Questions tagged [privacy]

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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129 votes
11 answers
432k views

Can my employer see what I do on the internet when I am connected to the company network?

This is an attempt at a canonical question following this discussion on Meta. The aim is to produce basic answers that can be understood by the general audience. Let's say I browse the web and use ...
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77 votes
3 answers
11k 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 ...
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  • 5,052
80 votes
7 answers
20k 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 ...
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  • 903
65 votes
6 answers
479k views

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

If someone knows my wifi password (be it WEP or WPA) what can they see? Do they just see URLs I visit, or can they see everything in my browser, or even everything I do on my computer? Does using ...
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  • 653
83 votes
9 answers
41k 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 ...
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43 votes
5 answers
8k views

How to be completely anonymous online?

I recently saw this post on reddit: How to be completely Anonymous online (June 2012). But the majority argument, both on reddit and on comments on that post seems to be that it is not possible to be ...
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71 votes
12 answers
135k 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 clears ...
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  • 701
45 votes
6 answers
9k 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. ...
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  • 693
22 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
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  • 1,222
117 votes
9 answers
123k 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 ...
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  • 2,323
84 votes
2 answers
39k 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 ...
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  • 3,003
46 votes
8 answers
118k 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 ...
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  • 803
39 votes
3 answers
6k 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 ...
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  • 2,624
65 votes
7 answers
35k 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 ...
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20 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
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  • 1,318
19 votes
4 answers
56k views

What is the risk of leaking IMEI / IMSI numbers over a network

Should I worry if a developer programmed an app to send IMEI / IMSI number of the phone where the app is installed back to him? What can an attacker do with such information?
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  • 625
40 votes
3 answers
74k views

What is the difference between ATA Secure Erase and Security Erase? How can I ensure they worked?

I'd like to wipe a stack of drives (spinning and SSD) securely. I'm familiar with the ATA Secure Erase (SE) command via hdparm, but I'm not sure if I should use the Security Erase (SE+) command ...
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  • 513
19 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
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12 votes
2 answers
223k views

What happens if an attacker steals my phone's IMEI number?

I have some questions regarding IMEI numbers and data and identity theft. While searching online I have found many conflicting answers regarding this topic and would like some clarification if ...
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  • 129
234 votes
15 answers
94k 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 ...
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211 votes
9 answers
126k views

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 hosts to authenticate? Could one id_rsa be malpractice for the privacy/anonymity policies? having ...
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196 votes
11 answers
35k views

Search for military installed backdoors on laptop

My laptop was confiscated by the military institute of my country and they made me to give them all my passwords (I cannot tell you the name of my country). They did not give it back to me for one ...
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  • 1,781
25 votes
5 answers
54k 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 ...
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16 votes
1 answer
2k views

How was the Apple Hacker caught? How can meta data be used to identify users through chained VPNs?

Online privacy is a big issue for many people nowadays. Using VPNs is the usual suggestion as a means to stay anonymous. More often than not, somebody comes up with the point "just chain multiple VPNs ...
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10 votes
1 answer
1k views

What unique fingerprinting information can an iOS7 app collect?

I'm interested in unique information that is beyond typical user knowledge or control. As of iOS 7, users can easily protect local physical tracking by controlling radios (cell, WiFi, Bluetooth) in ...
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  • 1,420
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

What unique device fingerprinting information can an iOS9 app collect?

As a follow-on to these questions: What unique fingerprinting information can an iOS7 app collect? What unique device fingerprinting information can an iOS8 app collect? Apple has apparently ...
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  • 1,420
135 votes
9 answers
19k 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 ...
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  • 929
125 votes
7 answers
45k views

My ISP uses deep packet inspection; what can they observe?

I found out that my ISP does deep packet inspection. Can they see the contents of HTTPS connections? Wouldn't having HTTPS ensure that they can't see the contents being transferred? And can having a ...
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24 votes
6 answers
19k views

Why is Tor safer than a proxy?

If I use a Tor router to browse the regular internet, my traffic must leave the Tor network through an exit node. Apparently the exit node can see the data originally sent. Is this true? If an ...
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16 votes
2 answers
6k views

What are the privacy and security risks associated with Intel's Management Engine and AMD's Platform Security Processor?

And also as an everyday user who mostly just surfs the web, are these risks a huge concern for me? Edit: Also on the similar note, are there any substantial evidences of Intel or AMD purposely ...
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32 votes
20 answers
7k 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 ...
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19 votes
1 answer
776 views

What unique device fingerprinting information can an iOS8 app collect?

As an addition to this question: What unique fingerprinting information can an iOS7 app collect? What remaining device fingerprinting privacy/security vulnerabilities still exist as of iOS 8? Can ...
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  • 1,420
11 votes
8 answers
207k views

Company computer use from home - how much can they see on the desktop?

I have a company supplied computer that I use from home. I log into VPN (cisco AnyConnect) when i need to access company email or internal company sites. In the past the company has been able to "...
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  • 111
11 votes
1 answer
569 views

What would happen if some random webpage made an Ajax request for http://127.0.0.1/private.txt?

I run a localhost-only webserver (PHP's built-in one) for all my admin panels and whatnot on my machine. I'm worried that, if any random webpage has a JavaScript snippet which makes an Ajax call to ...
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4 votes
5 answers
5k views

Can teleworking let my boss to sniff my network traffic? What else could he do?

My boss proposed me to code from home on the their machines via internet, in two possible ways: I would connect to their computer and work on their machine, as if I was in front of the computer(from ...
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  • 271
447 votes
14 answers
129k 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 ...
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  • 3,591
97 votes
8 answers
19k 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 ...
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  • 901
99 votes
12 answers
33k views

Landlord will be watching my data traffic, as mentioned in the lease agreement

I am moving to Germany, and in the contract I signed I had to accept that all my data traffic can/will be checked by the apartment owner. The contract states: Flatrate, aber hinter 30GB Tarif ...
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  • 1,059
56 votes
2 answers
16k 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 ...
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  • 1,853
19 votes
11 answers
31k 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 ...
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  • 291
11 votes
3 answers
25k views

Does a VPN hide what URLs I visit?

It's clear that someone listening on a network could still find out what website I visit over HTTPS (as discussed here) but what about when surfing in a VPN? What exactly can the underlying network (...
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10 votes
1 answer
16k views

Can VPN provider see my data?

I have a 2 questions: If I use a VPN and I go to any websites via HTTP - does VPN provider will be able to see the traffic? Those. logins, passwords, all the texts that pass through the channel (in ...
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  • 497
5 votes
2 answers
5k views

How can I prevent private data from being disclosed outside of my organization?

I'm not looking to secure my internal network. Our company keeps sensitive customer information. How can I prevent this information from spreading outside of the company? How do big companies ...
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  • 175
17 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is it secure to have an "email no longer available" feature on your registration form?

I was just implementing a new feature on the registration form of my site that checks if an email address is still available to register an account with. I am wondering if it is secure to show a user ...
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  • 173
10 votes
3 answers
59k views

Does WhatsApp disclose the sender's IP address?

Does WhatsApp disclose the sender's IP address? Is it possible to get it by running netstat -a or via Wireshark?
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7 votes
5 answers
5k views

How to detect self destructing emails? How to prevent from self destruction?

Recently I came across a gmail extension for Chrome browsers which claims to send self destructive emails. I tested by sending self destructive emails to my email account and it works fine Now my ...
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4 votes
6 answers
109k views

Is it possible for someone to see under the "blacked out" part of this image (see below)?

Ok, so I sent some pictures to a journalist to report something I thought was noteworthy. However, one of the images contained my date of birth and other personal information so I blacked it out ...
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2 votes
2 answers
1k views

SafeZone: keyloggers/malware/spyware protection

As part of Avast free updates you have a chance to use SafeZone browser. Among features of SafeZone browser I found that SafeZone protects you from keyloggers/malware/spyware. I'm interesting ...
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  • 215
5 votes
2 answers
408 views

Can we determine how securely files are stored on a cloud storage service?

After asking two questions about the security of online cloud storage, it seems to me that we can only at best speculate as to the security practices of the hosting company, and believe what they tell ...
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  • 757
134 votes
8 answers
142k 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 ...
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