Relax, this hasn’t turned into a religious blog, I’m simply drawing a parallel to one of the best data recovery companies out there, Norwegian Ibas. Ibas are experts on recovering lost or hidden data. And it’s amazing how often they succeed. Take a look at this charred wreck of a burnt PC1):
On this particular PC 100% data was recovered.
What’s this got to do with you, you ask? Or with Gawd, for that matter?
Well, if you have sensitive data that you do not want anyone to find, let alone be able to read then companies like Ibas (or NSA, for that matter) are your worst nightmare. If the data has ever been stored on your computer these guys can probably find it. Pressing “Delete”, formatting the disk or using “fdisk” or similar tools will NOT do the job. If you have data that you want to get rid of, you need something serious.
Hence the God analogy – Ibas know how to treat the data so that they themselves cannot recover it. Enter: ExpertEraser
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is an independent non-profit public interest research center. They work on privacy issues, open government, free speech, and other important topics related to civil liberties.
If you’re not already a supporter, you might consider becoming one.
Anyway, today’s blog post is about their list of privacy tools. It’s certainly not a complete list, and they’re not doing anyone any favor listing Skype under “Voice Privacy” and “Secure Instant Messaging” (since Skype is Eviltm), but the list is a great compilation of good tools.
Check it out here: http://www.epic.org/privacy/tools.html
Do you like the Google search engine? Yeah? I do too. In fact, I LOVE Google, and basically don’t use any other search engine. Why would I? Google gives great search hits, it’s fast and has that lean, efficient interface that doesn’t get in the way of my searching for information.
But do I trust Google Inc. to do no evil, to know everything about me; every aspect of my life – and not misuse that information, today and in the forseeable future?
Maybe I’m being Ultraparanoid™, but I’d have to say ”NO!”.
”But Google doesn’t know everything about me”, you say. Well, let’s take a look at what Google DO know (or may know), shall we?
If you use GMail, Google reads all your mail. If you use Google Desktop, Google reads every document on your computer. Just those two are enough to give me the creeps. But it gets even worse – a lot worse!
So, you’re a security-minded individual who uses a HW firewall, a client firewall, antivirus SW and anti-spyware SW to protect yourself, your computer and your privacy. Great! Now you’ve found a great way to communicate with your friends and family in a secure fashion: Skype! Well, let’s take a deep breath and have a closer look at Skype. Here’s a conversation between me and you:
You: I’ve found a way to communicate with my friends and my family in a secure fashion!
Me: Wow, that’s great. Tell me more about it.
You: It’s a voice-over-IP program with chat functionality.
Me: Sounds nice, but how exactly is it “secure”?
You: It encrypts everything with a 256-bit EAS algorithm – it’s unbreakable!
Me: Yes, 256-bit AES is a strong algorithm. Did you make sure to choose a long and complex passphrase when generating the master key to keep the implementation of the encryption as strong as the algorithm lets you?