You might think that switching from Facebook Messenger to old-fashioned text messages would help protect your privacy. But standard SMS text messages aren’t very private or secure. SMS is like fax —an old, outdated standard that refuses to go away. Your Cellular Carrier Can See Your SMS Messages With SMS, messages you send are not end-to-end encrypted. Your cellular provider can see the contents of messages you send and receive. Those messages are stored on your cellular provider’s systems—so, instead of a tech company like Facebook seeing your messages, your cellular provider can see your messages. Cellular carriers store the contents of those messages for various amounts of time . Messages are often only retained for several days, but they store metadata (which number sent a message to which number, and at what time) for even longer. These records could be subject to subpoena in legal proceedings—for example, text message records are a common form of evidence in divorce … [Read more...] about Why SMS Text Messages Aren’t Private or Secure
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CES looked a bit different this year after going all-digital, but that didn’t stop companies from unveiling new products. After careful deliberation, the How-To Geek and Review Geek teams have awarded the following 11 products with How-To Geek’s Best of CES 2021 awards. Before jumping into the awards, Review Geek has been hard at work covering all of the CES 2021 announcements that you need to know about. Head on over there if you’ve missed anything from the internationally renowned trade show. Best in Show: Kensington StudioDock In order to stand out from everything announced at CES 2021 and win Best in Show, a product needs to make an entrance. The Kensington StudioDock did just that, causing most of the team to say, “I want that.” Using the StudioDock in conjunction with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, you can turn your iPad Pro or Air into an iPadOS iMac. Use the two built-in wireless chargers and the optional Apple Watch charger (which is coming soon) and … [Read more...] about Best of CES 2021: The Top Products Coming This Year
People use VPNs to protect their privacy from hackers, ISPs, and data thieves. But do VPNs themselves collect your browsing data and sell it to third parties? Here’s what you need to know. Here’s the main point: You’re placing an immense amount of trust in the VPN provider you use. Choose carefully! Do you trust your VPN provider more than your internet service provider? VPNs Can Track You, and They Might The main selling point of using Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs , is to protect your privacy. They prevent attacks from malicious hackers, stop your internet service provider (ISP) from peeking at your traffic, and mask your information to websites that may collect your personal data. While these claims are generally true, there is one party that you should still be cautious about: the VPN companies themselves. Before we get into how a VPN may track your browsing data, we’ll explain how a VPN works . A VPN essentially routes your internet connection, provided by … [Read more...] about Do VPN Companies Track Your Browsing Data?
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that respects your privacy by not selling your search history or tracking you across the web. It also has a few nifty features, including bangs, which let you search other websites right from DuckDuckGo. Here’s how. What Is a Bang? A bang, or !bang, as it is commonly known, is a term you can include with your DuckDuckGo search to limit your results to a particular website or service. The name comes from an old UNIX term for an exclamation point, which is used to invoke the feature in searches. For example, if you are searching the web with DuckDuckGo and you want to limit your results to How-To Geek, you can include “!howtogeek” with your search term. Searching for “windows 10 !howtogeek” will perform a search for “windows 10” using How-To Geek’s own search engine. There are bangs for all sorts of websites, from mainstream search engines like Google (!g) to personal accounts like Gmail (!gmail). You can crunch sums or level questions at Wolfram … [Read more...] about How to Use Bangs in DuckDuckGo (to Search Other Websites)
Starting in December 2020, the iPhone app store now provides “App Privacy” labels on all of its App Store listings. Using this information, you can make an informed decision about how apps track you and respect your privacy before downloading an app. Here’s how. Why Apple’s Sudden Focus on Privacy? With the launch of iOS 14 last year, Apple recently began putting a stronger public focus on privacy issues in smartphones and the apps that run on them. It’s a way for Apple to differentiate itself from its competitors, and if done well, Apple’s privacy safeguards can benefit its customers. Until recently, the ways iPhone and iPad apps could track you or use your personal data wasn’t entirely transparent to the user. Apple has set out to change that with new App Store labels that represent a sort of “Nutritional Label” for digital privacy. At a glance, you are now able to see the privacy performance of each app and decide whether it fits your personal comfort level. … [Read more...] about How to See an iPhone App’s Privacy Details Before Installing It
Telegram and Signal are widely popular privacy-focused messaging apps. However, the two apps have some big differences : While all messages sent via Signal are always end-to-end encrypted by default, Telegram messages aren’t. End-to-end encryption is an optional feature in Telegram. Why End-to-End Encryption Matters End-to-end encryption means that only the sender and the receiver of a message can see its contents. Not even the company running the server in the middle of the conversations can see the contents of the communications. With Signal, all conversations are always end-to-end encrypted: The Signal Foundation can’t see the contents of the messages. With Telegram, the company in charge of Telegram is technically capable of seeing the contents of the messages on its servers. There is still some encryption in Telegram, of course: Encryption is used to transmit messages between your Telegram app, Telegram’s servers, and the other person’s Telegram app. Your … [Read more...] about PSA: Telegram Chats Aren’t End-to-End Encrypted by Default