Latest "Online Privacy" Posts
Until Microsoft issues a security fix, I recommend discontinuing your use of Internet Explorer, regardless of version.
A Security Advisory released by Microsoft on April 26, states that the company is “aware of limited, targeted attacks that attempt to exploit a vulnerability” in Internet Explorer versions 6 through 11.
According to the release, the vulnerability would allow an attacker to host a specially crafted website that is designed to exploit this vulnerability through Internet Explorer and then convince a user to view the website.
An attacker would have no way to force users to view the attacker-controlled content. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to take action, typically by getting them to click a link in an email message or in an Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker’s website, or by opening an attachment sent through email.
The answer is so simple that you probably won’t believe it.
How do the world’s most powerful, wealthy and well connected people keep their lives more private than the average American?
Former President Jimmy Carter recently revealed one of two truely non-secret tactics that get completely overlooked because of their simplicity: snail mail. When asked about NSA surveillance by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Carter responded:
“As a matter of fact, you know, I have felt that my own communications were probably monitored, and when I want to communicate with a foreign leader privately, I type or write the letter myself, put it in the post office and mail it,” Carter said.
Self-censorship on Facebook
Do you ever delete the words you type on Facebook before you hit post?
Have you ever started to type a status update that you thought was hilarious…until you realized your boss might not appreciate your 8th-grade humor? So what’d you do? You quickly hit the delete key and watched your comment disappear forever, right? Not exactly.
What if you are ready to make a snarky comment to Greg, the upperclass jerk who stole your high school girlfriend (and is about to get a divorce, ha ha), but decide to take the high road just before hitting the “post” button and instead, wish him well on his pending journey of love (despite the fact that it’s bound to fail)?
No harm done, right? You never hit the post button, so no one ever saw it! Well, it turns out that’s not quite how it works in Facebook Land.
Google is purchasing the artificial intelligence company, DeepMind, which will give it the ability to potentially know more about your surfing habits, friendships, travel patterns and private information than even you know. Fox’s Melissa Francis interviews online privacy expert John Sileo and tech analyst Rob Enderlee to learn more.
John Sileo speaks around the world about online privacy.
NSA Angry Birds are Stalking You
So you’ve had a rough day at the office. You plop down on your couch with a cold beverage nearby, ready to let the day go. You have twenty minutes until your chicken pot pie dings, and the thought of chicken reminds you of, well… Angry Birds. Harmless fun. NOT!
While you may be enjoying a mindless game, somewhere far off in cyber land others are just beginning to work very hard. WHO THEY ARE: advertising companies and intelligence agencies alike. WHAT THEY ARE DOING TO YOU: gathering all of the most personal data off of your mobile device: everything from your name, age, sex, location, and perhaps even your political alignment or sexual orientation—and lots more!
Watch Tech Geek Curtis Nasalbaum’s Response from the Leonard Nimoy Cruise
Every year, several of my keynote speeches are to ultra-high-wealth audiences. Because they have a lot of net worth to protect, their incentive to prevent identity theft and online fraud is on steroids. But for the average family with a normal amount of wealth, the incentive is just as important, because their wealth (albeit smaller), is just as vital to their lifestyle as it is to the wealthy.
And this isn’t just about wealth. All of us want to be able to keep hackers out of our private and often valuable online accounts, including: Gmail, Facebook, Dropbox, Twitter, Hotmail, Yahoo, banks, investment companies and all types of sensitive communications.
The answer, regardless of your wealth, is two-factor authentication (which is way too complicated a term for such a simple concept – I think the IT department named it that to ensure their job security). Two-factor authentication is also referred to as multi-factor authentication, two-step verification, 2FA and security tokens, none of which you need remember.
Snapchat Hacked! Is there any sense of wonder left when another Internet giant (or any corporation, for that matter) gets hacked and loses your private information? No, the mystery died years ago, which is why we’ve basically forgotten about Target already. Of course Snapchat.com was hacked. Here’s the recipe for how your corporation can be like theirs:
- Collect a ga-gillion pieces of user data all while…
- Paying lip service to privacy and security measures until…
- Your database is hacked, the press circles & customers revolt while…
- You pay expensive recovery costs and belatedly decide to…
- Implement security & privacy measures that could’ve saved you a ga-gillion.
Breach Happens, no matter how big or how small you are. But breach destroys only when you are unprepared. When it comes to privacy, the most effective medicine is getting burned. Snapchat is lucky to have experienced it early in their lifetime. When will you get hacked? Will it disappear in 11 seconds…
Is your health and fitness app sharing your health score with your insurance company? Do health apps pose privacy risks?
I recently had the opportunity to attend a very informative webinar presented by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse entitled “Mobile Health and Fitness Apps: What Are the Privacy Risks?”
It was based on a nine-month study on privacy apps that many individuals use to monitor their health, learn about specific medical conditions, and help them achieve personal fitness goals. Such apps may include those that support diet and exercise programs; pregnancy trackers; behavioral and mental health coaches; symptom checkers that can link users to local health services; sleep and relaxation aids; and personal disease or chronic condition managers.
These apps appeal to a wide range of consumers because they can be beneficial, convenient, and are often free to use. However, it is clear that there are considerable privacy risks for users – and that the privacy policies (for those apps that have policies) do not describe those risks.
Dictionary.com has chosen its “word of the year”. Thank the etymological gods it’s not selfie, twerk or hashtag. No, this year’s most relevant, most searched word is:
Call me geeky, but this is happy news to privacy experts, because it raises consciousness that this stuff (your right to keep certain information to your self) actually matters.
And consciousness has definitely been raised in 2013:
- Data security and privacy experts everywhere should thank Edward Snowden for exposing the NSA surveillance programs that monitor every American’s phone calls, Facebook posts and emails for signs of terrorism (and any other data they care to intercept).
- Thanks to SnapChat for making deleted photos recoverable (despite claims they disappear).
- Additional kudos to Google Glass for raising awareness on how easy it is to capture intellectual property as criminals videotape their way through Fortune 500 offices, record ATM PIN numbers of the bank customer in front of them and deploy instant facial recognition software in a variety of social engineering schemes.