Conversations about life & privacy in the digital age

Security, Privacy & Encryption 101 Roundup

As you know, privacy and security is not something we take lightly. In our efforts to help educate our fellow humans on their importance and the role they play in our lives on and offline, we’ve compiled the below list of recent news, resources and tips.

[For the past few weeks we've focused on encryption. If you missed them: Just Because It's Encrypted Doesn't Mean It's Private and Encryption 101.]

If you would like to share links or resources we’ve missed, we encourage you to do so below.

May Highlight

Education

News & Information

Breaches

Tools

Interesting Reads

Comics

Tips

  • Don’t send sensitive information over the Internet before checking a website’s security
  • Pay attention to the URL of a website. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com vs. .net)
  • Install and maintain anti-virus software, firewalls, and email filters to reduce suspicious traffic
  • Don’t use passwords that are based on personal information that can be easily accessed or guessed
  • Use both lowercase and capital letters in your passwords
  • Use different passwords on different systems
  • Do business with credible companies
  • Do not use your primary email address in online submissions
  • Devote one credit card to online purchases
  • Encrypting data is a good way to protect sensitive information. It ensures that the data can only be read by the person who is authorized to have access to it
  • Use two-factor authentication if available (coming soon to SpiderOak)
  • Back up all of your data on a regular basis

Privacy Roundup #5 of 2013

Time marches on and it is hard to believe the first four months of the year have now come to a close. The month of April has been a big one for SpiderOak as we have released our long awaited 5.0 client including our newest feature ‘Hive’ as well as Explorer integration for Windows and our newly redesigned 2.0 iOS application (with Android currently in Beta).

In world news it can be noted that the Crypto Coin craze is still going strong with Bitcoins (btc) hovering above $100 and companies such as Butterfly Labs and Avalon shipping more and more advanced equipment for mining cryptographic currencies (more on this and privacy and security implications of crypto currencies in a future post). The world has seen the rise and possibly fall of CISPA once more, and the debate on surveilance drones rages on.

For this Privacy Roundup we have as usual hand picked some interesting tidbits from the news, so stay vigilant and check out some of what we felt was important in the last few weeks:

Well that about sums it up. This week we sign off with a quote from Sean Parker’s character from the movie “The Social Network”: “We lived on farms, then we lived in cities, and now we’re going to live on the internet!”.

As always, we hope you have a productive and private month ahead!

A note to our Tech-Savvy, Forward-Thinking SpiderOak Users. Yes – We’re Talking to You!

An Open Letter to Our Tech-Savvy Forward-Thinking Users:

We wanted to send our utmost admiration and gratitude. Great activity continues as we and our industry grow and push forward. Much of what we have developed and the choices we have made since our 2007 inception has been because of you – our wonderful user base.

We also wanted to make you aware of two big recent announcements to cross our wire (if you haven’t seen them just yet):

  1. We launched our new website &
  2. We entered the Enterprise market with SpiderOak Blue

Breaking through these milestones, we wanted to thank our roots. Thank you for embracing the importance of privacy with us, steering us towards better design, a more comprehensive product experience, and demanding more of us and our strengths. Thanks to those of you who pushed us from your role in your company’s IT department or as CTO toward breaking through into the enterprise space.

We love our relationship with you and want to stay true to that. Keep the feedback coming in the wonderful honest and detailed form it has taken. And thank you – above all – for your continued patronage and support.

We look forward to serving you for many years ahead as we continue to prove that one doesn’t have to sacrifice privacy for the benefits obtained in the cloud…

We remain grateful,

The SpiderOak Team

Your reaction? The mining of your personal data

Last Monday, CEO Ethan Oberman spoke with Bloomberg West’s Jon Erlichman about companies like Facebook and Google “Mining Our Personal Data For Profit.” (If you missed it, check it out here.)

We want to hear from you.

  • Have you ever seen ads targeted at you based on a search you’ve performed on Google? Helpful or harmful?
  • Based on personal information you’ve given a company, have you been Targeted? Remember this story in the New York Times earlier this year? “How Companies Learn Your Secrets”.

Leave us a comment below and tell us your story.

And if you missed any of our media sweeps this month, check them out here:


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