The attribute of a system that prevents the release of data to unauthorized individuals. The ability or expectation of an individual or group to reveal information about themselves selectively or not at all

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326
votes
12answers
60k views

Is it bad practice to use your real name online?

On some accounts I use my real name on-line (Google+/Facebook/Wikipedia/personal blog), others (Q&A/Gaming) I use an alias. My question is: Security and privacy wise, what can people do with my ...
147
votes
8answers
26k views

What are the implications of NSA surveillance on the average internet user?

It would appear as though the tinfoil hat-wearing were vindicated today, as news broke of the true scale of the U.S. government's surveillance of its citizens' online activities, conducted primarily ...
135
votes
2answers
86k views

What is the difference between https://google.com and https://encrypted.google.com?

Is it there any difference between the encrypted Google search (at https://encrypted.google.com) and the ordinary HTTPS Google search (at https://google.com)? In terms of security what were the ...
123
votes
9answers
15k views

Is Google spying on all of us?

I am curious because, I experienced something bizarre recently. About a month ago, someone asked me to find out a price for a T-shirt printing machine, and probably for the first time, I pressed these ...
108
votes
4answers
30k views

How does the authentication in the new UK £1 coin work?

The UK is getting a new £1 coin. Its designers, the Royal Mint, claim that unlike current coins, it includes built in technology for high speed authentication and verification everywhere from ATMs to ...
94
votes
12answers
22k views

Where do you store your personal private GPG key?

So, I want to start using pass, but I need a GPG key for this. This application will store all of my passwords, which means it's very important that I don't lose my private key, once generated. Hard ...
88
votes
8answers
24k views

Why would someone trust DuckDuckGo or other providers with a similar privacy policy?

DuckDuckGo is a search engine that claims it will not share your results with others. Many of my skeptical coworkers think it may be a scam. Is there any proof that any web search engine will ...
87
votes
8answers
10k views

How can I protect my internet-connected devices from discovery by Shodan?

There's been a lot of buzz around this recent CNN article about Shodan, a search engine that can find and allow access to unsecured internet-connected devices. Shodan runs 24/7 and collects ...
82
votes
7answers
25k views

Is it dangerous to post my MAC address publicly?

When posting questions, it is often quite useful to include debug output. However, it sometimes include the MAC address of my laptop, router, or both. What are the possible dangers of releasing these ...
70
votes
3answers
3k views

Did US and UK spy agencies defeat privacy and security on the internet?

This question is meant as a canonical question in regard to the US and UK spy agencies compromising end nodes and encryption between nodes to spy on people they suspect to be terrorists. However, this ...
59
votes
12answers
57k views

Can I prevent my neighbors, whom I pay for shared internet (wifi), from seeing the sites I've visited?

I pay my neighbors to use their wifi. They have listed me as "guest" with a separate password from theirs. Is there any way to prevent them from seeing the sites I've visited? My browser history ...
58
votes
2answers
14k views

Best practices for Tor use, in light of released NSA slides

It has been known in the security community that a tool as versatile as Tor is likely the target of intense interest from intelligence agencies. While the FBI has admitted responsibility for a Tor ...
55
votes
6answers
44k views

Can my IT department read my Google Hangouts chats while at work?

Is Google hangouts encrypted? Would my work's IT guys be able see pictures and text I send while on a work computer? Yes I know I shouldn't be sending stuff I don't want them to see while at work, but ...
52
votes
5answers
7k views

How can you be tracked using screen resolution/monitor size in Tor?

Whenever I maximize the Tor browser, it shows a warning: Maximizing Tor Browser can allow websites to determine you monitor size, which can be used to track you... How can screen resolution or ...
52
votes
8answers
6k views

Online backup : how could encryption and de-duplication be compatible?

A "soon to enter beta" online backup service, Bitcasa, claims to have both de-duplication (you don't backup something already in the cloud) and client side encryption. ...
51
votes
6answers
9k views

Why do security experts like Snowden use email services like Lavabit and Hushmail rather than self-hosted email?

Why would anyone like Edward Snowden rely on 3rd party services like Lavabit or Hushmail to host his email? I mean it's very easy to set up a self-hosted email server. What you need: Rent VPS (even ...
48
votes
5answers
109k views

Anonymity on Facebook - how do they suggest people I should know?

I want to know how Facebook discovers the people who you know in real life or who know you. I tried the following to see if Facebook can still discover my acquaintances in real life and suggest them ...
47
votes
5answers
5k views

How does a country block its citizens from accessing a site?

Following Turkey's recent social site blocks, I am wondering how can you efficiently accomplish that as a country. Similar for a big company. Blocking IPs → easy to circumvent, (proxys, tunnels, ...
46
votes
7answers
2k views

Why does one need a high level of privacy/anonymity for legal activities?

This question is sort-of spun off of a previous one. How to counter the statement: "You don't need (strong) security if you're not doing anything illegal"? There are a lot of great ...
44
votes
8answers
7k views

What are some considerations before moving personal data to Google Drive?

I am considering uploading some (all) of my digital personal data to Google Drive. I guess this would instantly grant access for NSA to my data. (Is that right?) Who would have access to my data on ...
42
votes
8answers
10k views

Why am I allowed to access protected Windows files when I boot Ubuntu from USB?

How come I'm allowed to reboot a computer that I don't own, put in a USB, boot ubuntu from it and then access all files stored on the drives available (even critical files such as system files on C ...
42
votes
5answers
7k views

Bring your own phone to a (new) job: Consequences?

I am starting a new job, and I have the choice to receive a phone from the company, or to bring my own. I am considering using my own phone, to avoid having an extra device, but I want to better ...
41
votes
6answers
6k views

How do I deal with companies that call and ask for personal information?

Several times I get a phone call from a company- my bank, utility companies etc. Many times they are just cold calling me, but once or twice they were calling for legitimate reasons (ie, something to ...
40
votes
6answers
7k views

Are random URLs a safe way to protect profile photos?

I would like to move from sequential to random user-ids so I can host profile photos publicly. i.e. example.com/profilepics/asdf-1234-zxcv-7890.jpg How long must user-ids be to keep anyone from ...
40
votes
3answers
15k views

What is the best practice: separate ssh-key per host and user VS one ssh-key for all hosts?

Is it better to create a separate ssh-key for each host and user or just using the id_rsa key for all host to authenticate? Could one id_rsa be a malpractice for the privacy/anonymity policies? ...
38
votes
5answers
3k views

Client-side encryption, but cloud service can still decrypt data in the event of a death? Is this possible?

I've been worried about this password manager, PasswordBox that seems to be gathering quite a bit of steam lately. They seem to have raised VC funding and are offering a free password management and ...
37
votes
4answers
3k views

How to know if firmware is stealing my information?

The recent news item Chinese Star N9500 Android smartphone contains factory-installed Trojan, says security firm has prompted me to think about firmware security. The news mentions the spyware is part ...
37
votes
4answers
14k views

Can web sites detect whether you are using private browsing mode?

Most modern browsers support "private browsing mode" (also known in Chrome as "Incognito mode"), where the browser does not save any information to disk about your browsing while in this mode. In ...
36
votes
5answers
8k views

How to fight browser fingerprinting?

https://panopticlick.eff.org/ , aka "How unique and trackable is your browser". For example it usually gives me a unique score. The biggest entropy values come from navigator.plugins and fonts via ...
35
votes
2answers
3k views

In CitizenFour, what was Edward Snowden mitigating with a head blanket?

A scene in the documentary CitizenFour showed Snowden using a blanket to cover his head and the laptop screen. When asked by Greenwald about this, he answered affirmatively, but I couldn't really ...
35
votes
6answers
159k views

If someone hacks my wi-fi connnection, what can they see and how?

I have two questions on wifi security: If someone knows my wifi password (be it WEP or WPA) what can they see on my screen? Do they just see URLs I visit, or can they see everything in my ...
34
votes
6answers
4k views

How do I purge Windows of my private data when formatting the drive is not an option?

I'm changing my employer, and I'm about to leave my office computer. Due to internal regulations and my supervisor's orders, I'm unable to format the disk drive. I was hoping I would be able to do ...
33
votes
4answers
3k views

How can changing your DNS protect your online privacy?

Looking at a Unblock-US Features (a DNS provider) on their website it states the following: Stay out of the radar of prying eyes. With Unblock-us, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your ...
32
votes
7answers
3k views

Is there a difference between GET and POST for web application security?

I have 2 choices in sending data between 2 web applications. I encode the data in Base64 and append to the URL and retrieve these parameters at my destination application and decode the parameters. ...
31
votes
5answers
6k views

How to be completely anonymous online?

I recently saw this post on reddit: http://www.slashgeek.net/2012/06/15/how-to-be-completely-anonymous-online/ But the majority argument, both on reddit and on comments on that post seems to be that ...
30
votes
7answers
72k views

How can you be caught using Private VPN when there's no logs about who you are?

I know there are 2 services of VPN (free and paid). Normally, free VPNs need money from somewhere and sometimes they can sell your information to any agency that needs it. Now, if we are talking about ...
30
votes
11answers
9k views

Can 'cracked' product keys harm the user in any way?

If a user download commercial software through the official, corresponding website, but use a product key which you did not legitimately purchase (e.g. websites that offer a list of product keys for ...
30
votes
20answers
5k views

How can I prevent my kids from bypassing my computer restrictions?

My son has a downloaded copy of Ubuntu that he uses to "break" into my computer, bypassing Vista. I have two questions: Can this damage my computer or corrupt my files? (I have lots of pictures) Is ...
29
votes
12answers
4k views

Is there a secure way to transfer data outside the Internet?

Since, recently, it has been proven that transferring data through the usb port is fundamentally flawed, I'm wondering if there are 100% secure ways to transfer data without using the Internet. ...
29
votes
4answers
2k views

Relationship between Anonymity and Untraceability

Anonymity means that nobody knows your real identity (on the Internet). Untraceability means that nobody is able to trace back your actions to you. It appears to me that Anonymity and Untraceability ...
29
votes
3answers
3k views

What is an SSL certificate intended to prove, and how does it do it?

If I get an SSL certificate from a well-known provider, what does that prove about my site and how? Here's what I know: Assume Alice and Bob both have public and private keys If Alice encrypts ...
28
votes
2answers
2k views

Are URLs viewed during HTTPS transactions to one or more websites from a single IP distinguishable?

For example, say the following are HTTPS URLs to two websites by one IP over 5 mins: "A.com/1", "A.com/2", "A.com/3", "B.com/1", "B.com/2". Would monitoring of packets reveal: nothing, reveal only ...
27
votes
8answers
3k views

Share certain information only after death

After your death, you want to make sure that a special someone gets a vital piece of information (like the password to your bank account), but: You don't want anyone else to be able to get that ...
25
votes
6answers
4k views

What real world benefits does PGP have over sending email with SSL/TLS such as with HTTPS?

I've been learning about PGP, and I asked myself, "Why?" For example, if I'm using https://mail.google.com, then what benefit would adding PGP offer that would justify it being used? I can ...
25
votes
8answers
8k views

A person knows my IP address: how to save my data and address? [duplicate]

I was chatting to a guy on a site, and the chat went wrong when I wrote a few wrong words by mistake. He then threatened that he will send my every detail to the vigilant team and soon my address will ...
24
votes
6answers
6k views

How can I prevent tracking by ETAGs?

An ETAG is a HTTP header that is sent-behind-the-scenes between a web browser and an web server. This value is intended to control how long a particular file is cached on the client side. There is ...
23
votes
5answers
2k views

Are zip codes considered to be personal identifying information?

A public website of a financial firm (falls under SEC) has a HTML 5 map of the US where each point on the map is the 5 digit zip code of their clients. These points are generated from a CSV file that ...
23
votes
4answers
5k views

Do I have to hash users' IP addresses when I log them?

I have read a lot of users saying that you have to hash IP addresses - and a lot of others who say I don't have to because it is not private information. I use IP addresses for identifying users, ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

How trustworthy is `sudo apt-get install (package name)` in Ubuntu?

One of the easy ways to install a program in Ubuntu Linux is to type a command in the terminal, but how do I know that the program is coming from a trusted source and not from somewhere dangerous? ...
22
votes
7answers
3k views

When do honest people need privacy or anonymity? (e.g. they have nothing to hide) [closed]

I'm having a discussion with someone who thinks they don't need technical measures of privacy or anonymity. Common arguments against needing to care about privacy or anonymity include: Everything ...