Podcast 054 – WiFi Security

This week I sat down with Justin to discuss best practices for setting up your Wi-Fi network, managing networks on your devices, and using (or NOT using) untrusted networks. SHOW NOTES: INTRO EFF on Intel Management Engine, Purism Complete Disables IME Purism Partners with NextCloud for Librem 5 Facebook Wants Your Nude Photos Authy for […]

Podcast 051 – Snail Mail Control

A while back I shared my collection of links to take control your mail (HERE).  If you have not yet visited that article, I highly recommend taking the time to rearrange how your mail is handled, remove yourself from marketing lists, and compartmentalize your address as part of an overall strategy to reduce how often […]

Podcast 050 – Privacy Round Table

This week I sat down with friends Jason, Jesse, Michael and Justin for a round-table discussion of privacy and security issues.  Had a lot of fun talking about current privacy issues and also reviewing the last fifty episodes of The Complete Privacy & Security Podcast.  Something in here for everyone, so take a listen! Play […]

For The Rookies

I often tell people that learning about privacy and security is like going to a salad bar.  When you attend a live training about these subjects or begin to explore the large number of topics that are related to this endeavor, it can be a bit overwhelming.  With so many options and choices to consider, […]

The Equifax Debacle

Here is the latest information from reputable sources on the massive Equifax breach from this past week.  I encourage everyone to review the information, stay informed, and take proactive steps to protect your personal information.  A recent podcast about this breach is embedded below which discusses important actions a person can take, and also a […]

Phone Strategy: Update

Last year I wrote an article (here) which detailed a way to set up your phone strategy with enhancements to privacy & security in mind.  Since that time, I have received numerous emails with questions and feedback on the solutions I set up.  I decided to post an update to my strategy and highlight some […]

Metapho: App Review

I wanted to do a quick review for a useful iOS app that I have been using for a while now.  Metapho allows you to view, edit, and remove the metadata from your photos before sharing them.  It should come as no surprise that anytime someone sends me a photo, I check it for metadata. […]

Privacy For Pets

The personal information you provide and associate with your pets should be considered as part of your overall strategy to protect your personal information.  Pet owners know that there are many entities and businesses that gather information about your pets and you during the course of doing business.  If/when that information is compromised, then it […]

Address Confidentiality Programs

Address Confidentiality Programs (ACP) were created to protect victims of stalking, domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes from offenders who use public records, such as voter or drivers’ license registries, to locate them. These programs give victims a legal substitute address to use in place of their real physical address; this address can be […]

Sharing A Cell Phone Number

During a recent trip out of town, I met with a real estate broker to inquire about home prices in the area and also get a contact for a local attorney who may be able to help with purchasing property in a non-traditional, private manner.  The broker I met worked for a well known firm, […]

Unclaimed Property

Every State has a method for individuals to search if they have any unclaimed property that has been reported to the State Controller’s Office or Treasury Office.  People are often surprised at how much unclaimed property there is, especially when they search their name and find that something is waiting for them to claim.  Nowadays […]

Podcast Interview

I wanted to take a moment to remind readers about the Complete Privacy & Security Podcast, hosted by Michael Bazzell and Justin Carroll.  This weekly podcast tackles many privacy & security related topics in depth and also answers listener questions on a regular basis.  As of this week, there are 30 episodes and every single […]

Staying Informed

“The future is not some place we are going, it is one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, they are to be made.  And the activity of making them changes both the creator, and the destination.”  – John H. Schaar If you are passionate about any topic, you know the value […]

Silent Pocket: Faraday Sleeve

Today’s article is a review of a product I have been using for a few weeks now that I really enjoy.  The company Silent Pocket has a faraday sleeve that comes is a variety of sizes, perfect for cell phone use.  If you are not familiar with a faraday bag/sleeve, it is used to instantly […]

Anonymous Purchase: Example

I can’t remember the last time a piece of mail or a package arrived at my home that was addressed to my real name with my real address.  The mailbox collects dust, and I enjoy checking it periodically just to confirm that once again, the junk mail is nonexistent. Occasionally a piece of mail will […]

Privacy Tool: FireRTC

FireRTC is a free online phone.  It allows a person to make an outgoing call to anywhere is the US, Canada, or Puerto Rico.  Calls can be made from your web browser, and there is even a FireRTC app for Google Chrome and Android phones that make calling even more convenient once it is installed.  […]

Privacy Resolutions

With the New Year approaching, many people make resolutions to accomplish new goals and develop positive habits that will move their lives forward.  One of mine is to continue to exercise more and to eat fewer cookies.  Exercise is already a habit for me, and the toughest part will be to cut down on the […]

Sudo Privacy App: First Look

I have spent the past month testing out a new app, Sudo, for use as an additional tool in the privacy toolbox and so far I am excited about what I have seen.  Digital Trends provided a bit of background which I will summarize for you here as we take a look at how this […]

Social Engineering

When a person reaches the point where they have eliminated the vast majority of their personal data from online sources, it brings a certain sense of comfort and fulfillment of a job well done.  If you are able to remove your information from those hard to reach, specialized databases then you have gone further than […]

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 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 […]

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.” – […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Address Protection (PT 2)

In PART 1 of this series on Address Protection we discussed the importance of separating your real name from your physical address.  We also touched on mail control methods and ways to deal with previous addresses found in search results.  Take the time to review PART 1 and follow the links that were provided to […]

Privacy Workflow

Those of us who have chosen to safeguard our privacy and take digital security to another level know that it requires changing our habits and being more situationally aware.  This awareness extends from the digital world and into the physical world as well.  Operational security is a constant assessment of your threat model, and can […]

Electronic Frontier Foundation

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. They work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology […]

Email Privacy

Email in general is not a secure method of communicating.  Free email accounts are free to use because you are the product.  Your personal information, contacts, the contents of your messages, and the meta data associated with your communications are very valuable to companies who monetize that data.  All of the major free email providers […]

Disinformation

Based on my experience, many of you will be successful at removing most, if not all of your personal information from the Internet.  You will need patience, due diligence, and a willingness to learn how “the system” works and the many methods that are available to keep your information hidden from public sources.  By changing […]

Anonymous Purchases

The normal process of making a purchase for goods and services reveals a lot of data.  Merchants collect names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and anything else they can get you to provide for their marketing purposes and for building a profile on you.  They also have your credit or debit card information that links […]