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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274
votes
10answers
46k 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 ...
137
votes
7answers
25k 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 ...
109
votes
9answers
12k 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 ...
101
votes
4answers
29k 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 ...
83
votes
8answers
6k 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 ...
81
votes
2answers
45k 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 ...
69
votes
8answers
13k 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 ...
66
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 ...
56
votes
10answers
7k 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 ...
54
votes
12answers
16k 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 ...
46
votes
8answers
5k 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. ...
43
votes
5answers
3k 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, ...
40
votes
9answers
7k 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 ...
37
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
37
votes
8answers
5k 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 ...
36
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 ...
35
votes
3answers
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 ...
34
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 ...
33
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
33
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
32
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
30
votes
7answers
2k 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. ...
28
votes
20answers
3k 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 ...
27
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
26
votes
8answers
2k 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
3answers
2k 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 ...
23
votes
7answers
23k 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 ...
23
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
5k views

How is wireless WiFi password cracked?

Let's say I have a wireless network that is password protected. What procedures can an intruder take in order to be able to gain access to my wireless network, or at least be able to decipher the ...
20
votes
6answers
66k 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
19
votes
9answers
812 views

What's a good way to trigger a hidden 'distress signal' in instant messaging?

Here's the scenario: Alice and bob use Off-the-record messaging to communicate over IM. The have: Encryption Authentication Deniability Perfect forward secrecy They communicate after ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

Should I let a user know they have entered an unknown username or email address?

On my website I have a password reset page that users can use if they have forgotten their password. On this page they can enter their username or their email address and hit "reset" which will send ...
19
votes
6answers
9k views

Is Facebook allowed to sell/give your information away to anyone willing to buy it?

Is Facebook allowed to sell information about their users to other companies? For example selling name, address and IP information on a specific geographic location could be very valuable ...
18
votes
2answers
911 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
555 views

How to handle security issues of someone else's website

A few weeks ago I found that someone has posted admin account details for a certain website on a public wiki by mistake. As I found that data to be real (i.e. I could log into their website run by ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How does preventing automatic download of pictures help to protect my privacy?

When viewing some emails in Microsoft Outlook, if the sender has included images, I get the following option appear at the top of the email: "To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Anonymous web browser. Is it real?

Do anonymous browsers work? What principles do they use? Can I use them to test access to my web site? Can I detect if a visitor is using one? What is the different between traditional and anonymous ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Essential things to think about before outsourcing authentication with OpenID, OAuth, or SAML

It's clear there there is no consistent set of features among any of the popular authentication providers. Below is an attempt to aggregate the similarities and differences I've noticed, but I ...
15
votes
2answers
890 views

Can robots.txt for your face be made effective?

As Google Glass slowly starts shipping, I've recently came across an article on stopthecyborgs.org that mirrors my anxieties that Google Glass currently does not feature a robots.txt for my face. It ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I protect against email tracking services?

Recently a free service came out for email tracking, bananatag. It's able to track the fact that the email was read in gmail without any notice or strange inclusions in the email body. In this case ...
15
votes
3answers
366 views

What expectation of privacy is there with US-based vendors with the LavaBit and SilentCircle shutdown?

Lavabit hosts a secure messaging service that was recently shut down. Likewise SilentCircle has preemptively done the same thing with their email-based service. It seems that the justification for ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Different strategies for online anonymity and their +/-s?

I saw this question about anonymous web browser, but I wanted to go a little bit more in depth. I prefer answers that take into account how a connection would be traced back, time it would take to ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Why users want to disable cookies?

I just started to create a new web application. In the documentation, it is written that I have to prepare for the situation where users have disabled cookies. This is not the first time I have read ...
14
votes
5answers
9k views

What are the pros and cons of a VPN for privacy

Recently I have been getting more and more interested in the security (privacy and anonymity) issues of my online life. Not that I have anything to hide, or that what I do online is so interesting to ...
13
votes
11answers
6k views

I'm leaving my job and want to erase as many personal details etc. as possible; any tips?

Obviously this is very open-ended. But, I'm just paranoid about people going through everything on my laptop after I leave my job. Here are the things I'm planning to do: Completely wipe all browser ...
13
votes
3answers
16k views

Can law enforcement track a criminal through dynamic IP address?

I ask because a week ago my home was broken into and, among other things, my iMac computer was stolen. I am desperate to get it back because it has all the pictures of my daughters from the last ...
12
votes
8answers
13k views

Is it possible to Identify a VPN user by finding relations in traffic?

If I am using VPN service to protect my identity, can my traffic be used to identify all my traffic? For example, if I am accessing two services: Some service A, where I do not leave any ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Ingress collects a lot of data - what impact could this have on my privacy or security?

The Augmented Reality game from Google, Ingress, has players travel to specific GPS locations to destroy and rebuild virtual targets, link locations, and team up with other players in order to carry ...