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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449 votes
13 answers

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 ...
blade19899's user avatar
  • 3,611
312 votes
25 answers

Should I let my child's school have access to my kid's personal laptop?

My kid is starting 6th grade and the school requires him to get a laptop and bring it to school. Now the school IT department wants to install some software on the laptop and is asking for ...
Sushil's user avatar
  • 2,109
242 votes
5 answers

What is the difference between and

Is it there any difference between the encrypted Google search (at and the ordinary HTTPS Google search (at In terms of security what were the ...
BlueBerry - Vignesh4303's user avatar
238 votes
13 answers

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 ...
Florian Margaine's user avatar
229 votes
9 answers

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 ...
static's user avatar
  • 2,389
198 votes
10 answers

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 ...
Posse's user avatar
  • 1,801
163 votes
8 answers

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 ...
nitrl's user avatar
  • 3,003
156 votes
23 answers

Hardening Linux desktop machine against people from my household

I am looking to make a clean install of a Debian system on my home desktop. To clarify, I am switching from Windows and wish to use it as my day-to-day home OS - I'm not going to be running any ...
Boris's user avatar
  • 1,420
135 votes
9 answers

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 ...
samayo's user avatar
  • 929
134 votes
7 answers

How did Google know I looked something up?

Yesterday I was searching DuckDuckGo for booking a vacation. I ended up reading a lot on one specific website. Today multiple websites show me Google banners from this specific website. Normally, I ...
P.Yntema's user avatar
  • 1,047
133 votes
8 answers

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 ...
makerofthings7's user avatar
132 votes
4 answers

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 ...
Colin Pickard's user avatar
129 votes
11 answers

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 ...
INV3NT3D's user avatar
  • 3,987
128 votes
3 answers

Should I be worried of tracking domains on a banking website?

Finland's largest bank OP (former Osuuspankki) has added tracking domains (all three owned by Adobe) in their website redesign: These domains are loaded when signed in: ...
user598527's user avatar
  • 1,333
127 votes
7 answers

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 ...
cppanonhelp666's user avatar
120 votes
9 answers

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 ...
Shelvacu's user avatar
  • 2,373
115 votes
15 answers

How can mom monitor my internet history from a distance?

This might sound like a funny question from a twelve-year-old. The less funny part is that I am 21 and currently studying at university (I don't live at University, although I am 15 minutes away. I do ...
Azerty's user avatar
  • 1,283
108 votes
3 answers

How does DuckDuckGo know my native language even though I am using a VPN in a country with a different language?

I recently started using a VPN and I've felt more comfortable browsing the Internet. My VPN allows me to select another country through which my traffic is routed to make it appear I'm located in that ...
S. Rotos's user avatar
  • 1,013
100 votes
12 answers

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 ...
Olba12's user avatar
  • 1,069
99 votes
8 answers

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 ...
Aarthi's user avatar
  • 921
98 votes
14 answers

Should I tell my boss I have discovered their passwords and they are too weak?

I'm on a temporary job so they don't give me any passwords to access the sites and resources I need. Instead, they tell me to move to another computer where a regular employee is and where every ...
sysfiend's user avatar
  • 2,374
92 votes
9 answers

Is it a security vulnerability if the addresses of university students are exposed?

I am sorry for my lack of knowledge in this matter. My university (basically an international university in the UK that has students from different countries) has a website which requires the ...
Ghulam Ali's user avatar
92 votes
5 answers

How does Facebook track your browsing without third party cookies?

Facebook has served me an ad for a website I visited earlier in the day. I have third party cookies disabled and have not followed any links between the website and Facebook (links which could contain ...
Jesse's user avatar
  • 771
87 votes
6 answers

How am I ever going to be able to "vet" 120,000+ lines of Composer PHP code not written by me? [duplicate]

I depend on PHP CLI for all kinds of personal and (hopefully, soon) professional/mission-critical "business logic". (This could be any other language and the exact same problem would still stand; I'm ...
Paranoid Android's user avatar
86 votes
4 answers

What is the risk of copy and pasting Linux commands from a website? How can some commands be invisible? [duplicate]

Like all beginners in the land of Linux, I usually look for websites that contain some useful shell commands, mark it with my mouse, copy it (CTRL + C) and paste it into a terminal. For example, if ...
GAD3R's user avatar
  • 2,231
86 votes
3 answers

Can phone apps read my clipboard?

Via Hacker News, I came across a Tweet implying that Facebook's iOS app routinely reads and transmits all content from the user's pasteboard. Leaving aside whether Facebook's app genuinely does this (...
Mark Amery's user avatar
  • 1,817
84 votes
8 answers

Do advertisers listen as we talk?

A person talks about a certain thing (product or service) with another person and a short time after the talk the person gets the advertising of the discussed thing on the mobile or desktop device. I ...
Evgeniy's user avatar
  • 721
84 votes
2 answers

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 ...
nitrl's user avatar
  • 3,003
84 votes
9 answers

How to fight browser fingerprinting? , 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 ...
n611x007's user avatar
  • 2,285
83 votes
7 answers

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. How long must user IDs be to keep anyone from ...
owenfi's user avatar
  • 933
82 votes
2 answers

Does Windows 10's telemetry include sending *.doc files if Word crashed?

I'm reading through the extensive description on which data is acquired by Microsoft's telemetry 1 including the following paragraph: User generated files -- files that are indicated as a potential ...
VoodooCode's user avatar
79 votes
3 answers

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: "", "", "", "", "". Would monitoring of packets reveal: nothing, reveal only ...
blunders's user avatar
  • 5,062
77 votes
6 answers

Should I reject a CSR when the host emailed me the private key for SSL certificate request?

I just requested a CSR from my shared web hosting provider, to generate a certificate which I will send back to them to install. (The certificate itself is to be generated properly by an organisation ...
scipilot's user avatar
  • 873
77 votes
13 answers

Should I allow browsers to remember my passwords and synchronize them?

I wonder, how wise is it to allow Chrome and Firefox to a) remember the passwords b) synchronize them? My gut tells me that if it's not man in the middle who can intercept them, but Google and Mozilla ...
Incerteza's user avatar
  • 2,257
76 votes
13 answers

Why do people hide their license plates in the EU?

I often recognise that people blur their license plates on pictures on the internet in Germany. I can't figure out what's the fuss. The information is public nevertheless (I mean it's on your vehicle),...
OddDev's user avatar
  • 629
76 votes
9 answers

School asked us to submit our MAC addresses

My school has recently asked us to submit our MAC address to the school along with our designated name to be used to connect to the Wi-Fi. Previously this wasn't needed. I would like to ask about ...
cyanide's user avatar
  • 887
76 votes
8 answers

Why is email often used as the ultimate verification?

In many services, email can be used to reset the password, or do something that is sensitive. Sensitive data is also quite often sent to you by email, e.g. long links that enable access to your ...
Teipekpohkl's user avatar
76 votes
3 answers

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 ...
Lucas Kauffman's user avatar
72 votes
4 answers

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 ...
Anurag's user avatar
  • 907
71 votes
12 answers

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 ...
Pat's user avatar
  • 701
71 votes
1 answer

Tell browser my site has no scripts

I have created a Tor hidden service site which has absolutely no JavaScript or other types of client side scripts. The page is HTML, CSS, images, and some JSP for handling user input. I encourage ...
k1308517's user avatar
  • 1,272
70 votes
3 answers

Are smartphone apps theoretically capable of detecting what a user is looking at?

For instance, would it be possible for an app to determine what pixel range on a smartphone display a user is looking at by analysing their eyes with the front facing camera? If so, with what kind of ...
Laurent's user avatar
  • 713
66 votes
9 answers

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

This question is sort-of spun off of a previous one. Why do law-abiding citizens need strong security? There are a lot of great security-focused answers there. However, I think the true question that ...
Iszi's user avatar
  • 27.1k
66 votes
6 answers

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 ...
user20378's user avatar
  • 663
66 votes
7 answers

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 ...
D.W.'s user avatar
  • 99.4k
63 votes
8 answers

My bank support just asked me for my online banking credentials

As title says, I was asked for my online banking password while on the process of getting in touch with a real person. This is something I'd never do and knowing that the call was being recorded (for ...
sysfiend's user avatar
  • 2,374
61 votes
6 answers

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 ...
Florian Schneider's user avatar
61 votes
6 answers

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 ...
Jack's user avatar
  • 713
60 votes
7 answers

Closed source binary blobs in chipsets - privacy threat?

I wanted to buy a Librem Purism 13 because I care about my privacy and generally wanted a laptop to test Linux on. However, I was advised against it because it uses Intel i5 processors which contain ...
user113581's user avatar
60 votes
6 answers

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 ...
Neon Flash's user avatar

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