Privacy and Security News and Tips 20160517

When it comes to privacy and accountability, people always demand the former for themselves and the latter for everyone else. — David Brin

Weekly Tip

Protecting your Personally Identifiable InformationThis week we saw news about Google deprecating Flash in Chrome except for a chosen few websites. We also saw news of Microsoft inserting more ads onto our Start menus in Windows 10 as well as automatically scheduling our computers to upgrade to Windows 10 whether or not you want to upgrade. Finally, we have seen the headlines about Facebook censoring the news to fit their agenda.

You DO NOT have to accept this. It is your right to have a browser that does not run Flash at all (Firefox), and to not be indexed and branded. As for the Windows 10 upgrade, there are ways to still be able to run non-Windows 10 versions if you want to or need to. With all of the privacy and security issues we know about in Windows 10, I would not recommend upgrading until or unless those issues are fixed.

Now, as for the news, as Americans it is our inalienable right to free speech, and as such we should demand a fair and impartial delivery of the news no matter our political, social, or philosophical leanings. Seek out such news outlets, gather your news from the source if possible, use multiple avenues, do as you must to be informed and educated about the country and world around you so that you can make informed decisions. Demand the same of everyone you know and even those you don’t. The more informed we are as a populous, the better equipped we are to stand up for our rights and to demand the best for ourselves.

Interesting News

Academics Make Theoretical Breakthrough in Random Number Generation

How hackers smooth-talked their way past the security of a power company

Google to block Flash on Chrome, only 10 websites exempt

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Privacy and Security News and Tips 20160412

Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.John F. Kennedy

Weekly Tip

Yesterday was Patch Tuesday, and this week we had a major announcement from Microsoft. They announced that Flash content in Edge browser Protecting your Personally Identifiable Informationwould now me click to play instead of auto playing like they have been in the past. This is a major step forward for online safety as Adobe was forced to release an out of band update for Flash to address yet another critical vulnerability. Flash has outlived its safe and useful existence and should be used with extreme caution.

My tip for this week has to do with updates and patching. If you are a Windows user, make sure you configure updates to cover all Microsoft applications and to automatically install all critical updates. and to at least notify you of other updates. It is best practice to install all updates when they become available. Also make sure you are updating your browsers since you are using Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. If you do have Flash installed, make sure to keep it up to date as well.

Interesting News

House committee votes unanimously for Email Privacy Act

50% of people will plug any old USB drive into their computers

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