Posts tagged with: security
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    There was a time not so long ago when a person who told you that the government was reading your emails, tapping into virtually every phone call, had developed facial recognition software to identify individuals in a crowd, or track your movements anywhere you went would have been called a "nutcase" or "conspiracy theorist". Now, however, although we're reluctant to admit it, we know they were right all along. There are many ways through which our privacy can be violated, especially through our smartphones and tablets. One such way is your Internet browsing history. Though some may ...

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    As Android users, most of us have the ability to sideload apps directly onto our smartphones and tablets - no app store needed! People who use other operating systems on their mobile devices aren't always so lucky. To load apps on their devices from sources other than those officially sanctioned by the company that makes their phone, many have to go through a jailbreaking or unlocking process. While not necessarily a "bad" thing, jailbreaking brings with it many other implications that reach significantly deeper than simply installing an app. Most Android-powered devices provide the ...

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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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    Last week the Internet exploded with people complaining about the security permissions required by the latest update to the Facebook Messenger app for Android. Now that some of the initial knee-jerk reaction has passed, is there anything you need to be worried about? And if so, how worried should you be? Let's dig into some background before we dive into that. Facebook is huge. It's been just more than a decade since being founded, employs more than 7,000 people, and has over 1.28 billion active users. Add to the fact that we recently learned that Facebook has been "experimenting with the ...

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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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    The All New HTC One won't grace us with its presence until the end of the month, and at this point we're beginning to wonder if HTC will have anything left to reveal at the announcement. From a sales guide to promotional materials to yet another undercover hands-on video, the leaks surrounding one of the year's most anticipated Android handsets refuse to let up – and we're here to talk about them in our latest pre-#ANHO podcast! Before that, of course, we've got the usual news of the week, including a duo of Samsung tablet reviews, rampant speculation about a brick-and-mortar Google ...

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    Smartwatches are great. I was in a meeting with several other people last night. Sporadically a smartphone would sound off, interrupting all of us. Each time two or three would pull their phone out of their pocket or purse, check their notifications, and all but one would put it back away. Since I was wearing a Pebble smartwatch, it was easy to tell when the alert was for me: my wrist would vibrate and the alert was displayed on the watch face. It felt good knowing that I was so much more technologically advanced than all the others. But that got me thinking... Smartwatches are super ...

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    Desktop and laptop computers are a huge mess of lax security. A program that you install on one of these devices is allowed by its operating systems to have virtually unlimited access to everything.  Our mobile operating systems are a little more refined and most tell you, the end user, what access an application is requesting before you install it. Unfortunately, most of us don't read those pesky permissions prompts and just say "yes" to everything. We are, however, given the chance to say "no". Until somewhat recently that was our only option: either we accepted everything an app asked ...

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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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    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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    Almost every mobile platform today comes pre-packaged with some sort of app store. For Android that's Google's Play Store, Windows Phone and iOS both have their own app stores, too. All of these marketplaces allow you to browse, search, find, and download apps for your mobile device. They each also let you update the apps that you've already installed on your device, whenever an update is published. Facebook recently started updating their app -- from within their app. If that sounds strange to you, it is. The usual manner of updating would be by pushing a new version of the .apk to the ...

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    Our lives are becoming more tightly integrated with online services every day. From email, calender, and to-do lists, to grades, banking, and bill payment, almost everything can be done via some web portal on some web server. To protect ourselves from identity theft we're told we need to use passwords that are long, contain mixed-case lettering, numbers, and even symbols -- in other words, we need passwords that are difficult for us to remember. Then, to make matters worse, we're told that we need to use different passwords for each site so we minimize the potential impact if any one of ...

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