Privacy and Security News and Tips 20160712

Nobody can hurt me without my permission.Mahatma Gandhi

Weekly Tip

As I read this week’s news about Pokemon Go and how it has full access to your Google Account on your phone and subsequently online it caused me to re-examine the access that I have granted to applications on my phone. When you do this, you will be surprised at what they want to access.

Protecting your Personally Identifiable InformationOur phones each have a different way of granting privileges to applications and some give us more control over each piece than others. The scary piece is when an application wants to access your call records or to be able to make a phone call when it has no business even interfacing with that section of your device. I have seen and read about applications accessing every part of the phone in what can only be seen as poor coding on the part of the developer, a blatant attempt to infect and control your device, or a lack of knowledge on the part of the developer with regards to the actual needs of the application. If you have the access to limit what rights are given, it is in your best interest to do so. Turn off access to contacts, sms, phone calls, gps, photos, etc if the application does not need access. This will make your phone more secure and efficient, and therefore will protect your privacy and increase your level of security. It is also a good idea to periodically look at these settings in case an update changes them.

We all use our phones for contact, news, entertainment, and more. What we need to do is be aware of how someone might corrupt that process to their benefit or to our detriment. Be safe, be smart, and be aware.

Interesting News

Pokemon Go Has Full Access Permissions to Your Emails and Documents

Google to change app permissions for ‘Pokémon Go’ after security concerns

Senator voices concerns about ‘Pokemon GO’ data privacy

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Privacy and Security News and Tips 20160705

On the soft bed of luxury many kingdoms have expired.Andrew Young

Weekly Tip

As time progresses and smartphone technology advances, we become ever more reliant on the power and presence of the computer we carry in our pockets. With everything it does and contains it is truly indispensable in so many ways that if we were to lose it or have it compromised we would be in dire straights.
Protecting your Personally Identifiable InformationBeyond the standard ideas of a secure pin or passcode of at least six characters and locking your device when you are not using it, there are other things to consider. One piece that many people do not think about is the authenticity and reliability of the software they install. Do you? All of the different phone platforms have an app store, and their own standards and rules for getting an app in the store. This does not always protect you as the user, and some platforms allow you to add apps from alternative sources. All of this opens us up to the chance of getting infected with malware. An application I have been happy with and been using for years is Lookout. They were recently featured on 60 minutes in a great piece about cell phone hacking. They watch and protect against malware, offer a tracking and alert option, and also a backup option for your contacts, all in the free version (iOS and Android).

There are many options and settings for protecting your phones no matter the platform or data you store and consume, so make sure to research and determine your particular needs. Remember, it is your privacy and your security at stake so it is your responsibility to make sure that anyone that wants to affect that is hindered to the best of your ability or those you enlist to aid you in this important endeavor.

Interesting News

How to Crack Android Full Disk Encryption on Qualcomm Devices

Apple iOS App Store riddled with malware — XcodeGhost haunts hundreds of apps

BlackBerry to Stop Making Classic Smartphone, Shares Fall

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Privacy and Security News and Tips 20160322

There are two types of encryption: one that will prevent your sister from reading your diary and one that will prevent your government.Bruce Schneier

Weekly Tip

With Apple and the FBI scheduled to testify in court today (since postponed), and the release of iOS 9.3 yesterday, I wanted to talk about encryption.this week. Encryption; its use, weaknesses, and the stigma that gets attached by those that do not understand its intrinsic value is forefront in the news and my mind.

Protecting your Personally Identifiable InformationIt is your right and duty to demand strong, secure, and unbreakable encryption if you are at all interested in protecting your personal information from those out to do you harm. Use the latest and most secure version of your phone and/or tablet’s operating system and make sure to enable encryption. Look for and demand that any online transactions are secure, be it a login, contact form, shopping cart, financial site, etc. If you must send something through email that you want to keep private and secure, make sure to use a secure email system such as Protonmail, ZSentry, PGP, or something else that can be vetted and trusted.

Encryption is at work in our lives everyday, from our banking, email, texting (sometimes), to our medical records, online shopping, and more. There have been times both recent and past where our government has legislated to weaken or disable encryption for a variety of reasons. Weakening export encryption, requiring backdoors, and requesting master keys is detrimental to the security of our everyday lives as well as our rights to privacy.

Interesting News 

Big tech companies want to make email more secure

Symantec warns of serious security holes – in Symantec security kit

McAfee Uses Web Beacons That Can Be Used To Track Users, Serve Advertising

ProtonMail’s encrypted email is now available to all

FTC warns app developers against using audio monitoring software

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Privacy and Security News and Tips 20160315

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. — Wendell Phillips

Protecting your Personally Identifiable InformationThis week I want you to think about how vulnerable you are when you are in public. When you go to a restaurant, bar, or even a class, think about what others are looking at and noticing. When you leave the table, do you take your phone, tablet, laptop and keys with you? Do you make a habit of putting your phone on the table when you get somewhere so that you can see if you get a message or a call? Do you leave your wallet on the table, your purse on the floor or the back of your chair? Do you leave your wallet or possibly a gun in your coat pocket hung over the back of a chair? What about at the office? What about at home?

If you do not trust everyone implicitly that could come in contact with your private items in the location you are at, then you need to be aware of what you leave for them to interact with. Think about taking it with you, not having it there in the first place, or locking it up.

Interesting News

Your Browser’s Private Mode Isn’t as Secret as You Think

Hackers prove how easy it is to invade smart homes – but there’s a silver lining

Patch Tuesday Brought Windows 10 Ad Generator

Surprising map of the Internet shows tiny U.S. and huge mystery island

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