Archive for the ‘Online Security’ Category

Something Every Apple User Should Do

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011   Submitted by Paul Rosenberg

It was kind of strange to see the news stories last week on Apple tracking all of their iPad users. The story came in just as I was looking at notes for this article on Apple tracking Mac users.

MACS CALL HOME

There is a little-known feature built into Mac operating systems called Location Services. This feature provides a way for websites to locate you (if you let it). Interestingly enough, it also calls home to Apple a few times a day… probably to pinpoint your machine on an Internet map. We’re not sure how far back this feature goes, but it is for sure in Mac OS 10.5 and 10.6.
The good news is that there is an option for shutting it off in version 10.6. If you have an earlier version, I’ll suggest that you use a nifty little program called LittleSnitch to prevent unauthorized outgoing connections.

TURNING IT OFF

As I say, the phone-home feature can be turned off under Mac OS 10.6, and here’s how you do it:
1. Click on the Apple symbol at the top-left of your screen.
2. Choose System Preferences
3. Choose Security
4. Choose General
5. Choose Disable Location Services
Once you do that, your machine will stop calling home to Cupertino. But, as I say, you should install LittleSnitch to be sure that neither Apple nor others will abuse you that way.

TrueCrypt: Easy Hard Drive Encryption

Monday, March 14th, 2011   Submitted by Paul Rosenberg

One of the programs I recommend for the protection of your personal computer is TrueCrypt. It is well-designed, easy to use, and free. (But I’ll have more to say about “free” below.) TrueCrypt encrypts your hard drive, but does so in a way that provides both maximum usage and maximum functionality.

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Daily Anarchist Update

Monday, February 21st, 2011   Submitted by Seth King

Daily Anarchist has gone through some behind-the-scenes changes in the last few days I would like to share with everybody. Keep in mind that all of this has been done by a total technophobe noob and that you too can take control of your online existence.

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Tor: Yes Or No?

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011   Submitted by Paul Rosenberg

I think that most Internet users with an interest in privacy have heard of Tor, the system of what is called onion routing.

Onion routing is a technique for repeatedly encrypting and forwarding data through several network nodes called onion routers. Each router removes a layer of encryption to uncover routing instructions, then sends the message to the next router where this is repeated. Intermediary nodes are prevented from knowing the origin, destination, and contents of the message. (Exit nodes know both the destination and the contents.)

So, Tor is a very clever technology, and it is free, so why isn’t it used more? And why then, should anyone pay for an anonymity service?

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Virtual Private Networks

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010   Submitted by Paul Rosenberg

You may have heared the term “VPN.”It stands for Virtual Private Network. Now, presuming that you already understand what a computer network is, I’ll proceed to explain the Virtual and Private parts.

A private network would involve separate physical cables between offices. The cables would be connected between certain computers and those only – no outside connection at all. This would create a “private network.”

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Linux And Anarchy

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010   Submitted by Seth King

What if I told you that there was a bit of activism you could do that doesn’t involve working within the system, doesn’t come with any risk of jail time or fines, and not only doesn’t cost anything, but will, in fact, save you a lot of money? Furthermore, what if you were offered a choice between continuing to support corporations that rely on intellectual property laws, and those that thrive without the threat of violence? Would you participate in this sort of activism?

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Open-Source Software Is For Activists

Monday, November 22nd, 2010   Submitted by Gabriel Weinberg

Free and open source software has literally helped accelerate growth and innovation in the global economy. Moreover, it has done so at an increasing rate as software becomes embedded in everything that we do (and is produced).

Open source software refers to software in which the underlying source code is available to see, i.e. is open. The free part refers to the licenses that accompany the software that enable anyone to freely use, adapt and build upon them. It’s free as in speech, not as in free beer (although most of this software is free in the upfront cost component as well).

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Google, Your Privacy, And Safer Alternatives

Monday, November 1st, 2010   Submitted by Paul Rosenberg

In this article I want to give you a quick explanation of why we recommend that you avoid Google, their web mail, and other web mail services.

We’ll start with Google’s fall from grace. It began as a clever new company, and has since become the newest member of the dominating class.

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What Is PGP? And Why You Need To Know

Thursday, September 30th, 2010   Submitted by Paul Rosenberg

I am always disappointed to see how few liberty folks know what a PGP key might be, much less have one to share. This is a huge omission, and I aim to fix it.

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Steps Into Online Security – Step #1 Firefox

Monday, September 13th, 2010   Submitted by Paul Rosenberg

Seth asked me to put together a few short pieces on simple steps to Internet Security. So, I will be giving you a few simple things to do to make yourself safe – one step at a time. These will be easy things.

I suppose I should add that one of these steps will concern a product that I sell, but there is really no way around that – it is a necessary product and we went into this business because it mattered, not because we wanted a quick buck.

But, today we begin with step number one.

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