You might think that switching from Facebook Messenger to old-fashioned text messages would help protect your privacy. But standard SMS text messages aren’t very private or secure. SMS is like fax —an old, outdated standard that refuses to go away. Your Cellular Carrier Can See Your SMS Messages With SMS, messages you send are not end-to-end encrypted. Your cellular provider can see the contents of messages you send and receive. Those messages are stored on your cellular provider’s systems—so, instead of a tech company like Facebook seeing your messages, your cellular provider can see your messages. Cellular carriers store the contents of those messages for various amounts of time . Messages are often only retained for several days, but they store metadata (which number sent a message to which number, and at what time) for even longer. These records could be subject to subpoena in legal proceedings—for example, text message records are a common form of evidence in divorce … [Read more...] about Why SMS Text Messages Aren’t Private or Secure
Security clearance levels
Macros in Microsoft Office programs allow you to automate repetitive tasks, but some macros can be dangerous. Macros are bits of computer code and they’re infamous for containing malware that will infect your computer if you run them. Microsoft Office protects you from files containing macros by default. When you open a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file containing macros (.docm, .xlsm, or .pptm, respectively), a Security Warning message displays below the ribbon in the program telling you that macros have been disabled. If, and only if, you know the document came from a trusted source, you can click the “Enable Content” button on the Security Warning message to enable the macros in that document. RELATED: Macros Explained: Why Microsoft Office Files Can Be Dangerous If you know what you’re doing, and you don’t want to see that message every time you open an Office document, you can disable it. We’ll show you how to disable the message without compromising the security … [Read more...] about How to Disable the Security Warning Message Bar in Microsoft Office Programs
DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused search engine that’s been online since 2008. Find websites, maps, videos, news, and more—without tracking your searches and serving you targetted ads. Here’s how to make the switch from Google, Bing, or any other search engine. Most Browsers Already Include DuckDuckGo as a Search Option DuckDuckGo has been gaining ground for over a decade, finally breaking through to the “mainstream” in September of 2014 when Apple offered it as a default search engine option in Safari for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. Later, in November of the same year, Mozilla added it to Firefox 33.1. RELATED: What Is DuckDuckGo? Meet the Google Alternative for Privacy Since then, almost every major browser has recognized DuckDuckGo by making it an optional default search engine. This includes Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Opera. Google Chrome Launch Chrome, click on the “three dots” menu icon in the top-right corner of the window, and click “Settings.” … [Read more...] about How to Switch to DuckDuckGo, a Private Search Engine
Signal is a secure encrypted messaging app. Think of it as a more private alternative to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, iMessage, and SMS. Here’s why you should seriously consider switching to Signal. Why Signal Is Special Signal is available for Android, iPhone, and iPad. There’s also a Signal desktop client for Windows, Mac, and Linux. To join, all you need is a phone number. It’s free. The user experience of Signal is just like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other popular chat apps. It’s a messaging app with features like one-to-one messages, groups, stickers, photos, file transfers, voice calls, and even video calls. You can have group chats with up to 1000 people and group calls with up to eight people . Signal isn’t owned by a big tech company. Instead, Signal is developed by a non-profit foundation and is funded by donations . Unlike Facebook, Signal’s owners aren’t even trying to make money. Signal doesn’t try to gather a bunch of data on you or show … [Read more...] about What Is Signal, and Why Is Everyone Using It?
While Telegram has a phone number-based authentication system, you can easily use the app without sharing any of your contacts. Telegram will still let you add users, and others can find you using your username. By default, Telegram syncs your contacts to its servers. When a new contact joins, you get a notification about it. Your contact will also come to know that you’re using Telegram. If you want to keep your identity private, you can stop the Contact Sync feature. Telegram will still continue to work as it normally does. You can add users using their username, or you can create a separate contact in the Telegram app. Here’s how it works on the Telegram app for Android and iPhone . Stop Contact Sharing in Telegram on Android You can stop contact syncing in Telegram for Android from the Settings menu. To get started, open the Telegram app on your Android smartphone and tap the three-line menu icon from the top-left corner. Here, choose the “Settings” option. … [Read more...] about How to Use Telegram Without Sharing Your Contacts