Articles in Category: Privacy

A home office with a modern aesthetic. In the foreground, a sleek desktop computer sits on a well-organized desk, surrounded by typical office supplies and decor. The room is warmly lit, creating a cozy work environment. Through the window, a slightly creepy figure is peeking in, adding a subtle element of suspense to the scene. The outside view shows a typical residential setting, enhancing the sense of a home office.

Surprising Reasons to Use a VPN at Home: More Than Just Privacy

Although a VPN service is probably not necessary at home, there are a few scenarios where you may want to consider it.

A realistic hand holding a smartphone displaying a map, with recognizable landmarks in the background..

The Surprising Ways Your Videos Can Expose Your Location

Something many people do every day may expose their location in ways they don’t know.

A 16:9 photorealistic collage featuring various search bar queries in different styles and fonts, scattered across the image. In the center, there is a large, bold question mark that stands out against the background of search queries. The overall composition is dynamic and visually appealing, with a focus on the central question mark symbolizing curiosity and the quest for knowledge through internet searches.

I Gave AI My Search History and Here’s What It Told Me

I was listening to a podcast recently in which one of the hosts described giving ChatGPT the history of the questions he had asked it and then asking it to build a profile on him based on that. It was interesting, of course, but it got me to thinking… why not use internet searches as … Read more

Wiping Data

How to Securely Wipe the Windows System Drive

Reformatting the system drive takes a little more effort than other drives. Here are three ways to get it done.

Searching for a number

How to Find a Phone Number With an Email Address

You have an email address and you want the associated phone number. It’s unlikely you’ll find it, but there are a few straws to grasp at.

A photorealistic image of a modern smartphone on a light background. The smartphone should be centrally positioned and turned on, displaying the Google logo prominently on its screen. The phone design should be sleek and contemporary, with a high-resolution display showcasing the Google logo clearly and vividly. The background should be light and neutral, complementing the smartphone and making the Google logo stand out as the focal point of the image.

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.

A photorealistic image in a 16:9 format, showcasing a close-up view of a computer screen. The screen prominently displays a large, modern-style "Sign Out" button. This button is designed to stand out with a vibrant color, possibly red or blue, against a soft, blurred background of a typical desktop interface. The background may include faint outlines of icons, folders, and other typical desktop elements, but the focus is clearly on the "Sign Out" button, symbolizing the action of logging off or exiting a digital space.

How Do I Prevent a Service From Logging Me in Automatically?

Preventing someone else from accessing your account is as easy as signing out before you leave.

Peeking at your keystrokes

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 Settings

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.

My Google Activity

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.

Houses sharing Wi-Fi

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.

Big Brother is Watching You!

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.

Computer Spy

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.

Digital Fingerprint (Concept)

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?

End to End Encryption

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.

Locked Computer

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.

Hard Disks (HDD & SSD)

How Should I Wipe My Hard Drive in Windows 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.

Laptop in a Hotel Conference Room

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.

Personal Privacy

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.

An example of a web site requesting location permission.

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?

Email Address Points Here?

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.

RAID array

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.

Working From Home

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.

A Landlord's Key Hand-off

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.

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?

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.

Corporate Network Internet Access

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 Storage Model

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.

Peek a boo!

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.

Leo's Desktop

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.

Facebook Download

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.

My Activity Signin

Google Remembers More than You Realize

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

Typing on a Laptop

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.

Charging Station

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.

Is Your ISP Watching?

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.

What's on that laptop?

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.

Browser Extension Warning

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.

Someone's Peeking!

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.

Stay Signed In

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.

I Spy

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.

Leo Notenboom in an ad

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.

Someone's Peeking!

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.