Articles in Category: Privacy

Can Everything I Do Online Be Monitored at the Router?

While it’s not easy, your internet traffic can be monitored at or near your router. I’ll look at how this might be done.

Every Application Adds Risk

Everything you download adds risk. Be safer using my three guidelines.

Privacy Begins with the Operating System

Privacy is a complex and far-reaching topic. One of the most basic and often overlooked players is the operating system on your device.

How Do I Delete Google Search History?

Deleting your search history can seem simple, but there are complications worth knowing about if you need to be thorough.

Can My Neighbor View My Internet If I Use Their Wireless?

Using any shared internet means other users on the service might be able to see what you are doing. Extra security steps may be necessary.

What Should I Assume About Workplace Technology Monitoring?

Many employers can and do monitor the technological activity of their employees. Here’s what you need to consider doing.

They Set Up My Computer and Now My Ex Is Spying on Me. What Can I Do?

Trust is tricky when it comes to computers. When you add relationships to the mix, things quickly get complicated.

What is a Digital Fingerprint?

Digital fingerprints are another way that websites might track you, should they want to. What can you do? Should you be worried?

What is End-to-End Encryption?

If you’re sharing private or sensitive information, end-to-end encryption is an important term you need to understand.

Lock Your Computer When You Walk Away

If your device is not physically secure, neither the machine nor your data is.

What VPN Should I Use?

VPNs protect from certain types of surveillance and more. I’ll discuss what they’re good for and what to consider when selecting one.

How Should I Erase My HDD Before Giving It Away?

Erasing your hard drive before you give it away is important. Exactly how thorough an erase you need depends on your data and level of paranoia.

Can Hotel Internet Traffic Be Sniffed?

Many hotels offer both wired and wireless internet, but with those hotel internet connections comes a security risk most folks don’t consider.

The Biggest Risk to Your Privacy Revealed

We worry a lot about privacy, but our concerns are often misplaced. Fortunately, the biggest risk to our personal privacy is right under our nose.

You’re Just Not That Interesting (Except When You Are)

Worried about privacy? I believe we over-imagine the risks and at the same time are our own worst enemies.

Grant Location Permission: Why You Should and When You Shouldn’t

Granting location permission gives apps and web sites a more accurate idea of exactly where you are. The question is: do they need or do they abuse it?

Can People Track My Email Address Location?

Email addresses can be used to locate public information, which could allow someone to track your location from your email address. Use caution when sharing it with someone you don’t trust.

How Do You Delete Things from the Internet?

Realistically, it’s impossible to delete things from the internet. Yet in an apparent contradiction in terms, if you happen to delete something in your control, you also can’t get it back.

Can My Work Spy on My Home Computer?

Using a computer at work puts you at their mercy. It’s technically possible your workplace could spy on all your activities.

Can My Workplace See What Else I Do When I Work from Home?

Working from home can be convenient, or even a necessity. Does it open up your other online activity to scrutiny by your company?

How Do I Remove Myself from a Machine?

Although there’s no way to remove all traces of yourself from a machine, there certainly are ways to remove as much as you can.

Is Wi-Fi Provided by My Landlord Safe?

Connectivity is becoming an added “perk” in some housing situations. Make sure you know the risks and alternatives when someone else provides your internet connection.

Yes, You Should Give Google Your Mobile Number

Google uses your mobile number for verification if you lose access to your account. Some people don’t want to provide it. They should.

Computers at a library

How to Keep Information on a Shared Computer Private

When using a shared computer, it’s too easy for others to see your data or history. If you must use a shared computer, you need to protect yourself.

Can My Mobile Provider Track What I Do Online?

Your mobile provider is indeed your ISP when you use their data services, and that means they can see a lot of your activity.

How Can an Employer Recover Information I’ve Erased?

As much as you might wish it otherwise, it’s just not practical to try and hide your computer activity from your employer.

BoxCryptor: Secure Your Data in the Cloud

Many online cloud storage providers encrypt your data — which means they can decrypt it themselves. BoxCryptor is a great solution to ensure that your online data remains private, regardless of how it’s stored.

How Can I Send a Document to Someone Securely?

Email is a fairly insecure media. There are many things that can go wrong when email gets delivered, and protecting yourself can be difficult.

What Can a Website I Visit Tell About Me?

Websites can collect a fair amount of information about you. Let’s look at what every website sees.

Can My ISP See What I’m Doing If I Use a Virtual Machine (VM)?

A VM doesn’t get you any additional privacy from your ISP… although it might be a convenience as part of a more complete solution.

Download Your Facebook and Google Data

It’s a worthwhile exercise to download the data made available by Google and Facebook, if only to realize exactly what information is being kept.

How Did I Get Advertising About the Contents of an Email?

Sophisticated targeted ads can sometimes seem creepy. Here I explore how a few techniques work, and one I can’t explain at all.

Google Remembers More than You Realize

Wherein we consider how much information we “give away” in our daily lives online.

Are There Hidden Files that Save Every Keystroke I’ve Ever Typed?

There’s a lot of misinformation, and even paranoia, relating to keystroke logging and privacy. Much of it, however, is based on small kernels of truth.

Sometimes the Threat Is in the Hardware

We spend a lot of time on software-related issues, but malicious activities and privacy violations can happen via hardware as well.

How Do I Protect Myself from My ISP?

If you’re using an internet connection from a source you don’t trust, there are a few alternatives.

How Do I Give Someone a Laptop Without Including Access to My Accounts?

It’s not easy to give someone a laptop without giving them access to your personal accounts. Depending on intent and trust, there are steps you can take.

Do privacy apps really keep me private?

Privacy on the internet means different things to different people. I discuss three different privacy applications out there, explain what exactly each does, and offer some of my own thoughts.

Is there Any Reason to Use a VPN at Home?

If you are secured behind your own router in your own home, a VPN service is probably not necessary … though there are a few scenarios where you may want to consider it.

Can spyware see what you did before the spyware was installed?

When a hacker gets ahold of your computer they can do anything. Keeping them off is the best plan.

If we login to a site securely will our other activities be secure?

Once you are out of https pages you are out of encryption. But there is one good way to secure all your online activities.

Is It Safe to Let Websites Remember Me?

Safety in your internet browsing depends on how secure you really need to be! So let’s take a look at what remembering a login really means.

How Do I Erase Traces of a File I Moved to an External Disk?

Moving a file almost always leaves traces behind. So deleting any file securely is only the first step.

Why does this ad imply I have a criminal record?

It can be pretty frightening when a search result delivers back to you the term you were searching for as an ad… particularly if you were searching for your name. But it might not be any more sinister than that.

What Information Does a Laptop Leak on a Wireless Network?

There is very little about your computer that can be transmitted over a WiFi connection… provided you know how to keep yourself safe on the internet.

Is it safe to let my daughter purchase online using my email address?

Sharing an email address may seem like a good idea, as long as you’ve considered all the ramifications.

Can Search Engines Track My Searches?

Search engines have numerous (and quite amazing) ways to gather information on people and the way they search. It’s nothing to worry about unless you have some critical need for privacy.

If an IP address doesn’t do it, then how does Google know my location?

Google can find your location through multiple datapoints that you probably don’t even realize you’re sharing. There’s a lively and important debate about how much data entities can and should collect and correlate.

Is Geotagging My Photos a Bad Thing?

When you take a picture, your camera saves “metadata”, or data about the picture. Geodata can be used to place an image in a geographical location.

Is it safe to use a mobile banking app over an open Wi-Fi connection?

Checking that all apps are doing it right is not feasible, but I set up a sniffer to verify that Gmail was using an https secure connection. The results?