Category: privacy

The Tyranny of the Default

Marketing firms love to tell us that we control our privacy – you simply need to opt out of tracking! Like Dorothy, we’ve had the power all along. Just click your heels three times and uncheck all those pesky tracking options under Settings… somewhere. Just call customer service and speak to a representative. Just mail

Google Knows What You Bought

It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that Google can read your Gmail. You may even realize that Google is scanning your emails for things like trip itineraries, which allows them to automatically add flights and hotel reservations to your Google Calendar, for example. But you may not realize how much other juicy info is there

Mental Health Apps Behaving Badly

I ran across a disturbing article in The Verge about mental health apps that were oversharing user data. As usual, I’m not surprised, but still really angry. This is wrong and has to stop. The study by JAMA Network Open on 36 apps for smoking cessation and depression found that 29 of them shared some

It’s Time: Switch to Firefox

I’ve written a comprehensive guide to choosing the best web browser (which you should definitely read), but the choice just keeps getting clearer. If you’re not already using it, you really need to switch to Firefox. Privacy vs Security The main point of my browser guide is that there is a big difference between security

Data Privacy Day 2019

Rather than write a new article every year, I’ve decided to update my original article on Data Privacy Day. This article tells you how to vastly improve your privacy and guard your data from prying eyes right now. Data Privacy Day 2019 also just happens to exactly coincide with the airing of the 100th episode

Celebrate My Pod-Centennial!

[UPDATED] The contest is over – thanks to everyone who listened to the PodCentennial show and entered! The Making of the Pod-Centennial The 100th episode of my Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons podcast will air on January 28th! It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing my show every week for almost two years now. It all

How to Handle the Marriott Breach

Marriott announced last week that as many as 500 million of their Starwood Guests had their customer data exposed. In this post I’ll go over what we know about the Marriott breach, what you can do about it, and how to mitigate damage from the inevitable future breaches. Details of the Marriott Breach Here are

Sign Up for Informed Delivery

The US Postal Service (USPS) has an interesting service called Informed Delivery that allows you to see what pieces of mail are heading to your mailbox before they arrive. You can use it to see what mail you should have received, as well – if you were expecting something but didn’t get it. When you