Stories by Ian Paul

AVG's Crumble extension simplifies online privacy

We've talked about anti-tracking extensions before. These are the tools that prevent online advertisers from tracking you online, allowing you to retain your privacy. There are many to choose from--including Disconnect, DNT+, and Ghostery--but recently AVG came out with a new extension for Chrome called Crumble that's worth trying out.

Ian Paul | 17 Jun | Read more

Microsoft's good deed for the day: browser-hijacking Ask Toolbar gets the banhammer on Windows

You know it, I know it, Wikipedia knows it, and now Windows knows it: the Ask Toolbar is a bad thing that nobody wants on their PC. The next time the Ask Toolbar tries to sneak onto your computer it will be marked as "unwanted software" (that's a nice way of saying malware) by Microsoft's security tools. Microsoft previously warned it would take action against software that tries to prevent users from changing their browser's default search engine.

Ian Paul | 12 Jun | Read more

Plex gets more secure, adding free SSL encryption for all free and paying users

Plex gave its users an important security upgrade last week. The home media streaming platform announced all its users are getting free SSL certificates, enabling them to connect to their media over an encrypted HTTPS connection. The new feature is a partnership with certificate authority DigiCert. Plex says the project is "one of the largest implementations of publicly trusted certificates, ever."

Ian Paul | 09 Jun | Read more

Google unifies your privacy and security settings in one spot

More than three years ago, Google unified its privacy policy. Now it's unifying your privacy (and security) information. The company recently announced an overhaul to the Google account dashboard that puts nearly every privacy and security feature in one place. The new My Account section includes Google's privacy and security checkups, the ability to mange ad settings, your search and browsing history, location history via Google Maps, and password changes. Google Wallet is still separate from the My Account dashboard.

Ian Paul | 02 Jun | Read more

New database taps LinkedIn to watch the NSA watchers

Everyday people are transforming the way police officers behave thanks to the power of camera-enabled smartphones. Now, the advocacy group Transparency Toolkit wants to transform the way the national security state behaves using other common tech tools: Google and LinkedIn.

Ian Paul | 08 May | Read more

Firefox 37 supports easier encryption option than HTTPS

The latest version of Firefox has a new security feature that aims to put a band-aid over unencrypted website connections. Firefox 37 rolled out earlier this week with support for opportunistic encryption, or OE. You can consider OE sort of halfway point between no encryption (known as clear text) and full HTTPS encryption that's simpler to implement.

Ian Paul | 03 Apr | Read more