Signal is the privacy-focused smartphone messaging app everyone seems to be using . You can also use Signal on a Windows PC, Mac—or Linux computer. It’s easy to install and register it to your Signal account. Privacy by Design Signal is published by the Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC . These two not-for-profit organizations—based in Mountain View, California—were founded by Matthew Rosenfeld (aka ‘Moxie Marlinspike’) and Brian Acton . Together they continue the work started at Open Whisper Systems , one of Rosenfeld’s earlier start-ups. The Signal application is free and open source. Anyone can review the source code. The source code for the Signal Messenging Protocol (SMP) was reviewed by a joint team from the German CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security , the Swiss ETH Zurich University , Cisco , and the Canadian University of Waterloo . They declared the code clean, the motives pure, and the encryption rock-solid. Signal is … [Read more...] about How to Install Signal Desktop on Linux
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Have you been receiving a lot of spam on Signal recently? Don’t worry, it’s not just you. Online spammers are among some of the most persistent troublemakers on the internet, and they’ve set their sights on a new target. Where Did Signal Spam Come from? Signal uses your real mobile number in order to identify you. If you want to contact another user on Signal, you can try looking them up by their phone number. On Signal, there is no separate identifier, like a username or handle, that you would associate with a platform like Twitter or Snapchat. This means that Signal is open to the same abuses that you are probably already exposed to via SMS messages sent to your mobile number. If your phone number has been targeted by regular text-message spammers in the past, it’s likely already known to spammers who buy, sell, and distribute databases of legitimate numbers for spam purposes. ( That Facebook data breach is just one way that your phone number may have been exposed.) … [Read more...] about Why You’re Getting So Much Signal Spam (and What You Can Do)
End-to-end encryption (E2EE) ensures that your data is encrypted (kept secret) until it reaches an intended recipient. Whether you’re talking about end-to-end encrypted messaging, email, file storage, or anything else, this ensures that no one in the middle can see your private data. In other words: If a chat app offers end-to-end encryption, for example, only you and the person you’re chatting with will be able to read the contents of your messages. In this scenario, not even the company operating the chat app can see what you’re saying. Encryption Basics First, let’s start with the basics of encryption. Encryption is a way of scrambling (encrypting) data so that it can’t be read by everyone. Only the people who can unscramble (decrypt) the information can see its contents. If someone doesn’t have the decryption key, they won’t be able to unscramble the data and view the information. (This is how it’s supposed to work, of course. Some encryption systems have security flaws … [Read more...] about What Is End-to-End Encryption, and Why Does It Matter?
If someone has ever told you something you didn’t really ask to know, they probably also told you “JSYK.” Here’s what that internet initialism means and when to use it. “Just So You Know” JSYK stands for “just so you know.” It is used to share a piece of information or comment with someone who didn’t request it. It can be used to start a conversation, or it can come up in the middle of a discussion with someone. It bears a lot of similarities to the popular FYI or “for your information.” While the initialism can be written in both uppercase “JSYK” and lowercase “jsyk,” the lowercase version is much more popular online in messages and social media. One thing to note is that sharing something with “JSYK” may be considered rude, depending on what you say and its context. For example, while you might consider it helpful, providing sudden criticism can be considered unwarranted by the person you’re talking to. The Origin of JSYK JSYK can be traced back to the earliest days … [Read more...] about What Does “JSYK” Mean, and How Do You Use It?
If you’re on your way to China or are simply the curious kind, you may want to find out what lies beyond the Great Firewall. While a heavily censored internet looks a lot like our own, it manages to seem a little off in some subtle and not-so-subtle ways. What Makes the Internet in China Different? Unlike, for example, the United States or European countries, China has placed its internet behind a strict screen of censorship dubbed the Great Firewall. It’s a highly sophisticated system that can block connections from Chinese IP addresses to ones that are considered harmful to the Chinese public. This includes adult entertainment and gambling sites as well as those featuring particularly violent content. Most striking of all, though, is that so few foreign media sites are accessible to people in the People’s Republic. The Chinese Communist Party tightly controls information flow and prefers that its people not read sources that haven’t been vetted by the regime. That being said, … [Read more...] about What to Expect from the Internet in China