unsplash-logoMatt Hoffman

Security & Privacy Articles

iOS Content Blockers

Mobile device browser content blockers are becoming popular as more websites offer up more advertising in the way of ads and tracking, images, scripts, social media buttons and comments making the browsing experience less than enjoyable. Content blocking has become more popular among consumers and are a way of telling publishers and companies who advertise on websites that they want a less intrusive web experience. There are many ad blocker apps available with some differences in terms of options, and many allowing what is called “whitelisting” for those consumers who want to support sites they visit frequently by allowing advertising impressions.

Some ad blockers are free to download and try out, but to get a full list of features which enable the software more effective, you will need to pay via an in-app purchase.

How does an ad blocker work?

2FA (Two-Factor Authentication)

Two-step verification or two-step authentication is a method of confirming a user's identity by utilizing something you know (such as a password) and a second factor other than something you have (such as a hardware token or cell phone) or something you are (such as your fingerprint). An example of a second step is the user repeating back something that was sent to you through an out-of-band mechanism (activity outside a defined telecommunications frequency band, or, metaphorically, outside some other kind of activity). In most cases, the second step in authentication is a six digit numeric code which is either 1) sent to you via a text message on your phone which can only be used once, or 2) generated by an app that is common to the user and the authentication system. Two-factor means the system is using two of these options.  How to set up Facebook 2FA here.

Financial institutions and your personal data

If you think your personal data is safe when visiting financial institutions, think again.

According to the German company, eBlocker, which manufactures online privacy tools there are more than 110 third party trackers snooping on visitors each time they visit 10 of the top financial institutions. 

Choosing a Password Manager for your Data Security

Browser plugins work to help circumvent identity and block trackers. Ghostery  is a (free) plugin available for popular browsers including Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, iOS and Android which identifies and can block over 2,000 online tracking services included in its' database.

Ghostery Privacy Browser Extension

Browser plugins work to help circumvent identity and block trackers. Ghostery  is a (free) plugin available for popular browsers including Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, iOS and Android which identifies and can block over 2,000 online tracking services included in its' database.

LastPass Password Manager

LastPass is probably one of the best password managers for most people since it has all the essential features including usernames and passwords, nurse contact information, software licenses, credit cards, secure notes and supports image and PDF attachments.

1Password

1Password is another very good password manager particularly for the Mac and iOS. It is available for Windows but does not work on all Chrome books. 1Password costs $36 per year for individuals, $60 per year for families up to five and additionally, you can make a one time purchase of $65 that will work on any number of devices or platforms for one user. Family and business subscriptions have sharing capabilities with more options.

eWallet

eWallet password manager was available for several years before smart phones as we know them now. I remember using eWallet on my Palm Pilot and later on my Pocket PC, and in fact, it is still one of the password managers in my digital protection toolkit.