The world has adopted Zoom for video chats with friends and family while we shelter, for good reasons: it’s free or inexpensive, it’s easy to use, and it works very well.
Naturally, there’s been a backlash, because, I don’t know, good things must be punished? So there has been relentless coverage of alleged security problems with Zoom. […] continuedRead more
Having government and big companies track our locations is a horrific invasion of privacy. We can be sure that big companies will be careless with private information about us, allowing it to be misused by bad actors. The government will almost certainly weaponize it against us. The risks of location tracking outweigh the benefits. […] continuedRead more
Health authorities could track your location and use the data to monitor and model the spread of Covid-19. It would help researchers learn how long the virus survives on a surface, what percentage of the population is asymptomatic, and where to target medical resources. The government could compare your movements with those of known coronavirus patients and alert you if you came into close contact. […] continuedRead more
Having big companies track our locations is awesome. It improves our lives in ways big and small with services that are only possible because tech companies know where we are. The benefits of location tracking outweigh the risks.
Location tracking improves the world in two ways: it allows companies to provide services specifically to you; and it lets them combine your movements with information from other people and deliver services that benefit everyone. […] continuedRead more
The phone carriers – Verizon, AT&T, and the others – track the location of your phone by keeping a map of the cell antennas you connect to as you move around. […] continuedRead more
Our phones track our movements every minute of every day. We carry around beacons that continuously broadcast their location. Our phones are remarkably efficient surveillance tools.
But it’s not just our phones. […] continuedRead more
Look, I get it. I don’t blame you for wanting to tune out. We’re assaulted by bad news. Our political system is in chaos, we’re doing indescribable damage to the climate, we have no privacy, there are cameras and trackers and lions and tigers and bears. […] continuedRead more
You carry a beacon twenty-four hours a day that broadcasts your location. We are being tracked wherever we go by dozens of companies, mostly unregulated. It is an unparalleled surveillance system, but it wasn’t created by sinister forces in an authoritarian government. It was built to make money. Technology companies have persuaded us to spy on ourselves. […] continuedRead more
LastPass is slow. It’s hard to overlook.
If you’re using LastPass, I want you to keep using it! You need a secure way to keep track of passwords and confidential information. For most people, the “best” program is the one that you already use. I don’t want anyone to read this and get excited and then have something go wrong and lose your passwords and suffer embarrassing hacks and have your identity stolen and wind up homeless and alone. […] continuedRead more
These are the rules for computer and online safety in 2020. You can download a copy here.
Only your vigilance will protect you against bad guys. You will be safe if you are cautious. Stop and think before you click on links, before you call unfamiliar phone numbers, before you install programs, and before you fill in passwords. […] continuedRead more
You can record speech on a Pixel phone with Google’s new Recorder app, and it will transcribe the words into text in real time. You can save the text and search for words later.
You can see captions on any video or spoken audio on your phone. (Not phone calls or video calls – those bring up thorny privacy issues.) […] continuedRead more
Windows 7 has passed on. It is no more. It has ceased to be. Windows 7 has expired and gone to meet its maker. It’s a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. It’s off the twig. It’s kicked the bucket, shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. […] continuedRead more
(This will be the last Bruceb News article until I recover from an upcoming
business conference trip to Hawaii. Happy holidays!)
I think I accomplished two goals in 2019: writing articles about privacy and security that were so terrifying that they kept you awake at night; and making those articles so dull that they helped you sleep. […] continuedRead more
Your personal information is for sale on the dark web.
Don’t worry, I’ve got in mind that you don’t know what the “dark web” is, other than a scary name. I’ll tell you more down below.
I believe all articles about the dark web are required to use the above picture to convince you it’s pure evil. […] continuedRead more
Microsoft added built-in ransomware protection to Windows 10 two years ago. When you check, you’ll find it’s not turned on. This will seem strange. It should be a good thing to stop ransomware, right? Here’s why you’ve never heard of it and why you probably won’t turn it on.
It will help if you have some background about how ransomware works; then I’ll tell you about the difficult bits in the Windows ransomware protection that make it hard to manage for non-tech people. […] continuedRead more