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Month: October 2016

Photo EXIF Data

Photo EXIF Data

More digital photos will be taken this year than were taken on film in the entire history of the analogue camera business.  Estimates vary on the total number of photos that will be shared this year between worldwide users, between 2-3 trillion depending on how you crunch the numbers.  Some researchers estimated even higher and the exact number would be impossible to know.  Sharing our lives with other people through the photos we take on our smartphones has become a…

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The Complete Privacy & Security Podcast

The Complete Privacy & Security Podcast

I am happy to announce that privacy and security experts Michael Bazzell and Justin Carroll are now co-hosting a podcast to compliment and provide updates to their book.  If you are serious about the topics we discuss here, you need to be studying The Complete Privacy & Security Desk Reference.  They plan to provide a new podcast episode each month to provide updates on new information and show notes to keep us all current in this endeavor.  They are available…

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Help For Parents

Help For Parents

“A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all.  They’ll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves, an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought.  And that’s a problem because privacy matters; privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be.” – Edward Snowden According to the Wall Street Journal, the average parent “will post almost 1,000 photos of a child online before the child turns 5.” …

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Removal Tip: Phone Verification

Removal Tip: Phone Verification

As we have discussed before many websites offer a quick online method to remove your personal information found on their site.  Others make this process a little less convenient by requiring you to write a letter which can usually be sent in via fax or snail mail.  Within the past year, I have noticed that occasionally a website will ask to ‘verify your identity’ by requiring you to provide a phone number before they will process an online removal request. …

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Identification Tips

Identification Tips

Most people carry their State issued Drivers License with them to show they are valid drivers and to prove they are who they say there are.  If you are a driver, this is a requirement in every State.  Many States also offer identification cards to non-drivers which can be obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Both are valid forms of identification and important documents to have with you. A business may swipe a drivers license or identification card issued…

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National Cyber Security Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month.  National Cyber Security Awareness month has been observed in the US since 2004.  It is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Division, and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).  This year a fellow blogger and mentor, Justin Carroll, decided to get in on the act, and do a daily blog post during October. These posts are going to focus heavily on encryption of data-at-rest.  Many of these will be…

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Only Crooks Change Their Phone Number

Only Crooks Change Their Phone Number

Introduction: Secure and private cellular communications is a fascinating topic to research.  When the contract on my personal cell phone account expired recently, I chose to use that as an opportunity to change up my communication strategy.  Of course, privacy and security were a top priority in developing the new system.  I am not hiding from any three letter Federal agencies, but I wanted to explore some new methods that would make my communication more private than the average person,…

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Signal – Private Messenger

Signal – Private Messenger

Signal – Private Messenger by Open Whisper Systems is a free and open source software application that employs end-to-end encryption, allowing users to send end-to-end encrypted group, text, picture, and video messages and have encrypted phone conversations between Signal users on iPhone and Android.  Although Signal uses telephone numbers as contacts, calls and messages actually use your data connection; therefore both parties to the conversation must have Internet access on their mobile devices.  Due to this, Signal users don’t incur…

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