Apple confirms its new Differential Privacy feature will be opt-in only

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 24, 2016

iOS 10 and macOS Sierra tap into an interesting technology, called Differential Privacy, which makes possible data collection from a large number of users without compromising individual user’s security and privacy. Re/code has now learned from Apple that Differential Privacy will be opt-in only, meaning privacy-minded folks won’t be required to use the feature unless they specifically want to.

Bottom line: Apple won’t collect your data to make its services a lot smarter unless you specifically let it. Read More

 

Apple explains why iOS 10 kernel is unencrypted

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 23, 2016

Following the discovery by MIT Technology Review that the kernel in iOS 10 beta is unencrypted, Apple has gone on the record to explain why that’s the case. Speaking with Dave Mark of The Loop, an Apple spokesperson has officially confirmed that the decision was intentional.

Now, some security experts speculated that leaving the iOS 10 kernel unencrypted would aid anyone, nefarious users included, looking for security weaknesses in the iOS software.

Apple explains why such fears are unfounded. Read More

 

iOS 10 beta kernel is unencrypted, but why?

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 22, 2016

MIT Technology Review has discovered that the kernel in iOS 10 beta is unencrypted, making it a lot easier for technology-minded users, jailbreak developers and the like to take a peek under iOS’s hood and pinpoint any potential vulnerabilities.

For those wondering, kernels in all prior iOS betas used to be encrypted. Is this a bold move meant to help strengthen security in iOS 10 or will this decision actually introduce further security risks and open new attack vectors for hackers to exploit? Read More

 

iOS 10 tidbit: apps now must seek permission before accessing your music library

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 15, 2016

Apple has made some changes to how iOS handles apps that wish to access users’ music libraries, with iOS 10 now requiring your explicit permission before any app is allowed to interact with your music.

This new safeguard increases your privacy while ensuring that no app can silently analyze what’s in your music library without you knowing it. Additionally, it makes it more difficult, if not downright impossible, for apps to potentially upload your music library to the cloud in order build a profile of your musical tastes for advertising purposes. Read More

 

Facebook Messenger said to be rolling out opt-in encryption in the coming months

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 1, 2016

After WhatsApp and Viber both introduced end-to-end encryption last month, Facebook Messenger will become the next major messaging app to roll out this essential security feature, reports The Guardian.

Although end-to-end encryption on Messenger will be framed as an optional feature that users will need to manually enable, it will ensure that the contents of communications are hidden from eavesdroppers and that the identities of the participants are concealed. Read More

 

Apple brings back security expert Jon Callas following FBI dispute

By Cody Lee on May 24, 2016

Apple this month brought back software engineer and top expert in practical cryptography Jon Callas, reports Reuters. The move follows Apple’s high-profile battle with the FBI, and amidst a growing war between governments and tech firms over encryption.

Callas worked at Apple in the ’90s, and again between 2009 and 2011, when he designed encryption to protect data stored on Mac computers. He rejoined the company in May, to help add more powerful security features to its wide range of consumer products. Read More

 

Chinese government hopes Apple can provide “secure user experience”

By Christian Zibreg on May 19, 2016

Earlier in the week, Apple’s boss Tim Cook embarked on a charm offensive in China in an attempt to appease the government and its agencies, which have already forced the iPhone maker to shut down the iBooks and iTunes Movie stores in the massive 1.35 billion people market.

As noted by Reuters, in meeting with Cook in Beijing, head of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) underscored the importance of strong security of Apple’s products for the Chinese consumer. Read More

 

Apple’s new Touch ID rule requires you to enter passcode more often than before

By Christian Zibreg on May 19, 2016

Has your iPhone or iPad been asking you to enter your passcode after you wake up, even though you normally used to unlock it with Touch ID?

You’re not alone. As first discovered by MacWorld’s Glenn Fleishman, this is the result of a new Touch ID rule which Apple quietly implemented since iOS 9 was released. Read More

 

Uber app now lets you track family members

By Christian Zibreg on May 18, 2016

Ride-sharing service Uber today announced an interesting new feature for its mobile application on the App Store, introducing a Find My Friends-like feature that permits you to track family members on the map. Called Trip Tracker, this new feature provides automatic notifications and the ability to follow along on the map whenever someone is riding under your Family Profile. Trip Tracker and Family Profile features are available worldwide starting today. Read More

 

How to stop your iPhone from counting your steps and tracking fitness activity

By Sébastien Page on May 18, 2016

Newer iPhones come with a chip called a motion coprocessor which gathers data from the accelerometers, gyroscopes and compasses of the device to precisely measure motion and fitness data such as body motion, step count, stairs climbed, and more. Most people, including yours truly, do appreciate the data collected as it’s particularly helpful if you want to use your iPhone as a step counter and pedometer, for instance. Others are creeped out by this feature.

If you belong to the latter group of people, then I will show you a quick and easy way to stop your iPhone from tracking your steps and other fitness activity. Read More

 

Apple just shot down an app that could detect iPhone malware

By Christian Zibreg on May 16, 2016

Stefan Esser’s iPhone app, called System and Security Info, can no longer be downloaded from the App Store, as first noted by The Next Web. Esser’s software let iPhone users know if their device had malware that could be used to spy on them, and could detect a jailbreak, too.

The app was removed from the App Store earlier this morning. Esser was basically told that detecting weaknesses in a user’s device could lead to “potentially inaccurate and misleading diagnostic functionality for iOS devices.” Read More

 

How and why to report spammy iMessages to Apple

By Anthony Bouchard on May 16, 2016

Sometimes your contact information ends up where you don’t want it, and you end up with annoying spam iMessages from people, companies, or bots that try to scam you or steal personal information.

Fortunately, Apple’s iMessage service comes with an abuse report feature that you can use to report senders who are misusing the iMessage platform and making it a less enjoyable thing to use.

In this piece, we’ll talk about how and why you should be reporting iMessages that seem spammy. Read More

 

How to delete recent Apple Music searches from your iPhone

By Anthony Bouchard on May 12, 2016

Apple Music, which is Apple’s own answer to the music-streaming industry, is a great place to easily search for a song you want to listen to and then play it on demand.

The only problem is, Apple Music keeps a running history of the songs you search for.

So now when you have your co-pilot in the passenger seat of your car choose a new song for you (because we know you don’t use your iPhone and drive at the same time!) he’s going to laugh at you because of the last time you felt like jamming out to some really embarrassing music.

Well fret not; in this tutorial, we’ll show you how you can delete recent searches from the Apple Music app on your iOS device. Read More

 

Ensuring your Mac is receiving updates about new malware and compromised web plug-ins

By Christian Zibreg on May 10, 2016

Among the plethora of built-in OS X features that help keep your Mac secure is something called File Quarantine, a download validation technology that checks any downloads for known malware when you try to open them.

File Quarantine is also available in compatible applications like Safari, Messages, iChat and Mail that download files from the Internet or receive files from external sources, such as email attachments.

Additionally, OS X blocks compromised versions of web plug-ins from functioning, including Java web apps and Adobe Flash content, to further limit your Mac’s exposure to potential zero day exploits.

In this tutorial, we’ll discuss how you can make sure that File Quarantine updates are turned on, which will allow your Mac to receive latest malware definitions and information about compromised web plug-ins from Apple. Read More

 

ASBlur increases iOS 9 App Switcher privacy by blurring app previews

By Anthony Bouchard on May 3, 2016

You probably use the App Switcher a lot throughout your day-to-day iPhone usage. It’s an essential part of multitasking because it lets you easily get back to the apps you’ve used recently.

On the other hand, it also takes a screenshot of your last activity in the apps you closed recently, so it’s a privacy hazard because anyone can peek over your shoulder to see what you’ve done recently when you’re switching between recently-used apps.

ASBlur is a new free jailbreak tweak that helps solve this problem by blurring the contents of your App Switcher app previews. Read More

 

LogDog for iOS lets you monitor the security of your online accounts

By Anthony Bouchard on May 2, 2016

LogDog, a service originally made popular on the Android platform for keeping your various online accounts safe from unauthorized activity, is now launching for iOS.

With LogDog, you can actively monitor your online accounts and keep an eye on where the most recent logins came from, what operating system and web browser was used, and more.

If you’re always worried about your security, or even your privacy, this is an app you’ll want to check out. Read More

 

SilentMessenger enhances your Facebook & Facebook Messenger privacy

By Anthony Bouchard on Apr 24, 2016

Facebook and Facebook Messenger users who have a jailbroken iOS device are going to love the benefits of using a new jailbreak tweak called SilentMessenger.

This tweak is going to provide these users with additional steps to protect their privacy and keep their footprint in the Facebook apps as minimal as possible from the perspective of other users who are online. Moreover, it also supercharges some other features of the apps.

In this review, we’ll talk about what SilentMessenger can do for your Facebook experience, and walk you through all of the tweak’s options. Read More

 

How to remove location from your Instagram photos

By Sébastien Page on Apr 22, 2016

Instagram, like many other apps, lets you tag your photos with the location of where they were taken. It’s a neat feature that can leave a trail of your whereabouts, and can also be used in the photo map of your profile to have a visual representation of where all your photos have been taken.

But sometimes, having your location out there can raise privacy concerns. I personally recently realized that a large number of my Instagram photos were showing on my photo map as being sent from my house. Although I had never manually geotagged these photos, a bug (or maybe more accurately, an “oversight”) in the Instagram app had pinned all my uploaded photos to the location where I uploaded them from (mostly from my house). This bug has been fixed since August of 2015, but still, all photos uploaded until then showed up on my photo map, even though I had never geotagged them to begin with.

Long story short, I really got a scary moment when I realized that any stalker could easily figure out the location of my house just by looking at my photo map. This led me to remove a lot of photos from my photo map, and made me realize that I should probably share this tip and make sure you also do a privacy check of your Instagram uploads.

In this post, I will show you how to delete the location from individual photos you have previously geotagged. I will also show you how to remove location data from photos appearing in your photo map. Read More

 

Tip: increase your privacy by removing location from Diagnostic & Usage Data logs

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 18, 2016

Apple collects anonymous information about how you use your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and other devices so that it can improve its products in future releases. End users can easily opt in and out of diagnostic collection in the Settings → Privacy → Diagnostics & Usage section.

I have this enabled to help Apple improve their products, but privacy-minded people might opt out of diagnostic collection on the grounds that the logs include their approximate location.

In this tutorial, we’ll explore increasing your privacy on iOS by having your location excluded from diagnostic data that iOS creates. Read More

 
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