Tag Archives: privacy


Content Blocking in iOS 9 with Adamant

One of the most popular, if controversial, features of iOS 9 is the built-in support for content blockers in Safari. On the one hand, I think most people are probably willing to pay for quality content; on the other hand, a lot of pretty awful stuff goes on in the world of online advertising, especially on mobile devices. Trying to access many mobile sites, especially mobile news sites, can result in massive amounts of data and battery use … just to get to the ads. It’s one thing to agree to wa…


Browse More Privately with the Privacy Badger


Do you like privacy online? Do you like adorable–if fierce–animals? Of course you do! So you will probably be interested in the fact that, earlier this month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (previously) announced that Privacy Badger, their anti-tracking browser extension, has officially reached 1.0 status, and is now available in a stable release for Chrome and Firefox users.

Privacy Badger differs from adblockers in that it does not block ads as such; instead, it blocks a specific behavior…


What to Do in Case of a Data Breach?

The only good kind of breach.

[Lee Skallerup Bessette is a Faculty Instructional Consultant at the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CELT) at the University of Kentucky. She primarily works with faculty on digital pedagogy and digital humanities. She blogs at College Ready Writing and you can find her tweeting prolifically at @readywriting.–@JBJ]

You might be one of the 80 million people impacted by the cyber-security breach at health insurance provider Anthem yesterday; I am. [Me, too! – JBJ] While my me…


Weekend Reading: Hello October Edition

Happy Friday, ProfHackers!

The Atlantic confirms what many us have known for some time now: “Online Relationships Are Real.” Also from The Atlantic is an interesting look at they way NYU philosopher Helen Nissbaum is shaping national policy on privacy.

It’s football season, which means different things for different campuses: tailgates, crowds, difficulty parking, empty libraries (my personal favorite!), but this year it also means something very different: concussions. Last weekend, the Univers…


A Not-so-gentle Reminder about Security: Heartbleed

A couple of days before yesterday’s post was scheduled to run, we started hearing about the Heartbleed Bug.

This is a nasty one. It’s been out for quite a while, and it’s a flaw in a software library that’s used by a very high number of websites. Check the link above for the details of just how nasty the bug is.

What can readers do to protect their data?

An important part of the necessary response is beyond any individual user’s control. If a website was using the affected version of OpenSSL, i…


A Gentle Reminder about Security


[Editor's note: We will publish a follow-up post next week tomorrow about the Heartbleed Bug, which has been making headlines this week. You can read this follow-up post here.]

There are a lot of benefits to doing much of our work online. Collaboration with far-away colleagues is easy, we can have ready access to our work no matter what device we’re using, and having our work backed up in the cloud can be reassuring.

But there’s danger as well, unfortunately. In just the past two months, at lea…


A Good Time to Check Your Social Media Privacy Settings

Over at the New York Times “Bits” blog, Nick Bilton reminds us that we should review “who has access to [our] social accounts” from time to time. Services like Twitter, Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn often invite us to link certain services to our accounts, for reasons that vary from making it easier to update multiple accounts at once to being able to authenticate our identity for a third-party service. It’s all too easy to forget just how many of those third-party services have been granted a…


Ghostery on Your Machine: Stop Sites from Tracking You

Suppose that you visited the website of the New York Times this morning. If you were me, then you likely skimmed past ads for eyeglasses, an advertorial for Dell, a link to graduate programs at Columbia, and innumerable ads for home delivery of the Times. Those ads were targeted at me: I recently bought glasses, I recently looked for some computer hardware, and I’m a graduate student. Your ads were probably different, but they were almost certainly targeted at you in some way.

What’s going on h…


To Keep Gmail Inbox Under Control, Adjust Google+ Setting

Earlier this month, the Gmail blog announced that by more tightly integrating their social media platform, Google+, with their web-based email service, Gmail, they’ve made it possible for you to “[r]each the people you know more easily.”

I can understand why they didn’t title their announcement “Now anyone on Google+ can send you email without knowing your email address,” but that would have been just as accurate. You see, the default setting in your Gmail account is to allow anyone with a Goog…


Data Mining and Facebook Graph Search

Random Number Multiples - RGBIf you haven’t fled Facebook for Google+ or abandoned social networks entirely, you probably–like me–have a lot invested in the platform. A new feature is in beta on Facebook: Graph Search. If you get through the waiting list to try it out, you’ll find lots of options for targeted searches centered on your social network. Graph search works by linking together terms and restrictions to allow for very specific searches within the network: you can look for images from friends based on a common loc…