encryption posts on CNET

encryption

6 security tips for using public Wi-Fi

Don't expose yourself in public. We all do it: switch on a phone, laptop, or tablet and hop on to a Wi-Fi hotspot in airports, coffee shops, trains, hotels, and other public places. The problem is, those networks are open -- even if they require a login and password, you may be sharing your files or leaving doors open to data thieves. You can't secure the network, but you can raise siege walls between your private information and the barbarians. Follow these six tips to network more safely.

1. Lock down your security settings.

Go to the security … Read more

Hotspot Shield review

Hotspot Shield is a free tool and service that lets you connect to the Internet via Virtual Private Network (VPN). Hotspot Shield is mainly geared toward those who want a more secure connection when accessing the Internet from public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Pros

Value: Hotspot Shield is one of the largest free VPN services in the world. Though the free version is ad-supported, the paid Elite tier comes at an affordable price, with cross-platform support.

Customizable: Hotspot Shield allows you to connect from other countries. This not only helps to shield your connection origins, but it also potentially lets you access … Read more

Forget Flappy Bird. We're all hooked on 2048

CNET Update is much loving Doge2048:

In this episode of Update:

- Learn why 2048 is the new Flappy Bird, and say goodbye to productivity when you discover the parody game Doge2048. But if you want a game with more substance, check out "Papers, please," which won top honors at the Independent Games Festival.

- Know your Gmail is always encrypted, now that Google requires HTTPS.

- Gawk at the price of Samsung's 110-inch 4K television.

- Head to CNET on Tuesday to follow the live unveiling of the new HTC One smartphone.

CNET Update delivers the … Read more

Gmail: Encryption is now mandatory

Google has removed your ability to get out of encrypting your Gmail, the company announced Thursday.

This follows a 2010 decision to make HTTPS the default for Gmail communications, but up until today Google had given users the ability to not use encryption. Four years ago, the company explained the opt-out as necessary because encryption could "make your mail slower."

"The team has been working hard to mitigate any performance costs, which now puts us in a position where it no longer makes sense to allow HTTP connections," a Google spokesperson told CNET. "The large … Read more

Twitter reportedly nixes plan to secure messages from snooping

Twitter has reportedly put the kibosh on a project that would have protected your personal data from hackers and government snoops.

Purportedly dropping the project earlier this year, Twitter had initiated it as a way to secure direct messages, protected accounts, and personal information, The Verge said on Wednesday, citing anonymous sources. The aim was to make it more difficult for the government to gain hold of such information without a court order.

Twitter has been an outspoken critic of the methods used by the National Security Agency to vacuum up user data. Last month, the company revealed that it … Read more

FreedomPop's 'Snowden phone' encrypts your calls and data

Want to protect your phone calls and data from the feds, hackers, and other snoops? FreedomPop's new Privacy Phone promises to do just that.

Nicknamed the "Snowden phone" after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the phone is actually a Samsung Galaxy S2 that FreedomPop rejiggered into a call- and data-encrypting device. Equipped with 128-bit encryption, the phone aims to secure your voice calls and text messages. A built-in virtual private network lets you surf the Web anonymously.

Selling now for $189, the Privacy Phone comes with unlimited voice and texting. FreedomPop throws in 50MB of monthly data access … Read more

Klocwork: Our source code analyzer caught Apple's 'gotofail' bug

It was a single repeated line of code -- "goto fail" -- that left millions of Apple users vulnerable to Internet attacks until the company finally fixed it Tuesday.

That OS X security vulnerability, which also affected iOS users, arose out of Apple's custom implementation of a security standard known as SSL/TLS. By including the "goto fail" line twice in a row, the normal error check for some types of encryption signatures fails.

Now Klocwork, a company that makes source code analysis tools, is demonstrating that its product would have caught the errant second &… Read more

Yahoo, ICQ chats still vulnerable to government snoops

Nine months after Edward Snowden revealed extreme Internet surveillance by US and British intelligence agencies, some major technology companies have yet to take rudimentary steps to shield their users' instant messages from eavesdropping.

A CNET analysis shows that Yahoo and ICQ transmit the content of supposedly private instant messages in unencrypted form, exposing them to both government spies and malicious snoops on the same Wi-Fi network. AOL's AIM service encrypts content -- but leaks metadata about who's talking to whom.

These privacy problems were highlighted by a Guardian article Thursday, which revealed that spy agencies were eavesdropping on … Read more

How to encrypt your Kindle Fire HDX

Device encryption can be a great way to keep your data secure in case it falls into the wrong hands. For many users, however, it can be overkill and there's usually a performance hit to a device that's been encrypted. Using a PIN code to lock the device is usually an effective deterrent and software tools like Find My iPhone and Android Device Manager can help track, lock, or wipe lost devices.

Unfortunately for Kindle Fire HDX owners, there's no app available that's comparable to Find My iPhone or Android Device Manager. If you want to … Read more

Unique smartphones boast encryption, e-ink

CNET Update explores the quirky side of smartphones:

These are not your typical smartphones. In this episode of Update, learn about new smartphones that stand out with unique features, including:

- The Blackphone, made by Geeksphone in Switzerland, which encrypts calls, texts and data. It's arriving in June for $630.

- Panasonic's rugged Toughpad, designed for tough jobs that may involve barcode scanning.

- BlackBerry's upcoming Q20, which goes back to basics with a trackpad. It's also selling the Z3, a sub-$200 all-touchscreen phone that will be sold in emerging markets.

- The dual-screen YotaPhoneRead more