Questions about protecting your privacy on your computer. Questions about privacy in web applications belong in WebApps.

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97
votes
2answers
18k views

How to avoid exposing my MAC address when using IPv6?

On my Macs, each IPv6 address includes the MAC address of a specific computer (not of my router). Sites such as ipv6-test.com not only show it, but even tell me it belongs to an Apple computer. This ...
64
votes
15answers
7k views

What are the benefits of using a proxy?

I know students and employees use them to get by web filters. But what else? I hear about "privacy and security" but I can never find anything really explaining it. I did see one link that said it ...
39
votes
19answers
10k views

Destroy a hard drive without proper equipment [closed]

I need to make two hard drives unreadable. Unfortunately, I have some constraints which make this harder than usual (in particular, they rule out the answers to other questions): I don’t have a ...
34
votes
3answers
11k views

Can a site detect if I use AdBlock in Firefox?

I recently visited (an official) website in search for an episode of a TV-show. The site popped an information dialog stating that I had to disable AdBlock to see the content. Is this at all possible ...
31
votes
4answers
916 views

Can the URL be read by third parties when browsing via HTTPS?

We all know that HTTPS encrypts the connection between the computer and the server so that it cannot be viewed by a third party. However, can the ISP or a third party see the exact link of the page ...
25
votes
8answers
19k views

Can my ISP monitor me?

I'm an atheist visiting a islamic republic where the punishmnent for apostacy may be high. Is it possible for an ISP to see the websites I might browse or what kind of blasphemous conversations I ...
25
votes
6answers
5k views

How to disable permission to read 'System Fonts' and 'Browser Plugin Details' in Chrome and Firefox

Going to http://panopticlick.eff.org/ I can see that that Firefox and Chrome expose more about 'System Fonts' and 'Browser Plugin Details' than I prefer. How can the permission of a web page to ...
21
votes
10answers
4k views

Is it safe to keep semi-sensitive information in Dropbox?

I wouldn't trust Dropbox with my bank details and such (because there are lots of people looking for that kind of information), but is it safe to keep things which might be valuable to a small number ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

I'm using Chrome and Chrome Sync; does Google have access to my passwords?

I've been using Chrome (and Chrome Sync) for many years now. Does that mean Google, the owner of Chrome, knows all my passwords? I ask because I realized that Google owns Chrome, and also, it is a ...
21
votes
5answers
59k views

How can I hide the most visited sites on Chrome?

Since the last update it has been impossible to hide the most visited sites. I don't know if it's some temporary sick joke by the chrome team but I need to remove it. I have tried changing my home to ...
18
votes
15answers
2k views

Surfing the web anonymously

What is the best, fastest, safest way to surf the web anonymously, and how much anonymity can you really achieve?
15
votes
12answers
3k views

Keeping websites from knowing where I live

This questions is related to issues and practicality, not security. I live in Brazil and, apparently, every single website I visit knows about it. Usually that's okay. But there are quite a few ...
15
votes
1answer
20k views

How to delete an URL from Chrome's Omnibox suggestions? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I delete previously entered items from Google Chrome Omnibox? Chrome: remove URL from autocomplete which doesn't show up in history? How can I delete an URL ...
15
votes
3answers
16k views

Blocking facebook's Like button in firefox [closed]

Many sites today use widgets from facebook such as the Like button, list of friends who are fans of that site and so on. While it may be a nice feature, I perceive it to be a serious privacy ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How to setup a work -> home -> internet http tunneling service

I want to know which program is recommended in order to setup such as scenario, i.e. accessing the Internet from work or other places where traffic is monitored by installing a HTTP tunneling service ...
13
votes
2answers
6k views

Skype IM Privacy Settings

I have my skype privacy settings defined to only allow IMs from people in my contact list. I also have this set for calls/video, etc. And yet, almost every morning when I boot up I have a ...
13
votes
3answers
494 views

What are the differences between Google Chrome and Chromium (especially with respect to privacy)?

What are the differences between Google Chrome and Chromium (especially with respect to privacy)? The Google Chrome Privacy Notice lists the information Google receives when you use Google Chrome. ...
11
votes
15answers
3k views

Removing all Facebook evidence from a PC

My wife currently accesses her Facebook account from two computers, her PC and my laptop. During the course of her Facebook activities she has gradually accumulated a number of 'link-ins' from various ...
11
votes
3answers
18k views

What is a MAC address, and what does it reveal about me?

Does my MAC address list my name, ect? How do I find out exactly what the MAC address tells me? I know it's the "physical address" of my laptop, but what exactly does that mean? This is what my MAC ...
11
votes
3answers
794 views

How are User files in Windows 7 protected?

I noticed that I cannot access user files from one account across another. However, if someone took my HDD, hooked it up to another computer, would they be able to see the files? Is there a way to ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

How to encrypt an USB stick?

When storing personal data on a USB stick, data needs to be encrypted to ensure privacy. Regrettably, this is far from easy to do without introducing a lot of overhead; ideally, the whole encryption ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

Browser for paranoid people?

Is there a web browser out there that is more suited for paranoid people? Why would you choose it/ What feature would your ideal paranoia browser have? For instance i would want one which Sends NO ...
10
votes
4answers
14k views

How to disable Google Chrome from sending data to safebrowsing-cache.google.com and safebrowsing.clients.google.com?

Unchecking Enable phishing and malware protection in Chrome's browser settings page does not prevent Chrome from communicating with safebrowsing.clients.google.com and safebrowsing-cache.google.com ...
9
votes
7answers
4k views

How can I block all Facebook elements/content

I have no Facebook account. How to block all Facebook elements (not only like-button, but everything Facebook) on the rest of the Internet. I worry being tracked by Facebook. I am using Firefox on Mac ...
9
votes
8answers
2k views

Is Google Desktop search safe?

Somebody told me, that Google Desktop is unsafe and Google would save kind of a user data list about the files on my PC. What is known about it?
9
votes
3answers
14k views

How do you erase the revision history of your MS Word (2007) document?

I have an MS Word file that I want to send to someone and I want to make sure they can't see the revision history. Is this hidden by default or is there something I can do to hide the revision history ...
9
votes
1answer
886 views

Remove Google Chrome Unique ID on Linux

I've seen ways to remove the Google Chrome unique ID on Windows using tools like "unchrome" but after a bit of searching I am unable to find an equivalent tool on Linux. Can anyone provide any useful ...
9
votes
1answer
27k views

How to clear all HTML5 local storage from Safari?

It seems stackauth.com has used some local storage which my Safari does not show me, and hence cannot be deleted. So, in general: how to ensure all local storage is deleted from Safari? Some ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

How to hide Browser Plugin Details in firefox for more privacy?

I'm trying to trick the results in this page to have more privacy/anonymity: https://panopticlick.eff.org/index.php?action=log&js=yes So far the best I could do is change the user agent, with the ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Turn off thumnails on a specific drive (Windows 7)

Is it possible to prevent thumbnails from being generated on a specific disk drive? This would be useful for several reasons, one being performance (on optical drives), the other privacy (some ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I be totally invisible to Facebook?

I don't trust Facebook. I deleted my account, but I don't want them getting information from me from other sites, either; for instance, those with "Like" buttons cause my browser to request assets ...
7
votes
5answers
365 views

Which programs leave traces like Word, Photoshop etc. in files created with these programs?

I was just wondering whether programs like MS Word, Adobe Photoshop and so on leave traces in files we create with them. By traces I mean things like: who created the file (Username on the machine) ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Can websites see my Firefox Addons? [duplicate]

I know when you visit a website, they can actually see a lot of your personal information, like browser type, but can they also see which addons I've installed? What about something like Mozilla ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How does Chrome know what language a page is in?

I just opened a web page in Google Chrome, and it says "This page is in Japanese, would you like to translate it?". Asking for a translation would presumably send the contents to Google, but how is ...
7
votes
2answers
22k views

How to get the real IP address of someone using a proxy?

I was researching digital goods and security when I stumbled upon this company. One of the services they provide is "Real IP". They claim to be able to get the real IP address of users even when ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How private is the Opera Turbo feature of Opera?

If I'm using Opera with the Opera Turbo feature turned on (always, not set to "automaticly"). Can anyone see what sites I'm visiting (except Opera of course ...)? Opera Turbo uses a proxy server, so ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you hide installed plugins in Firefox?

How do you hide installed plugins in Firefox? This website shows that too much about you can be seen: http://centralops.net/asp/co/BrowserMirror.vbs.asp Most plugins don't need to be seen by content ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

What rights does an employer have to the employee's computer?

What access rights should an employee grant an employer for a work computer? For instance, let's assume that the business people come to the IT lab late at night for discussions with the CIO and ...
6
votes
6answers
15k views

How to prevent an email from accidentally being forwarded?

Is it possible to prevent an email from being forwarded, or to have sensitive information automatically removed when reply-all/forward is pressed? For example, a Google Calendar invitation includes a ...
6
votes
9answers
3k views

How can I anonymize my browser useragent, yet still be counted as a Firefox/Ubuntu user?

I read about EFF's Panopticlick project to see how unique your webbrowser's headers are. I would like to anonymize that a bit. My current User Agent is Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; ...
6
votes
3answers
286 views

Is there a way (e.g. an extension) to avoid Google Chrome from saving a specific site to the History?

I use to visit erotic websites, and I would like those websites to not be logged to the browser's history (so I don't have to always removing them manually), is there a way? I believe I can just turn ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a Firefox extension that prevents websites from detecting what operating system you're using?

Is there a Firefox extension that prevents websites from detecting what operating system you're using? Also, if there isn't a plugin, is it possible to write one? I know I can disable websites from ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How to “flush tor circuit”

On Windows I have used XBBrowser, which provides a custom version of Firefox suited to using Tor. XBBrowser provides a button, flush tor circuit, which will setup an entirely new connection and exit ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

How do you block referrer logging in Google Chrome?

I've searched though all the settings I can find in Chrome but can't determine how to disable referrer logging for both HTTP and HTTPS requests. How can I do this?
6
votes
3answers
8k views

Can a company use VPN to spy on me?

I'm about to work with a company on a development project, but they first need to set up a pretty complicated environment, and suggested they use VPN to work on my machine to do this. Should I be ...
5
votes
7answers
16k views

Speed up FireFox when using TOR

After reading this question about surfing the web anonymously, I tried TOR with Firefox and it seems to be changing the original IP, but Firefox is really slow! I have a good network speed, and I've ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

How to protect all privacy from someone that needs to use my computer?

A friend of mine is going to stay here for two days, and I am sure he will need to ask me to use the PC (and Mac) in the study room. (which will be tons of work to move them and no matter where they ...
5
votes
4answers
239 views

What to do with 6.7GB of logs from a http proxy used by someone to initiate attacks?

Background: I had experimented with nginx's proxy caching mechanisms one night to see if I could speed up a very slow website for a friend of mine -- this experiment went on late into the night, ...
5
votes
4answers
759 views

How can I prevent Google Street View from tracking my location?

Since a Google Street View car has passed by my neighborhood, it has associated my wireless router's MAC address to its geographical address. The problem is that my address can be easily obtained by ...
5
votes
3answers
18k views

How do we configure another browser to use Tor? [closed]

How do we configure Google Chrome (or another web browser) to use Tor Browser? By that I mean that we are using Chrome, but the traffic is routed through Tor (and thus anonymous).