Posts Tagged 'privacy'

Hardwipe – FreeFile Review

FFR-2015Hardwipe-header

When a file is deleted from a pc, that file still exists on the computer. To actually erase the file, a secure delete utility is needed to overwrite the data. Hardwipe is such a utility. It is Windows only and is available in free and paid versions. The free version which is sufficient for most users, has ads in the program window ($13 upgrade will remove the ads).

Hardwipe has both features that I consider essential in a secure delete utility – context menu integration and Recycle Bin erasure. Many of the other free apps lack one, or both, of those features. Context menu integration means that a file can be erased through a simple, quick right-click. Recycle Bin erasure is self-explanatory. Data can be overwritten 1,2,3,7, or 35 times (one time should suffice). The ads in the free version are not too intrusive – they remain contained to one corner of the program window. Hardwipe works fast and has an accurate progress bar.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

I have used Hardwipe on both Windows 7 and 10 and found it to be fast and reliable on both. It has replaced my long time secure delete program Eraser, which seems to have gotten a bit slow and clunky in recent years. I recommend Hardwipe over Eraser, due to it’s speed and reliability. Hardwipe is definitely a keeper.

Download Hardwipe HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

Welcome To The Cloud [comic]

original source

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NSA Pick Up Lines [infographic]

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How To Run Your Own NSA Spy Program

In a clever ComputerWorld column, Mike Elgan, proposes that everyone can become a big league data collector,  just like your government. Using free Google services, anyone can amass more data than a reasonable person would want or ever use. It’s an interesting concept – just remember to use it for good, not evil.

Read the article HERE

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Google Wants To Replace Passwords With USB Dongles

Yubico-keyAccording to Wired –

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — Want an easier way to log into your Gmail account? How about a quick tap on your computer with the ring on your finger? This may be closer than you think. Google’s security team outlines this sort of ring-finger authentication in a new research paper, set to be published late this month in the engineering journal IEEE Security & Privacy Magazine. In it, Google Vice President of Security Eric Grosse and Engineer Mayank Upadhyay outline all sorts of ways they think people could wind up logging into websites in the future — and it’s about time.

Thus, they’re experimenting with new ways to replace the password, including a tiny Yubico cryptographic card that — when slid into a USB (Universal Serial Bus) reader — can automatically log a web surfer into Google. They’ve had to modify Google’s web browser to work with these cards, but there’s no software download and once the browser support is there, they’re easy to use. You log into the website, plug in the USB stick and then register it with a single mouse click.

Continue reading HERE

 

 

Need An Alibi? Don’t Just Wing It – Hire A Professional

If I’ve learned anything from politicians, it’s that a professional is required for a true high quality lie. Alibi Network wants to supply high quality lies for everyday situations. According to their site –

Alibi Network is a cutting edge full service discreet agency providing alibis and excuses for absences as well as assistance with a variety of sensitive issues. We view ourselves as professional advisors who understand our clients’ unique situations. We explore various approaches with our clients and implement the best solution based on each individual case. We understand your need for privacy and we are completely discreet and confidential. Whether you are involved in discreet affairs or you are married and looking to spice up your relationship by spending time with your partner away from the every day life, we have a solution for you.

Visit Alibi Network HERE

Should I Use My Browser’s Do-Not-Track Setting?

Wired reports –

Judging by the frenzied claims of lawmakers like US representative Jackie Speier, enabling the Do Not Track feature ranks up there with locking doors and shredding credit card statements. “People have a right to surf the web without Big Brother watching their every move and announcing it to the world,” Speier said last February,when she introduced a bill to regulate online tracking. But none of that really matters, since the setting has no legal muscle. Websites are free to ignore it. And they do. As of June, only five had pledged to follow it—the Associated Press plus four of the hundreds of behavior-tracking ad networks whose raison d’èAtre is figuring out how you view the web.

So, the bottom line is that the ‘Do Not Track’ setting may make you feel better, but it does does no good – just like the Tea Party.

Continue reading the Wired article HERE.

 

 

iPhones and iPads Track Users and Store Location Data

Two British software developers discovered a disturbing feature built into Apple’s iPhones and iPads. Not only do both devices track the user’s location, they record that location data into an unencrypted file on the device.

The Telegraph reports –

Apple iPhone users’ movements are being tracked and stored without their knowledge in a file that could easily be accessed by a snooping employer or jealous spouse, security researchers have found. The continually-updated log is held on both the iPhone and the computer it connects to and contains a list of coordinates, and associated timestamps. The records go back to the release of the fourth iteration of the iOS operating system in June last year. The true contents of the enigmatically-named file “consolidated.db” were discovered by two British software developers who were working on ways of visualising location data for websites. “At first we weren’t sure how much data was there, but after we dug further and visualised the extracted data, it became clear that there was a scary amount of detail on our movements,” said Alisdair Allan and Pete Warden. Mr Warden previously worked for Apple in an unrelated area. Mobile network operators keep records of users’ movements based on which masts they are connected to, which police and intelligence agencies can access legally. The data stored by the iPhone could however be accessed by anyone with access to it or the computer it connects to, and is not protected by a password or encryption.

Apple’s reason for recording the data is unclear and its spokesmen did not return calls requesting comment.

Read more HERE or HERE.

Social Security Numbers Available Online Via Indexed Tax Documents

ZDnet posted this very scary article. The gist of it is that the author was able to find other people’s tax documents online. Those documents were posted online by the owners themselves. Obviously, the solution is simple – DO NOT STORE PRIVATE INFORMATION ONLINE! That’s about as cut-and-dry as it gets.

As one who keeps up with the cutting edge of search engines and advanced search querying, it is with much reservation and disbelief that I bring you the results of my latest online investigative research. As of 4/10/2011, I have discovered in excess of 50 tax documents containing any given combination of Social Security numbers, credit card information, names, addresses, tax IDs, and phone numbers being made available online. However, unlike recent leaks of email addresses and password hashes being made available due to hackers compromising systems, these documents are being unknowingly made freely available to prying eyes by the very owners of said information.

Sounds unbelievable, right? It gets worse.

To clarify, these are tax documents as they have been/will be submitted to State and Federal government: Names, addresses, income, phone numbers, credit card numbers (stored from e-filing), and worse of all, Social Security numbers. The latter is the most detrimental of all not just because of the individual filing their taxes having their identity potentially stolen, but because of individuals who have children that they use for tax credits. As any parent knows, you must include certain information about your children when using them for tax breaks; namely, their names and Social Security numbers. That takes identity theft into a completely different atmosphere since a child having their identity stolen most likely will not find out until years down the road long after the damage has been done and the perpetrator has vanished. The potential consequences of such ignorance are far-reaching.

Continue reading HERE.

India Plans To Biometrically ID All Citizens

According to Alternet –

Fears about loss of privacy are being voiced as India gears up to launch an ambitious scheme to biometrically identify and number each of its 1.2 billion inhabitants. In September, officials from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), armed with fingerprinting machines, iris scanners and cameras hooked to laptops, will fan out across the towns and villages of southern Andhra Pradesh state in the first phase of the project whose aim is to give every Indian a lifelong Unique ID (UID) number.

Continue reading HERE.


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