoob takes the time to expand his points over the course of several articles contained in series’.  His gun blog is featured on a site containing related information about survival and alternative lifestyles.  A recent series of posts by Mr. Ayoob looks at the far-reaching implications of the George Zimmerman verdict and the potential ramifications associated with the not-guilty outcome.  Gun types are also compared to determine which models are most effective under given circumstances.
    Photo by Iqbal Osman on Flickr

    Photo by Iqbal Osman on Flickr

  47. Pistol Training – When handled by untrained civilians, handguns can be more dangerous to their owners than they are to criminals.  Pistol Training offers insight into weapons handling that centers around safe storage and interaction with concealed carry handguns.  Guns and accessories are evaluated as they come to market, featuring expert analysis about features and design enhancements they contain.  In addition to costs and performance measures, advice is offered about situations in which particular guns would be found most effective. Videos, some taken at gun ranges, illustrate the concepts discussed in articles posted to the site, including correct positioning and movement for accurate firing.
  48. Walls of the City – As is the case with many passionate gun blogs, information posted here is not exclusively devoted to firearms.   Many entries are concerned with civil liberties issues and other societal trends worth commenting on.  But gun content is present for enthusiasts, some of which is classified under the “reviews” section of the blog archives, where individual firearms are evaluated for effectiveness.  The section is not limited to guns themselves, but also includes reviews of holsters, sites, handgun grips, and a host of other accessories coveted by gun lovers visiting the site.  Other blog sections include general posts, and those not necessarily linked to guns.
  49. My Gun Culture – In addition to shooting tips and basic information about firearms handling, entries provide reviews of guns and shooting products.  Reviews are broken into sections, each dealing with an accessory like holsters, cases, scopes and so on.  Ammunition and attire are also analyzed, to provide up to date information about available, and effective, products. The site’s owner, Tom McHale offers his own insight, flavored by a career as a marketing specialist, on prevailing topics like gun control, concealed carry laws, self-defense and just plain old sport shooting.
  50. The Gun Shots – This resource serves as the online mouthpiece for Outdoor Life magazine.  Practical articles are presented, covering a wide range of topics, from proper shooting posture to suitable gun recommendations.  A recent post, for instance, advocates for the use of 20-gauge shotguns as personal home defense weapons rather than the 12-gauge guns generally recommended for the purpose.  News from around the gun manufacturing industry is highlighted too, including news about companies moving their facilities and releasing new products.  Articles clearly favor gun rights, addressing readers from the sportsman crowd who are most likely to be proponents of constitutional gun rights.


50 Best Criminal Justice Blogs of 2013

Staying on top of the news involves local awareness, but looking beyond your neighborhood at trends around the country – even the world, gives you a better understanding of the criminal justice system and what it takes to protect yourself in modern society.  Luckily there is a lot of help available across the World Wide Web, where countless bloggers take to their keyboards to provide unique perspectives on crime and punishment.  There are so many criminal justice angles to study, recognizing good information is not always easy for Web surfers.  The following blogs provide solid, thought-provoking content for criminal justice enthusiasts, students conducting research, and citizens keeping tabs on the legal system.The Department of Justice

  1. The Justice Blog – Going right to the source, The United States Federal Government, allows readers to stay informed about legal developments occurring at the federal level.  The official Department of Justice Blog addresses wide-ranging criminal justice issues with informational posts from Department staffers, as well as blog entries accredited to Attorney General Eric Holder himself.  Recent articles discuss issues ranging from gun violence to health care.  The blog also serves as a portal to other informational resources, including links to blog posts from organizations like Office on Violence Against Women. The blog gives the Justice Department a chance to communicate directly with the public, creating a perception of transparency within the administration.
  2. Michael Brown Today – Homeland security and other social issues are examined with thought provoking entries from a former political insider, who participates in the system differently today.  Mr. Brown was an Undersecretary in the Department of Homeland Security responsible for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which brings unique perspective to his criminal justice blog.  Topics range from hot button issues like climate change to justice-oriented posts relating to race relations and partisanship in the criminal justice system.
  3. In Homeland Security – Criminal justice and homeland security issues go hand in hand, so news and information about critical current events relating to terrorism and U.S. defense are shared alongside legislative policy news about justice.  The site is maintained by a network of experts drawn from diverse justice backgrounds including security research, emergency preparedness, disaster relief, border security, cyber security and other disciplines related to criminal justice and national safety.  The world news perspective adopted by the blog sheds light on defense issues, allowing readers to stay informed.  Daily posts explore current events topics like regional conflicts in Egypt and other volatile areas.
  4. Intelnews -The wide scope of information covered at Intelnews shares a common thread, the specialized intelligence helps illuminate topics like criminal justice and national security.  The blog is maintained by two experts specializing in intelligence, counterintelligence, espionage and other information gathering disciplines.  The pair offers news and commentary about current events that include angles relating to spying and national security.  Drawing content from the headlines, the experts analyze the roles played by organizations like the National Security Agency, and distill behind the scenes intelligence activities into easily digested entries designed to keep readers informed.
  5. Homeland Stupidity – Readers turn to blogs for different reasons, so not everyone interested in criminal justice will find this site informative.  On the other hand, the irreverent content provides thought provoking jump-off points for political analysis and discussion.  The posts contained here take devil’s advocate positions targeting social issues and current events.  The no-holds barred technique stimulates reactionary impulses, which is what makes the site interesting.  Whether you agree with a recent post about United States involvement in Yemen, or not, you’ll appreciate the stimulating presentation of ideas from the security professionals running the blog.  Never mind that the positions seem tongue-in-cheek a times, they still stir reflection, which is always good for the criminal justice system.
    Photo by darrenjsylvester on Flick

    Photo by darrenjsylvester on Flickr

  6. Second City Cop – The Windy City Police Department carries a strong tradition of immigrant officers walking the city beat, and rough and tumble enforcers running the town during rougher times.  But the profession is as honored and respected today as any job has historically been.  The entries included in the cop blog show a different side of an officer, who chooses to share thoughts and opinions about a wind range of topics.  Most of the time, posts are related to city government and criminal justice trends, but the scope of subjects also includes general information about gun laws and federal policies.
  7. Crime Museum – The official blog for the National Museum of Crime and Punishment shares stories about criminal justice and related topics, focusing on interesting turns of justice that stand as important milestones in history.  The entertaining site creates dramatizations of important historical crimes, and the colorful perpetrators that carved out their own places in history.  The stories are real, not sensationalized, which adds a true-life element for readers.  Unsolved crimes and uncertain details about famous criminals allow readers to speculate and draw their own conclusions about the veracity of historical accounts.
  8. ExcessiveBail – The acerbic wit found here doesn’t speak to everyone’s interest in criminal justice, but the content is varied enough to offer some appeal for most readers.  The tongue-in-cheek analysis focuses on issues as varied as wrongful incarceration and Edward Snowden’s plight.  Many entries look at real court cases and dissect legal precedent, so the data backs-up the verbosity in any case.  The entertaining sarcasm is directed toward lawyers and the legal process, playing up absurdities and silliness at all stages of jurisprudence.  Police actions and legal policy are highlighted in posts that look at unusual laws and court case outcomes with a cynical mockery that keeps the blog interesting.
  9. Early American Crime – The title says it all – this blog is a compendium of information about crimes historic.  The author has a long history studying various aspects of the social history of crime and punishment.  Anthony Vaver holds a PhD earned from The State University of New York, and is a best-selling author on the subject of criminal justice.  Entries draw from historical texts and represent a cross-section of crimes, following the fate of criminals through the accountability phase, when punishments are handed down.
  10. Death penalty Information Center – Whether you are for it or against it, capital punishment stimulates vigorous discussions on both sides. This blog gives a voice to attorneys and other contributors who weigh in on the subject from all angles.  Real life case studies about clients they have had on death row provide legitimacy to the arguments calling for a reprieve in the death penalty.  Legislation is followed closely, tracking public sentiment and trends among lawmakers about capital punishment and its role in the justice system. False confessions and other imperfections in the ways we determine guilt are offered as arguments against capital punishment, pointing out all the ways the current system can fail.
  11. Prison Culture – The views expressed by contributors to the Prison Culture blog are far from mainstream, in fact the main idea advocated by the authors, abolishing prisons, might seem revolutionary.  The philosophy behind the blog’s angle points to the inefficiency and immorality of a giant PIC, or prison industrial complex.  According to the PIC theory, by way of its size and scope across society, the PIC takes on a life of its own, thus influencing too many segments of society.  The blog studies mass incarceration and transformative justice, pointing to inadequacies in the way we process crime and punishment.
  12. Matt Mangino – The opinions of criminal defense attorneys provide important insight into the workings of the criminal justice system, even when their ideas are unlike your own.  Matt Mangino is an attorney and a former prosecutor, so the perspective he brings to his blog is unique.  The entries deal with current events and legislative policy in editorial presentations that are often reprints of Op-Eds and other Mangino publications.  Mr. Mangino was also a member of the parole board, so his criminal justice musings are also colored with his exposure to that side of the legal system.  Overall, the articles are thought-provoking and well-constructed.
  13. The Crime Report – The Crime Report provides a comprehensive look at every aspect of the legal system, from legislative actions to courtroom happenings.  Crime is covered first-hand with investigative features taking readers inside the criminal justice system, and putting facilities under the microscope.  Other social issues that deal with crime and deterrence are presented, allowing readers to formulate informed assessments of the legal system.  Headlines are dissected by guest experts, who offer their opinions on the impact of daily events.  Security and safety issues are discussed too, as they relate to the internet, educational facilities, and other venues vulnerable to crime.
  14. Huffpost Crime – The semi-sensational features contained on the Huffington Post crime page cover hard news, but also contain softer stories related to crime and punishment.  Featured posts carry built-in credibility, coming from guest authors with the credentials to support their opinions.  The ever-present Hollywood angle also expands on current stories about celebrity misbehavior and famous people who have become victims of crime.  Recent contributions include editorials about gun control, racial profiling and United States drug policy.  Video feeds and lots of sensational stories contribute to the captivating nature of the site.
  15. Doc Bonn – Doctor Scott Bonn, “Doc Bonn” is an expert on criminal justice issues, maintaining a blog that shares information about his own history in the criminal justice system as well as general information about crime and punishment. Doc Bonn is a professor at Drew University and an expert consultant frequently called upon by the media to offer insight about current criminal justice events.  He holds a PhD and has consulted for both television and film.  In addition to being a published author, Scott Bonn can be hired as a speaker, shedding light on criminal justice topics in academic and media settings.
    Photo by Lee Haywood on Flickr

    Photo by Lee Haywood on Flickr

  16. Jonathan Turley – Politically inspired discussions about criminal justice policy dominate this resource, which reports about various Washington agencies and the roles they play in national security and public safety.  Individual liberties are at the heart of some posts, including entries about warrantless surveillance and other social hot-button issues.  The blog plays to the absurdity of some current news stories, giving pause for reflection about how we administer justice in the United States. Entries are quick to examine missteps by the current presidential administration and compare and contrast campaign pledges with the actual output from the administration. Turley is a professor and published author in areas of constitutional law and legal theory, he currently teaches at George Washington University.
  17. The Charles Smith Blog – Despite its name, the blog is administered by Harold Levy who references a historic case of injustice with the blog’s title.  Harold Levy is interested in forensic pathology, particularly when there are questions about how it is applied to reach verdicts in criminal cases.  Articles examine legal policy and look at agencies of government that carry out criminal justice initiatives, including the FBI and Federal Supreme Court.  A stream of contributors focus on cases where injustice may have prevailed, examining how evidence was used to draw verdicts.  “Junk science” and other flawed legal protocols influence criminal justice outcomes, so accountability is promoted by blogs like this one.
  18. The Sentencing Project – Advocating for reform in sentencing law and otrher criminal justice policies provides the basis for this activist blog that points to a six-fold increase in the populations of United States prisons as clear evidence that reform is in order. Mandatory minimum sentences and punishment policy that does not consider the individual characteristics of criminals are challenged by thoughtful articles examining the trends in incarceration.  The site links to mainstream media articles that support the reform argument, including pieces that evaluate racial disparities across the number of individuals currently in jail.
  19. Solitary Watch – “News from a nation on lockdown” is brought to you by blog entries pointing-up the state of the criminal justice system in the U.S.  Solitary confinement in United States correctional facilities, especially for long periods of time, has become the subject of scrutiny among advocates of reform. Articles use individual case studies to illustrate the current conditions at U.S. prisons and show the detrimental effects of long-term solitary confinement.  The mission of the blog is to shed light on what is considered a widespread human rights issue, and to call attention to newsworthy happenings related to solitary confinement policy.
  20. Think Progress – Current events and modern cultural issues are explored using individual categories that guide readers to the articles they are most interested in.  Topical areas like justice, immigration, health, sports and the economy are expanded with entries that relate to actual news events, and contain analysis of policy in specific areas.  For example, readers learning about immigration are assisted by entries highlighting various facets of the immigration reform argument, including the Obama administration positions and developments in the Congress and Senate.  Articles are supported by videos and images related to the stories, which also feature in-depth coverage of important political figures like Colin Powell and Justice Scalia.
  21. Cop in the Hood – Maintained by a professor of criminal justice who also carries street credentials, this interesting blog highlights current events related to police science and criminal justice.  Peter Moskos is a professor of criminal justice at the John Jay College and the City University of New York Doctoral Program in Sociology.  Mr. Moskos is also a former Baltimore City police officer. Law enforcement culture and other police science concerns, including crime prevention, drive the content here, with a focus on measuring the quality of outcomes involving police officers and exploring criminal justice policy.  In addition to writing books and scholarly articles, Peter Moskos discusses criminal justice issues on media outlets like CNN and NPR.
  22. The Bad Luck Detective – Suzie Ivy is a police detective with an interesting story, shared here alongside articles about cases and other police issues.  Ms. Ivy started her law enforcement career later in life than many police officers, prompting here to speak out as a middle-aged cop.  Her blog entries run the gamut from serious exploration of societal issues, to humorous, lighthearted anecdotes taken directly from her work as a police officer.  Her diverse life experiences (she owned a bookstore for 20 years) help color the unconventional material she presents.
  23. The Crime Analyst’s Blog – An experienced crime analyst uses this blog to dissect police techniques and other law enforcement trends, with an eye toward maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency of law enforcement agencies and their individual members.  Cutting edge police science procedures and prevailing criminal justice techniques are explored in articles carrying themes reinforced by the author’s 20 year career as a Texas crime analyst.  Individual laws and specific criminals are fair game for feature articles that give readers more information than mainstream media sources.
  24. Take All Prisoners – This Psychology Today blog goes “Inside the Fence” to consider mental health issues of the criminal justice system, including prisoner health and other components of the penal system.  Entries analyze the psychology of criminals, providing valuable insight for preventing future crimes.  Forensic psychology and other specialized areas related to criminal justice provide topics for blog entries, as well as psychological analysis for specific groups of criminals – children, for example.  Conduct disorders that lead to criminal behavior are also scrutinized for insight into how they eventually cause criminal activity.
  25. Officer Smith – Thoughts from Behind the Badge – Blogs run by police officers are some of the most credible, because the information they provide is often laid-out first-hand, by the law enforcement agents themselves.  This blog is a casual example of an individually administered peace officer site, with authentic, original material.  In this case, a California police officer presents straightforward opinions and musing about current events and actual on-the-job tales of criminal justice.  The frank discussion includes examples of things not to do when a police officer is requesting your attention, and stories about criminals who learn the hard way that police officers usually prevail when challenged.
    Photo by darrenjsylvester on Flickr

    Photo by darrenjsylvester on Flickr

  26. Chris Uggen’s Blog – Sociology and criminology are key components of the criminal justice system in the United States, providing glimpses into the minds and motivations of criminals and illuminating long term crime trends.  Bloggers like Chris Uggen delve into the broad questions behind criminal behavior and what leads to criminal conduct.  Critical analysis is employed to dissect social trends for kernels of wisdom that can be applied universally, to create better criminal justice outcomes.  By analyzing how people behave in groups, we are better able to understand the dynamics between “normal” and criminal behaviors.
  27. Vera Institute of Justice Blog – The Institute behind this blog is dedicated to fairer justice and equality within the legal system, acting as a project manager and consultant to the criminal justice industry.  The group’s research and information is reflected in blog entries about prisons, including policy and social considerations related to incarceration.  Financial crime and immigrant issues are discussed in recent posts, illuminating a deeper side of the justice system, which is not always featured in mainstream news stories.  State crime news and other current criminal justice developments are analyzed in periodic posts that highlight social trends in criminal justice areas like sexual abuse and white-collar crime.
  28. The Detective’s Diary – Jan Tucker is a private investigator and advocate for causes related to criminal justice.  He is a columnist and contributor to criminal justice publications, and also speaks about public safety issues on Black Talk Radio.  His blog entries announce events and other newsworthy happenings within the law enforcement community, especially those which focus on Latin American causes, for which Tucker is a supporter.  Police information and notifications regarding changes to existing laws are present, as well as endorsements for particular causes Mr. Tucker promotes.
  29. Schneier on Security – From wide angle views of United States surveillance and security policies, to individual examples of how you can increase your own personal safety, this blog contains a wide range of analysis.  Academic articles are featured to illuminate current events and show research on the cutting edge of criminal justice legislation, like internet safety for children.  Updates about laws and research round out the material presented by Bruce Schneier, which includes a look at emerging technologies and devices changing the way we conduct our national and personal safety affairs.
  30. Cold Case Squad – Joe Giacalone investigates cold cases and evaluates them to see if they are worth re-opening.  Informative blog entries expand news stories, focusing on criminal behavior and cold cases.  Old cases, never solved, are the focus of entries that expose crime investigation techniques for curious readers, but the studies are also serious looks at real cases.  Death investigation policies and procedures are analyzed, with an eye toward clearing more cases.  What you can do correctly, and what may have already been done wrong, are evaluated to improve the investigation process and clear more cases.
  31. Crime and Consequences – Sponsored by the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, articles focus on important developments in criminal justice – from current events, to historical analysis.  News stories that have impacts on the criminal justice system, and other relevant topics, are put under the microscope to provide greater understanding of legal issues.  Prison policy, first amendment rights, and other social concerns taken from the headlines provide topics of discussion for posts on the site.  Important Supreme Court cases and hot-button social issues like the death penalty are covered extensively.
  32. Cops Alive – Law enforcement professionals need help while they are on active duty, but there are also questions to be answered after their service is over.  This blog helps provide information for officers actively engaged in public safety, as well as those who have provided service and are no longer staffers with law enforcement agencies.  Articles keep readers abreast of changes in laws and about legislation impacting criminal justice.  Legal issues and their law enforcement consequences are discussed, providing general references for officers in need.  Expert contributors, most hailing from law enforcement careers, provide insight into real-life peace officer concerns.
  33. SGT Says – Thirty-five years of law enforcement experience stand behind the information contained in this resource.  Takeaways are the result of experience collected on real police calls over the author’s entire career in law enforcement.  Topics include crime prevention techniques, like installing burglar alarms and learning personal defense practices designed to keep people safer.  Various weapons are used by police officers, so the author does not shy away from including them in discussions of public safety.  Rifles, shotguns and handguns, as well as non-lethal personal defense tools like Tasers and sprays are featured in anecdotes about shootouts, protests, riots and a host of other types of police calls.
    Photo by Becca James on Flickr

    Photo by Becca James on Flickr

  34. Blue Sheepdog – This organization provides information and resources for police officers, covering material in three primary areas.  Training, criminal justice information, and reviews of law enforcement products are the most important areas of discussion for sponsors of this blog, who aim to help officers in any way they can.  Firearms and other gear are reviewed by the professionals who use them, providing invaluable insight into equipment and supplies that might mean the difference between life and death in the field.  Job postings and other peace officer resources are also available for readers, who access information in a variety of formats.
  35. Positive Leo – Law enforcement and criminal justice are areas that draw diverse viewpoints, so the professions often come under scrutiny for the opinions expressed by officers and other staffers.  Unfortunately, a great deal of the press is negative, so this blog challenges the status quo, focusing on the positive aspects of criminal justice instead.  Entries cover widespread happenings in criminal justice, from individual department successes to changes in law enforcement policy benefitting officers. To recognize exemplary behavior, individual peacekeepers are featured in profiles calling out their strengths and accomplishments.
  36. Connected Cops – Focusing on the role of the Internet and social media outlets on law enforcement, this cutting edge blog keeps readers informed about modern communication and social networking.  Pinterest, twitter and other ways people connect are now woven into the fabric of our lives, so it only follows that they play a role in policing Americans too.  News from around the web is compiled here to provide quick access to articles about media and police.  Regular contributors include law enforcement professionals and social media experts familiar with criminal justice uses for social media connections.
  37. My Life of Crime – Bonnie Kernene maintains this resource about crimes of all kind, but the focus is generally on violent or high-profile crimes against people.  The site is dedicated to the principle that it is the victims of crimes, rather than the perpetrators that should be remembered, and that victims’ rights should always come first.  By remembering victims, we preserve the human element of violent crime, adding deterrence against future acts of violence.  The blog includes posts from Bonnie’s Twitter account, and allows readers to keep tabs on current cases.  Individual crimes are taken from the headlines, and updated with information about how criminal justice unfolds with each case.
  38. Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice Blog – Programs of rehabilitation for boys and girls across America are administered to gain the maximum benefit for troubled youth.  Blog entries look at who is committing crimes and criminal justice interventions used to curb criminal behavior among youths.  Modern issues like gun violence and the escalation of violent crime among young people are discussed frankly, in order to change people’s lives and address problems within the criminal justice system.  The blog highlights social trends, as they relate to law, equality, and justice.  Policies are examined, from those maintained by the presidential administration all the way down to local police enforcement.  Current legal arguments are dissected, to shed light on legal cases as they move through the court system, setting precedents for those that follow.
  39. Global Guerrillas – Various versions of the future are entertained by people passionate about how things will eventually go for the human race.  Whatever you believe, it is safe to say that the realm of possibilities changes daily.  National security and criminal justice concerns are always evolving in the face of growing technology and constantly responding to the new ways criminals exploit security.  As a result, the future of national security is adapting to defend against new crimes and illegal tactics.  Systems disruptions and other tech-oriented strategies were not a part of past conflicts, but blogs like this one point to the important role they play in modern disagreements, and the increasing role technology plays in crime.
  40. Women in Crime Ink – Crimes involving women account for a unique segment of illegal activity within the criminal justice system, analyzed here by a bevy of crime experts.  Regular blog contributors include prosecutors from all levels of the legal system, as well as journalists familiar with crime reporting.  Experts from forensic disciplines and other social analysts are also represented, with posts addressing the psychology of criminals.  Tracking social trends helps criminal justice professionals and other interested readers stay current, so the unique viewpoints expressed in the blog help a wide range of followers.
  41. HLS Watch – Homeland Security Watch provides news and opinions about important domestic security issues.  By analyzing current events, and the policies behind positive security outcomes, the blog contributes better ideas and procedures for national security.  Recent topics of blog posts include disaster preparedness and personal safety concerns, as well as features about the key players responsible for establishing national security policy.  On HLS Watch, news stories about hurricane recovery efforts are at home beside blog entries about political candidates most likely to focus on homeland security.
  42. David Bratzer – Criminal justice policy and other issues germane to his profession are explored with blog entries posted to this site, maintained by a police officer from British Columbia, Canada.  Reform oriented articles, especially concerning drug policy in North America, are the backbone of David Bratzer’s site.  Mr. Bratzer graduated from the Police Academy at Justice Institute of British Columbia in 2006, before embarking on a career in law enforcement and sharing his own opinions online.  Recent articles tackle topics like bike theft in Canada and the impact of foot patrol officers on overall crime rates.
  43. Riding in the Squad with Christ – Contributing authors cover a variety of topics related to police work, including musings about faith and how it interacts with other aspects of the job.  Tools of the trade are discussed, including reviews of products used by police officers. News recaps and links to feature stories in publications like The Guardian and New York Times are also present, stimulating analysis of current police practices and the laws that govern enforcement.  Recent reviews include tactical boots, which were broken-in by the author for two weeks, before being evaluated over the course of several days of wear.
  44. Covered Law Enforcement – This Christian police blog embraces religion as an integral part of the law enforcement profession, re-interpreting the ‘thin blue line’ philosophy of law enforcement, to include a large place for Jesus Christ.  The site offers encouragement for police officers faced with challenges inherent to the job, like low pay, long work hours, and pressure that builds under the constant stress of being an officer.  Emotional and spiritual issues are tackled in blog posts that revive faith and help religious police officers stay true to god as they conduct the business of the people.
  45. Momma Fargo – Unique insight contained in articles on Momma’s blog come from a seasoned police officer who shares real life tales of criminal justice.  Experience plays a key role in the way police officers handle themselves in the field, so the author of this blog sheds light on the growth and development she experienced as a law enforcement professional.  Glimpses behind the scenes of police work and criminal justice allow her to share her opinions about topics ranging from seat belt laws to local criminal activity.  As an entertainment resource, opinions and personal stories provide the backdrop for actual crime drama.
  46. Behind the Blue Line – This blog is maintained by the social media officer for the Vancouver Police Department, so the entries contain first-hand information, direct from the department.  The role of social media in law enforcement continues to grow, so departments nationwide are in the process of updating their capabilities in this area.  Daily blogging is a big step for police entities that also use Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to stay visible to the public and to interact with citizens in entirely new ways.  The author of this Vancouver blog is ahead of the curve, sharing social media progress of the Canada Department.
    Photo by darrenjsylvester on Flickr

    Photo by darrenjsylvester on Flickr

  47. Saskatoon Police Service Blog – Staying ahead of crime is facilitated by keeping the public informed.  Up-to-the-minute posts keep citizens abreast of criminal development in Saskatoon and surrounding areas.  Links to news features about crimes that have recently occurred – some still unsolved, provide quick access to information about the local criminal justice system.  Listings are also maintained on the site, alerting readers about special events and crime fighting tools available to the public.  The valuable service creates networking opportunities and makes it easier for individuals to share information that heads-off criminal activity before it occurs.
  48. Phillypolice Blog – Providing a direct conduit between the local police department and the citizens it protects, this active blog contains important information.  Updating readers about police happenings is one of the best ways to stay ahead of criminals, so city-run blogs like this Philadelphia resource are playing greater roles in crime-fighting than ever before.  Crimes are highlighted in real-time, making it easier to spot perpetrators before the evidence grows cold.  Follow-up articles trace the progress of cases, staying with them until outcomes are reached in the criminal justice system.  Individual criminal profiles are also provided, reinforcing public awareness about particularly dangerous repeat offenders.
  49. Crime Shadows News – Current events and general news related to criminal justice provide the bulk of the content maintained here by Chis Yarbrough.  Discussions include wide-angle views of public policy and civil rights, as well as looks at individual legal cases.  Links take readers to other criminal justice sites, focusing on exposing criminals before they strike again.  Pictures and featurettes call attention to perpetrators, especially those responsible for particularly atrocious crimes.
  50. Houston Police Department Blog – Following a growing trend in law enforcement, Houston Police Department maintains a blog used for a variety of functions.  Practical matters like recruiting and keeping readers informed about events are addressed using blog entries that keep citizens up-to-date.  Accountability and transparency are heightened when articles outline Department expenses and show how money was spent to improve the Department.  Human interest stories make Houston police officers more accessible to civilians, offering glimpses into the everyday lives of law enforcement professionals on-the-job.

50 Best Crime News Blogs of 2013

Crime news that is ‘fresh from the beat’ helps police departments and individual law enforcement officers connect with the public.  The ability to communicate in real-time goes both ways, providing opportunities for citizens at-large to make genuine contributions to their own safety.  Police and crime news comes from various sources, including general crime journals analyzing trends in criminal justice and law enforcement.  Crime news blogs narrow the focus even further, exposing crimes as they happen and giving readers the information they need to engage with law enforcement officers during emergencies.  These thought-provoking sites stay on top of social trends in criminal behavior, providing crime information for concerned citizens.

Are you out there looking for CLEWS?

Are you out there looking for CLEWS?

  1. CLEWS – Your Home For Historic True Crime on the World Wide Web.  Genuine accounts of the people and crimes that shaped the historical criminal justice system provide endless fascination for those who study true crime.  Laura James maintains this blog devoted to the true crime genre, focusing on noteworthy cases that have gotten attention in the past.  Links are provided, leading readers to additional resources and to sub-specialty pages that deal with particular types of crimes.  Case studies examine individual characters from the past, as well as historically significant crimes of yore.
  2. Midtown Miscreant – The Midwestern author of this blog addresses social and civil rights concerns impacting an entire generation of Americans.  Mark Smith, the Miscreant, poses interesting questions about past and present crime news, tying current events to the causes and solutions of modern unrest.  Legal updates and commentary about developing legislation allow readers to digest information in easy to understand ways, opening the door for change.  Personal reflections about race and civil rights compliment the crime news found here.
  3. Seattle 911 – This police and crime blog provides detailed updates about crimes and criminals in the Seattle area.  Breaking news about thefts, break-ins, shootings, fires, and other illicit activities is presented in a straightforward crime news format, including pictures from crime scenes and updates as investigations unfold.  Local coverage gives the best indication of the actual outcomes of Seattle cases, assuring citizens that police have their security in mind.  Contributing authors cover domestic incidents leading to injury as well as shootings and other newsworthy crimes.
  4. Photo by J D Mack on Flickr

    Photo by J D Mack on Flickr

  5. The Crime Scene – Following crimes in your area is easy if you live in Southwest Missouri.  This crime news blog is maintained to keep people in the area informed about criminal activity.  Stories about police officers and true life situations they encounter on the job are presented from the law enforcement perspective, alongside questions about ethics and principles of effective policing.  Overall, the content is genuine, advocating for men in blue by presenting their side of the story.  Crime fighting success stories are highlighted too, including details about citizens that prevailed in the face of crime, and refused to be victims.
  6. What the Judge Ate for Breakfast – News from the Wichita court system is found here, keeping Kansas residents up to speed about local legal events and pending criminal cases.  The blog also follows convicted criminals through the penal system, keeping tabs on when and where they serve their time.  Legislative developments linked to the criminal justice system, especially in Kansas, provide additional areas of study for contributors to this blog, stimulating support for stronger state penalties in some cases.  Recent articles include coverage of changes in sex trafficking laws and detailed analysis of court cases working their ways through the Kansas State criminal justice system.  Posts that relate to the same topic, an individual criminal’s quest for clemency for example, are grouped in series’ so readers can easily access the entire group of articles discussing a particular topic.
  7. True Crime Report – One after another, recent crimes are detailed in daily posts about criminals and the creative ways they test the criminal justice system.  If not for the serious nature of some of the crimes, it would be easy to view the revolving door of failed criminals as entertainment.  Contributing authors explore crimes from the headlines, including rape, assault, and even bombings.  Homicides get a lot of attention, due to the severity and high-profile nature of the crimes.  Individual criminals are profiled in a section of the website dedicated to repeat offenders and those with particularly jaded senses of criminal justice.  The updates included do not discriminate by location or type of crime – true crime coverage cannot be scripted.
  8. The Homicide Report – Los Angeles Times local coverage includes a featured blog used to update readers about crimes in the region.  The site serves as database of crimes impacting Los Angeles County residents.  The interactive map feature shows pinpoint crime details, including location, suspects, and other relative information.  There is a focus on violent crime in some posts, but the idea is to promote public safety for less severe crimes too.  A forum on the blog allows readers to share stories and remember loved ones, but it also helps communities plan for better security policies.
  9. New York Post Crime News – Crime news includes locally important New York State police blotter reports, but overall national security is also at play in the nation’s most prominent city, NYC. Criminal activity, as well as warnings and alerts about possible threats are included in this New York blog, which monitors criminal justice channels to provide up to date information about plots and crimes.  Individual criminal profiles include updates about suspects on the run, alerting citizens to potential hazards before problems arise.  New cases are covered as they emerge, so the public remains well-informed about developments occurring close to home.
  10. Dumb Criminals – The theme is carried throughout the content found here, with periodic updates providing glimpses into the less talented lives of failed thieves and criminals.  Posts are organized into categories, allowing ready-access to various types of crimes, and the true stories of unsuccessful criminals.  Arson, robbery, vandalism, fraud, and assault are only a few of the criminal areas of interest, providing great source material for tongue-in-cheek reporting.  Stories involving alcohol impairment are grouped together for full appreciation of the entertainment value provided by drunks.
  11. DumbCrooks – Not everyone is cut out to be a criminal, so the failure rate is high for upstart criminals lacking talent and experience committing crimes.  You could argue that crime is dumb by all accounts, but some cases stand out for having particularly silly features.  Recent entries at Dumb Crooks include features about the fate of failed criminals, like one who plunged to his death fleeing from police and another whose own checking account information was on the hold-up note used at the bank.  Despite the head-scratching antics of certain ‘professional’ criminals, the cases getting attention are real.
  12. Photo by J D Mack on Flickr

    Photo by J D Mack on Flickr

  13. U.S News on NBC NEWS.com – Crime news from across the country dominates the content of this major news source blog, but there are also international stories posted discussing how world events impact American criminal justice.  The site features contributions from experts in criminal sociology, as well as reports from field writers covering developing stories.  Content changes hourly, keeping readers refreshed and interested.  Criminal and civil cases are followed through the justice system, with article series’ that focus on particular criminals and events.
  14. Federal Bureau Of Investigation Blog – Information available on the World Wide Web comes from all kinds of sources, so why not go directly to one of the country’s largest law enforcement agencies for up to date crime information?  The FBI maintains a thoughtful resource used to update members of the public and other law enforcement agencies about progress on current cases.  New cases are opened regularly, prompting examination by contributors to the FBI blog.  Dozens of categories are used to break-down crimes by type, including those against certain types of victims.  By clicking on category links, readers enter pages of crime news devoted to certain crimes.
  15. Computer Crime Research Center – As technology advances, so does criminal behavior that exploits the technology.  Where there is something to be gained from copying, stealing, pirating, or otherwise misappropriating technological advances, criminals find a way to illegally pursue unjust rewards. As a result, dedicated blogs like this one strive to keep pace with emerging technology and the criminals it attracts.  Cybercrime and internet security solutions are discussed in articles gleaning input from cyber-crime experts and industry heavy-hitters with something at stake in the field.
  16. Coptalk.INFO – This site contains practical information designed to help regular citizens navigate among opportunists and criminals. Advice about safety and real-life case studies enlighten readers about crime and police work, encouraging them to cooperate with law enforcement officials.  Recent posts detail step-by-step procedures to follow when you get pulled over on the road, and updates about widespread scams known to lure people in.  The site also explores social issues and the impact they have on crime trends.  Readers interested in the local crime scene find additional information among the dozens of frequently answered questions archived on the site.
  17. Mafia Families – Criminology fascinates readers, who sometimes get caught up in particular crime news topics.  Mafia activities and the famed connections between immigrant families is a steady source of interest for crime buffs, so crimes attributed to organized groups are heavily scrutinized online.  This blog takes general information about reputed crime families, and offers it alongside current events reporting; especially happenings related to La Cosa Nostra and other crime families.  Individual members of high-profile families are discussed in terms of the traditional family structures of organized crime.
  18. Crime in America: the name says it all

    Crime in America: the name says it all

  19. Crime in America – All kinds of crime commentary is shared on this site, compiled in easy to find categories that compare crimes of similar types and those sharing similar victims.  Topics include general information about crime, as well as specific break-downs of individual city crime rates and statistical trends.  The information can be dissected in a variety of ways, to shed light on certain areas of criminal justice.  Crime news can be searched in the same way.  Users clicking on sidebar topics like burglary, or assault, are taken to areas of the blog dedicated to reporting certain types of crimes.  The comprehensive nature of the resource allows it to stand-out among countless, less-informative crime news blogs.
  20. Local Safety Report – Home security and local safety are discussed on this blog, which features links to commercial alarm and safety companies.  The idea behind the site is to provide information about local residential areas, informing citizens about dangers and preventative security measures.  Crime news finds its way into blog entries, as a way to reinforce the role people play in their own safety.  Willow Shield, the blog author, is supported by a number of expert contributors tasked with enlightening readers about prudent safety practices.
  21. The People’s Champion – Human interest stories are laced with advocacy in regular blog posts on People’s Champion.  Guest contributors wave the flag for personal freedom and equality among all races and ethnicities.  Other sociological issues are discussed, with special attention given to the ways they influence interactions between diverse peoples. Crime news includes updates about criminals of note, as well articles about victims of crime, especially those of color.  The politics of race and its role in the criminal justice system are consistently explored in blog entries on the site.
  22. Crime, Guns and Videotape – Posts cover current events and offer information taken directly from court documents and filings.  Crime news about recent cases and the subsequent criminal proceedings comes from experts familiar with police work, and the blog is maintained by an author with experience working in law enforcement.  The investigative journalist is a licensed private investigator who worked on the Chicago police force, giving him a unique perspective about criminal justice.  His commentary covers topics ranging from Supreme Court decisions to self-defense techniques.  Court developments, especially those related to gun violence are consistent themes covered in the blog.
  23. a href=”http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/”>Crimeblog – Sponsored by the Dallas Morning News, this crime news blog expands coverage of headline-making crimes, and keeps readers updated about Texas criminals.  The resource allows citizens to contribute with tips and accounts of real cases.  Updates about criminal activities are supported by pictures and video enabling residents to identify criminals.  Recent posts track court cases, following them through prosecution, until convictions are obtained.  Crime reporters, editors and invited guest contributors provide regular insight into current crime related events.
  24. Photo by J D Mack on Flickr

    Photo by J D Mack on Flickr

  25. Crimescene Blog – California crimes are explored here, in greater depth than is sometimes possible for mainstream reporting agencies.  Details focus on grand cases, involving homicide and high-ticket property crimes, but they also include attention to lesser cases of theft and fraud.  Timely posts discuss the possible causes of a recent train accident and the identification process that will be used to I.D. a body discovered in Altadena.  In addition to coverage dedicated to fires, crimes, and municipal developments in California’s cities, the blog tracks area residents who become crime victims while they are away from home.
  26. Berkeleyside Police Blotter – Maintained by California’s largest independent news source, the crime blotter blog keeps residents informed about crimes occurring in the area.  Entries are arranged by date, easily tracking crime trends in particular parts of the city.  The listings, detailing the who, what, where and when of each occurrence, are supported by an interactive map that charts the geographic position of every crime committed in the region.  Vehicle thefts and violent crimes are covered, as well as actively unfolding and solved/closed petty crimes.  Readers use the comment section of the blog to share their own stories about local crime, further reinforcing the neighborhood crime prevention networks facilitated by the blog.
  27. West Seattle Blog – The World Wide Web and the spread of information it facilitates bring people together from far flung localities, but the internet also serves to link members of local neighborhoods, uniting them with regional crime news blogs.  Seattle residents learn about recent crimes and what is being done to solve them, by reading posts on this West Seattle crime blog.  Reporting about individual crimes is an important function of local crime news blogs, but resources like this Seattle example take it a step further, looking at neighborhood implications associated with vacant storefronts, foreclosure trends, and spikes in certain types of crimes.
  28. Chicago News Report – Residents of Chicago and surrounding areas benefit from this comprehensive crime news blog, alerting them to crime trends close to home.  From Bucktown to Ravenswood, users are invited to click on links that open-up into areas of the blog devoted to particular locations.  Beatings, muggings, shootings and other high-profile Chicago crimes are covered alongside national stories about criminal justice outcomes occurring beyond Illinois’ borders.  By clicking on the South Loop, for example, readers learn about events that impact that area first, before being directed to news stories concerning surrounding areas.
  29. Crime and Courts News – High-profile national cases draw the greatest levels of coverage here, including homicides and those cases shrouded in controversy.  Breaking news is addressed with posts about unfolding cases, especially those entering the courts.  National media coverage is expanded with supporting blog posts, providing glimpses into what the actual juries use to determine their verdicts.  Users click on links covering certain stories, opening-up article series’ that provide details about the case, including comprehensive analysis from crime experts. Tweets from suspects and other role-players within the criminal justice system are tracked regularly, creating a sense of insider access for blog readers.
  30. Metro Crime and Court News – The New Orleans Times Picayune provides crime news for this regularly updated blog about Louisiana criminal justice.  Posts help residents track crime statistics and stay on top of active police investigations.  Individual Parish news contained in blog articles pinpoints crimes committed in the New Orleans area, fostering greater cooperation between police and residents.  Court cases that are especially recognizable to local residents are covered by posts that keep civilians informed about convictions and sentences.
  31. SFGate Crime Blog – This San Francisco blog, maintained by the Chronicle, contains information about Bay area crimes and investigations.  Individual crimes are tracked for readers, who contribute valuable feedback in the comments section of the blog.  Beyond actual crimes occurring in the region, articles explore wider policy implications, like how the war on drugs impacts society and how many strikes should be allowed to minors in the court system.  Videos and photos included in blog posts help readers contribute to the crime solving efforts of professional law enforcement officers, giving them better tools for staying safe.
  32. Crime and Safety Blog – Tracking crime trends in South Florida is aided by this Sun-Sentinel blog, dedicated to solving and preventing crimes within the state.  The site keeps citizens informed about scams and criminal efforts to take advantage of them, referring to real-life examples of crimes against Florida residents.  The site carries recommendations from the attorney general, advising residents how to properly respond to criminal threats.  Breaking crime news is also supplied, giving readers up-to-the minute details about developing investigations. Sharing timely crime news clears more cases and allows law enforcement to actively collaborate with members of the public, providing the highest possible levels of security.
  33. Crime Time – Criminal justice developments in North Texas, and beyond, are tracked with the help of this Star-Telegram sponsored blog devoted to reporting about criminal behavior in Texas.  Articles present factual accounts of cases that are working their ways through the Texas criminal justice system, reviewing relevant charges and following the cases through the courts. Texas law and legislative policy are explored generally in recent pieces, but articles also focus on individual North Texas departments.  Firefighter news is also present, especially when cases include suspected arson.
  34. BPDnews – This recently launched blog, sponsored by the Boston Police Department is designed to provide general information about safety and well-being, in addition to specific data about crimes and police work.  The underlying mission of this department resource is to support public safety, which is accomplished with the help of timely crime news posts.  Current investigations are followed closely by expert contributors, who use cases as platforms to blog about social issues.  Each week, a most-wanted feature is included on the site, highlighting a crime or criminal for greater scrutiny.  The week’s most- wanted criminals are often responsible for violent crimes like stabbings, homicides and sexual assaults.
  35. Crime Blog – KHOU.com is responsible for the content contained in this Texas blog.  News organizations are tasked with keeping developing events in the spotlight, particularly when time is of the essence (as it is in most active police investigations).  Crime news, presented timely, gives citizens an interface with law enforcement professionals, increasing their ability to participate in the criminal justice system.  This Texas blog features sketches of crime suspects and details about their movements, preparing civilians to identify them moving within society.  Rewards and other incentives offered for participating are outlined in posts that give readers even more reasons to play a role in solving Texas crimes.
  36. Arizona Daily Star Crime Blog – Local crime updates provide insight into Arizona crime trends and help local citizens stay safe.  Daily posts highlight crime news stories taken from the headlines, dealing with smuggling, drug trafficking, and other significant crimes.  Posts track arrests in the area and contain detailed information about the crimes and the criminals involved.   Links to additional resources cover courthouse developments and other blog topics within the state criminal justice system.  Major Law enforcement agencies like the FBI are also linked to the site for federal crime information.
  37. Photo by J D Mack on Flickr

    Photo by J D Mack on Flickr

  38. Anchorage Daily News Crime Blog – Alaskan residents are subject to criminal behavior that does not occur nationwide, so local resources are important for tracking crime.  This blog, maintained by the Anchorage Daily News provides timely information about local crimes.   Recent stories contained alerts about local police impersonation victims and highlighted a major cocaine distribution ring bust.  Despite its remote location, there is no shortage of crime news coming from Alaska, where non-lethal rubber-tipped bullets were recently required to stop a suspect.
  39. Crime Library – This regularly updated blog is maintained by the entertainment network, TruTV.  The stories feature accounts of real life criminals and track them as they learn about justice.  The nature of the host brings some measure of sensationalism to the site, which focuses on the most interesting crimes available for discussion.  Glimpses into the minds of criminals and the methods they use are always fascinating, so readers are willing to take the good with the bad, allowing TruTV to hand pick its own variety of crime news.
  40. Findlaw Blotter – The past predicts the future, as they say, so ready-access to criminal court case records is a valuable resource for people studying crime.  This blog helps illuminate current criminal trends by chronicling those of the past.  Articles provide advice about crime and tips helping readers avoid the negative consequences of crime.  Crime prevention and common sense work together to minimize the impacts of criminal behavior, so police blotters provide valuable insight into effective measures for reducing crime.  Informational sidebars are also part of the blog, expanding understanding of particular facets of the legal system, including posts that explore the consequences of criminal behavior.
  41. The Brooklyn Paper – Play by play crime news featured in this New York resource is not limited to particular types of crimes.  Articles report a variety of crimes, from thefts to homicides. One after another, New York robberies and property crimes are listed, to help provide timely information for citizens and law enforcement personnel.  Neighborhood maps showing jurisdictional boundaries are included on the site, linking known criminal hotspots to the individual crimes being investigated in particular areas.  Photos of suspects and convicted perpetrators are also maintained by site administrators, providing visual corroboration for identifying criminals.
  42. Baltimore Crime Beat – News and crime commentary is provided here by the Baltimore Sun, keeping pace with developing stories and investigations. Recent headlines include posts about an officer killed in the line of duty and the fate of a convicted heroin dealer.  Political reporting is also present, with updates about local elections and coverage of races for State Attorney.  Shootings and other high-profile cases are the subjects of ongoing, multi-piece articles that track developments in the cases.  Legal challenges and civil cases are also monitored, bringing important verdicts to the public’s attention.
  43. PE Bloggers Crime Blotter – Most of the content of this site is contributed by Press Enterprise columnists and staffers familiar with criminal justice and local crime reporting.  News from the Jurupa valley is presented alongside breaking coverage of Rancho Cucamonga crime, keeping residents one step ahead of local criminals.  Drug interdiction requires a significant effort in border states, so PE Bloggers are quick to cover successes – and failures associated with the war on drugs.  Officer-involved shootings and other law enforcement outcomes are scrutinized in recent posts, lending insight into complex criminal justice practices.
  44. City Police Blotter – One of the best ways to fight crime is to engage public support and participation.  This blog, maintained by the Public Information Officer from the Fredericksburg police department supplies direct access to current crime news, straight from department representatives. Armed robberies and other local crimes are reported and tracked, allowing witnesses and helpful citizens to participate in active investigations.  The site’s no-nonsense Daily Crime Report lists crimes and keeps tabs on charges and investigations as they develop.  Detailed suspect information is included with each crime announcement, and links are present, leading readers to additional helpful crime-prevention resources.
  45. The Lawrence Crime Blotter – Theft is a fleeting crime, more likely to be unaccounted for as time goes forward.  In other words, time is of the essence when solving crimes, so crime blogs containing up-to-the-minute information serve valuable functions for local law enforcement efforts.  Local crime news, including updates about area thefts, pinpoints the victims and perpetrators of crimes, allowing residents to respond to threats before serious crimes occur.  Citizens are familiar with their environments, so when criminal activity is under way residents are the first to recognize what is out of place.  The Lawrence Blog brings citizens and law enforcement officials together, preserving cooperation and public safety.
  46. The Blotter – In addition to stories about crime, this site contains links to resources about criminals and justice.  The Austin crime news page focuses on local crime prevention initiatives and keeps Texas residents informed about developing investigations in the area.  Police efforts are highlighted in recent posts, including a holiday weekend campaign to reduce the number of drunk drivers taking to the roadways.  Breaking news, like developments related to fugitives and criminals at large, gives readers the information they need at critical moments.  Photos and descriptions of suspects play an important role in enlisting public crime fighting assistance, so Austin area mug shots are featured prominently on The Blotter.
  47. Crime Beat – This West Alabama blog is regularly updated with posts about crimes occurring near Tuscaloosa.  In fact, residents of the area are better protected as a result of the crime blog, maintained by Stephanie Taylor and other members of the Tuscaloosanews.com staff.  Recent entries follow crimes in Tuscaloosa County, including traffic crimes and sentencing outcomes for Alabama criminals.  Crime Beat updates check-in on investigation developments and profile criminals responsible for some Tuscaloosa crimes.
  48. Lights and Sirens – This Tacoma, Washington blog is maintained by the News Tribune to keep local crime news fresh, and to provide an outlet for expert crime-prevention advice.  White collar crime, as well as petty theft and robberies are exposed in regular features, which sometimes require multiple posts.  Fires and other newsworthy events are also included in blog entries, placed on a comprehensive Tacoma crime map providing an overview of criminal activity in the Washington region.  Public policy as well as the actions of the officials running the show in Tacoma are put under the microscope in posts that examine the whole criminal justice system, rather than a few individual cases.
  49. Sacto 9-1-1 – California crime news, especially activity near Sacramento is fair game for this local crime blog.  The site is maintained by the Sacramento Bee, with regular contributors and expert guest posters accounting for most of the content.  Reporting includes updates about local criminal investigations, as well as breaking news about crimes as they come to light. Bloggers follow noteworthy cases, with updates about charges and court developments.  Blog entries pose interesting questions about crimes and the justice policies that operate behind the scenes.  Contributors are not afraid to pose arguments about ethics and other criminal justice issues.
  50. Mediamatters – The media looks at itself with this pointed blog about responsible reporting and other social issues surrounding crime news.  Most of the articles dissect news coverage traditionally associated with the political right.  Taking current crime stories, and analyzing the way they are presented provides insight into media bias in crime reporting, which provides the central theme for this blog.  Fox News and other outlets are challenged for the way they introduce right-wing principles into news stories, influencing the impact they have on public perception.
  51. Sirens – This crime news blog is maintained by heraldnet.com, keeping Washington State residents informed about crimes occurring in their area.  Recent posts include coverage of criminal activity in Granite Falls and Mountlake Terrace, as well as crime exposes focusing on other localities.  Convenient links to municipal police departments are included in a sidebar that allows users to click on Mill Creek, Everett, Brier and other law enforcement websites.  Regular posts are archived, including a section that allows readers to ‘catch-up’ with the weeks posts compiled in a specific area of the page.
  52. Photo by J D Mack on Flickr

    Photo by J D Mack on Flickr

  53. Brookline Police News – This series of posts is aimed at Brookline Massachusetts residents and other readers tracking criminal activity in the area.  Posts outline developing crimes, and provide follow-ups about ongoing criminal investigations.  The police blotter format contains details drawn directly from officers’ investigations and breaks criminal activity into weekly archives of crimes occurring within certain boundaries.  Links to other Brookline resources compliment the straight-ahead listings covering crimes.
  54. NFL Crimes – Specialty crime news blogs zero-in on particular types of crimes and categories of criminals, but the subject matter here is particularly narrow in scope.  This interesting compendium tracks the illicit activities of members of the National Football League.  Each of us is familiar with the local misdeeds of players on our favorite teams, but this blog provides an opportunity to track players from across the entire League.  Drunk driving, assault, illegal weapons possession, and a creative array of domestic charges are typical of the crimes reported here.  Cheerleaders, fans and others behaving badly are not exempt from attention when their misdeeds are done in the name of their favorite football teams.
  55. Dayton Courts – Daily updates cover legal and court news from the Dayton region of Ohio.  Arrests and prosecution records provide content for blog articles, which keep tabs on suspects and criminals as they move through the criminal justice system in Ohio.  Regular features highlight individual criminals, keeping their images and stories fresh for victims.  The site is affiliated with daytondailynews.com, providing citizens with details about specific cases and their courtroom outcomes.
  56. Boston Magazine Crime Blog – News stories about Boston crimes are given greater scrutiny in blog posts included on this crime news site.  Follow-ups to noteworthy cases, like the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, provide ongoing details about charges and criminal prosecutions associated with Boston criminal activity.  News from surrounding municipalities is included among entries that explore not only Boston crime trends, but the individual criminals responsible for regional crime.  Recent articles focus on local crimes like vandalism, as well as serious offenses pulled from national media headlines.  The blog contains links to additional Boston area crime news resources featuring coverage of city council developments and other local issues impacting crime prevention and public safety.

50 Top Personal Defense Blogs

Personal protection takes many forms, so there is a wealth of information available for those wishing to explore the various approaches to individual safety. Martial arts training and other defensive strategies help people stay safer while reinforcing confidence in everyday situations.  Various defense tactics are widely discussed online, including basis ways to keep you and your family safe.  These blogs cover a range of personal defense strategies and highlight the individual opinions of some of today’s leading personal defense experts.


At functionalselfdefense.org, you learn to protect yourself

  1.  Functional Self Defense – Realistic Modern Defense – The message here is to promote personal safety through awareness and preparedness.  To prevent attacks and respond in the best ways possible when they do occur, visitors are encouraged to explore free information available on the site.  Tutorials and photographs take the subject to heart, illustrating effective self-defense methods for individuals. Articles cover wide-ranging subjects that relate to personal defense, as well as other varied topics of personal interest to the author. The thought-provoking pieces stimulate personal defense ideas among readers.
  2.  No Nonsense Self-Defense Blog – This straight-forward introduction to personal defense, which starts with discussions about the importance of commitment to effective personal safety, provides valuable information for family safety.  Property protection and individual self-defense are explored in-depth using categories that break-down situations people encounter in real life.  Robbery prevention and how to respond to stalkers are examples of solutions presented in no nonsense chapters that dissect each area.  Martial arts based approaches provide effective strategies, as well as avoidance and other de-escalation methods.  Affordable security options for the home and other common-sense ideas for staying out of harm’s way are offered without charge.
  3.  Women’s Self Defense Boston – Women face unique perils, which require them to pay particular attention to specific approaches to personal safety.  Since they are equipped differently than their male counterparts, and since many of their attackers will be men, women are trained to take advantage of their own strengths and to de-escalate attacks by removing their disadvantages.  Krav Maga training provides the backbone of the Women’s Self Defense philosophy that helps them stay safe, using scenario-based training to create real-life dramatizations of attack situations women might encounter on the street.  By role playing and moving through the motions of successfully thwarting attacks, women stand ready when they actually occur.  The blog discusses several ways to use repetitive training to synch the mind with the body’s ability to respond to threats.
  4. Toughen-up Self-defense Blog – Author Randy LaHaie supports his book with this helpful series of articles exploring personal defense topics.  Thought-provoking considerations include physical training recommendations as well as methods for establishing emotional preparedness for self-defense. Workout strategies that promote effective self-defense are compared and fine-tuned to the needs of individuals getting started in the gym.  Common-sense approaches use everyday workout scenarios to make strength training and conditioning accessible so  everyone can toughen-up at home.

    Visit wimsblog.com to learn more about this seasoned self-defense expert

  5.  Wim Demeeres Blog – Marshall Arts, Self Defense and a Whole Lot More – Getting the most of your approach to personal safety is bolstered with information shared here by a self-defense teacher.  The posts break defense into several categories, offering valid tips for each situation. 8 Self-Defense Tips for Men focuses on particular characteristics unique to males as well as universal information that aids both sexes.  The site is oriented toward social violence, and how to react in the face of adversity.  Empathy and other non-violent approaches to conflict resolution are advocated, but physical defense is also recognized under some circumstances.  Readers are encouraged to disregard examples seen on television and through dramatizations that don’t reflect what it is really like to defend yourself from attacks and robberies.
  6.  Making Sense of Self Defense – Rather than offering tips and techniques for application during an attack, this site presents concepts related to personal defense which must be weighed individually, by consumers of the information.  By highlighting general ideas, the articles engage independent thought related to family protection.  The five D’s of self-defense provide the framework for the blog, encouraging readers to enter into agreements with themselves committing to the regime.  Decide, deter, disrupt, disengage, and debrief are equal stages in the process of personal defense, which provides a general way to think about protection and avoiding violence.
  7.  Self Defense and Violence Prevention Blog – The information age presents unique security challenges for personal defense and family safety.  Comprehensive approaches include self-defense in its traditional forms, and additional proactive efforts to maintain safety and confidentiality of information. Wide topics are explored here, each tied to desirable personal defense outcomes for individuals and families.  Subjects include the effectiveness of local crime watch programs and the best preventative strategies for helping at-risk youth.  Other recent article themes featured commentary about women’s role in society and the nature of information sharing among corporate giants like Google.
  8.  Opencarry.org maintains a forum dedicated to personal defense topics, drawing a range of participants with diverse viewpoints.  The archives are filled with references to content touching on most gun-related issues, so you’ll likely find someone weighing-in on your closely-held convictions. True Tales of Self Defense are shared through the forum, in which users support their self-defense efforts with real-life stories encouraging others to be prepared.  Martial arts and other measures are discussed, but the meat of the site is devoted to the type of social violence that includes firearms. Personal defense includes proficiency and preparedness for firearm advocates who praise the deterrent effect of liberal gun-carry laws.
  9.  Policetac’s Blog – Mind and body are united in the tactical application of the personal defense ideals put forth on this blog, which explores the relationships between martial arts, health, and personal well-being.  The underlying philosophy is based on Wing Chun Kung Fu principles.  Spirituality and other human attributes are recognized during training, and incorporated into a total wellness approach that guides not only individual safety, but personal fulfillment as well. Regular posts and archives highlight individual aspects of the underlying awareness the blog advocates, providing the foundation for personal defense training.
  10.  Indestructible Training – Training with firearms is one of the personal defense methods highlighted as the focus of this blog, which asks questions related to the practice like “Can Competition Really Get You Killed”?  Various training methods, including competitive firearms courses, are explored to determine which are the most effective, and which strategies yield the greatest bang for the buck. Posts discuss important considerations for students of personal defense, guiding their approach to effective individual safety and reinforcing their understanding of how split-second decision-making impacts personal defense.
  11. Less Than Lethal Self Defense Blog – Responding to a physical attack without lethal intentions is a specialized way to fight back without killing your attacker.  Learning the best ways to do this is accomplished through research and case-studies shared on blogs like Less Than Lethal. Hand to hand methods of defense, like open and closed hand strikes are used to disengage attackers, allowing for escape.  Devices and pepper sprays are effective in many cases too, but must be activated properly to have the greatest impact on attackers.  Human and animal attacks require unique strategies, which are explored in recent articles.

    at preferred-defense.com your personal safety starts here

  12. Preferred Defense Self Defense Blog – Fight back! is the mantra shared by users of security products offered here.  The blog supports effective use of surveillance and wireless equipment, auto-dialers, and other personal protection products.  Education is the cornerstone of consistent personal protection, so the entries provided on the site are aimed at informing readers about personal defense options and strategies.  Emergency supplies, like bug-out bags, which are laden with essentials, can be grabbed hastily when something unusual calls for a quick exit.  By staying informed and prepared during routine times, consumers increase their own chances of surviving during periods of adversity.
  13. Self Defense Blog by Chad VonDette shares expert advice from a blogger who has done quite a few different things related to personal defense.  He is a choreographer of fights, and a master of self-defense who speaks on the subject worldwide.  His Just Yell Fire project drew national attention for girls’ safety causes when he helped a high-schooler create an effective campaign against female violence. Fighting types and styles are compared in recent articles to help readers understand the differences between MMA and other examples, for instance.
  14. J & L Self-defense Blogs – Emergency preparedness includes readiness for a wide range of potential scenarios.  Large-scale catastrophic events, for example, have different safety requirements than personal attacks, so they are approached in unique ways.  Understanding the scope of the threat is the first step to defending against each harmful element. Articles comparing the various types of available devices and sprays for personal protection help readers weigh the best options for their own particular circumstances. A multi-level approach, providing layers of protection at each level of exposure leads to the most comprehensive personal defense strategy possible.
  15. Personal Self Defense Blog – Finding efficient personal safety devices is made easier with the information contained in posts on this defense blog focusing on non-lethal protection for men, women and families.  Various assaults are explored by type, including campus, home and social attacks against men and women.  Stun guns, pepper sprays and other means of disabling attackers are evaluated and compared to one another in posts that also explore personal safety trends and share first-hand accounts of violent encounters.  Attitude is considered an integral part of effective personal defense, so readers are encouraged to adopt the right frame of mind for personal security.
  16. Self Defense Blog – Age-specific strategies are introduced here, combining devices and proven methods into workable solutions for some of the most common scenarios requiring defensive measures. Non-lethal focus allows users to contemplate the best solutions for their own circumstances, including pepper spray and stun gun technology.  Information about hidden cameras and individual state laws governing stun gun use are provided as references for readers, who use the blog to learn how to properly operate the various devices available for personal defense.  Kids, women, and physical challenged users are targeted for special instruction that helps them exploit their individual strengths.
  17. Personal Defense World – Guns and ammunition are the primary modes of defense for the bloggers who run this site, including the latest innovations, which are discussed in detailed posts.  Product evaluations include accessories and modifications making guns more effective as general instruments of defense.  To support the effort, entries focus on happenings in the personal safety arena and legislative developments impacting gun laws.  First-hand accounts of individual success stories provide reinforcements for the use of guns as protection, helping instill confidence in those new to the concepts of personal defense.
  18. Black Belt Mama – This inspirational account is provided by a genuine mother who mastered some advanced martial arts principles to better protect her family.  The content here is as much about personal empowerment as it is about self-defense.  But the two are linked, so the lessons she shares are somewhat universal to a cross-section of readers.  The relatable story chronicles the progression of a mother gaining strength in the face of adversity, including a torn ACL and other things that almost got in the way of realizing her dreams.
  19. Women’s Self Defense Instruction – Written by a self-defense coach and martial arts expert, this site explores the ability of every individual to protect him or herself from harm, despite inherent limitations and uncertainties.  The message here is that the least complicated self-defense solutions are often the most effective.  Self-defense products and moves are explored in gender specific ways, helping women especially.  By helping females establish their baseline defense needs, site administrators steer them toward products best suited for their circumstances.  Pepper spray is recommended for women because it is accessible, easy to use and can be concealed in purses without detection.

    sifuchow.blogspot.com is where Richard has been discussing self defense for years

  20. Richard’s Kung Fu Rantings – Entries focus on learning Kung Fu and what the process entails for most people.  Dedication and commitment are essential to continued advancement within the martial arts, for personal achievement as well as proficient self-defense.  Practice and learning at one’s own pace facilitates long-term execution of disciplined Kung Fu programs.  The blog supports a school and includes references and resources familiar to devotees of Richard’s instructional programs. Former students and others associated with Richard’s career are featured in their own sections, linked from the main blog page.
  21. Mommy and Me Self-Defense – Varied content takes a proactive stance on personal defense and a notion called ‘protective offense’. Information is aimed primarily at women and others who teach self-defense classes.  Tips designed to minimize risk exposure are shared with readers, including articles that attempt to get into the minds of attackers.  By understanding their adversaries, victims of domestic and social violence are better prepared to respond to attacks. The blog is paired with another series of posts that are not specifically concerned with family safety, instead exploring wide-ranging issues within the area of self-defense.
  22. The Michael Bane Blog – Author and television host Bane discusses self-defense issues from the perspective of a gun rights advocate, posting analysis of legislative action and other gun-related news.  Recent topics include the not guilty verdict for shooter Zimmerman, and other headlines linked to firearms.  While the chatter is not always focused on personal defense practices and usable strategies for staying safe, there are interesting tidbits to be drawn from the musings of a writer so deeply entrenched in gun culture.  Updates about important events and changes to gun laws are included alongside mundane day-to-day entries about life.
  23. St Pete Self-Defense and Personal Protection Blog – Learning to communicate is an essential mode of personal defense training highlighted by entries included in this collection of personal defense articles.  Assertive communication helps diffuse conflict and leads to non-violent resolution when used effectively.  Articles also cover specific scenarios that arise when communication is not enough to de-escalate an encounter.  Women’s defense, in particular, is featured with tips and tactics most appropriate for victims often outmatched physically.  Bullying and safe dating are also explored, uncovering common-sense solutions for remaining safe around other people, especially in secondary and post-secondary education environments.  Personal property protection and the laws that impact you after a robbery or attack are reviewed in some articles.
  24. Self-Defense Blog for Women – Empowering self-defense information targets women, who have slightly different security requirements than their male counterparts.  Awareness at all times is an essential component of consistent personal defense.  Responding timely is better achieved when women are tuned-in to their surroundings, so this is central to the education and training recommendations put-forth by this blogger.  Seminars and other personal protection training opportunities are showcased as additional learning avenues, but the site contains its own blend of useful information about the types of attacks women encounter, and the best ways to thwart them.
  25. Self-Defense Training Today – Answering questions about personal defense, including armed and hand-to-hand strategies is the common thread among articles archived at this blog maintained by a security professional.  Entries discuss commonly encountered situations requiring personal defense actions, as well as related topics designed to stimulate interest in personal protection.  The seed is planted with thought-provoking articles that engage visitors to reflect on their own personal self-defense needs, and develop strategies to keep them safe. Basic philosophies, like maintaining yourself as an undesirable attack target, provide footings for readers who grow with more advanced references as their commitment to personal security expands.

    visit selfdefensetechniques.org to discover new methods of protection

  26. Self-Defense Techniques – Applied techniques are the key to de-escalating attacks and getting away with the least amount of personal and property damage.  Being prepared to respond is the essential first step lacking in many individual personal safety approaches.  Without specific plans responding to violent encounters, victims are left vulnerable through inaction.  Women and other readers benefit from articles outlining common reactions to personal threats, including evaluations of the effectiveness of each approach.  Products are treated similarly, ranked for their ability to keep users safe and put to the test, in actual trails.
  27. Just Yell Fire – Empowering young women to remain safe is still the primary call to action for this organization, which started as a school project.  Following simple protocols helps young ladies respond to threats they encounter throughout life, and instills confidence in their right to be safe.  It is always about fighting back for the one-million girls active in the program, which has gained national media attention for its powerful messages for school-aged young ladies.  The nonprofit draws attention to its cause using celebrity voices and high-profile media participation.
  28. Self-Defense in USA – Advocacy and awareness are achieved using online articles, but the instructor behind the posts is the real deal.  The women’s self-defense expert shares a lifetime of knowledge with one objective in mind:  Keep Canada Safe.  Starting at the bottom rung of personal safety, posts advocate avoidance and verbal de-escalation strategies that end conflicts without violence or injury.  Through a progression of steps designed to minimize harm, the site discusses a series of physical moves that can be used to limit an attacker’s advantage. Specific posts isolate certain segment of society, providing specific personal safety information that impacts particular groups.  Health care workers, or hospitality employees, for instance have unique needs for personal protection, so their concerns are addressed with dedicated feature posts.
  29. Self-Defense and Combatives Blog – Reeducating readers about self-defense and personal protection is a mission undertaken by this blog, containing posts laden with tips and techniques for heightened family safety.  Property recommendations are also included, advising readers to stay consistent with safety standards at home.  Gates, fences, windows and doors should remain locked, for example and should each be outfitted with proper deadbolt-type locks and hinges.  Personal safety tips and product recommendations are also included, allowing interested parties to explore preparedness and self-protection further.
  30. My-Self-Defense – Personal product recommendations and self-security advice are prevalent here, provided by an informed writer committed to making society safer for those willing to learn about defense strategies. Avoiding conflict is discussed as a first line of defense against personal injury, and maintaining an anticipatory frame of mind is also advocated.  Being ready to respond is a crucial first step that is sometimes overlooked by individual who think they are well-prepared.  Simple approaches like carrying defense whistles and pepper spray stop many assaults before they get started, so they are considered to be valuable front-line defenses.  Additional topical areas receive expanded treatment, including self-defense for women and home protection.
  31. Defy the Bad Guy – This series of articles shares the viewpoint of a blogger who actively teaches self-defense to women.  Details about her programs are featured on the site, including a unique personal safety boot camp offered to women.  Julie Greene carries credentials in self-defense teaching that illustrate her passion, supporting 4-week intensive programs that cover in-depth strategies for all types of individual security – from personal property to female well-being.  Her martial arts history is the perfect complement to the information she offers on her self-defense blog.
  32. Women Self-Defense Blog – Protecting individuals through self-defense education is the primary function of this blog, and the instructional opportunities it supports.  Lots of YouTube videos are present, to visually underscore the message sent by the organization. The group focuses on unique training in group settings, for corporate team-building, social gatherings, and even for high-school classes.  DVDs and other materials available for purchase supplement the free information contained within the site’s blog entries. Tales of real-life self-defense success are also shared with reader’s, to bolster their own confidence and move them to act in their personal defense interests.

    follow defense guru matthew schafer at schaferselfdefense.blogspot.com

  33. Schafer’s Self Defense Corner – Personal reflections of a martial artist and personal self-defense guru seeking to share his experience with readers.  The blog supports self-defense instruction offered by the writer at his studio in Michigan.  Karate, Taekwondo, Judo and a host of martial arts disciplines contribute to the philosophy put-forth on the site, including the blogger’s evaluation of various fighting techniques and outcomes that occur when martial arts are utilized.  Posts are placed several times each year, highlighting individual aspects of self-defense and martial arts.
  34. International Krav Maga New York Blog – Popularity of Krav Maga continues to grow apparently, especially in places like New York City.  The discipline is drawn from a number of martial techniques that include fast and aggressive responses to attacks.  Because the training for Krav Maga focuses on real life situations, it is hailed as a very effective form of self-defense.  Bloggers share techniques and other information about the increasingly popular pursuit.   Women’s Krav Maga training combines real-life self-defense skills with fitness opportunities that add value to learning Krav Maga.  The organization behind the blog hosts classes and seminars for interested parties, including workshops for children.
  35. Paxton Quigley’s Blog – Author and personal safety advocate Ms. Quigley blogs here about protection and personal defense for women.  She shares some of the same concepts in her blog as the one’s she teaches at her ‘Not an Easy target’ seminars.  Fundamental discussions about minimizing your appeal as a target and other general strategies for avoiding assaults are supplemented by specific instructions for individual safety under particular circumstances.  Empowering women with confidence to defend themselves is only one of the functions of the blog; it also provides product reviews and evaluations.
  36. John Nottingham’s USA Martial Arts Self Defense and Security Blog – Learning to defend yourself is an individual pursuit, with several avenues available to explore.  Firearm self-defense is in a category of its own, but not everyone needing protection seeks weapons.  Martial arts and Krav Maga training provide non-lethal alternatives that enable people to defend themselves the old fashioned way – by hand.  Learning Krav Maga in Phoenix is possible, by enrolling in the self-defense school behind the blog.  Fighting fit points to the additional benefits of Krav Maga personal defense training – increased fitness.  By enrolling in self-defense classes, Krav Maga students gain immediate advantages by reducing their reaction times and becoming more alert.
  37. Personal Security America – Various strategies are explored here for their benefits and shortcomings providing comprehensive personal security.  Devices, including pepper sprays and other products designed to disable attacks are available for purchase, and come with extensive reviews and evaluations.  Stun guns and other legal non-lethal self-defense alternatives are compared and contrasted with other products, in order to match the best means of defense with consumers who need them. In addition to individual protection, property defense is an important consideration within posts on this blog.
  38. Of Arms and the Law – As many blogs share specific information about how to protect yourself in the face of particular dangers, others specialize in following developments that impact self-defense and personal protection as a whole. The entries here fall into the latter category for the most part.  Legal opinions and trends in legislation provide important tells for the future of firearm ownership and personal defense right in the United States, so blogs like this one keep pace with what is happening in the world of personal security. Individual states provide interesting case studies in terms of the way the handle gun rights, which are explored in-depth in archived posts.
  39. Krav Maga New York – Several strategies exist for martial arts based self-preservation, including Krav Maga.  The discipline is an Israeli combat and defense methodology that has been adopted by countless law enforcement agencies and private security forces.  The fundamental ideas behind the approach are shared by the instructors at Krav Maga New York, who also do their best to impart knowledge through this blog.  The training is explained in plain language, so potential students have the information needed to choose their own individual paths toward safety.
  40. Act in Self-Defense – This news blog is tuned-in to the personal defense and family safety scene in Chicago.  The scope of the articles is wide, including pieces that touch on all corners of self-defense, information security, and even national issues like post-911 safety. Real life examples are used to illustrate what measures should be taken in response to various forms of attacks, and articles discussing upcoming Chicago events highlight what attendees should expect, while offering safety strategies for incident free fun in the Illinois city.  Despite the local orientation of the content, articles stretch out into larger topics that impact safety and security nationwide.
  41. Preptronics Blog – Security for individuals, families and personal property are discussed in a series of blog posts that highlight self-defense products.  Pepper spray and other emerging self-defense tools are available for sale, so articles tend to line-up with the products the bloggers are selling.  Still, important information is gleaned from articles, especially for women who turn to stun guns and sprays to help close the physical size gap between women and their attackers.  Home security products are also featured, including basics like baby monitors and electronic surveillance gear.  Security tips and advice on how to become a less appealing target are useful entries for security conscious readers.
  42. Prevention Works – A Blog by the National Crime Prevention Council – Self-defense is closely tied to prevention, so this national organization blogs about the best ways to avoid conflict and to keep yourself out of harm’s way.  Individual safety starts with awareness, so articles reinforce the importance of knowing your surroundings at all times.  Awareness while traveling and when in unfamiliar situations makes you a less desirable target, and turns criminals away.  By maintaining awareness at home, safety measures become automatic features of everyday life, reducing the chance that you will become a victim.  Articles emphasize timely concerns, like the best ways to stay safe during summer, and personal safety standards for kids of all ages.
  43. The Multidimensional Paradigms of Self-Defense – In archived entries, individual viewpoints are investigated as they relate to personal defense.  The underlying assumption is that we respond to threats and protect ourselves in different ways, so our viewpoints have significant impacts on the way we defend ourselves and our property.  By considering viewpoints outside our own, we understand a philosophy that may be more comprehensive in terms of how we protect ourselves.  Thought provoking entries discuss how we use our individual paradigms to justify the way we act under duress.
  44. Connecticut Citizens Defense League Blog – This grass roots effort is backed by a group of citizens committed to gun rights and self-defense awareness in their home state.  Posts include updates about local happenings and personal defense events, but there are also many entries related to legislation about self-defense and gun ownership.  Keeping their membership informed about gun laws leads to state-specific updates that include information about states outside Connecticut.
  45. InSights Training Blog – Personal defense and tactical training classes are supported by this informational blog outlining best practices for self-defense.  Positive self-defense outcomes are achieved when the attacker’s ability to harm you is negated, so the blog entries here focus on the best ways to cause him or her to stop attacking and retreat.  Practicing scripted tactics that respond to a variety of situations leads to quick responses and effective personal defense, so creating this tactical advantage is one of the recommendations made by the organizers of the blog.  Guns, knives and other weapons are evaluated alongside non-lethal defense methods allowing readers to consider their own individual security concerns when establishing personal protection plans.

    at aaa-safetyfirst.com they have provided you the tools for self defense

  46. Safety First Security Solutions Blog – Security requirements are twofold for most concerned citizens:  Training/knowledge and Equipment/security products.  The entries contained here relate to dozens of products sold by the blog organizers, providing the information needed to use them effectively in the field.  Pepper spray and other irritants as well as batons and similar striking instruments are evaluated for effectiveness and instructions are provided for using them.  Several specific scenarios are considered, like animal attacks, home invasions and similar threats, outlining appropriate responses and offering advice about the best weapons to use.
  47. The Self Defence Expert – Topics range across many self-defense disciplines, each discussed by a trained personal defense consultant.  Lots of pictures and videos help send the author’s messages about self-defense.  Martial arts and the various fighting styles associated with each discipline are put under the microscope for readers who know enough to make the proper distinctions between the techniques.  For casual observers, lighter fare is also plated-up, including reviews of products, training styles, and even movies.  News, opinions and articles are mixed in the way they are presented, allowing readers to pick and choose their own areas of interest.
  48. Dynamic Self-Defense – Struggling with basic self-defense principles slows down beginners, so this blog tries to break things down into essential pieces that are easier to digest for upstart citizens increasing their personal security arsenals.  The Albany, New York based author provides detailed analysis of security dilemmas and matches them with appropriate solutions.  Public interest stories are also present, including inspirational pieces about how self-defense preparedness ended positively in individual real life incidents. According to the blog organizers, using martial arts techniques and hand-to-hand combat moves, allows individuals to approach personal protection in effective ways.
  49. Asian World of Martial Arts Blog – Martial arts training is sport to some participants, but to others the disciplines are used as tools of self-defense.  The entries found here recognize both schools of thought, focusing on the vital roles martial arts play in personal defense.  The value and scope of available training is evaluated, providing insight for those new to self-defense classes and philosophies.  But the site is not all business, there are also sections present devoted to martial arts hobbyists interested in posters and other Asian-inspired martial arts products and services.  Videos show martial artists is action, and highlight the importance of Asian culture in personal defense.
  50. The Weapon Blog – Personal defense is achieved using avoidance, de-escalation and physical martial arts techniques, but sometimes weapons are required to provide adequate levels of individual safety.  Entries to this blog point to rising crime rates and increased numbers of violent attacks as justification for better personal protection strategies, including the use of weapons.  Pepper sprays and other irritants provide a convenient class of protection that is generally effective, but these products are only one form of non-lethal weapons carried by concerned citizens.  Stun guns and batons used to strike attackers are also popular among men and women.  Combination weapons that have panic alarms attached to pepper spray canisters, or use strike instruments combined with stun technology add further reassurance for attack victims.

35 Best Computer Security Professors of 2013

Computer Science and Electrical Engineering programs draw the best and brightest professors to colleges and universities across the world.  In 2013, stand-out educators continue to emerge in a specialized area of computer science that requires gifted researchers:  Computer Security.  As technology changes and information becomes more and more portable, security concerns arise as quickly as new smartphone apps.  The solution is to continually update the pool of information used to keep computers and data secure.  For their efforts in this area, the following professors are recognized as some of the top Computer Security educators of the year.

  1. rivest_photoRonald Rivest – As a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, Ronald L. Rivest participates in several noted academic groups associated with computer security.  He is a member of the school’s CSAIL, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the founder of the organization’s Cryptology and Information Security Group. Professor Rivest’s computer security interests have crossed over into the private sector, where he is responsible for helping found VeriSign, RSA Data Security and other computer security interests. In 2012 Dr. Rivest received the Computer Security Hall of Fame Award for his contributions to the field.
  2. SchouCoryCorey D. Schou – Dr. Schou is a highly regarded computer security specialist at Idaho State University, where he holds titles of University Professor of Infomatics, Professor of Information Systems, and Associate Dean of the College of Business.  Dr. Schou has been recognized extensively for his contributions to the areas of computer security, including and educator of the year nod from the Federal Information Systems Security Educators Association. Corey Schou is currently the director of the National Information Assurance Training and Education Center, as well as the Simplot Decision Support Center.  His books, articles and presentations focus on computer security, privacy and ethics among other related topics.
  3.  Keith Ross – The Polytechnic Institute of NYU is home to Professor Keith Ross, who teaches computer science courses at the school.  Dr. Ross also serves as Department Head for the programs in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the college.  The scope of his expertise is wide, including past work in privacy and data-mining, as well as general computer and systems security.  Dr. Ross received his PhD from the University of Michigan, and is a current fellow in several prestigious industry organizations, including the ACM and IEEE.  He has received several best paper recognitions for his research.
  4. kohnoTadayoshi Kohno – Dr., Kohno, known as Yoshi to friends and associates is a specialist in certain areas of computer science and engineering.  Security and privacy of information and computers is an area that Yoshi has worked in extensively during his tenure as associate professor in the University of Washington Department of Computer Science and Engineering.  After receiving his PhD from University of California – San Diego, Dr. Kohno embarked on a career recognized with several noted awards including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the MIT Technology Innovator Award.  The professor is currently working in areas of emerging technology like cloud security and mobile computer security.  Detecting and Defending Against Third-party Tracking on the Web is a must-read article by professor Kohno.
  5. Matt BishopMatthew Bishop – During his time as a professor of Computer science at the University of California at Davis, Matt Bishop has continued to delve deeply into computer security, an area that has interested him since the late 1970’s.  The professor has spent years looking specifically at vulnerability, calibrating accurate ways to assess our risk as computer users.  Access controls and other specialized studies have guided Dr. Bishop’s career through advanced UNIX security research into his current areas of interest, which include election processes, data sanitization, and other computer security problems.  Dr. Bishop’s book, “Computer Security:  Art and Science” shares his insights on various computer security topics.
  6. D.WagnerDavid Wagner – Professor Wagner continues to pursue research in computer security while maintaining his faculty position at University of California – Berkley.  As a professor of computer science, his research interests focus on large-scale systems and network analysis, including program security analysis and applied cryptology.  Current projects include software and smartphone computer security initiatives, and other efforts focused on emerging technology. David Wagner also participates in the University’s Security Research Group.
  7. marianne-winslettMarianne Winslett – Having served in various capacities on the faculty of the University of Illinois Urbana Campus, Dr. Winslett now works as a research professor in the University’s Department of Computer Science.  She earned her PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University, before working at Bell Labs.  She brought her interest in information security and data management to the University of Illinois in the late 1980’s and has made significant contributions to the field during her time there.  She has served on countless editorial boards and received recognition for her research, earning best paper awards on multiple occasions.
  8.  Greg White – Gregory White has carried enthusiasm for security education and research throughout an impressive career centered in the San Antonio area.  During a thirty-year career with the United States Air Force, on active duty and in the reserves, Dr. White joined the faculty at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he entered the school’s Information Systems program.  Early in his career at the school, he helped establish the UTSA Cyber-Security Research Center, which has celebrated a ten year anniversary to-date.  The Center sponsors one of the most widely recognized cyber-security competitions for college students, designed to spark innovation and collaboration among the brightest thinkers in the computer security field.
  9. Dana Dachman-Soled – Dr. Dachman-Soled is a relatively new member of the faculty within the A. James Clark School of Engineering – Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland.  She brings her PhD from Columbia University to the classrooms and research facilities in Maryland, to continue pressing the envelope within the computer security field.  After receiving a presidential scholarship for her studies at Columbia, Dr. Dachman-Soled continued-on with a fellowship opportunity at Microsoft Research.  Her interests and areas of instruction relate to cryptographic security and other computer science disciplines.
  10. santoroGerry Santoro – Students enrolled at Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology benefit from Dr. Santoros experience with computer security, but so do others.  Dr. Santoro maintains a page of information helping computer users remain problem-free.  Dr. Santoro has an extensive hands-on history providing security and advice for computers systems, and his courses focus on these areas.  Risk analysis and cyber-forensics are also part of the academic major that Dr. Santoro works closely with. He also holds editorial credentials with noted online journals, and has been recognized with numerous awards.
  11. nicolasNicolas Christin – Dr. Christen acts as an assistant research professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Cylab at Carnegie Mellon University.  He also serves as faculty advisor to several Master’s Degree Programs in computer security fields at the school. His credentials include a PhD from the university of Virginia and extensive service abroad in Japan and other locales.  Through his association with Cylab, Carnegie Mellon’s security laboratory, Dr. Christin continues to push the envelope in critical cyber-security thinking.  Current projects involve online security and crime modeling.
  12. haldermanJ. Alex Halderman – Assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering at the University of Michigan, Dr. Halderman sometimes blogs about cyber-security issues at Freedom to Tinker.  His main areas of interest lie in computer security and privacy, particularly in software security, network security, data protection and emerging science like computer forensics.  Dr. Halderman earned his Computer science PhD from Princeton University in 2009, and continues to work on projects related to hacking, encryption, and other security issues.  His research on widespread weak keys in network devices earned him a best paper recognition from his peers.
  13. MironLivnyMiron Livny – Working as a research professor at the University of Wisconsin, in Madison, has opened interesting doors for professor Livny, who has been able to work on Department of Homeland Security projects requiring his particular expertise.  One current project works to increase the level of security on software used to control the internet and the cyber infrastructure. Livny is Director of Core Computational Technology at the Morgridge Institute for research in addition to his service at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.
  14. sgwetzelSusanne Wetzel – Educated in Germany, this professor brings private sector experience with Daimler Chrysler, Lucent Technologies, and RSA Laboratories to her computer security resume.  Her areas of research interest include cryptography and algorithmic theory.  Her work is conducted as an associate professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in the Computer Science Department.  Her publications include books, journals and countless papers presented in academic settings.  Other professional activities include work on anti-phishing research and collaboration with other computer security professionals.
  15. zhang_honggangHomggang Zhang – As an associate professor at Fordham University, Dr. Zhang works in the Department of Computer and Information Science.  While the scope of the internet and world reliance on computers grows, data management and computer security are areas that continue to require innovative solutions – Dr. Zhang helps provide them.  As well as managing the large volumes of data that computer dependence generates, modern computer security professionals are tasked with keeping it private and secure.  Social networking and mobile computing are specialized areas drawing attention, because they represent the next wave of technology requiring security.  Dr. Zhang and other forward-thinking professionals attempt to look into the future to forecast the types of problems that might arise with data sharing practices later on, even as they address problems popping up today.
  16. spaffordEugene Spafford – Purdue University is home to Dr. Spafford, who teaches several classes within the Department of Computer Science.  His areas of specialization include social impacts of computing, including emerging mobile and cloud technologies that constantly create the need for enhanced security.  Ethics, cybercrime and general internet security are the bread and butter for Dr. Spafford, leading to accolades from his peers and teaching honors from Purdue. Dr. Spafford also runs the University’s Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS), which leads research in the field of internet and computer security.  Dr. Stafford made headlines for suggesting users will defect from the World Wide Web due to the inherent dangers it poses to their personal security.
  17. duWeliang (Kevin) Du – Professor Du understands the implications of computer security for mobile devices and other emerging technologies, so he has dedicated his research to these areas.  Dr. Du is a professor in the Department of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University, where he and his research team tackle system security problems and innovate in the area of smartphone system security.  His PhD is from Purdue University, and he currently holds prestigious positions on panels and committees serving the computer security industry.
  18. ahamadMustaque Ahamad – Securing the internet and computer applications for the future is a passion shared by many computer security professionals, including Dr. Ahamad.  In the College of Computing at The Georgia Institute of Technology he works with colleagues to secure future applications, while at the same time innovating secure storage services for personal information.  Dr. Ahamad earned his PhD at the State University of New York.  He has worked with dozens of successful computer security specialists as a mentor and collaborator.
  19. James Burkman – Oklahoma State professor Dr. Jim Burkman works in areas concerned with the ongoing security of computers and networks.  At the Spears School of Business at OSU Dr. Burkman pushes forward research programs for application security.  He has published several journal articles on the subject, and continues to push for solutions for today’s, and tomorrow’s problems.  After earning his PhD from Indiana University, Dr. Burkman began teaching and conducting research in information security.
  20. hoffmanLance Hoffman – Throughout his distinguished career in cyber-security, Dr. Hoffman has been on the cutting edge of computer security research and education.  His early accomplishments helped set the stage for a computer education model that was in its infancy, changing faster than traditional educational systems could stay current.  As a Distinguished Research professor at the George Washington University, he continues to share his experience and consultation.  Dr. Hoffman is the author of dozens of journal articles and books, and serves in advisory roles on several prestigious scholarship boards granting funding for promising computer security students
  21. matt-greenMatt Green – Professor Green teaches courses at Johns Hopkins University that are related to the work he does with his research.  Dr. Green’s areas of specialization include developing techniques for effectively storing information with high levels of privacy assurance built-in.  He is an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute, where he also works in the fields of bilinear cryptography and cryptographic information.  Specifically, his research uncovers ways to keep databases secure and to allow people access, without compromising their own privacy as they use the resources.  His blog talks about developments in the field.
  22. yi muYi Mu – Dr. Mu specializes in cryptography and related disciplines, including computer and network security.  Professor Mu is faculty at the University of Wollongong, where he plays important roles on committees within the School of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.  He has published more than two-hundred fifty scholarly papers.  He serves as the head of his school and is also the editor of the International Journal of Applied Cryptography.  His academic credentials include a PhD from the Australian National University.
  23. Jed Crandall – Dr. Crandall and his team of researchers share the belief that internet activities should be more transparent when they involve censorship and controlling information.  He works as an associate professor at the University of New Mexico, guiding research in forward thinking areas that govern internet security and privacy of information.  Dr. Crandall earned his PhD from the University of California at Davis, before entering into research partnerships with prestigious funding entities.
  24. DenningDorothy Denning – Dr. Denning has led a productive career in computer science, dating back to her early innovations at Purdue University in the 1970’s.  She taught there for years, as well as serving on the faculty at Georgetown University.  She is the inaugural member of the Cyber Security Hall of Fame, illustrating the important role her body of work has played in the computer science field for decades.  In addition to her service at Purdue and Georgetown, Dr. Denning worked in the private sector for nearly ten years, helping secure computer systems for corporations.  She has written four books and over 100 scholarly articles, which have been published in industry journals.  She teaches now at the Naval Postgraduate School, enlightening students with classes like Computer Network Attack and Defense.
  25. ckanichChris Kanich – Dr. Kanich studies an area that receives less attention among academics than some other areas of information security – the financial gains made by attackers.  Analyzing the profits and economic motivation behind hacking and cyber attacks helps illuminate solutions to the growing internet concern.  Dr. Kanich works as an associate professor at University of Illinois – Chicago, where he leads a small research team in the Department of Computer Science.  He has participated in several influential committees and has found his ideas featured in mainstream publications like The Economist, The New York Times, and Wired magazine.  Human factors influence computer security is an adjunct area of research for Dr. Kanich.
  26. Kevin_ButlerKevin Butler – Computer security concerns drive Dr. Kevin Butler’s research, particularly in the areas of information storage, large-scale systems security and network privacy.  He is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Oregon, where he recently landed an award from the NSF to fund his research projects.  The NSF Secure and Trustworthy Cyber Security CAREER Award brings valuable resources to Dr. Butler’s research relating to secure retention and management of sensitive information.  Dr. Butler earned his PhD at Pennsylvania State University.
  27. Paul Dourish – Dr. Dourish is a professor at the University of California Irvine.  His work at the school’s Donald Bren School of Computer and Information Sciences focuses on security issues for computer systems.  Mobile computing is a particular area of interest, as well as the social components associated with human computing behavior. Professor Dourish serves on industry councils and advisory boards, providing cutting edge research results for better computer security.  Dr. Dourish and his research team work closely with social scientists to dissect the interactions between humans and computers, looking for insight into the behaviors behind our work with machines.
  28. ravisandhuRavi Sandhu – Computer security and privacy are areas that have undergone drastic transformations in the ways they are viewed.  Dr. Sandhu has been a first-hand participant in the development of effective strategies for responding to emerging computer threats. His prestigious career in computer security includes over 250 published articles, written with over 100 collaborators.  Dr. Sandhu is the Executive Director and Chief Scientist at University of Texas – San Antonio, where he has been employed since 2007.  Previous faculty positions were held by Dr. Sandhu at Ohio State University and George Mason University. He is also active at the Institute for Cyber Security.
  29. zittrainJonathan Zittrain – Cyber security issues are muddled among those of law, so professionals understanding both aspects of the equation bring unique insight to the table.  Professor Zittrain teaches in both schools at Harvard University, sharing computer security coursework in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He is a founder of Berkman Center for internet and Society and is on the board of advisors for Scientific American. Special areas of interest include governance of new and emerging technologies and other internet policy issues.
  30. swcarterSamuel Carter – Mr. Carter serves as adjunct faculty at NC State University in the Computer Science Department, specializing in issues related to computer and cyber security.  Cryptography and authorization and authentication processes are within Mr. Carter’s areas of research, as well as network security administration and other systems administration issues.  Mr. Carter currently serves as an advisor for the National Collegiate cyber Defense Competition where standout students compete with theories to head-off the next major cyber security issues.
  31. J C Birget – Computer security and cryptography are essential areas of study for Dr. Birget, who earned his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley.  As a professor at Rutgers University – Camden, Dr. Birget draws on international training and theory to dissect advanced algorithms. Dozens of journal publications and conference articles support Dr. Birget’s educational credentials, including editing books and collaborating with other researchers in the discipline.
  32. junjei-ZhangJunjie Zhang – Associate professor Zhang was tapped last year to head the Master’s in cyber security program at Wright State University.  The Department of Computer Science sponsored the initiative to keep pace with the ever-increasing threats to computer security and to facilitate advanced training for the people in the Wright State region.  The Dayton region requires high numbers of computer security personnel, due to the concentration of national security missions in the area.
  33. ContiGreg Conti – Colonel Gregory Conti is an educator and the director of the Information Technology Operations Center.  He has written multiple books and countless magazine and journal entries.  In addition to those publications, Professor Conti is responsible for dozens of conference papers and collaborations with other computer security professionals.  In addition to his service as WestPoint faculty, he is an adjunct professor at the National Cryptologic School and has been recognized for his contributions to the field of computer security.  Of particular interest to Colonel Conti are online privacy issues, creating secure interfaces, and principles of cyber warfare.
  34. engin-kirdaEngin Kirda – Professor Kirda is an associate professor for information assurance at Northeastern University.  He works in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Information Science.  Dr. Kirda is concerned with academic areas relating to network and systems security, particularly web security and malware analysis.  He also serves as Director of the University’s Information Assurance Institute.  He is one of the founders of the international Secure Systems Lab, a network of professional collaborators that work together to address cyber security concerns. In addition to publishing dozens of scholarly articles, Dr. Kirda is co-founder of a private venture that helps create secure systems for hire.  He sits on influential committees and chairs respected programs as well.
  35. fifeEarl Fife – Dr., Fife is a faculty member at Calvin College, where he teaches computer science.  He earned a PhD from Wesleyan University in 1977, after acquiring his Master’s at the University of North Carolina – Greensboro.  In addition to the formal educational credentials, Dr.  Fife maintains a long list of certifications endorsing him as a professional forensic computer examiner, and systems security expert. Dr. Fife also holds memberships in industry organizations like the International Society of Forensic Computer Examiners, International Associations of Computer Investigative Specialists, and Michigan Section of the Mathematics Association of America.  Professor Fife is one of the co-founders of The Mathematics Archives.

The Top 30 Data Management & Security Blogs

Data management and security are an important part in the daily lives of most people these days. A lack of knowledge on how to keep your data under control and organized can mean your business suffers in productivity or a hacker halfway across the world can loot your bank accounts. Luckily, the number of mostly altruistic experts who want to share their wisdom on data management and security is impressively large, and many of these experts and the companies who employ them maintain blogs that can be easily browsed to keep yourself abreast on the current state of the IT and InfoSec world. This list contains links and quick glimpses into thirty of the best offerings on the web. Blogs are divided into data management blogs, security blogs, and those with content that bridges the gap between the two.

Data Security by Charlie Collis

Data Security by Charlie Collis

Well-Rounded Blogs

  1. Rational Survivability– Originality can make a sometimes-dry topic like technology more bearable for the masses. Rational Survivability makes no apologies that it is a personal blog that will do whatever it wants, whenever it wants to do it. Almost every post can pull a laugh from you while still imparting some knowledge. The posting rate seems to be on the decline over the past few months, but you can still expect a new post per month. The blog has been in existence since 2006, so it is likely going to stick around for a while. Throw it in your monthly blog checklist and you won’t regret it. Must Read: An Ode to Glasses, a somewhat clever and definitely hilarious poetic tribute to Google Glasses.
  2. Rud.is – This blog is a bit of a hard one to place. The subjects range from data security to shiny graphs to random IT subjects, and occasionally it even goes off the grid into something completely different. It does not have the best update rate, and the varying content makes it hard to suggest that you put it on your frequent reading list. That said, it is worth giving a quick look at some of the articles to determine if the blog is something that you might like. Must Read: Security Hobos, a discussion on truly small business owners who are blissfully ignorant that they are creating terrible security problems for their customers.
  3. From the Trenches – There is no substitute for experience, but reading about someone else’s experiences comes in at a close second. From the Trenches is a mix of stories from the owning company, Solera, and related posts on data security and management problems that have had an impact in the real world. The blog is fairly heavy on advertising posts for Solera, but considering that it is all but declared directly in the blog’s mission statement that this will happen, we can forgive it this time. Must Read: Topera, the Sneaky IPv6 Port Scanner, an article that provides an overview of one malicious tool and that serves as a good example of the sort of content you will find here.
  4. Attachmate: Data in Motion – The moment where any sort of information is at the highest risk of falling into the wrong hands is when that information is in transit. Attachmate provides solutions for information security for electronic devices during this vulnerable stage, and their blog provides useful tidbits of information on how to properly secure file transfers. As you would expect from the more pointed focus of the company, the blog is narrow in scope. Unfortunately, the blog does not take advantage of this to provide lengthy or detailed information, instead opting for more general updates on file transfer news and technologies once or twice a month. Even though we think this blog could be great with just a bit more effort, it is still a decent one to have on your monthly checking schedule. Must Read: User-driven File Transfers and You, a brief commentary on why email should not be used as a file transfer system.
  5. Verizon Terremark: Enterprise Cloud Blog – Terremark is a division of Verizon that delivers Cloud and enterprise level solutions to medium and large businesses. Their blog is a mixture of company news and informative articles on the Cloud, big data, and security. One of their more frequent topics is “News to Know,” which contains small excerpts and links to other articles. It isn’t a terrible blog, but with about 40% of the content being company advertising and re-posts, it isn’t a great one either. A good amount of information and updates coming every day or so are its main redeeming qualities. Must Read: Encryption Solutions in the Cloud, a post on the encryption options that work best for Cloud technologies.
Weir Data - Photo by Acoustic Dimensions

Weir Data – Photo by Acoustic Dimensions

Data Management Blogs

  1. Obsessive-Compulsive Data Quality Blog – Focused on providing his readers with a very thorough review of the importance of data quality, management, and security, author Jim Harris creates well-written and informative posts on his blog. Posts range from analyzing the costs and issues that stem from poor quality management, new techniques to utilize and protect data, vendor reviews and news presented in a neutral way, tools and resources, and much more. An excellent source for anyone involved in the data chain Must Read: Magic Elephants, Data Physics, and Invisible Gorillas – glancing over the excitement surrounding Hadoop (the Magic Elephant), its potential use to predict customer data kept close to the chest (Data Physic), and a warning about getting too far ahead with data changes (the Invisible Gorilla).
  2. Data Quality Pro – Data Quality Pro is a community managed website built with the vision of collecting the insights and ideas of professionals in the world of data quality. The blog itself has a decent color scheme, but the layout and navigation can be more than a pain until you get the feel for it, and it will still likely irk you even then. They make up for the haphazard design with four to five posts a month that are unique and insightful for the world of data management and analysis. Must Read: How to Create a Data Quality Firewall and Data Quality SLA, a useful set of tips and advice for less tech savvy companies looking to hire a data quality company.
  3. Mike 2.0 – Mike 2.0 is an open source information management solution that features community blog project with useful posts from experienced and intelligent members of the data management field. Some of the contributing bloggers appear frequently on other sites or maintain blogs of their own. The layout makes it easy to navigate through the content, but the color scheme is a boring and somewhat irritating choice of primarily white with light blue backgrounds. As with other community blogs, the higher number of contributing authors means the blog is updated with original content fairly frequently. In addition to the blog, you can find a discussion board to communicate with other readers and the contributors.  Must Read: The Increasing Meaninglessness of the Data-Metadata Distinction, a short but thought-provoking post about how much information is really contained within metadata and what it can tell someone about the contents.
  4. Information Management – Information Management, despite the rather bland name, is a massive resource on just about any topic on which you could tack the words “data” or “information.” If you want to know about data encryption, data security, big data, data quality, data analytics, data storage, the Cloud and data, data on the network, or anything else, you can find it here. The layout is incredibly busy and can seem overwhelming, but they do fairly well considering the amount of material that is stored on the site. There are multiple blogs within the site, links to educational resources, a webinar repository, and more. This is a resource that will serve you above and beyond the fields of encryption and security, but it definitely fits in with them as well. Must Read: After a Data Breach It’s Often Business As Usual, a chastising look at companies who do not take data breaches to heart and implement better data management procedures.
  5. Midsize Insider – As the name suggests, Midsize Insider is a blog site and article repository geared towards imparting information management know-how to small and medium business owners, managers, and IT staff. With dozens of contributors and staff members, content on the site is always fresh and is released at least daily. The navigation is a bit jumbled and the main pages are a bit overwhelming with information from Twitter, infographics, trending articles, and article lists. Once you get into the articles, things clean up and do not interfere with reading. Midsize Insider is essentially a normal blog on steroids: a bit harder to keep up with, but it packs more punch. Must Read: PRISM and Encrypted Data Benefits, an article on the recent NSA domestic surveillance fiasco and the importance encryption plays in keeping sensitive data safe when anyone – even the government – may be watching.
  6. The Data Roundtable – The Roundtable is a moderated but open posting ground for experts on data management in all of its forms, including subjects like data analytics, management, encryption, and general security. The blog has a marked informal tone, with topics for the posts having some silly sounding titles like “On Lawnmowers and Data Management.” The levity belies the depth of information, experience, and the ease at which many of the contributors impart their knowledge to readers. The layout is sleek and crisp, and the content is updated on an almost daily basis. This is one of those blogs to keep on the top of your list. Must Read: What’s the Meta with Your Data?, a suave title for an intelligent discussion on the importance of metadata.
Juniper - InfoSec 2013 - Photo by David

Juniper – InfoSec 2013 – Photo by David

Security Blogs

  1. Schneier on Security –   Operating since October of 2004, blogger Bruce Schneier has developed a strong following and respect from other bloggers interested in cryptography and related studies. The layout of his blog is very reminiscent of the late ’04 web, but contains a wealth of well-written information relating to everything from computer crime, homeland security, privacy, malware, policy issues, and much more. Frequently updated and easy to navigate, Schneier on Security serves as an excellent resource for those looking to dig up gems from this blog’s archives. The blogger himself is an acclaimed expert in security technology, with recognition for his numerous academic and other published essays, dozen published books, assorted fellowships, media and Congressional appearances, all of which got him dubbed a ‘security guru’ by The Economist. Must Read: Intelligence Analysis and the Connect-the-Dots Metaphor,
  2. Security Bloggers Network – Not a blog in its own right, but rather a collecting house of related blogs, this is a great resource for those looking to take a peek at what is new and exciting in the security blogosphere. They host a blogger hall of fame and annual security blogger award as well as an open feed of new posts to help users find quality blogs of interest. Worth checking out if you are a blogger or an avid consumer of such. Must Read: Security Blogger Awards, for a round-up of regularly updated and well-written security blogs.
  3. CSO– Expert advice on security from a range of experts. Posts cater to organizations and businesses concerned with protecting data.  Regularly updated and well-written, but unfortunately sponsored by intrusive ads that require you to click-through them to get to the content. This site also offers webcasts, white papers, and an emailed newsletter so readers never miss interesting news. Must Read: Are you sure you’re really in control of your servers? This article discusses some of the threats to even owned servers.
  4. Cognitive Dissidents – This security blog features a gorgeous site design with no nonsense commentary on security issues from the perspective of self-declared zombie killer, philosopher, and security strategist. While not frequently or regularly updated, the blog offers a fresh perspective and is well worth a gander. Must Read:  A Replaceability Continuum, an examination of the question, ‘How replaceable is an asset type.’
  5. Uncommon Sense Security – Blogger Jack Daniel, an Information Security Curmudgeon,  writes with a great deal of experience on the InfoSec industry with content that is unsponsored and uncensored. Expect to find no-nonsense posts on a whole range of related topics and the occasional helping of acerbic wit to raise a chuckle. Regularly updated since June of 2007, this site is clean and straightforward to navigate.  Must Read: Managing employees and expectations, for a rant on how to retain quality InfoSec personnel.
  6. Andy Ellis > Protecting a Better Internet –  Primarily targeting the clientele of the information security industry, this blog is an excellent resource to get a handle on trends, methods, terminology, related news, and events. Regularly updated since May of 2006, Andy Ellis has been providing readers with information that is incredibly easy to parse no matter a reader’s experience level. His focus is on internet security and steps that can be taken to tighten up sites to prevent leaks, scams, and other threads.  Must Read: Leveling up Security Awareness, for a solid article addressing one of the biggest weaknesses in security protocol – the human element.
  7. Threatpost – The Kaspersky-owned Threatpost blog is one of those selections that make you do a double-take when you find the tucked-away reference to the parent company. From all appearances, you would believe that Threatpost is run by InfoSec enthusiasts who do their job for the love of it. The update rate is astounding, and checking the blog every day for content is the bare minimum unless you want to fall drastically behind. Topics center on security related news such as malware, cryptography, and hacking. We are confident enough that the great design and implementation of the blog will speak better for itself than we can, so stop by Threatpost as soon as you can. Must Read: Royal Baby Spam Campaign Leads to Black-Hole Infected Site, because it is one article about the royal baby that won’t leave your brain melting out of your ears.
  8. LiquidMatrix – This refreshing InfoSec blog screams “educated and edgy” from the moment you pull up the home page. The layout is slick and beautiful while facilitating easy reading and the glimpsing of information. You will find ten or more posts per month that touch on InfoSec news from around the world. They are accompanied by the podcast which releases episodes every couple of weeks and are amusingly numbered in hexadecimal. In fact, the podcast could be considered the major draw of the site, and you will greatly miss out on the value of LiquidMatrix if you skip over the episodes. Two of the sections we like the most – a list of default passwords on almost 1000 devices and their critical security advisory page – do not get the navigational focus they deserve, so make sure to check the small content box for links to them. Must Read: What to Do If Your iPhone Gets Stolen, a handy read for the millions of users of the Apple smartphone.
  9. Krebs on Security – Krebs’ blog is one of the most popular and active personal sites in the InfoSec blogosphere. The author, Brian Krebs, has years of experience in professional writing, most notably a long stint with the Washington Post. Like many people today, he began in another field and gradually gained interest in the ins and outs of the IT world. His blog contains frequent updates with a focus towards malware, exploit kits, hacking news, and security in general. Most of the articles go above and beyond the brief articles found on other sites, and many of his technical reviews of malware and exploits can prove to be lifesavers. The popularity of Krebs is well-deserved due to the quality and frequency of its postings, and it should easily find a spot in most people’s roundup of InfoSec related readings. Must Read: Web Badness Knows No Bounds, because while you may think that avoiding sites that scream danger will protect you, browsing online always presents some level of risk.
  10. The Falcon’s View–  The Falcon’s View has all the qualities we like in a personal blog: most of the posts are original content authored by the owner, it keeps a good update frequency despite having quality content only created by a single author, and the writer is knowledgeable and legible while seeming approachable. The author is an employee at Gartner and a contributor to their blog, but he still cross-posts his own content to his personal blog. The only real negative that can really be attached to the blog is the background colors are not the best, but that does not detract from the enjoyable and unique content. Must Read: Arguing Against the Absurd, an article where Ben shows the proper way to comment and discuss on a post from another blog or source.

Image by IntelFreePress

  1. TaoSecurity – A growing number of malicious attacks on networks throughout the world are originating from one place: China. TaoSecurity brings all the information related to the threat of Chinese hackers into one spot. The author of TaoSecurity is Richard Betjlich, an experienced InfoSec specialist and author. The blog has been in existence since 2003, pointing to the alertness and awareness of the situation that noted the oncoming problem long before it became the subject of national attention. Due to the narrow scope of the blog, the posting frequency is understandably low and sits at about two per month. Must Read: President Obama Is Right On US-China Hacking, a post with commentary and a link to President Obama discussing some of the ongoing issues with Chinese hackers.
  2. Securosis – With a no-nonsense approach to InfoSec research and education, Securosis skips past the marketing and posturing that other company blogs include so well that we could not even include it in the InfoSec company blog section. Posts tend to come up once or twice a day, and they are typically unique articles with a purpose rather than reposts, links, or brief commentaries. If you finish the daily offerings and want more, the research library contains what they consider their key posts on a variety of security subjects. The library is not updated frequently, but it serves adequately as a secondary resource and a good place for those just getting started. We also love the coloring on the blog since the off-white post backgrounds makes extended reading easier on the eyes. Must Read: Endpoint Security Buyer’s Guide:  Buying Considerations, a post every business owner should read before they sign up for security services.
  3. Network Security Podcast – Sometimes, the medium your information is delivered in can play a big impact on how likely you are to go through it and the level of enjoyment you get out of it. This is where podcasts come into play, as they function essentially like audio blogs. The Network Security Podcast features a lively crew of InfoSec specialists who banter and discuss the most newsworthy topics in network security. While many blogs offer multiple viewpoints, it is difficult to get the same depth of discussion and debate that you do from having multiple people conversing. A new podcast is released around every two weeks, and they make for a great bit of listening while working on other tasks. Must Listen: Their June 18th, 2013 podcast that touches on everything but the immensely covered Snowden case.
  4. Network Security Blog – This blog is maintained by a sole contributor named Martin McKeay, a friendly fellow who works as a “Security Evangelist” in California and is also a regular figure in the podcast noted above. The posting schedule is a bit haphazard, but he does throw up somewhere near five notes a month on average. The articles range from analysis of network security news, tips and advice on proper security methods, and links and commentary to other useful resources. There is nothing noteworthy about the design and scheme of the blog, but there is nothing wrong with using what works. The blog has been in existence since 2003, providing over 1000 posts to rummage through if you want to get caught up. Must Read: Rage Against the Machine, a collection of informative links related to the NSA PRISM project.
  5. HiSoftware: Shooting from the Hip – HiSoftware is an information security company that provides a “Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC)” platform to companies and organizations that want to keep their data safe. The blog for the company focuses on the issues of data management and security, most frequently featuring topics like data breaches, problem technologies, security standards compliance, and news related to data security. The look and feel of the blog has some nice touches, but it remains fairly standard overall. Posting occurs at a fairly nice rate with updates coming in every three or four days. Must Read: This article on the threat SharePoint can pose for data leaks is illuminating even while it highlights the role HiSoftware’s service can play in preventing the same thing from happening to your business.
  6. ThreatVision Labs – ThreatVision is the blog for Solera Networks, an information security company that focuses on providing solutions for Big Data.  The content focuses mostly on reports of malware and other security threats that can wreak havoc on your data, providing higher level overviews that give enough of the technical side of things to point you in the right direction if you want to learn. Articles are posted roughly four times a month. The blog’s design is simplistic and effective, garnering no complaints while not really astounding anyone. You should also hop over to ThreatVision’s sister blog that we mentioned above, From the Trenches, which contains more anecdotal looks at information security in the field. Must Read: Five Cybercrime Trends Likely to Continue in 2013, since it always pays to be up to date on the network attacks you are most likely to experience.
  7. Tenable: Network Security Blog – Tenable’s blog is one of the best company blogs on the list when it comes to the amount of content delivered. They offer a regular podcasts, webcasts, frequent posts, tutorials, white papers, RSS feeds, and newsletters. The blog does push the products of the company fairly hard, but it is relatively tolerable due to the sheer amount of other content. The content is updated almost every day, but you can probably get enough out of the blog by spending a few minutes on it every two or three days. Must Read: Prove You’re Watching 100% of Your Network, a post which points out that even the companies who keep an eye on their networks may not be doing so well enough.
  8. Hacker Academy Blog – The Hacker Academy adheres to the “know your enemy” strategy that has proven itself time and time again. They provide a look at security from the view of those who do their best to circumvent it, and you cannot protect against things you do not know about. The blog is updated roughly every month in a haphazard schedule, but the posts in the blog are less important than the library of information available on the site. The layout is basic with a soft grey background that makes it much easier on the eyes. They offer training modules on a variety of security topics and frequently hold webinars. The information is presented a clear and concise fashion that makes it accessible for newcomers and experts alike. Must Read: Hacking Fundamentals, one of their training modules and a good look at the basics of the hacker mindset and toolkit.
  9. VeraCode Blog – Veracode is a company that offers Security as a Service (SaaS) through their Cloud-based Application Risk Management Platform. They focus on security testing for applications, which is why their blog splits itself between general security news and tips for programmers on how to secure their applications. The layout of the blog is fairly bland, featuring a scheme that is mostly just a white background. Updates come along every two or three days, and they do a good job of keeping obvious plugs for the company to the bare minimum. The blog is minimally useful for security programming tips with a pointed focus towards security news. Must Read: 4 Things You Should Know Before Writing Another Line of Code, a quick list of useful tips to keep in mind for security while programming.