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  1. #1
    Are you concerned about privacy?
    Rod Sprague's Avatar
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    Are you concerned about privacy?
    Recently I received an email advertising an app to secure and encrypt files and folders on my MacBook now available on the App Store. I had a look at the reviews and they were awful (mind you that doesn't always mean anything). It initiated a conversation with a friend of mine who asked why not just create a .dmg file with Disk Utility, encrypt it so that it requires a password to open and don't save the password in KeyChain. You can specify the size you want, give it an innocent name and put it anywhere, even on your desktop.
    I tried this and it works perfectly. When you unmount/eject it the contents cannot be found by the Finder or Spotlight.
    I just drag my sensitive data into the open window of the dmg and trash the originals.
    Has anyone else tried this?
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  2. #2
    Are you concerned about privacy?
    chas_m's Avatar
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    I don't really have any data I consider sensitive enough to bother doing any of that. I may be an atypical consumer, but about the most sensitive info I keep on my computer other than pictures of nekkid people (all adults, I assure you) are my previous tax filings ... and the government already has a copy.

    I am not bothered by Facebook or the NSA knowing that I am nuts about Doctor Who and Devo and routinely go to the theatre, or that I find black humour funny. I block their ads. My tastes run to the obscure but decidedly boring, I try to obey all just laws, and I don't like a lot of what's popular so I'm a bit difficult to market to.

    I appreciate that some people have to keep info they consider sensitive on their computer -- business data or medical/financial stuff, et al. The method you describe works fine, a program like Hider 2 goes the extra step and makes the file/folder invisible, if you need that.

  3. #3
    Are you concerned about privacy?
    Rod Sprague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    I don't really have any data I consider sensitive enough to bother doing any of that. I may be an atypical consumer, but about the most sensitive info I keep on my computer other than pictures of nekkid people (all adults, I assure you) are my previous tax filings ... and the government already has a copy.

    I am not bothered by Facebook or the NSA knowing that I am nuts about Doctor Who and Devo and routinely go to the theatre, or that I find black humour funny. I block their ads. My tastes run to the obscure but decidedly boring, I try to obey all just laws, and I don't like a lot of what's popular so I'm a bit difficult to market to.

    I appreciate that some people have to keep info they consider sensitive on their computer -- business data or medical/financial stuff, et al. The method you describe works fine, a program like Hider 2 goes the extra step and makes the file/folder invisible, if you need that.
    Ahh, the simple life. I suppose most of what I'd consider 'sensitive' data is in the form of online financial institution passwords, account numbers etc and my iTunes, PayPal, insurance company passwords, copy of my passport, tax file number, Apple ID, email passwords, stuff I wouldn't want to fall into the wrong hands if my laptop were stolen which considering the amount of time I spend overseas is always a possibility. No pictures of nekkid people though and I too like Dr. Who an Devo and dont care who knows it.
    Identity theft is however a real threat these days and I dont like the idea of anyone being me except me.
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  4. #4
    Are you concerned about privacy?
    cptkrf's Avatar
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    Actually, I think the privacy discussions are missing the point. Most people, including me, have very little to hide that anyone would be interested in, other than the vital info that makes up the data picture of you. Lack of Internet privacy is a concern, but I really don't care if someone finds out what movies I like to watch. That being said, it is my business and no one else's.

    But, the problem is that the world considers your data as public domain information. That is, you don't own it and have no control over it. It is our data about you, and if you don't like our collecting it - tough! But with no control and no oversight, especially by the person it is about, the following scenarios will come about. Note that I don't say, "can come about", because it is already happening...

    You don't get the job you were qualified for and have no idea why. If the data were actually yours, you would know that the employer found out about that shoplifting gig you were arrested for in San Diego. You can't even protest that you have never even been in California and that it has to be a mistake - because you don't even know about it.

    You don't get in the college you want because of the wrong high school transcript in some remote data miner's database.

    Your car insurance is higher due to the three accidents you have had in the past two years. Interesting, because your three year old car doesn't have a scratch on it.

    Can't find an apartment that will rent to you. Too bad the guy with the same name likes wild parties that always seem to get busted.

    All the above and infinitely more are hard enough to change when you know about the mistakes - heck, just try to get a wrong record changed by a credit reporting company inside of six months and ten dollars in postage. And those are legitimate and regulated businesses. For the 99.999% of the mined records about you that are on spinning hard drives all around the world, you don't have a chance.

    Qualified person please insert answer to problem here________________

  5. #5
    Are you concerned about privacy?
    Rod Sprague's Avatar
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    cptkrf, you make very good points, there is no doubt that our "public" profile is determined by often erroneous or outdated information. I notice that FaceBook is talking about allowing people to delete old outdated information, posts, photos etc. that would otherwise potentially be publicly available forever. I'm sure many of us may have posted stuff in our teenage years that we might later regret.
    As to security of information I had an unfortunate experience with eBay where a person purchased an iPhone from me. They pressed the "buy now" button on the auction, effectively preventing anyone else from bidding. They then requested I contact them by personal email which I refused to do. They then requested I post the item to an address in Africa when the item was clearly marked for sale in Australia only. I refused this request as well but the item was still sold according to eBay. I had to contact eBay directly in the end to remove the item and relist it but I continued to receive irate emails via ebay from the first buyer. Eventually I had to register a dispute and finally discovered that the original account holder in the UK had had his account pirated but it was now officially cancelled. This whole mess cost me time and money and turned a one week auction into a three week annoyance.
    Only a month ago my wife received an email purporting to be from an old friend who had been imprisoned in South America while on holiday for a crime she did not commit. She was requesting money for bribes and legal costs. We checked with the actual person via phone and confirmed that she was not in South America advising her that her email account was compromised.
    My point is that if people don't take reasonable steps to protect their user names and passwords and even sometimes when they do, their various online identities can easily be pirated and used to scam others.
    I'm sure there are people out there who do not have significant digital lives, who do not use online banking, do not subscribe to many online services and use the same user name and password for everything. It is not until you are the victim of a scam that you realise just how easy it is for people to steal your ID and personal details. This can be done just by systematically going through someone's trash for correspondence from banks, insurance companies and utility providers.
    Personal information is now stored on so many databases that it is impossible to prevent disreputable people from obtaining at least some of it. It is now a valuable commodity. Do a Google search on yourself, I did and found five instances of my name.
    I think it behoves all of us to take simple free steps to secure what personal information we can. Losing a credit card is bad enough but losing an unsecured mobile phone or laptop is much worse.
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  6. #6
    Are you concerned about privacy?
    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Personally Rod I only use financial institutions that use Verisign Identity Protection random password generators. And for mobile phones the best insurance is pre-paid for me.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  7. #7
    Are you concerned about privacy?
    McBie's Avatar
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    When it comes to privacy, the most important piece of information you need to protect is your identity.
    Other types of information is secondary, unless you have something to hide.
    No need for encrypting discs and so on, only thing you should encrypt is your communication channel.

    People are sometimes careless with their identities ( weak passwords, sharing credentials etc ..... )

    Cheers ... McBie
    A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
    The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.

  8. #8
    Are you concerned about privacy?
    vansmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McBie View Post
    Other types of information is secondary, unless you have something to hide.
    This is faulty logic my good man. The whole "unless you have something to hide" discourse is incredibly problematic because it assumes that I am okay with divulging the mundane details of my life since I don't do anything wrong. There's no reason for people to know my browsing habits, communications, etc. and none of that is wrong. A perfect example of this is one's medical history - I'm not going to let people access my medical history because there's nothing wrong with it. The same thing goes for where I choose to go each day. No one needs to be able to track where I go because I don't do anything wrong. I have nothing to hide about my daily destinations but I should have control over who knows this.

    Essentially,we each have a right to privacy that extends to what we choose to have private, regardless of moral condition.
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  9. #9
    Are you concerned about privacy?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    I think everyone is concerned about privacy. Some folks more...some folks less.

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  10. #10
    Are you concerned about privacy?
    cptkrf's Avatar
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    Actually, trying to maintain your privacy can be difficult and legally impossible.

    I have a young nephew who is the IT manager for a large network. And he is a techie type manager - that is, he came up from setting interrupts, swapping chips and so forth, not from a MBA type class that is all theory and no practical experience. And, from his experiences he has become a privacy... well, nut.

    Some his his experiences as he has related them to me...

    His doctor flat told him that, "You have to complete all these forms, including non-medical info such as schooling, house ownership, marital status, arrest record, (etc) or you will just have to find another doctor."

    The car dealership said, "Even though you are paying cash for your car, we have to do a credit check on you, so fill out these three forms. Or find another dealer."

    The bank said, "If you wish to draw more than two hundred dollars from YOUR account, you have to give us your thumbprint."

    The state said, "No fishing license without your social security number."

    The rural water supply company said, "Sorry. We can't hook up you to service unless you give us two references, including their names, addresses and phone numbers."

    ... and so on, Ad Nauseum.

    I am retired so I seldom hit any of those areas, but I can say that the car dealership - a different one - required me to fill out a credit form to buy a car with cash. "WTH?" I ask. "Sorry, that's the law."

    The only way is a squatters cabin way up in the mountains, and even then, Google is watching you from above about every six months.

  11. #11
    Are you concerned about privacy?
    McBie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vansmith View Post

    Essentially,we each have a right to privacy that extends to what we choose to have private, regardless of moral condition.
    Very true, but keep in mind that you are not in control of your own medical records ( as an example ), places you visit, things you buy etc ....
    Everywhere you go you are already leaving a digital fingerprint, outside of your control.
    I have full respect of how other people manage their privacy, but we should never pretend that we are the only one's that are in control of our own digital data...... those days are long gone.

    We do have rights, the question is how these rights are executed :-)

    Edit .... also, let's not mix privacy with confidentiality which is a whole different ballgame.

    Cheers ... McBie
    Last edited by McBie; 05-21-2014 at 12:55 PM.
    A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
    The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.

  12. #12
    Are you concerned about privacy?

    Member Since
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    Lost Computer
    Some years ago, a friend traveling across country stopped at a roadside restaurant, to find later that someone had stolen their laptop out of their car. Frequently used for their bank accounts, credit cards, online Stock transactions. Emails, phone numbers, contact information for friends and business on computer. They were not prepared, even at home, to find all those account numbers, and so on.

    They lost a Windows computer with no password on it.

    By the way, the other day I used Ophcrack to get a PW off a Windows XP computer two weeks ago, and the program works as easy as childs play for a Password which is in the dictionary.

    R U prepared to lose your computer, whether laptop or computer in your home?

  13. #13
    Are you concerned about privacy?
    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Concerned about privacy?

    Only when I'm naked.

  14. #14
    Are you concerned about privacy?
    cptkrf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Sprague View Post
    Recently I received an email advertising an app to secure and encrypt files and folders on my MacBook now available on the App Store. I had a look at the reviews and they were awful (mind you that doesn't always mean anything). It initiated a conversation with a friend of mine who asked why not just create a .dmg file with Disk Utility, encrypt it so that it requires a password to open and don't save the password in KeyChain. You can specify the size you want, give it an innocent name and put it anywhere, even on your desktop.
    I tried this and it works perfectly. When you unmount/eject it the contents cannot be found by the Finder or Spotlight.
    I just drag my sensitive data into the open window of the dmg and trash the originals.
    Has anyone else tried this?
    Wow!!! Somehow I missed the meat of this post on first reading. That is a great idea for a local encryption setup. It is faster to use than Truecrypt and easier than GPG. In fact, with a little scripting you could make your own password manager with no worries about who wrote it and what they might have put in it. Click on the image you have made, enter your (really good) password, then get or drop what you want. Right click and unmount and be on your way.

    Thanks Rod!

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