Privacy and security tips
Check out these tips to avoid phishing scams and learn what to do if you think that you’ve received a suspicious or fake email.
Learn about how you can share your Google data with apps to make your life easier – and what you can do to protect your personal information.
The Democratic National Committee was hacked because of a single email.
Google is saving all of your previous conversations with the Assistant and Home devices. It’s not necessarily bad because this is how Google improves your voice model and suggestions – but if you don’t feel great about that embarrassing search you made, don’t worry. You can playback and delete all the voice recordings stored in your Google account. Here’s how.
Privacy policies are massive, daunting legal documents that can be complicated to understand. We called a couple lawyers to get their best tips on how to understand privacy policies without spending hours breaking down each line.
You know how that one ad tracks you everywhere online? Here’s how to get rid of it, and a bunch of other things you can do to improve your privacy online.
Webcams have presented a security liability for years, yet many of us don’t cover them up. Should we? Edward Snowden, Mark Zuckerberg, and former FBI director James Comey all seem to — but none of us are celebrities or heads of state, so what good does it do us?
What you can do to protect yourself and your own communications by using encryption tools and practicing good ‘digital hygiene’.
Keeping you & your digital loved ones secure.
Learn from these errors to better protect yourself online.
Privacy and power
Once data collection companies have compiled a detailed profile of who you are, they can effectively use that information to serve you targeted ads of things you’ll most likely want to buy. That same information, when in the wrong hands, can be used for covert manipulation of your choices. In the third installment of “Privacy and Power,” we look at how Russian hackers used Cambridge Analytica data to influence U.S. voters in the 2016 election, and the larger implications of what researchers have coined ‘personalized choice architecture’.
Although you may be able to limit some data tracking on your web browser, your mobile device does not have the same tools to block third party trackers in mobile apps. Furthermore, there are very few laws in the U.S. that protect citizens from the collection of information through mobile apps. In the second installment of “Privacy and Power,” computer scientists from UC Berkeley and Stony Brook University show us how apps shuttle sensitive personal information to countless third parties.
Everything you do online generates a record. And there are many silent third parties lurking in the background, collecting your personal information and exchanging it with other third parties while you browse the web. In this first installment of “Privacy and Power,” we visit leading computer science researchers to see some new and alarming ways these third-party companies are quietly collecting our information, even when you’ve taken measures to block conventional forms of web tracking.
In this installment of Today in Technology, Microsoft President Brad Smith and Communications Director Carol Ann Browne head to a former East German prison to see for themselves what this infamous symbol of the Cold War era can teach us today about the importance of protecting people’s privacy. The Stasi prison is a chilling example of what can happen when personal data falls into the wrong hands.
Cory Doctorow – DEF CON
You may have heard people come up to you and say like, “Hey, you’re young. That makes you a digital native.” I’m here to tell you that you’re not a digital native. You make some good decisions and you make some bad decisions. But there’s one respect in which your use of computers is different from everyone else’s. And it’s that you are going to have to put up with the consequences of those uses of computers for a lot longer than the rest of us because we’ll all be dead.
Glenn Greenwald – TED
Glenn Greenwald was one of the first reporters to see – and write about – the Edward Snowden files, with their revelations about the United States’ extensive surveillance of private citizens. In this searing talk, Greenwald makes the case for why you need to care about privacy, even if you’re “not doing anything you need to hide.”
Kade Crockford – TEDxCambridgeSalon
Privacy isn’t dead, but face surveillance technology might kill it, says civil rights advocate Kade Crockford. In an eye-opening talk, Kade outlines the startling reasons why this invasive technology — powered by often-flawed facial recognition databases that track people without their knowledge — poses unprecedented threats to your fundamental rights. Learn what can be done to ban government use before it’s too late.
The New York Times
The surveillance state is the stuff of dystopian novels and futuristic thrillers. Or, as revealed in the Video Op-Ed above, it’s here now. With ad trackers on our phones, facial recognition cameras on our streets and N.S.A. agents listening in on our phone calls, Big Brother is watching.
The Joe Rogan Experience podcast
Edward Snowden is an American whistleblower who copied and leaked highly classified information from the National Security Agency in 2013 when he was a Central Intelligence Agency employee and subcontractor.
Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad – TED
Have you ever actually read the terms and conditions for the apps you use? Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad and his team at the Norwegian Consumer Council have, and it took them nearly a day and a half to read the terms of all the apps on an average phone. In a talk about the alarming ways tech companies deceive their users, Myrstad shares insights about the personal information you’ve agreed to let companies collect – and how they use your data at a scale you could never imagine.
Ingrid Burrington, author of “Networks of New York,” explains how big cities like New York are constantly under surveillance.
“I see you.” That’s the message Jessica received after her ex-husband planted spyware on her smartphone, giving up her location, messages, and much more. Our ‘When Spies Come Home’ investigative series into consumer malware, based on gigabytes of hacked data obtained from four spyware companies, reveals the scale of this industry: hundreds of thousands of ordinary people across the world have bought malware that can intercept emails, switch on microphones, steal WhatsApp messages, and more.
You’re being watched. That sounded more sinister than I intended, but online, it’s true. Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Netflix… the list goes on and on. They’re watching what you do, what you shop for, what you watch… all of it. And have you actually read the Terms of Service?
Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu – TED
Once your smart devices can talk to you, who else are they talking to? Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu wanted to find out – so they outfitted Hill’s apartment with 18 different internet-connected devices and built a special router to track how often they contacted their servers and see what they were reporting back. The results were surprising – and more than a little bit creepy. Learn more about what the data from your smart devices reveals about your sleep schedule, TV binges and even your tooth-brushing habits – and how tech companies could use it to target and profile you.
Government hacking is unlike any other form of existing surveillance technique. Hacking is an attempt to understand a system better than it understands itself, and then nudging it to do what the hacker wants. Fundamentally speaking, hacking is therefore about causing technologies to act in a manner the manufacturer, owner or user did not intend or did not foresee.
Governments can wield this power remotely, surreptitiously, across jurisdictions, and at scale. A single hack can affect many people, including those who are incidental or unrelated to a government investigation or operation.
Access Now’s U.S. Policy Manager Amie Stepanovich explains why a proposal by the Australian Prime Minister threatens the safety of data around the world.
Encryption backdoors – breaking WhatsApp and iMessage’s security to let the government stop Bad Things – sounds like a reasonable idea. Here’s why it isn’t.
When NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked details of massive government surveillance programs in 2013, he ignited a raging debate over digital privacy and security. That debate came to a head this year, when Apple refused an FBI court order to access the iPhone of alleged San Bernardino Terrorist Syed Farook. Meanwhile, journalists and activists are under increasing attack from foreign agents. To find out the government’s real capabilities, and whether any of us can truly protect our sensitive information, VICE founder Shane Smith heads to Moscow to meet the man who started the conversation, Edward Snowden.
Are you a lawyer? An activist? A journalist? A doctor, teacher, parent, student, researcher, politician, or citizen? Communications surveillance affects you. This video is a high level overview of communications surveillance!
Digital and privacy rights
The majority of the world’s population currently live under governments that have already implemented, or are considering, bans on encryption. These encryption bans have significant implications for privacy and security as well as the global decline in democracy. Presenters will discuss current and impending policies that weaken encryption, and contrast them with the nascent privacy-preserving movement. Pre-Requisites: Basic understanding of encryption and its role in data protection. Minimal background in global affairs and cybersecurity trends.
Encryption takes data like a text message or email and converts it into code to prevent viewers other than the desired recipient from seeing the original message. It’s gotten companies like Apple and Facebook in hot water with the U.S. government for prohibiting the government from accessing that data.
Ari Ezra Waldman – CITP Lunch Seminar
This project is about the discourses of privacy and privacy law. It constructs the landscape of privacy discourse, where it has been, where it is going, and who it empowers along the way. Based on primary sources research, the project argues that the changing discourse around privacy is shifting power over our data from the field of law to the terrain of technology, thereby weakening substantive privacy protections for individuals.
South by Southwest (SXSW)
Chelsea Manning changed the course of history when she released hundreds of thousands of government documents. Less than a year after being released from prison, she joins Vogue’s Sally Singer to discuss her new life, radical politics, and the consequences of unchecked state power.
The Wall Street Journal
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation on data privacy will come into force on May 25, 2018. This video explains how it could affect you, even if you don’t live in the EU.
Evan Puschak – Nerdwriter
Dark patterns are features of interface design crafted to trick users into doing things they might not want to do, but which benefit the business in question.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Equal access to online information is once again under serious threat. John Oliver encourages internet commenters to voice their displeasure to the FCC by visiting gofccyourself.com and clicking “express” to file your comment.
The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society
UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, David Kaye, is joined in conversation by Nani Jansen Reventlow, a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center and Adviser to the Cyberlaw Clinic, about his upcoming thematic report on digital access and human rights, as well as the most burning issues regarding free speech online and digital rights including encryption, fake news, online gender-based abuse and the global epidemic of internet censorship.
Government-ordered internet shutdowns nearly tripled in number between 2015 and 2016, harming human rights and economies worldwide. This session will offer a crash course in internet shutdowns with a global perspective, mapping out their causes and impacts; emerging trends; hotspots; new research on circumvention and economics; and who is fighting back to stop them.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Stephen doesn’t recall any Americans marching in support of abolishing internet privacy. But if they did… victory!
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Cable companies are trying to create an unequal playing field for internet speeds, but they’re doing it so boringly that most news outlets aren’t covering it.
John Oliver explains the controversy and lets viewers know how they can voice their displeasure to the FCC.
Eli Pariser – TED
As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.
Information security and hacking
Niall Merrigan – NDC Conferences
Social Engineering is for most people a prince in a different part of the world offering them 50 billion dollars for an upfront fee of 5K. What can go wrong.
But hacking the human is more than that. Niall will show you some serious mind hacks, scams and various forms of social engineering in this engaging talk.
Today we’re going to talk about how to keep information secret, and this isn’t a new goal. From as early as Julius Caesar’s Caesar cipher to Mary, Queen of Scots, encrypted messages to kill Queen Elizabeth in 1587, there has long been a need to encrypt and decrypt private correspondence. This proved especially critical during World War II as Allan Turing and his team at Bletchley Park attempted to decrypt messages from Nazi Enigma machines, and this need has only grown as more and more information sensitive tasks are completed on our computers.
Today we’re going to talk about hackers and their strategies for breaking into computer systems. Now, not all hackers are are malicious cybercriminals intent on stealing your data (these people are known as Black Hats). There are also White Hats who hunt for bugs, close security holes, and perform security evaluations for companies. And there are a lot of different motivations for hackers—sometimes just amusement or curiosity, sometimes for money, and sometimes to promote social or political goals. Regardless, we’re not going to teach you how to become a hacker in this episode but we are going to walk you through some of the strategies hackers use to gain access to your devices, so you can be better prepared to keep your data safe.
Cybersecurity is a set of techniques to protect the secrecy, integrity, and availability of computer systems and data against threats. In today’s episode, we’re going to unpack these three goals and talk through some strategies we use like passwords, biometrics, and access privileges to keep our information as secure, but also as accessible as possible.
Frederic Lardinois talks to Google’s Heather Adkins about what really matters when it comes to keeping data secure, where AI fits in, and how ordinary citizens can keep safe.
Encryption is a way of scrambling computer data so it can only be read by the people you want. It is an essential part of online shopping and banking, and can make emails and instant messages illegible if they are intercepted.
Account security and data breaches
Code generators for two-factor authentication can work without an Internet connection! How is that possible?
Ben Jenkins takes Alex Lee on a supercalafragalistic expedition to find out the importance of strong passwords online.
Troy Hunt – NDC Conferences
Face it – it’s going to happen. It’s going to happen to you, it’s going to happen to your company and it’s definitely happened to me! Security incidents are now just a part of normal everyday online life and we need to adapt to the new reality.
In this talk, we’ll look at how security is changing and the things we can do to evolve our approaches in the era of the data breach.
U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce
Data breaches are growing in both prevalence and size. The rate at which we willingly share personal data is also growing, particularly with an increasing proportion of the population being “internet natives” who’ve not known a time where we didn’t willingly share information online. Increasingly, the assumption has to be that everything we digitise may one day end up in unauthorised hands and the way we authenticate ourselves must adapt to be resilient to this.
Troy Hunt – Pluralsight
Troy Hunt is a Microsoft Regional Director and MVP for Developer Security, an ASPInsider, and a full time Author for Pluralsight—a leader in online training for technology and creative professionals.
Troy Hunt – Microsoft Channel 9
In this episode of the MVP Show, we are here in Gold Coast, Australia, to meet with Troy Hunt, a well-known security expert, and the person that made HaveIBeenPwned.com.
If you’re using the same password over and over and over again, it’s about time you stop. Here’s how you can start securing your accounts — it’s a lot easier than you’d think.
Troy Hunt – Microsoft
Troy is a Pluralsight author, Microsoft MVP and world-renowned internet security specialist. He spends his time teaching developers how to break into their own systems before helping to piece them back together to be secure against today’s online threats. He’s also the creator of “Have I been pwned?”, the free online service for breach monitoring and notifications. Troy regularly blogs at troyhunt.com from his home in Australia.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
John Oliver and Edward Snowden talk password security.
Internet traffic protection
Lock and Code podcast – Malwarebytes
This week on Lock and Code, we discuss the top security headlines generated right here on Labs and around the Internet. In addition, we talk to JP Taggart, senior security researcher at Malwarebytes, about VPNs—debunking their myths, explaining their actual capabilities, and providing some advice on what makes a strong VPN. Tune in for all this and more on the latest episode of Lock and Code, with host David Ruiz.
No, really, it’s dead simple. This 4-part series takes you through the basics of adding HTTPS for free with Cloudflare.
Google Chrome Developers
HTTPS is essential for site security, but it is also much more than that. In this episode, Rick talks with Emily Schechter, Product Manager on the Chrome Security team, about how HTTPS upholds identity, encryption, and integrity on the web. They also talk about how HTTPS has evolved and why the Chrome Security team believes the whole web should be HTTPS by default.
In one of many robust internet debates (as is prone to happen on Twitter), the discussion turned to the value proposition of HTTPS on a static website. Is it needed? Does it do any good? What’s it actually protecting?
Google Chrome Developers
HTTPS is a must-have for progressive web apps. “But,” you say, “it’ll make my site slow! And it’s going to cost a ton! And does it really give me any security benefits?” In this talk, we debunk some common myths and fears about HTTPS, show you why it’s an essential feature for progressive web apps, and dispense some tips and tricks for getting a shiny green lock on your site.
Information for at-risk groups
Sam Havron, Cornell Tech – USENIX Security ’19
Digital insecurity in the face of targeted, persistent attacks increasingly leaves victims in debilitating or even life-threatening situations. We propose an approach to helping victims, what we call clinical computer security, and explore it in the context of intimate partner violence (IPV). IPV is widespread and abusers exploit technology to track, harass, intimidate, and otherwise harm their victims. We report on the iterative design, refinement, and deployment of a consultation service that we created to help IPV victims obtain in-person security help from a trained technologist. To do so we created and tested a range of new technical and non-technical tools that systematize the discovery and investigation of the complicated, multimodal digital attacks seen in IPV. An initial field study with 44 IPV survivors showed how our procedures and tools help victims discover account compromise, exploitable misconfigurations, and potential spyware.
A collection of recorded talks from events around the world.
Our Security Advocates Conference (OURSA)
OURSA 2018 was a one-day conference held on April 17, 2018 in San Francisco, dedicated to showcasing critical and emerging topics in security, privacy, and technology, presented by a diverse and inclusive set of experts. Each session focused on short talks from multiple specialists, followed by a moderated discussion.
Page last updated 8 June 2020