Tracy Knauer

How To: Secure Your Smart Thermostat for Added Privacy

Smart thermostats — the kind that connect to your home’s wireless network so that they can be controlled over the Internet — are increasingly popular. But their rapid rate of adoption has far outpaced discussion of the security and privacy risks they pose. Here’s an overview of these privacy challenges, and tips for addressing them. …

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How To: Set Up a Tails Virtual Machine for Private Browsing

If you want the privacy advantages of using a secure Linux-based OS like Tails but don’t want to use Linux all the time, an easy (and free) solution is to run Tails inside a virtual machine. Here’s how. These instructions should work for pretty much any Linux-based OS. But we have written them for Tails, …

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Amazon Disables Data Encryption in Fire OS Tablets

If you thought Apple’s battle against government encryption backdoors would lead to more privacy and security on mobile devices, think again. Amazon has just announced plans to make its Fire HDX tablets less private by ceasing to support full device data encryption. Fire OS, Amazon’s operating system for Fire tablets, used to support full device …

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How Does ICLOAK Plug-and-Play Privacy Work?

ICLOAK recently launched its plug-and-play online privacy solution, which is based on a custom Linux distribution that boots from a USB stick. We contacted the company to get a better sense of how exactly its privacy features work, including Tor integration, VPN availability and more. This is what ICLOAK founder Eric Delisle said in response …

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Two Ways to Make Anonymous Phone Calls

Want to make a phone call without revealing your real identity? There are several ways you can do this, ranging from using a throw-away phone to restricting caller ID settings permanently on your smartphone. But what if you just want to make private, anonymous calls occasionally, without purchasing a special phone for it? Here are …

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