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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

284
votes
12answers
50k 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 ...
112
votes
9answers
13k 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 ...
103
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 ...
97
votes
2answers
56k 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 ...
83
votes
8answers
7k 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 ...
74
votes
6answers
11k 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 ...
72
votes
8answers
16k 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 ...
67
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 ...
63
votes
11answers
10k 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 ...
55
votes
12answers
28k 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 ...
49
votes
6answers
17k 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 ...
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. ...
44
votes
5answers
4k 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, ...
42
votes
5answers
36k 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 ...
40
votes
8answers
8k 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 ...
40
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
39
votes
8answers
6k 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 ...
37
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
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 ...
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
5answers
3k 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 ...
33
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
31
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. ...
30
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
28
votes
20answers
4k 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
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 ...
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 ...
26
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 ...
25
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
25
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
24
votes
7answers
35k 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 ...
24
votes
6answers
90k 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
4k 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, ...
21
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
19
votes
9answers
875 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 ...
17
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 ...
17
votes
2answers
597 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
4answers
5k 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 ...
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
4answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
918 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 encrypt a file using gpg without including the recipient's key ID?

An OpenPGP encrypted file will include the key ID of the intended recipient's public encryption key, as explained in this question. Is there any way to remove that information from the resulting ...
15
votes
5answers
12k 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 ...