privacy

DarkDuckGo

2 minute read Published

Improve your search privacy on DuckDuckGo using custom URL parameters.

I’ve been using DuckDuckGo as my primary search engine since it was introduced to me by a colleague in Chicago. This was before I was able to close my Google account but some time after losing hundreds of photos leaving Facebook. And though I was aware DuckDuckGo maintains a hidden service for Tor users it wasn’t until recently I felt confident enough with my OS security to safely use it.

Rather than just bookmarking and using the DDG onion site, however, I decided to leverage some of the nifty URL params they’ve made available. Following is a quick rundown of the URL params I’m using to customize my DDG search experience for use with Tor. In After Dark fashion I’ve decided to name them “DarkDuckGo”.

Unbrick a Micro SD Card using Tails and macOS Mojave

7 minute read Published

Learn to dual-boot a Mac using a second operating system running Linux and use it to troubleshoot hardware problems by unbricking a Micro SD card.

Recently, while creating a physical back-up of my Mac, I ended up corrupting the Micro SD card I was using to perform the back-up operation. This translated into a one line cautionary alert inside the related blog post:

Caution: DO NOT attempt to remove the SD card or adapter during this process.

Turns out removing an SD card during a 100+ GB 77,000 file transfer from a Mac to an SD card isn’t the best idea – despite what a five year-old might tell you.

After several hours of toiling with Disk Utility, diskutil and dd on macOS the furthest I got was to experience the same issues as another individual who posted on Apple Exchange 3 years ago - their question unresolved, until now.

Managing Passwords on Android

2 minute read Updated

How to secure your passwords and keep them synced between devices.

After hacking Android onto an HD2 previously running Windows Mobile I quickly became challenged with the task of recalling passwords for frequently used apps – apps like Telegram, ProtonMail, Binance, Snapchat you name it.

And although long-term password management may feel like a burdensome task to some a steadfast approach is critical for security and relatively painless for anyone who’s been using a KeePass port the last decade.

How Free Speech Dies

3 minute read Published

On the suppression of free speech in today’s increasingly digital world.

I’m back in Bali after a trip to Anarchapulco and Chicago to pick up my cats. It was my first time back in the United States in over a year. Instead of a warm welcome back to my birth country I was promptly detained by a CBP officer and put in holding room while they ran a background check and attempted to obtain personal information.

After declining to give CBP my address in Bali and questioning them as to whether or not I was under arrest they were kind enough to inform me I was free to go at any time but that my passport belonged to the U.S. government and wasn’t my property.

It would appear surveillance states like post-9/11 USA don’t appreciate having their own citizens outside their visibility. That certainly wouldn’t suit the “Deep State” if such a thing existed now would it? The experience was very disheartening to say the least.

Breaking Up With Authenticator

3 minute read Updated

Why you may come to regret using Google Authenticator for two-factor auth.

One of the first things you’ll learn when you create your first bitcoin wallet is to set-up 2FA. The two most common forms of 2FA today are standard telephony and security tokens, which come in both the hard and soft and variety.

If we took hard U2F tokens off the table, we’re left with software and telephony. Which of the two would you choose? Well, it depends. Let’s explore.

4 Years Without Facebook

3 minute read Updated

How social media controls you. From a free-thinker in a society controlled by social media.

After a four year hiatus, I recently rejoined Facebook to give it another shot. Here’re some insights I gained since I left.

Take Flight with the Monero CLI Wallet

3 minute read Published

Be your own bank. Store your secure, private and untraceable cryptocurrency and keep it safe from prying eyes. Learn to take flight with the Monero CLI wallet.

Monero is a secure, private, and untraceable cryptocurrency. It is open-source and accessible to all. With Monero, you are your own bank. Only you control and are responsible for your funds. Your accounts and transactions are kept private from prying eyes. Learn how to install the Monero CLI wallet. There’s only one way…

Arise, you have nothing to lose but your barbed wire fences!

Timothy C. May, The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto

EFF withdraws from W3C. DPRK plays with fire.

1 minute read Published

On the withdrawal of the EFF from the W3C and current geopolitical climate.

Spotted this in the Frontend Focus. The EFF has chosen to withdraw from the W3C due to concerns in the direction the W3C moves as it relates to the openness of the World Wide Web. Perhaps not as alarming as KJU calling Trump a ‘dotard’ and threatening him with fire — it’s certainly not very settling either.

How to Live Without Google

1 minute read Published

Tips for owning your data and maintaining your privacy in the face of Goolag.

Here’s a collection of useful tools to help you maintain your privacy online. Use them instead of Google for max protection.

The Web We Have to Save

3 minute read Published

Regarding Sir Tim-Berners Lee's article on saving the Web

In March of 2017 Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web posted a short article on The Guardian covering three things we need to do to save the Web.

To paraphrase, they are:

  • Increase individual control over sharing of personal data
  • Improve diversity in Social media and Search channels
  • Create more transparency behind political advertising

The third of which is, in my opinion, really just an extension of the second, so let’s briefly cover the first two and what you can do as individuals to address Tim’s concerns right now. When you’re finished, you’ll have a deeper understanding of how to protect your privacy online.

Password Protection with PassKeeper

3 minute read Updated

How I lost all my passwords but it didn't affect me one bit.

After recently losing a USB flash drive with all my passwords on it, I was grateful for the precaution I took by storing my password data encrypted using Brad Greenlee’s PassKeeper password manager.

PassKeeper is a Windows utility that allows you to keep a list of accounts with usernames, passwords, and notes. This list is stored encrypted.

passkeeper.com