Making all PDFs Open in a New Window with jQuery

Recently I was faced with a request to make all the PDF documents in a WordPress site open in a new window. Not, to be honest, a task that requires a lot of expertise, but this particular site had hundreds of PDFs linked in widgets and pages, and some generated by plugins.

As I contemplated the work to be done, I shook my head at the task, and the sheer magnitude of the time that this would take. Then I realized that it didn’t have to be any work at all. I was already loading jQuery to run the site’s menu system, so why not put it to work in this too?

I opened the theme footer, and dumped this in a script tag:

 $(function() {
     $('a[href$=".pdf"]').each(function() {
          $(this).prop('target', '_blank');
     });
  });

And suddenly, my work was done, leaving me some extra time to catch up on this season’s Doctor Who.

Finding People Online

I never thought that being a people finder would be something I would do. It never even crossed my mind. Then an elderly friend of mine asked me to find his old high-school sweetheart — no, he didn’t want to rekindle his lost love, he actually just wanted to know if she still had his high school ring, since he’d like to give it to his son.

It took a few hours of research to narrow it down to one individual, but not only did I find her current address and phone number, I also was able to see pictures of her home courtesy of Google Street View, as well as interior photos from the realtor from back in 2005 when she and her husband bought it. I knew the price they paid for it, and the post-crash value (ouch!). Searching social media I found pictures of her, her family, her cars… it’s actually kind of scary how much data is out there about a 74 year old woman who doesn’t have a single social media account. She possibly doesn’t even use the Internet, yet her life is all over it.

A few weeks later came another request to find a client’s half-brother. This was a bit of a challenge, as the brother’s name was quite a common one, but since we knew his approximate age and that he had lived in Virginia at one time, I was able to use those items as filters to find all the information needed to facilitate a family reunion.

After stumbling upon those two jobs, I decided to try find my oldest childhood friend. The trick was that I only sort of knew his last name. I knew how it was pronounced, but not how it was spelled. It took longer than I thought it would, but eventually I found myself creeping his Facebook profile. It took a day before I decided to send a friend request. It’s just weird friending someone you haven’t seen in over three decades.

To get to a point, if there is one, while I may or may not continue with this line of work, I can see that as the population ages, there will be an increasing demand for people who can ferret out information on family, friends and acquaintances from the past who hold memories for the elderly.

I have a friend who makes a pretty good second income for her family by doing something similar, except for long lost ancestors. She mostly scours old databases of obituaries, town archives and newspapers to help people fill out their family trees.

People-finding seems to me to be a great work-at-home job for anyone with a passion for research. All you need to get started is a computer with internet access and a telephone, and a bit of advertising to get your first clients.

What Happens to Confidential Documents After Shredding Is Part of Document Security Too

By pippalou @ morguefile

According to a recent article in the Palm Beach Post, the Internal Revenue Service estimates it will send out $26 billion in fraudulent tax refunds in the next five years. This is just one way that thieves are profiting from the vital information that’s often too easily available.

All an identity thief needs in order to file a tax return is a Social Security number and a date of birth, a combination of numbers that can be found in many business and personnel files in many offices across the country. Ensuring safe storage and destruction of those confidential documents is of utmost importance to protect your staff and customers from identity thieves.

Shredding of all paper files that contain personal information is standard practice today, but it is not unusual to see bags of shredded paper outside commercial offices awaiting trash or recycling pickup. While companies may feel secure that those shredded documents are safely destroyed, that feeling of security is misplaced. Shredded confidential documents can be reassembled, and new computer programs and technologies that aid in the process are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

High-tech software is not always even required to glean valuable information from shredded documents. In an admittedly extreme example, shredded police documents found their way to the 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade as confetti, according to USA Today. Because the documents were shredded horizontally, entire lines of text were readable right from the strips, including Social Security numbers and phone numbers.

Even cross-shredded files can be recompiled, as was proven by a DARPA shredding challenge, where companies were challenged to reassemble multipage documents that had been shredded into more than 10,000 pieces. The winning team used a combination of software and human verification to assemble the documents and extract the information in only 33 days.

It’s not just the danger to your corporate and customer information that you need to be concerned about. Fines for noncompliance with state and federal privacy legislation can bring hefty penalties that can damage your company’s financial situation. The loss of business that can result from a publicly revealed leak can be catastrophic to a small company.

So, how should a small- or medium-size business secure confidential documents before and after shredding for maximum security?

Documents headed for secure disposal should be placed in locked boxes before they are shredded. This will keep prying eyes and hands of staff, visitors and third-party contractors away.

Companies concerned about document security should not let their document destruction practices begin or end at the process of shredding. Creating a companywide plan that identifies confidential documents and ensures they are safely disposed of can save a company’s secrets, its reputation and keep it in compliance with all the laws relevant to the industry in which it operates.