Locked without a key

This privacy tool comes with a lot of different options for locking your desktop; however, we encountered a glitch with its virtual desktop feature.

Desktop Lock has an easy to use interface that consists of three straightforward buttons, one for locking the computer, one for configuring your settings, and another for activating your virtual screen. The lock options let you choose what to display when the desktop is locked, such as hiding windows or leaving everything in view. From there, you can also set your hot key combinations for locking and unlocking the program. You also can easily enter banner … Read more

Encryption options are scarce with Cypher

This bare-bones file encryption program does what it sets out to do, but it doesn't offer much in terms of options and design.

Despite its overly basic interface, Cypher does support drag-and-drop functionality, and because it's an executable, you won't have to install it. You can choose to either browse for the file or drag and drop it to the search field. A small window appears, asking if you want to encrypt or decrypt the file, and to enter a password. That's it as far as options go. There's only one algorithm option (AES), and … Read more

Find secure encryption with CryptoLab

While we were a little put off by this free text encryption program's registration process, we found its performance reliable and secure.

The makers of CryptoLab didn't put much effort in designing the interface, but it is easy to navigate. You can choose from a long list of encryption methods, including AES, DES, and Blowfish. The settings menu lets you create a master password for protecting the program. You can also set your key length. We simply selected an algorithm, typed our message into the text field, and chose the random option when creating a key. But before … Read more

Iomega gets a holiday eGo boost

Iomega continues to impress us with its sexy, sleek external hard drives. We just recently reviewed the eGo Helium, a drive catered to Apple fanboys. There's also the eGo Camo that's useful for secretly accessing your data in the forest, and the eGo Brown Leather that makes a perfect present for your friendly neighborhood alcoholic. This time, they're introducing two new drives to their eGo line. Check 'em out!

This is the eGo Encrypt. It actually bears a striking resemblance to the eGo Helium, with its silver case and clean lines, but this one is a little … Read more

Obama's attorney general pick: Good on privacy?

Eric Holder, President-elect Barack Obama's pick for attorney general, drew applause from liberal Democrats earlier this year when he denounced the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program.

A review of Holder's public statements, speeches, and testimony when he was a top Justice Department official in the Clinton administration, however, reveals a more nuanced record on privacy. His remarks indicate support for laws mandating Internet traceability, limits on domestic use of encryption, and more restrictions on free speech online. He also called for new powers for federal prosecutors, some of which became law under President Bush as part of … Read more

Gmail 'vulnerability' turns out to be phishing scam

Reports that a purported Gmail vulnerability was being used by unauthorized third parties to hijack domains turned out to be nothing more than a phishing scam, Google announced Tuesday.

The alleged vulnerability reportedly allowed an attacker to set up filters on users' e-mail accounts without their knowledge, according to a proof of concept posted Sunday at the blog Geek Condition. In the post, Geek Condition's "Brandon" wrote that the vulnerability had caused some people to lose their domain names registered through GoDaddy.com.

However, after consulting with those who claimed to be affected by the so-called vulnerability, … Read more

Foil laptop thieves with a text message

This article was corrected at 2 p.m. PT to reflect the proper spelling of Cannady's name.

An SMS message can be a powerful thing when it comes to laptop security.

There are a considerable number of security measures available to companies to protect their valuable data on employee hard drives. Self-encrypting hard drives and security software are touted as the latest solutions, but the PC has to be turned off for the data to be secured by encryption. If a notebook is stolen while in hibernation mode, or even while the operating system is fully loaded, there's … Read more

Gmail exploit may allow attackers to forward e-mail

Updated November 24 at 10:10 a.m. PST: Adds comment from Google representative.

A Gmail security vulnerability may allow an attacker to set up filters on users' e-mail accounts without their knowledge, according to a proof of concept posted Sunday at the blog Geek Condition.

In a post, Geek Condition's "Brandon" writes that the vulnerability has caused some people to lose their domain names registered through GoDaddy.com.

Without posting the full exploit, Brandon explains that it relies on obtaining the variables that represent the username and "at":

When you create a filter in … Read more

Don't confuse the economy with data privacy

This week, the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Regulations pushed back the deadline to comply with a new state law mandating encryption of sensitive consumer data. The law, passed in September 2008, was supposed to take effect on January 1, 2008. Instead, the deadline will now be pushed back to May 1.

Why the change? The extension was driven by the current economic crisis in order to give companies a bit more leeway.

OK, I read the papers and see what's going on. Yes, the economy is a mess and it ain't gonna get much better between … Read more

Featured Freeware: Rohos Mini Drive

USB drives are simple to carry, but easy to misplace, and that can be risky when it comes to sensitive information. Rohos Mini Drive is a freeware app that safeguards personal documents by creating a password-protected partition on your flash drive. The download actually installs two programs: one, Rohos Mini Drive, is the partition manager that self-installs as a portable app on the drive when you create the partition; the second, Rohos Disk Browser, is a portable file manager, which can be useful when the encrypted partition can't be read by the host computer.

Operating Rohos Mini Drive is … Read more