Defensive Computing is aimed at people who depend on their computing devices for work rather than for play. Rather than focus on the latest news or devices, this blog aims to be educational. Heavy on facts, light on opinions.
If you want, or need, to use Tor, then Tails Linux is your best friend. Tails sends all data through the Tor network. Ed Snowden uses it. A few days ago, just as one group of bugs in Tails were fixed, a security firm found another one. But bugs are not the only problem. Insuring that you download the real Tails Linux software is much harder than it should be. The protections offered by the Internet to validate the Tails Linux website are insufficient.
By the end of 2014, Comcast plans on having enabled 8 million quasi-public XFINITY WiFi hotspots. Many of these hotspots will run off the home routers of Comcast customers (look for a network called xfinitywifi). Here I offer a long list of security issues with XFINITY WiFi.
My last two blogs were about the security offered by Chromebooks, focusing first on traveling, then on running Flash. Here I discuss how easy it is to own a Chromebook. Basically, they require no ongoing care and feeding. Quite revolutionary.
Recently Adobe released, yet another, emergency fix to their Flash player. It has been obvious for a long time that we can't trust Flash. Yet, despite a history of bugs that rivals Java, Flash remains popular. If you regularly need to use Flash enabled websites, the safest platform for doing so is a Chromebook.
In response to the pathetic report by Richard Engel of NBC about computer security in Russia and the Olympics, I argue that a Chromebook offers the most security possible when visiting enemy territory, wherever that may be. This is not the standard, oft-repeated advice offered by security companies.
When Windows users download the Adobe PDF Reader they are told that the download is roughly 48MB. But that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to total hard drive space needed by the Adobe Reader.