Your WiFi is spying on you – and it’s about to get worse

WiFi SensingA company in Taiwan recently presented a developing WiFi tech that can be used to monitor your location, heart rate, breathing patterns, sleep cycles, and much more.

The company’s techie bossman, Doctor Tzi-cker Chiueh, claimed that, “Channel state in modern Wi-Fi is susceptible to minor environmental changes.” These tiny changes can be used with an algorithm he helped create that can do breathing rate estimation at 95 percent accuracy over 5 meters, and heart rate measurements at 83 accuracy at a 1 meter distance.

As it turns out, using WiFi sort of like radar is nothing new; it’s been around for a number of years now.

But there are two little details that nobody is mentioning which could make this “WiFi Sensing” much, much more common in the years to come…

(more…)

Phishing Scams and how to protect yourself

Avoid Phishing ScamsEven if you don’t know the term ‘phishing scam’, chances are you’ve already been targeted by many of them.

A phishing scam is when someone uses a genuine-looking e-mail, login page, SMS, or whatever to fool you into giving up personal data – like logins, passwords, card and banking info, etc.

They often involve some kind of ‘hook’ that makes you worried or scared. When that happens, you stop thinking and fall into the trap.

But these scams are very easy to avoid with a bit of extra attention. I’ll show an example of a phishing scam I received recently and then take it apart piece by piece so that next time, you’ll know exactly what to look for to protect yourself!

(more…)

FLoC and the future of Internet Privacy

FLoC is bad for privacyWhen it comes to privacy on the internet, the new word on the street is ‘FLoC’.

Led by Google, a group of businesses and advertisers is pushing a new standard that would have your browser identifying your particular group of interests by a unique ID number.

This number will be sent to all sites you visit. VOILA! No more 3rd party cookies, and supposedly more privacy!

Of course, there’s the marketing mumbo jumbo and then there’s the reality of the situation.

So: What is FLoC? How does it work? And most importantly: Will it improve your privacy??

(more…)

No Cloud: Go for an EASY private backup!

Easy Private Full Backup: File History SetupThe Cloud may be handy for backups, but what if you don’t want all your stuff sitting on Big Data’s servers forever and ever?

In the past, the best Windows provided was Backup and Restore. Frankly, it was crap.

With Windows 10, things changed: Now with a cheap external hard disk and just a few clicks, you can have a full, incremental, reliable local and PRIVATE backup of all your data.

It’s much easier to set up than it sounds!

(more…)

The Truth about 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication)

The Truth about 2FAIt’s everywhere these days: 2FA (two-factor authentication).

More and more, you must use something more than just a password to secure your online accounts.

Some sites, like PayPal, are apparently requiring 2FA for everyone.

So, what types of 2FA are there? Do you have to use a smartphone? Is there an alternative to SMS-based 2FA? And most importantly, is it that much safer?

Finally, I reveal the other reason why everyone is pushing 2FA so much – and it doesn’t have anything to do with your security or privacy!

(more…)

Windows 10 2004 Update: More new stuff, and more of the same

Windows 10 2004 UpgradeWindows 10 2004, called the Windows 10 May Update, was released eons ago.

Despite the fact that this version was tested for ages, it still managed to cause various headaches for many users.

That’s why you probably don’t have it yet – but you will soon!

So, what’s new?  What about all the Usual Stuff?

Let’s take a look…

(more…)

Even your APPS are invading your privacy!

Location Data Companies

As regular readers know, I’m not a big fan of the traditional smartphone craze.

Sure, they’re really handy gizmos, but the amount of data being hoovered up and shipped off to large service providers is a bit frustrating.

As if things aren’t bad enough on that front, it gets better! It turns out that even individual APPS running on your phone are spying on you – specifically, they’re tracking your location (among other things).

What’s more, your location data can be easily linked to you as a private individual. To top it all off, this data is bought and sold to anyone who will pay – and all in the blink of an eye!

(more…)

All the smartphone features, none of the Google!

No-Google SmartphoneI’ve been using dumbphones for awhile now, but I started to miss some smartphone features.

Then a friend of mine mentioned LineageOS again. I decided to take the plunge… And I’m glad I did!

It IS possible to have a relatively private smartphone without all the Googley madness – even in this day and age.

But it does take a bit of time, patience, and some technical know-how.

Note that I don’t walk through the entire installation process here since it’s particular to your specific phone…

(more…)

Surprise! Big Data doesn’t care about your right to Free Speech

Alphabet SoupIn a shocking revelation that simply re-affirmed what everyone already knew, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals again ruled that internet platforms have nothing to do with the First Amendment because they’re private corporations.

Well, duh!

In a ruling on February 26th, the court said that, “merely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function and does not alone transform private entities into state actors subject to First Amendment constraints.”

Can’t say I didn’t see that one coming – again…

(more…)