Articles in Category: Privacy

Yes, You Should Give Google Your Mobile Number

Yes, You Should Give Google Your Mobile Number

Google will use your mobile phone number for verification if you lose access to your account. Some people don’t want to provide that information to Google.

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.

Mobile Computing

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.

The path to the internet from your computer(s) with a packet sniffing monitor inserted

Can Everything I Do Online Be Monitored at My Router?

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

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.

Watching a computer

My Ex Set Up My Computer and Is Now 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, and unfortunately, serious.

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.

What VPN Should I Use?

Do you need a VPN? And if so, which one should you get?

Drive Array

The Internet Is Forever, Except When It’s Not

In an apparent contradiction in terms, anything you post online is there forever… yet if you delete something, you also can’t get it back.

Personal Privacy

The Biggest Risk to Your Privacy

The biggest risk to your privacy is probably not what you think it is.

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.

Walking Away From Your Computer

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

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: the operating system on your device.

Privacy? Who's Watching?

Privacy? What Privacy?

It may seem like privacy is a thing of the past. I believe we misunderstand privacy, and can control more than we think.

Hotel Internet spying?

Can Hotel Internet Traffic Be Sniffed?

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

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.

SSL Check

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.

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.

Bye Bye!

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 things that you should do to remove as much as you can.

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.

Emails Hacked!

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.

You Are Here

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.

Online Banking

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?

Disk Drive

How should I erase my hard drive before I give 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.

Looking Closely

How can my ISP tell that I’m downloading copyrighted files?

Some ISPs are taking a more aggressive position to stop illegal file sharing. Your ISP can see a lot, including the fact that you are filesharing.