A Field Guide To Malware In 2016

Malware is used for a wide variety purposes from sleazy business practices to blatant crime. Discussions of malware often mix up the technology of malware and their uses. You will see below that the same technology can be used to direct ads to you that normally you would not see, or steal your credentials to your online banking account. It’s …

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A Guide To Avoiding Ransomware (Part 1)

Ransomware is malicious software that allows a hacker to access an individual or company computer, encrypt your data resident on it and then demand some form of payment to decrypt it. This lets hackers hold your data hostage – and hence the term “ransom”. Victims can regain access to their files only by paying the ransom, or by restoring from a backup that was hopefully not on a network that was accessible to the compromised computer.

How To: Use Email Privately without Being Tracked

Virtually everyone needs an email account. Yet keeping emails private and secure is challenging because, by design, email identifies the sender. You also can’t protect emails from tracking with privacy tools like Tor or VPN. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to protect your email privacy. Here are our tips for secure email: If possible, use …

New U.S.-E.U. Online Privacy Agreement Lacks Teeth

The United States made new promises this week that European citizens’ data stored on U.S. servers would not be subject to surveillance by the U.S. government. But so far, promises are the only thing the U.S. has offered to assure European concerns about online data privacy. The promises were part of a new agreement between U.S. and European officials about …

How To: Manage Passwords Securely

Passwords are often the only thing standing between your private data and people who would like to steal it. Creating and managing secure passwords can be difficult, but password management tools make it much simpler. Here’s how to use them to keep your data private. The best way to make sure all of your passwords are strong and secure is …

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How To: Make Your Android Device More Private

Here’s a simple guide to increasing privacy and security on your Android-based mobile phone or tablet. Android comes with some privacy tools built-in. However, depending on your device and its manufacturer, Android’s privacy features may not be enabled by default. Plus, there are additional tools you can install to make your device more secure and private. These actions will help …

Chinese Leader Says Government Does Not Censor Internet

Internet censors in China are defending online censorship practices — or insisting censorship does not exist — ahead of a conference where online privacy is likely to be on the minds of attendees. As Hong Kong Free Press reports, China’s main leader of online censorship, Lu Wei, is deploying euphemistic language regarding the country’s censorship activities. China “manages” the Internet, …

French Police Call for Restrictions on Tor and VoIP Encryption

French authorities are considering a ban on Tor, as well as rules that would require VoIP users to hand over encryption keys, as part of what police say is an effort to restrict terrorists’ ability to communicate privately online. Le Monde, a major newspaper in France, reports that police have requested authority to “prohibit and block communications on the Tor …

CacheBrowser Offers New Method for Beating Internet Censorship

Two American professors say they have a new, virtually foolproof way to beat Internet censorship using a tool they call CacheBrowser, which they promise to be especially effective against censorship in China. The professors, John Holowczak and Amir Houmansadr, describe the tool in a paper published earlier this year. As they explain, their technique for circumventing censorship centers on leveraging …

MPAA Report Criticizes Online Privacy Outside U.S.

The MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) set online privacy tools and laws in its sights in a recent report to the U.S. government in which it contends that too much online privacy hurts the film industry. The report was submitted to the U.S. Trade Policy Staff Committee, which helps oversee U.S. trade with foreign countries. Its purpose is to …

Russia Considers New Domain-Blocking Censorship Rules

Russian government authorities may soon increase their ability to censor online content by blocking registration of websites on certain top-level domains, which could pose challenges even for people who use anti-censorship services to access blocked sites. Roscomnadzor, the agency that regulates media and Internet content in Russia, already has the authority to block entire websites, as well as specific URLs, …

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Three Free Anti-Keylogging Apps For Windows

Keyloggers are one of the most effective ways for hackers to steal private information. Here are some solutions for preventing keyloggers from compromising your Windows system. Keyloggers come in two forms — those that are software-based and those that are embedded in hardware.  The latter can only be installed by someone who has physical access to your computer, but the …

Marionette Promises More Flexible Anti-Censorship Tools

Most anti-censorship tools attempt to provide a one-size-fits-all solution for accessing banned online content. Marionette, a “programmable network proxy” currently under development, could offer a much more robust anti-censorship solution. Marionette is an open-source project that aims to build “a programmable client-server proxy that enables the user to control network traffic features with a lightweight domain-specific language,” according to the …

Could Email Provide Access to Censored Online Content?

Here’s a creative way to beat online censorship: transmit banned information via email. That’s what a little-known (and now defunct) project called Feed over Email tried to do. It never got off the ground, but it’s notable all the same for its creative approach to online privacy, which did not require VPNs or Tor. Feed over Email, or FOE, described …

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eBlocker Promises Plug-and-Play Ad Blocking, Anonymity and Tor

eBlocker, a new anti-tracking device that offers online anonymity, ad blocking, Tor support and more, is due to hit the market in the coming months. Here’s an overview of what eBlocker does and how it compares to similar products. According to the eBlocker developers, the device aims to differentiate itself from other privacy solutions through easy installation and comprehensive privacy …

Forrester Report Says Online Privacy is Matters More than Ever

Online privacy will be a defining factor in businesses’ success and failure in 2016. That’s according to new findings from Forrester Research, which says Internet privacy has become more important than ever to consumers. “In 2016, privacy strategy can no longer merely focus on aligning with compliance requirements,” one Forrester representative wrote in summarizing the findings of a recent privacy …