My Rhodesian Ridgeback named Oscar. This was taken about 4 years ago when he was about 2 years old.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS DOG??
Horseplay with Suzuka and Yui
This is my dog Miller, a German Shepherd Husky mix. He is very overweight, dominant of his territory and food but loves to be scratched on the tummy and likes to lay on others’ bed.
Then there’s Tina Fey. Everyone has seen Tina in one incarnation or another. Deep talent, deep humor. She just floors me. Funny stuff comes out of her mouth so effortlessly in response to some mundane remark someone makes. Nothing changes on her face when she lets loose with these one-liners. […]And with all that gift, Tina, off camera, is quite shy and I get shy around her. We both admitted that to each other the other night right before we did our last shot together, in bed, at 1am.
I have put together this guide for my friends who are active on the internet but not necessarily super tech-savvy because they aren’t interested in it and its not something they think about. So I wanted to write something where it took as little of their time as possible to get the information they need, with links to more, but stripped down to the bare minimum. This is obviously a Work In Progress, just hope it doesn’t become obsolete before I finish it.
Security (as opposed to privacy) is about keeping your information out of the hands of criminals.
Don’t use the same password everywhere.
This makes your entire security chain as weak as its weakest link, and that weakest link will fail. There are several approaches you can take but the simplest is to use a password manager like LastPass. This requires you to only remember one strong password and can create strong and unique password for all the other sites you use. Lastpass has a couple features that make some other suggestions I have easier as well.
Treat all personal information like you would your credit card.
Most thieves who break databases aren’t looking for your credit card number. These can easily be revoked. They want the pieces of information they can put together to perform identity theft, which is where the real money is. So treat every personally identifiable piece of information: phone number, email address, home address especially, like you would a credit card. Why do you need it? If you are being compulsed to give this information up where it is clearly just for marketing purposes, just give them fake information. (It help to have this ready beforehand). Again, you aren’t worried about them having it as much as who their sloppy security people will allow access to it because they are playing World of Warcraft instead of doing their job.
Create separate email addresses for different purposes.
Many people do this already to separate out promotional email from “real” email, but if you do it further it is even better. Create one or more email addresses at free email account providers and use them whenever you don’t need the information to be secure (even if it’s “personal” email like corresponding with friends or internet mailing lists). The purpose here is to spread your risk around so that one key won’t unlock your entire kingdom.
Use SSL whenever possible
There are two common protocols that you can use on the web (as opposed to the internet), one is encrypted, one is not. Whenever you see http:// that information is not encypted going over the internet. Whenever you can check the protocol you are using is https://. Several sites who should have been SSL-only a long time ago (Facebook, Gmail) have finally switched but check everywhere you visit, especially places where you might be typing in your address, etc. and make sure its https://. You can even make your Google searches secure by using https://www.google.com/ instead of just http://google.com or using the search bar in your browser.
Additionally the EFF has released a browser plugin/extension called HTTPS Everywhere that forces HTTPS connections for every connection. This adds some overhead and may break some sites (you can easily temporarily disable it or exempt some sites) but the increase in security compared to cognitive overhead is tremendous.
If you use free Wifi, use a VPN.
This is a tough one as it requires a non-trivial amount of work, and possibly some cash out of pocket. But if you regularly use free wifi at coffee shops or airports its an absolute must. It is ridiculously easy for even an unskilled attacker to get on that network and capture and sift through all the internet traffic on that network. So consider it an inevitability that you will be compromised. I can recommend ProXPN who have a free plan though I recommend using the Pro plan if you can. They make it relatively easy (especially compared to many other VPNs) to get setup, and once setup its almost transparent to use. A VPN also does great things for privacy concerns so you may end up using it more than you think, but if you are a free wifi user, you have to do this.
Don’t visit possibly malevolent sites. Even the fun ones.
Look, I don’t want to get in your business, but if you are going on the web and downloading “free” Music, Movies or Porn you are swimming with the sharks. Cutting out the subtleties, this is basically what makes the internet open for criminals to perform almost all illegal activities. Basically all Malware on users machines is delivered from these sites. Most of these sites exist to deliver viruses and other weapons of destruction to your machine to paying customers. These criminals will often use your machine to commit other crimes without you knowing it. Is downloading free music really worth sacrificing your entire security for? If you must visit these sites, you need to wear the equivalent of an Internet condom which is just as much fun as its real-world counterpart. And no, the virus software you are running on your machine is not enough. If you want to know about “completely safe browsing” contact me privately as it is too much to get into here.
Privacy differs from security in that you are trying to keep your information out of the hands of “legal” entities like online marketing companies and the government.
Many of the items above will help (such as not giving away your information in the first place) but even with that, website operators can still harvest a lot of information from you without you even knowing it.
Turn off 3rd Party Cookies
I am going to assume you don’t really care what difference is between “regular” cookies and 3rd party cookies is, so I will just tell you that if you turn them off, you reduce how much information you give away by about 2/3rds. I will warn you that the Internet may break a little bit (some sites may complain) but there is no legitimate use of 3rd party cookies that you care about (unless you feel strongly that Online Marketing Companies should know what you are browsing all the time). I have had my browsers set to this for a while now, and have not encountered anything serious. Only Safari turns 3rd party cookies off by default, but all browsers allow you to turn them off. This option is usually hidden deep in the Settings menus for browsers so you may need to Google exactly how to do it for your browser and OS, but it will only take a minute or two and your just told a huge swath of legal spies to go f* themselves. Good for you.
As much as I have emphasized turning off 3rd party cookies, do not turn off “all” cookies. The Internet will be broken for you for most things you want to do (Social sites, Banking, etc.) and the gain doesn’t match the pain unless you want to be almost completely anonymous on the internet. Which means you will not ever be able to log into anything ever, and most sites will just tell you “Sorry, turn cookies back on” and this is legitimate.
More to come
Unfortunately most tips I have don’t have a favorable Neckbeard to Normal ratio. Meaning they are just to much of a hassle or require you know too much to make them practical for non-technical users. Or I haven’t been able to validate the vendors enough yet to recommend without qualification, which I don’t want to do. But check back here as I hope to have some new additions soon as soon as I can verify some information.