An interesting article in Wired describes how the NSA, researchers in Israel, and possibly others steal data from computers not connected to the Internet. The method allows hackers and spies to surreptitiously siphon passwords and other data from an infected computer by using radio signals generated and transmitted by the computer and received by a mobile phone. You can read the article about “AirHopper” at http://www.wired.com/2014/11/airhopper-hack.
A new form of digital currency has appeared recently. It has been available for about six years but many people have not heard about it or else do not understand it. In the past year or two, publicity has increased, and now tens of thousands of computer users are using this new payment method to purchase everything from coffee and doughnuts to illegal drugs or to pay for charitable donations […]
With the government trying to sniff through your inbox, and hackers constantly looking for ways to exploit security holes and get at your personal data, you need a private and secure “tunnel” for your Internet connection. (You can read my earlier article, Why You Want to Use a VPN, at https://privacyblog.com/2014/11/01/why-you-want-to-use-a-vpn/). You can find many VPN services to choose from with a varying number of features and at all sorts […]
Do you have an iPhone that can be unlocked with your fingerprint? Don’t put anything on that phone should remain private! A Virginia Circuit Court judge ruled on Thursday that a person does not need to provide a passcode to unlock their phone for the police. The court also ruled that demanding a suspect to provide a fingerprint to unlock a phone would be constitutional.
The former head of the Central Intelligence Agency is cautioning Canadian officials to keep in mind the delicate balance between security and privacy when crafting new laws. In an interview with CBC Radio’s The House, retired U.S. general and former CIA director David Petraeus said that balance should be at the heart of an open and transparent debate. “The general thrust of this always has to be, again, to strike […]
I had a telephone call today from a subscriber to my genealogy newsletter who wanted to renew a subscription. I asked him why he didn’t renew using the online form on the Web site. He replied that he didn’t trust entering his credit card number online. He preferred to give the number to me over the telephone. This isn’t a new experience. I have had similar phone calls in the […]
Everyone worries about online privacy and data thieves and then ignores the bigger potential losses of privacy. Did you know that the Postal Service uses a mail imaging program to photograph the exterior of every piece of paper mail sent in the United States? According to a “surveillance audit” done by the postal inspector general, which the sleuths at The New York Times uncovered, nearly 50,000 requests from law-enforcement officials […]
Are you aware that most of the Internet’s search engines track you and collect your web surfing activities? One oddly-named search engine works to protect your privacy. In fact, the use of DuckDuckGo is exploding. DuckDuckGo is an Internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the “filter bubble” of personalized search results. DuckDuckGo obtains its data from multiple search engines and organizes the results in a manner that […]
In June of 2014, Senators Mark Udall, Ron Wyden and Rand Paul offered a rare show of election-year unanimity when they penned a joint statement arguing that “it is more important than ever to let Congress and the administration know that Americans will reject half-measures that could still allow the government to collect millions of Americans’ records without any individual suspicion or evidence of wrongdoing.” Udall and Wyden, both Democrats, […]
One of the best bargains available in VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephones also offers some degree of privacy. Calls made from one Ooma telephone to any other Ooma telephone are encrypted. That is, the calls are either very difficult or perhaps impossible to wiretap. That is a big advantage for anyone who wishes to keep telephone conversations private.