ProtonMail Five Years Later, Part I: The Basics

I have been using ProtonMail full-time for over five years, and recommending it for almost six. This blog is littered with references to it, along with several incremental updates. A lot has changed since ProtonMail’s beginnings. This post will cover the basics of ProtonMail: how it encrypts your data-in-motion, data-at-rest, and some other features. Continue reading “ProtonMail Five Years Later, Part I: The Basics”

VMs Part 1: Creating Your First Virtual Machine

It recently occurred to me that in over five years of running this blog, I’ve never given step-by-step instructions for setting up or using a virtual machine (VM). It is likely that a lot of you already use VMs don’t need a tutorial. If that applies to you, please share this with a friend who does. It is equally likely that some of you could use step-by-step instructions. This tutorial will cover creating your first virtual machine. Continue reading “VMs Part 1: Creating Your First Virtual Machine”

OPSEC for Legal Marijuana Consumers

The commercial sale of legal, recreational marijuana in the United States poses some interesting legal problems. Marijuana is completely legal under the laws of some states, but still a Schedule I substance according to federal law. Though the strange detente that has emerged over the past several years has kept things awkwardly civil, the federal government would be legally justified in cracking down on growers, purveyors. . . and consumers. Continue reading “OPSEC for Legal Marijuana Consumers”

Do Not Disturb From Objective-See

If you are a Mac user and you haven’t heard of Objective-See, you should have. Objective-See is a company founded by former NSA guy† Patrick Wardle that provides some excellent security tools for macOS. Objective-See’s “Do Not Disturb” application is a very cool physical security tool for Mac users that alerts you if your Mac’s lid is opened.  Continue reading “Do Not Disturb From Objective-See”

Tools I No Longer Recommend: Manual PGP

I’ve been a fan of “old school” manual PGP for a long time. I’ve written several articles about it here, tried to convince friends to use it, and taught it in classes as recently as 2018. I still believe it can be the absolute most secure option for email. I also believe it has the potential to be the best option for some very limited individuals and use-cases. Mostly, though, I’ve given up on it and you probably should, too. Continue reading “Tools I No Longer Recommend: Manual PGP”

Redundant Secure Messengers

I have previously written about the desirability of having multiple secure messaging systems.  On the text/IM front I have covered Signal, Silent Circle, Wickr, Wire, and Threema.  For voice communication I have talked about Signal and Silent Phone Wire.  Email options I have covered include ProtonMail, Tutanota, and old-fashioned PGPContinue reading “Redundant Secure Messengers”

The Apricorn Aegis SecureKey Flash Drive

The Apricorn Aegis family of flash drives, HDDs, and SSDs has been around for quite a while. I’ve generally rejected them based on price alone. Recently a customer requested training that included this drive. Since learning the Aegis and its capability, I’m very impressed. If you have compelling data security needs, this product might be for you. Continue reading “The Apricorn Aegis SecureKey Flash Drive”

Wire Ephemeral Messages Update

Just over a month ago I wrote a full review of Wire Secure Messenger. Two weeks later I wrote an update explaining how Wire had integrated support for two security/privacy-focused browsers: Brave and Snowhaze. Two weeks later I find myself writing a second update. This time Wire ephemeral messages have changed in a couple big ways. Continue reading “Wire Ephemeral Messages Update”