Tag : privacy

Take Back Privacy with Windows 10

maxresdefault-4Windows 10 offers an option to help protect third parties from tracking your movements based on your connections to Wi-Fi networks. Under Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi, turn on the Use random hardware addresses setting. This will keep third parties from matching your Wi-Fi adapter’s hardware address with your personal information, and therefore much more difficult to track your location.

The internet is full of third party ad networks and analytics companies that use cookies and tracking technology to record web movements. This information is usually used to correlate online actions and movements to the things you do away from the internet. Sometimes this can be as harmless as the ads on the bottom of a webpage being that of the product you just googled, or the implications can be be used to discover your offline identity. Regardless, one should be cautious of where all these internet movements lead. Third-party anti-tracking software such as Abine’s Blur will limit the amount of information that such ads can gather. Ad-blocking software can limit such information as well in addition to its purpose of blocking unnecessary ads. Although many advise against leaning on ad-blocking alone, due to the usual close ties between some ad-blocking third-parties and the ads they block. Employ an ad-in to limit your digital footprint however is better than running free range around the internet. Even if it is just a chrome plug in.

Windows 10 Operating System houses information that can be easily used to discover your location. Within Settings > Privacy > Location you will find access to preferences concerning location information. You can use the master toggle at the top of the screen to turn off all location features for all users of the machine. I personally would clear the location history that is saved within this window, if nothing else.

Windows 10 will log a small amount of your information to provide Cortana with a solid knowledge of your preferences so that she may generate suggestions. If you rather take care of yourself without Cortana studying you, you can easily turn her off completely. or navigate her settings.

Under Settings > Privacy > General, click Info about how I write and turn it off so that your typos aren’t used to improve things like the built-in spell checker.

Under Settings > Privacy > Speech, inking, & typing, under the Getting to know you heading, click Stop getting to know me to turn off personalization.

Lastly, Settings > Privacy > General. Advertising ID controls whether Microsoft serves personalized ads to ad-supported apps. If you turn this option off, you still get ads, but they’re not personalized. In any case, your information is not shared with advertisers.

A few tricks to give you more of your privacy back.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit : www.zdnet.com

Keep Conversations Private with End-to-End Encryption Messaging

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Messaging is one technological advance that most cannot live without. But most of us would like to rest assured that what we type will be for the eyes of the receiver only, and not a mysterious third party. Regardless of paranoia or worry about hacking, encryption is a sure fire way to protect messages as they leave your finger tips. End-to-end encryption ensures that only the sender and the recipient can read the message. The message is first encrypted on your phone, then sent, and decrypted on the receiving side. Telecom providers, government agencies, and the company that hosts the service itself, cannot read your messages. The provider couldn’t even hand over messages if subpoenaed, because the provider would not have the ability. Hackers that infiltrate the service platform still would not be able to read your encrypted messages.

This sounds almost too good to be true, and not all encryption services are created equal. Encrypted, does not imply end-to-end encryption. Services that encrypt messages between endpoints of transmission, means that conversations are stored encrypted on the platform’s servers, which is not entirely bad. However, since the platform encrypted them they can also decrypt them.

The best end-to-end encryption services on the market today are as follows:

Telegram – Has been around for a while now, which might aid with the biggest hang up on the app, inviting all your friends to join. This over-the-top service does not have the ubiquity of SMS messaging. The app does allow for individual messaging, group messaging for an unlimited number of users, or even public group messaging for a social network feel.

Signal – This is one of the easier applications to set up, automatically authenticating your phone number. It can be used as your default SMS application as well, eliminating hurdles found with over-the-top services. The color custimization for conversations helps with communication clarity, aka not sending the wrong text to the wrong conversation. In addition to private conversations and group conversations with unlimited users, this application also makes calls.

Wire – Wire is a cool alternative for the user that wants message encryption and creative license. The application allows for doodling, location sharing, image sending, and video recording. Despite the feature initiatives, the application doesn’t support some of the escalated group messaging features, and is best used for private one-on-one conversations.

WhatsApp – By far the most popular, this application offers end-to-end encryption and the lure of over a billion users. Hopefully meaning less people you have to convince to install and use a different messaging service. The application is owned by Facebook, which just recently announced they would be using phone numbers and some other account information from  WhatsApp. Hmm. Despite worry, the application proves to be a user friendly messaging alternative.


If you would like to learn more about the information presented in this blog post please visit: www.networkworld.com

Incriminate Yourself!

Data protection is becoming more and more of a compliance requirement for organizations that surround themselves with confidential information (whether it be social security numbers, banking information, or even credit cards), and one key element in protecting the data comes in the form of Data Encryption, often used throughout the world used as a last line of defense in the event of a breach or compromise to a companies network.

One US Citizen, charged by a Colorado District Court, is being accused by the FBI to have key information in the investigation of a Mortgage Scam stored on her “legally seized” laptop. Upon the acquisition of the laptop, authorities found the laptop to be encrypted by a password known only by its owner, and in the Case of US vs. Fricosu, the Colorado district court is deciding whether they can legally compel (or in better terms, “force”) Fricosu to divulge the decryption key that unlocks the hard drive, thus potentially incriminating her in the process.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (backing the accused) is under the belief that due to the lack of presented evidence by the government prosecution with regards to what they expect to find on the laptop or what they are looking for, is simply fishing for evidence to prosecute the defendant, and believes forcing Fricosu to disclose her password is a direct violation of her Fifth Amendment rights (which protects witnesses from being forced to incriminate themselves).

It’s pretty simple, no evidence against the defendant, a clear violation of the users privacy, and an attempt to force a person to violate their civil rights? This case should clearly be dropped, what’s your take on it?