Posts tagged with: privacy
  • by |

    California and New York are working on bills that would prohibit (or severely restrict) encryption on phones. Why is encryption so important, and why are encryption laws that prohibit your ability to secure your devices and data such a bad idea? Back before these United States of America were recognized as a country, we were colonies of Great Britain. Pilgrims to the Americas were typically fleeing governmental or religious oppression, seeking a new start is a far-off land, free from the shackles and scrutiny of over-reaching governments and tyrants. That was a long time ago, and what ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    Since the world’s largest online social networking service insists on its users declaring their real names upon opening an account, you’d think Facebook is generally opposed to privacy-protecting software like Tor. But anonymous browsing, communication and socialization has been permitted on desktops for close to two years now, and up next, FB intends to let Android enthusiasts do the same. For the time being, you’ll need to jump through a few hoops to get The Onion Router protocol up and running on your phone, and also keep your expectations low regarding the service’s stability ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    Device security and data privacy have long been a part of CyanogenMod’s open-source, customizable and continuously improving Android vision, although running a CM nightly build can often be risky from a number of standpoints. More so now that WhisperPush capabilities are disabled in Marshmallow-based CM13, unless you opt for the equally secure Signal app Edward Snowden himself commended in the recent past. In case you weren’t aware, WhisperPush was integrated into CyanogenMod starting way back in December 2013 to ensure your text messages were always encrypted and no outsider had ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    It’s no longer just the UK government that wants backdoors implemented into all of today’s smartphones for “safety” and terrorism-opposing reasons, as soon enough, New Yorkers may not be able to buy or lease fully encrypted handhelds in the fourth-most populous American state anymore. If a piece of legislation currently in debate at the NY state assembly is ultimately passed, “any smartphone that is manufactured on or after January First, Two Thousand Sixteen, and sold or leased in New York, shall be capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    "If you don't have anything to hide, why do you have curtains on your bedroom window?" - Anonymous Privacy, in these United States, is a fundamental Civil Right. Specifically, the Fourth Amendment enshrines that no unreasonable searches shall be performed without a warrant. This protects individuals from being targeted because of their beliefs, whether those are religious, political, ethnic, cultural, or anything else. As much as we'd like to deny that sort of targeting exists, history shows us that the British used unlawful searches to single out and victimize Colonists based on their ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    Every few seconds, your phone transmits information about your location and antenna status to cell towers in the area. Devious hooligans can siphon traffic and spoof protocols to steathily record your phone's data. The Department of Homeland Security has a different way of collecting lots of data: essentially sending a flying "stingray" (also called a "dirtbox") to act as a cell tower and track phone owners' locations and general identifying attributes. Not as insidious as the former method, but these "dirtboxes" have been flying as part of a secret spy program for seven years. A House ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    This is the place where you and only you can listen to every single request you made. Well, supposedly. And if supposedly is what you're worried about, read on to find out how to protect yourself. Each utterance of "OK Google," every tap of that red mic icon, your phone records a clip of you saying whatever you're saying (savory or not). It then sends it off to Google's servers to process your command and deliver your results (desired or not). It also keeps that clip in your Google Voice & Audio Activity log. Of course, Google would like to keep these seconds-long files around to hone ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    We've spent hours on the subject of data transmission security and device security on this site. We've reviewed BlackBerry after BlackBerry and a Blackphone, too — with another one out there that we'd might want in our review labs. A lot of us treasure hiding data from our adversaries and our nightmares, whoever or whatever they are. But in the case of smartphone encryption, you could end up causing a nightmare for if not yourself, then your family and the people that would fight for you. Let's be clear that the majority of smartphones encrypted and picked up by law enforcement come from ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    The pager has long been outshined by the smartphone in terms of usefulness in the hospital. After all, you can send pictures to the people who need them. But the fact that SMS and MMS missives are work- and immediacy-friendlier than emails or web-based messengers means that the data doctors and nurses trade isn't encrypted and not that secure. A survey just published in peer-reviewed journal BMJ Innovations focuses on nurses' and doctors' usage of smartphones in five hospitals at a London NHS Trust. About 98 percent of doctors and 95 percent of nurses responding said that they own a ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    The recent power move of Verizon acquiring AOL — one of a few major moves in the telecom industry — is now producing consequences for data privacy hawks and Verizon's advertising coffers. And whether or not Verizon Wireless customers know it or like it, they're all involved in the process. The AOL Advertising Network, which collects information from traffic from its sites and other vendors using AOL's services, is merging with Verizon's ad services. Here's what Verizon and AOL are already gathering: postal address email address very specific parameters about your "mobile web ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    Privacy and security are two major ingredients in the cutthroat world of enterprise technology. BlackBerry's been all about it, so has BlackPhone. Fingerprint scanners are here as a natural evolution of the curiosity in the field of mobile data protection. But whatever you do, if you end up in court for whatever reason and your phone is submitted for evidence, you don't have to surrender one of the most basic security measures ever: your passcode. US District Judge Mark Kearney of Pennsylvania issued an opinion within the SEC-filed case against former Capital One employees who traded based ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    It seems that the new version of Apple's proprietary mobile operating system is doing the media consumer a solid and giving content creators hell at the same time by allowing ad blockers into the App Store and be run on your iPhone. One such app is called Peace, which you can grab at the link below. But before you do so, know that you're not only blocking advertisements but also blocking tracking tags. Peace works on Safari and Safari embeds. It can hide comment spaces and forms, external web fonts and even social tools. All of which, if you've ever had the pleasure of dragging along a ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    Privacy has become a very predominant topic lately, and in that regard we've seen Google and Apple make some bold statements on the topic at Google I/O and WWDC respectively. With so much information sharing getting out of hand, we've seen all companies make a few moves here and there in order to protect consumer privacy as an added value. The only problem is that the recent surge in smartwatch technology isn't as secure as we'd like, and today we learn of more risks. A recent study from the University of New Haven has discovered that personal user information can be easily extracted from ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    Google has been making some major changes over the last couple of months since Sundar Pichai took over of the company's units last fall. Most of these changes have been focused in unification and simplification, given the vast amount of services that Google offers. Privacy has definitely become a concern for many lately, and given how convoluted this was in Google before, the company has just provided a solution. As of today you'll notice that Google has just launched a new account security hub for all users. In a nutshell this service consolidates all your privacy and security settings in ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    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 ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    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 ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    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 ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    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 ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    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 ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    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 ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    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 ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    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 ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    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 ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    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 ...

    Share
    Read On
  • by |

    "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 ...

    Share
    Read On
Mobile Version