Wire Private Messenger

Wire Private Messenger is my new favorite encrypted messaging service. It is rapidly replacing Signal in my day-to-day use, though it will be a long time before it replaces Signal entirely. There are a lot of things to recommend this relative newcomer. Continue reading “Wire Private Messenger”

Smartphone Bluetooth Interface Security

This post is a continuation of the series on smartphone interfaces and will cover Bluetooth interface security. Let me begin by saying that Bluetooth security is not as bad as it once was. As with the other articles in the series I will cover both the security and privacy concerns around this interface. Continue reading “Smartphone Bluetooth Interface Security”

Private Internet Access for Mac

In the posts regarding smartphone interfaces (Wi-Fi, Cellular) I have recommended that you use a virtual private network (VPN). Immediately following the post on Wi-Fi security and privacy a comment was posted with questions about settings in Private Internet Access (PIA). Because I have not covered this topic in detail, and because many of your have chose PIA based on my recommendation, I will cover PIA for various operating systems intermittently over the next couple of weeks. Today we will go over Private Internet Access for Mac. Continue reading “Private Internet Access for Mac”

ProtonMail Premium Review

Email is a service that we all rely on. Finding an email provider that promises a good balance of privacy, security, and convenience is a fraught proposition, however. As readers here doubtlessly know, I have huge privacy concerns around email. I hate giving out my real email address if possible, because it equates to attack surface (more on this later). I also hate using the same email for multiple services, but this creates major convenience problems. And I can’t store email with providers that either a.) dont’ store my data securely or b.) store it securely but scrape it for marketing purposes. Readers here also know I am a big fan of ProtonMail. This is why I decided to give ProtonMail Premium a try. Continue reading “ProtonMail Premium Review”

OS Updates: What They’re REALLY For

I recently read an article that made me realize there is a fundamental rift in how I, and many of the readers here, look at computers, and how the general population does.  It is only a very small subset of the population that considers security, even secondarily.  And if they do, many don’t understand enough about it to implement it properly.  The article in question asks if users should upgrade to the newly released iOS, version 9.3.3.  Hold off on OS updates?  Seriously?

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My Ultra-Private iPod Phone 5: Use Cases

At this point, my ultra-private iPod phone is setup and ready to use.  If you choose to follow a similar course, it is important to define how you will actually employ the device before you start to use it.  This will also dictate the tradecraft you should undertake to support your use case.  As I see it, there are essentially two ways this device can be used. Both will make you more private and secure.  It is up to you to decide how far you need – or want – to take it.

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My Ultra-Private iPod Phone 4

At this point in the process, the iPod has been initally setup, and the settings modified to make it as organically secure as possible.  At this point it is necessary to fund the iTunes account.  Even if you only plan to use free applications, the account must be funded before you can download apps.  The smallest denomination gift card you can purchase is $10 (I was unable to find anything below $15).

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My Ultra-Private iPod Phone 3

Yesterday’s post covered the initial device setup for my Private iPod Phone.  Today’s post will go through the settings that impact privacy and security.  The goal of these settings is to make the device as inherently hardened as possible.  These changes are designed to lower the footprint of the iPod by limiting the amount of information it transmits, making it less trackable, and generally less “noisy”.  These are all important factors to me when creating my ultra-private iPod phone.  Many of these settings can also be applied to your iPhone. Continue reading “My Ultra-Private iPod Phone 3”

My Ultra-Private iPod Phone 2

Welcome back to Part 2 of my attempt to create a private and secure iPod phone!  When I started this series I thought it would consist of three parts: procurement, setup, and use.  Setup took far more time than I expected, however, so I am going to cover this stage of the process somewhat more slowly.  One of the reasons I wanted to do this experiment was to see what roadblocks I might run into.  True to form, I ran into a couple of problems right off the bat.  This post will cover setting up the iPod phone intially, and modifying basic settings for privacy and security.

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My Ultra-Private iPod Phone 1

Some time ago I read an amazingly good article on using an iPod Touch as a secure/private phone.  I love the idea, and I have thought about it for quite a while.  An iPod Touch is remarkably similar to an iPhone, but potentially far more private and secure.  Recently I decided to try it for myself and see how easy (or hard) it would be to set up.  I also had unanswered questions about its actual use.  Part 1 of this article will cover device procurement and the lengths I went to for anonymity’s sake.  Part 2, 3, and 4 will cover setup, and Part 5 will cover actually using my new, ultra-secure and private iPod phone. Continue reading “My Ultra-Private iPod Phone 1”