Posts tagged with: privacy
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    Back in August we took Blackphone through its paces - two of them, actually. You see, a phone by itself isn't all that compelling. After all, you've got to have someone with another phone to talk to. Such is the case with Blackphone. As a quick refresher, Blackphone is more than just a phone, it's a secure platform (based on Android) that includes a suite of apps and subscriptions to various services that really make the phone an ultra-private communication tool. It was great in concept, but only garnered a 6.6 in our full review. As a concept, Blackphone is amazing; in practice, it left ...

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    How closely do you pay attention to the permissions your apps request? If you're dealing with software from a developer you're not familiar with, maybe you'll give them a close look, making sure the app's not overtly up to anything shady, but do you put apps from major companies under the same magnifying glass? Twitter's in the news today because of some new behavior coming to its app on both Android and iOS, wherein it looks beyond its own borders to check out what other programs you have running on your phone. Why the heck is an app like Twitter doing something like that, and should you ...

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    Personal privacy and device security are two ever-important concerns in an increasingly digital world. Where there is personal, private, and potentially important information being stored, there is always someone out there who seeks to use it for personal gain. Harmless or not, keeping your information and devices locked down is never a bad idea. It's always smart to keep wandering eyes out of your sensitive information, even if you have nothing to hide. Fortunately, there is an increasing number of ways to beef up security your mobile devices. Most of the security measures are ...

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    We've spent the last week or so talking about smartphone security and how the privacy-centric Blackphone can help keep your communications as well as your data private. We've looked at all the technical stuff that's going on to keep you secure, as well as given it our full hands-on review treatment. But what if you don't have a Blackphone? If you're running (virtually) any Android-powered smartphone or tablet, you're in luck! Here are three Android security tips that will improve your security and privacy right now! 1. Encrypt Not long ago we heard of people buying old smartphones and ...

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    Smartphone security is a constant struggle. Attackers identify vulnerabilities, vendors rush to release patches, and the cycle repeats in perpetuity. Some of the most insidious attacks come not from outright defeating system security protections, but instead finding ways to create trouble from within the confines of innocuous app permissions; we looked at just such a launcher-based attack this past spring. This week we're learning of a new one that threatens to impact user privacy, all through some creative use of your phone's gyroscope. If an app wants to record audio using your phone's ...

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    As I write this review, my Facebook wall sits abuzz with consternation from friends and family alike, all of them complaining about the same offense in a rare show of unified ire. Facebook's recent mandate that mobile users install its Messenger app, with all its Orwellian security permissions, has reignited a discussion more and more common among the general public: in today's world, how much privacy are we really giving away ... and how do we get some of it back? To answer the latter question, cyber-security outfit Silent Circle came together with hardware firm Geeksphone to ...

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    Some have referred to Blackphone as a smartphone for people who are "paranoid", I don't see it that way. Blackphone offers something that, as a society, we give away too freely: our privacy. Many will say "if you don't have anything to hide, you don't have anything to worry about", yet these people still close the door on the stall when using the restroom, and have curtains over their windows to keep people from snooping. That's what Blackphone does, only for your personal communications. How it does that is a little complicated, so let's walk through what kinds of security Blackphone ...

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    By their very nature, smartphones have always been fairly private devices. The conversations we have, the pictures we take, and the other various types of data we store on our smartphones are likely very private and often very sensitive. While I don't personally keep anything compromising – pictures, text, or otherwise – on my smartphone, private conversations I wouldn't want other people to read abound. My smartphone also has access to my bank account, my LastPass account, which holds the passwords to all my online accounts, and cloud access to all my photos, documents, and other ...

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    We've heard quite a bit about the new "Blackphone" which promises to keep your contacts and conversations secure -- as long as you're talking to someone else who is using the same security setup.  It's a great concept, but it has yet to hit a point of critical mass where not only is the phone is generally accepted, but the services are actively sought after by a large segment of the general public. That point, I suspect, isn't too far into the future. Black phones will become more popular, and possibly even a "killer app" before to long. Killer Apps When talking about black phones which ...

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    Why would you want a "black phone", one that's not susceptible to the privacy holes found in all of today's smartphones? That's a question that Jaime Rivera touched on at this year's MWC. The answer is fairly simple, given today's circumstances and situations. But let's jump back a few years before we get to that. Looking back even three or four years, if someone had told you that various companies and law enforcement agencies could track where you were down to a few dozen feet, and were actually doing so (and without a warrant, no less), you'd probably have thought that person was a bit ...

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    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated ..." That's what the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America says. Put another way: Privacy is a Civil Right. Other countries have similar laws, some with greater power to protect the people, some with less. That's all been thrown in the rubbish bin -- and your privacy with it -- thanks to the broad and arguably over-reaching eye of the National Security Agency: the NSA. Google is creepy Yesterday I wrote about ...

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    Do you remember when, if someone said a government agency was "listening in" on phone calls made by its citizens they were labeled a "crackpot", a "whack job", a "nut case", or a "conspiracy theorist"? A government can't possibly do all that, and even if they could, they wouldn't because it's just crazy, right? Fast forward to today and we now know that the government agencies are doing exactly that. Verizon has admitted to an order to provide information on all telephone calls in its system to the NSA on an "ongoing, daily basis". What's more, all major carriers have either admitted to ...

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    In these United States we are protected by the Bill of Rights. These Rights guarantee freedoms of speech, assembly, religion, press, and more. There are, however, two Rights which you might be sacrificing, at least somewhat, if you use your fingerprint to unlock your phone. First of all, I'm not inferring that any of our readers or editors might run into problems with the law -- except Michael Fisher, that guy just looks like "trouble" -- however, even I have been pulled over for one thing or another. All it takes is one case of mistaken identity or being in the wrong place at the wrong ...

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    We live in a wonderful time. Most of us carry around a relatively small electronic device with us all the time. With a few button presses we can talk to anyone anywhere in the world -- or we can send short messages if a conversation is just too much work. We can share a picture with thousands of people almost instantaneously. And we literally have all the information of the ages at our finger tips. All this power comes with a cost -- a couple costs, actually. The first is a physical cost. We must buy these electronic doodads with money, then we must pay a monthly subscription to connect ...

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    Advertising. Love it or hate it, it's here to stay. We see ads on TV, we see ads in magazines and newspapers, we see ads on our favorite websites. We see billboards. We hear ads on the radio. We can't escape them. This inundation of advertisements, however, is a marketer's nightmare. How can you target your potential customers without wasting money on people who don't care? When advertising your goods or services, you don't want to spend money where it's not going to be effective, but how can you know where it's being effective?  With so many options -- and so many competing ...

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