Conversations about life & privacy in the digital age

Announcing the winners of our Halloween Photo Caption Contest: ‘Your Online Privacy’

It was hard for our team to choose three winners from last week’s Halloween Photo Caption Contest around the theme ‘Your Online Privacy.’ We’re happy to announce the top three that we felt best fit the criteria:

#1 New iPad mini: Stephanie

“This is Zara. She used to be a regular human being before her online privacy was invaded by third parties like Google. SpiderOak can help protect you from falling into their traps. Save your souls… and your brains. Get SpiderOak.”

#2 Free 100 GB: Jon

“Even after eating your brains she won’t be able to get into your SpiderOak account. SpiderOak. Sync. Share. Access. Backup. Zombie Protection.”

#3 SpiderOak T-shirt: Keith

“One of many SpiderOak system administrators. (Thank goodness for Zero-Knowledge privacy!)”

Thanks again to everyone to joined us for the contest and above all for your vigilance around online privacy.

Keep an eye out: this coming month we will offer a special deal on storage, launch our new Zero-Knowledge Ambassador program, reveal customer testimonials and continue to highlight the importance of privacy.

Privacy Roundup – 2nd Edition

As mentioned during my previous ‘Roundup’ sent out on the 19th of October, we at SpiderOak want to continually emphasize the importance of privacy and how it impacts our daily life. Welcome to the second edition of our ‘Privacy Roundup’ and we look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas on how and why privacy matters to you.

With no further ado, here we go:

The Horrible Future of Social – Ted Nyman

Are you on Facebook? Check out MyPermissions now. Seriously, just do it.

California attorney general sends privacy warnings to app makers – The

Facebook turns off automatic facial recognition software for all European users in victory for privacy campaigners

Telefónica wants to turn customer data into cash

Yahoo Dings “Do Not Track” Default (And Search Partner Microsoft)

Washington Post: Yes, We Need To Give Up Liberty For Security

Lastly, we enjoy including companies that – like us – take a proactive stance on the importance of privacy. This week we are happy to announce a company newly launched that allows for private communication from voice conversations to text messages. Please take a moment to have a look:

Silent Circle

Please don’t hesitate to send additional thoughts or articles as we very much enjoy hearing from you and your thinking on the various topics mentioned above. Have a great weekend…

Thanks for your entries, contest winners to be announced Monday

Due to the overwhelming response to our Halloween Photo Caption Contest this week, it is going to take us a few days longer to vote on our three winners. We had originally planned on announcing them yesterday, but will now do so on Monday.

A huge thanks to all who participated! We thoroughly enjoyed all of your humorous captions around ‘Your Online Privacy’ that streamed in on Facebook, Twitter, and as comments on the blog.

Stay tuned!

The SpiderOak Team

Halloween Photo Caption Contest: Win a New iPad mini

For those who value privacy and use SpiderOak, one of the scariest things they can think of is their personal information, files or data floating around online*, vulnerable to eyes other than their own. Yikes. No thanks.

So to rid ourselves of the heeby-jeebies, let’s have some fun over the next three days:

WHAT (was that noise?!):

Halloween photo caption contest (see photo below)


‘Your online privacy’: All submitted captions entered to win must be relevant to this theme


Contest ends Oct. 31 @ Midnight CT

WHERE (wolves?):

Comment on our Facebook page // Tweet your caption to @SpiderOak on Twitter, using the hashtag #iPadContest // Comment on this blog post below (It doesn’t have to be all three, but the more you spread it around, the better chances you have of winning!)


The SpiderOak team will pick the top three people with a combination of these requirements: 1) The funniest or best caption, 2) The most likes or RTs on Facebook & Twitter, and 3) The most creative approach. We will announce the ‘Top 3′ winners and their caption on our blog on Thursday Nov. 1. Someone from our team will be sure to get in touch with the winners to deliver the prizes.


The top three Halloween photo caption contest winners will get to claim these items below in correlation with their place:

  1. A new iPad mini
  2. 100 GB free with Spideroak
  3. An awesome SpiderOak t-shirt

We can’t wait to see what caption you come up with for the picture below. Good luck!

And in the meantime, beware of what might be lurking around the corner (or on that hard drive in the sky)…

*SpiderOak is the only 100% private cloud environment. Your plaintext data is at risk on other cloud providers’ servers from a subpoena or breach standpoint. We pride ourselves our on extremely unique, flexible, private, and secure product available for you or your business. Learn more at

Mind in The Cloud

The individual mind is immanent but not only in the body. It is immanent also in pathways and messages outside the body; and there is a larger Mind of which the individual mind is only a subsystem. Gregory Bateson

I believe that our consciousness has evolved within historical time. And that this evolution is chiefly based on external storage. This evolution is disruptive. There is a long period of transition.

We are entering an era of unprecedented access to external storage. I think that we are at the beginnings of a new mode of consciousness.

While our user’s information is inaccessible, SpiderOak spends a lot of time and resources making company information available.

Bruce Sterling (that smirking twit) imagines tracking objects: Spime. But we have the resources to track ideas. Who would have imagined Amazon Reviews becoming a literary form? A modern book is more than a physical artifact. It becomes enfolded in a cloud of comment and interpretation.

The book may surface on the net long before it is published, and may continue to interact with readers. The modern author maintains a conversation with his readers.

For a person of degraded sensibilities, as I am, YouTube becomes a primary repository of music. Incredible new forms are evolving:

Privacy Roundup – Oct 19 2012 – 1st Edition

To continually emphasize the importance of privacy in our digital world, we thought we would collect a bunch of posts that we enjoyed on the topic and present them once a week to our readership. This is the first such edition of our ‘Privacy Roundup’ and we look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas on how and why privacy matters to you. So with no further ado:

Wired – Megaupload Is Dead. Long Live Mega

Network World – Deanonymizing You: I know who you are after 1 click online or mobile call

EFF – Google Under PressureFrom EU Data Commissioners Privacy Policy

EFF – Ad Industry’s Assult on ‘Do-Not-Track’ Continues at the W3C Amsterdam Meeting

Forbes – It’s Terrifying And Sickening That Microsoft Can Now Listen In On All My Skype Calls

Huffington Post – iPhone Privacy: How To Stop Apple And Advertisers From Tracking You On iOS 6

The Hill – Advertisers launch $1 million campaign to combat privacy concerns

And often we will include a post from lesser known but still equally important sources as we have below:

Degraffit Blog – Facebook and Privacy: Are you Lily and James’ Secret Keeper?’

Lastly, we will also try to include a company that we feel is taking a positive stance on privacy and is helping spread the word of why it is important and how we can gain control. This week’s company is:

Privacy Fix

Pease share other posts that you find particular interesting from this past week.

Our 48 hour only promo for free extra GB ends tomorrow – Details here: ‘+1 for Privacy’.

+1 For Privacy

It is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. And while security is crucial, it leaves out something critically important. Privacy.

We believe you shouldn’t have to choose. Companies who can’t offer privacy are forced to sell security alone. For us, it is the combination that leads to the only true freedom online. Our ‘Zero-Knowledge’ Privacy Standard trumps words like ‘trust’ and ‘security’ as plaintext data is never visible to anyone but you.

Join us in both acknowledging Cyber Security Month but also recognizing a huge ‘+1 for Privacy’ with this special promotion:

For only 48 hours, we’re offering 5 free GB for new users and 3 additional GBs for our already loyal support base.

Visit this link:, and use the promo code “plus1forprivacy” in your account settings.

Note: This code will replace your current amount with 5GBs. If you are an existing paying member, please email with your username and we will add 3GBs to your account.

Thanks for making the web a safe place with us, and your help spreading the word.

+1 for privacy,

The SpiderOak team

The Marriage & Separation of PRIVACY and SECURITY

We’re finding that lot of people aren’t aware of the difference between privacy and security. And for good reason. It can be confusing. They are, after all, so closely linked and equal in importance – you have to have them both.

Think of it like this:

You hope and expect that your bank is SECURE. You expect that no one else can access your account, access your money, and take advantage of your data and assets. It is also critical to the bank’s existence and business that they take the highest security measures to make sure your money and information is safe.

But a bank IS NOT private – they can see your information, how much money is in your account, and can alter information (sans say a Swiss bank account). There is a lot of expectation around trust in this capacity.

PRIVACY is more so the safety deposit box you keep at the bank. Only you have the key. It is not only kept secure, at the bank’s location, through their elaborate measures to give you that assurance, but it is also PRIVATE. You are the only one who can see the contents of the box. (Remember the scene in the Bourne Identity, when Jason Bourne goes to the bank to get his black security box? He gets the key, the box, takes it to a room, closes the curtain, and opens it. Alone, with privacy and security as his allies, he is able to access his gun, passports and money. Look out world!)

Here’s another example: A toilet in a glass room with a bolt lock on it. It is secure. But definitely not private.

One last example: You write in a journal, and hide it in your underwear drawer. It is private, or at least this is your intent, as it holds your own personal thoughts, opinions, or experiences. But it might not be secure. All it takes is a nosy sibling to seek it out, or stumble across it. Like that, your privacy is compromised.

All of this to say, in today’s ever-increasing tech-saturated society, your files, data, and information is more exposed than ever before. We believe it is important that you know what different sites and products you use are doing with your data, or at least have access to that transparency.

Just as you probably desire to use a bathroom NOT in a glass room, know only you can access your safety deposit box at the bank, and that your journal will stay private, so we work to uphold and respect this need. We work to offer you a completely private storage, sync, and share environment. We work to offer you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that only YOU have access to all of your files and data, no one at SpiderOak can see it (we call this our Zero-Knowledge privacy standard). This is our highest priority.

Since the inception of our product, we have worked to marry privacy and security for YOUR complete benefit and peace of mind. The whole reason SpiderOak was created was because there was a need for a private, central repository where we, where you, could safely store all of (y)our data.

“Privacy is not a feature to tack onto a list,” said Ethan Oberman, SpiderOak CEO. “It is very much a part of how you build and structure your product from its inception. We’ve taken this integrated approach in a zero-knowledge environment.”

How would YOU explain the difference between privacy and security? Leave us your analogy in the comments below.

Sharing 101: Family, Friends, Colleagues, or Clients

Welcome to SpiderOak University. If you’re a student, new user, or a lover of continuous learning, this month we’re talking to you.

We’ll be posting a couple video shorts each week where SpiderOak CEO Ethan Oberman uses a whiteboard to explain some of our basic product functionalities. School yourself and keep an eye out for our next POP QUIZ so you can receive extra GBs.

SpiderOak sharing function is engineered to create flexibility and convenience for you, in a private environment.

Do you have a .edu email address? Don’t forget – you can enjoy 50% off your private backup/sync/share account:

Sign up today.

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:

SpiderOak in Media