Websites you access can determine your physical geographical location in a few ways. Your IP address reveals your general area—unless you use a VPN. Websites can also ask for a more precise location. What Your IP Address Tells Websites Your internet service provider gives you a public IP address . All the devices on your home network share that IP address, and your address is unique on the internet. When you connect to a website, that website then sees your IP address. Your computer connects to the website’s IP address, and the website sends data back to your IP address. Packets are transmitted through network routers, and the IP address on those packets tells the routers where they need to go. However, websites can’t trace that unique IP address to your physical home or business address. Instead, websites can tie your IP address to your internet service provider, city, region, and even possibly your ZIP code. This is why you see ads for local businesses in your area … [Read more...] about Can Websites See Your Physical Location?
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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?
After over three decades of Microsoft Windows success, there have been some clear failures along the way. With that in mind, we’ve picked the six worst versions of Windows. All of these made us want to stick to older, better versions of Windows, or use alternatives like Macs or Linux instead. The Ranking Criteria Most of us know a bad version of Windows when we see it. Maybe we’ve experienced personal pain in wrestling with its bugs, or lost time reinstalling it over and over again, or heard stories about how often it’s crashed. In developing this list, we considered the following metrics: How much people hated each version (appearances on other worst-of lists), how poorly it sold, how slowly it was adopted, how bad its reviews were, the length of its lifespan on the market, and our own personal experiences with the software. For fun, we also googled “Windows [x] Sucks,” and tallied up the results. Honestly, there’s no hard science to this, so you might not agree with … [Read more...] about The 6 Worst Versions of Windows, Ranked
Signal secures all your conversations with end-to-end encryption, offering more privacy and security than your average chat app. But Signal offers some other useful security options. Here’s how to take advantage of them. Enable Registration Lock to Protect Your Signal Account Your Signal account is tied to your phone number, with no need for a password at all. When you first register for Signal (or re-register a device at a later stage), Signal will verify who you are by sending a code to your number. Enter the code to prove you are who you say you are and you’re good to go. But what happens if someone gets access to your phone number? While this might seem like an unlikely eventuality, it’s within the realm of possibility. Someone could steal your smartphone’s SIM card or fool your phone service provider into transferring your number to a new SIM using social engineering techniques . With access to your phone number, someone could gain access to your entire Signal … [Read more...] about How to Make Your Signal Chats as Secure as Possible