I Ramped Up My Internet Security, and You Should Too

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Julia Angwin, ProPublicaSome people make dieting resolutions in the New Year. I make security and privacy resolutions, because those are the things that keep me up at night. After all, as a journalist, it’s important for me to give my sources assurances that I will keep their communications confidential. And in today’s world, that is an ever-more-difficult task.Everyone — journalists or not — faces an increasing array of attacks on our security and privacy. Even if you’re not the U.S.’s intelligence chief, whose email was recently hacked, it’s smart to up your game. So this year, I thought I’d share my resolutions.1. Software updatesIt’s not sexy, but at the top of my list is updating my software to the latest versions. Nothing else matters – not fancy encryption or strong passwords – if you’re using software that contains gaping holes that any criminal or spy can penetrate.And I hate to break it to you, but all your software is as holey as Swiss cheese. The software updates you receive are just patches for the holes that have been discovered so far. More holes will be discovered later. What’s more, updates are basically red alerts to hackers, pointing them to the holes.So I’ve just updated my phone and computer operating systems, as well as all my Web browsers, software and phone apps.2. Ditching old, buggy softwareNext up is ditching old, unused or poorly maintained software. Using software is a commitment. If you don’t update it, you are wearing a “hack me” sign on your forehead. So if there are programs or apps that you don’t use, delete them.This year, I decided to ditch my instant messaging client Adium. I was using it to enable encrypted chats. But like many cash-strapped open source projects, it is rarely updated and has been linked to many security vulnerabilities.Instead, I switched to Tor Messenger, an encrypted messaging program that is run by the Tor Project, a nonprofit that makes the anonymous Web browser that I already use. By the sad standards of underfunded open source security tools, Tor is relatively well-financed and so I have some hope that its tools will continue to be updated.Tor Messenger links up with my existing Gmail and Jabber chat accounts, and is encrypted and anonymous by default.For even more privacy, I also signed up for Ricochet, an encrypted chat program that runs on the so-called Dark Web. One downside: You can only chat with other Ricochet users. So far, I have all of two buddies on it. [INSERT SAD EMOJI HERE!]3. Upgrading my passwordsPasswords are, of course, the definition of unsexy. But you gotta have ‘em, and they should be long and unique (no re-using between websites). I use a password manager, 1Password, to generate most of my passwords.But for my most important accounts, such as email and my bank, I use a method called Diceware to generate passwords that are about 30 characters long and made up of dictionary words that I can remember. (Thank you Chase for allowing 30-character long passwords — not all banks do, strangely.)If your passwords are long and unique, you don’t need to change them every few months, as most companies incorrectly force employees to do. But I’d been using the same Diceware passwords for a few years now — and I figured it was time to create new ones.4. Upgrading my encryption keyAfter getting all the basics out of the way, I finally got to the fun stuff: Secret coded messages! Who doesn’t love encryption? Modern crypto scrambles your communications so well that FBI Director James Comey has spent the past year complaining that it’s too hard to crack.Most of my encrypted communications take place on Signal, an easy to use phone app. But for email, I use Gnu Privacy Guard, a much older and more complex program.I’ve long been haunted by the fact that when I set up GPG four years ago, I didn’t create my encryption key in the most secure way. This year, I decided to finally fix it. To set up my keys correctly, I had to find a computer that never touches the Internet and follow the instructions in this helpful guide: “Creating the Perfect GPG Key Pair.”My new key seemed all pristine and shiny. And my old key – which I am now revoking – was like an old sweater that I was tossing. It had served me well, but it was time to go.In fact, closet cleaning is probably the best analogy for my New Year’s security project. At the end, I felt cleaner and lighter — the same way I do when I toss out old clothes. And perhaps that feeling was its greatest benefit. I may not be able to foil all the hackers and spies across theInternet. But I can sleep better at night knowing I have tried my best.ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.last_img read more

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Kids demonstrated their seriousness

first_imgRe May 2 letter, “Would students still protest on weekend?”: James Curtain asked how many students would turn up if protests were held on a Saturday instead of a school day. The biggest rally so far was held on a Saturday in Washington, D.C. More than a half a million people attended the March for Life on Saturday, March 24. (I even attended at age 69.)Diane Sanders HombachSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positionsSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, music Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

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Mauricio Pochettino blames England under-21s for Harry Kane’s loss of form

first_img Kane has scored only twice in the 16 Spurs appearances since his memorable England debut in March and the forward is yet to get off the mark for his club this season. Spurs have been eager to protect Kane and expressed reservations about his involvement in the under-21 European Championships last summer – a tournament that involved three matches across 10 days in the Czech Republic and meant their star player arrived late for pre-season. “Not only on the pitch, but off the pitch with the pressure – he is a hero for Tottenham and England – it was unbelievable how people see him. “It’s not easy to recover because it’s not only physical, also mental. It’s true that maybe the summer did not help.” Kane is not the only high-profile striker struggling to find his stride, with last season’s other three top scorers – Sergio Aguero, Alexis Sanchez and Diego Costa – mustering only two league goals between them so far. “You can improve a lot in the bad moments,” Pochettino said. “For Harry it’s a very tough moment. He is still young. You can improve and realise who are your people and the people who can help you. “When you are on the crest of a wave, there are a lot of people around you. “It was easy when he scored to talk about him but now maybe the confidence he needs…but this is football. “The club have very good people, me and my staff at the club. We are all behind him to help him.” Spurs host league leaders Manchester City on Saturday, hoping to bounce back from the Capital One Cup defeat to rivals Arsenal in midweek. Ryan Mason is out with a knee injury while Mousa Dembele, Nabil Bentaleb and Alex Pritchard all have ankle problems and are unavailable. Pritchard’s absence has been particularly disappointing for Spurs, after the 22-year-old winger arrived on the back of 12 goals on loan at Brentford last season. “It is difficult because he arrived in the summer, now with the injury it has been difficult for him for weeks and weeks to learn about the team and to show his quality,” Pochettino said. “For that, we are – not worried – but a little bit sad, because it will take more time for him. He is close.” Kane has not looked tired, and has played well for Spurs in his overall game, but Pochettino believes his talisman is lacking the confidence he enjoyed a few months ago. “The striker sometimes needs confidence and trust and maybe he has lost his confidence a little bit,” Pochettino said. “It’s our job to give back his confidence so he can start to score. I think he is the same person and he has the same mentality as last season. “But maybe at the end of the season he rested, went to the Euros, didn’t score at the Euros after three games, he came back late for pre-season and you need time to recover. “Sometimes you are not in the best scoring condition when you start to play and your confidence goes down. “This is probably what has happened. But this is a good experience for the future, to manage a young player like he is.” Hype surrounding Kane’s rise to prominence reached its peak after he notched within 79 seconds of his England debut while Tottenham fans revelled in the success of their home-grown hero. “This is why last season towards to the end we tried to explain that last season for Harry Kane was very, very hard,” Pochettino said. Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino admits Harry Kane is short of confidence and believes playing for England under-21s contributed to the striker’s loss of form. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Is there a Coors Field hangover? Numbers say Dodgers have suffered from it

first_img Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies “No, I would put it more on the way your body feels more than what you see,” said Hernandez, a .205 hitter with three home runs in 37 career games at Coors Field. “Your body feels like (expletive) for a few days afterward.“You just leave here fatigued. It’s hard to sleep here. You don’t get good rest. The beds are way too soft. That’s part of it. I sleep on the floor here.”Right-hander Ross Stripling had the same complaint last August when he went on the DL with lower back inflammation he blamed on the bed in the team’s Denver hotel.The Dodgers have at least fared better when they were able to sleep in their own beds after a trip to Denver. Since 2013, they are 10-13 when the following series was at Dodger Stadium – like this week’s two-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks beginning Tuesday – a slight improvement over their 14-22 record when continuing on the road.“I get it – numbers don’t lie,” Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen said of the ‘Coors Field hangover.’ “But you can’t let it get in your head. We’re playing good baseball.” “Sometimes you realize you don’t have as much power as you thought,” joked catcher Russell Martin, who has four home runs in 45 games at Coors Field. “I don’t know if there’s anything to that (theory about breaking pitches being tamer at altitude). I saw some breaking balls (in Clayton Kershaw’s start) and they were breaking just fine.”Kenta Maeda’s slider also defied the effects of high altitude on Sunday. But most breaking balls don’t break as sharply in Denver and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts thinks the adjustment hitters have to make when sliders and curves return to normal is at the heart of any Coors Field hangover.“That’s a debate that’s ongoing,” he said, acknowledging the Dodgers’ poor record after leaving Denver. “The psyche effect is actually counter. It works against you in the sense that when you’re coming into Coors, however you’re swinging the bat – whether you’re swinging the bat not well or well – you have a chance of getting better coming in here. You have a better chance of getting even better. So the psyche coming out – you think you feel good and you do feel good mentally. But in reality, the characteristics of the baseball coming out of Denver do a lot of different things. So teams that come out of Denver typically go the other way, statistically.“Coming into here, the psyche and the production matches. It doesn’t always work that way when you leave Denver.”The adjustment to be made is in “the brains and the eyes” of hitters more so than the lingering effects of the greater physical demands playing at Coors Field, he said.“That’s what it is,” Roberts said. “There’s the physical in the sense that your body’s sore, you’re fatigued, you’re tired. There’s that physical. But I think it’s more cognitive – just seeing and how you react and what’s the ball not doing, what it’s supposed to be doing. It’s that kind of deal.”Kiké Hernandez doesn’t agree.Related Articles How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire A team that has played at a .587 winning-percentage rate since the start of 2013 has played at a .407 rate following a visit to Coors Field.“I had no idea about that stat,” Dodgers outfielder/first baseman Joc Pederson said when read the numbers. “Not good.“You definitely notice the pitches. There are a lot more back-up sliders and cutters here where it’s not like that at other places. But I didn’t know it was that bad. … Maybe everyone’s just a little tired. Numbers don’t lie so it’s something.”The Dodgers aren’t alone. The four NL West teams that each make three visits to Colorado every season have a .466 winning percentage in the series following their series there since 2013. Only the San Francisco Giants (33-28) have managed a winning record in the days immediately after leaving Denver.Pederson hits on the two theories to explain a “Coors Field hangover.” There are the greater physical demands of performing at altitude – compounded by the longer games and more running (especially for outfielders who have to run down a greater number of extra-base hits in the expansive outfield). And then there is the adjustment of returning closer to sea level where breaking balls become sharper again and fly balls return to earth sooner. Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season center_img Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start DENVER — Now comes the hard part.The Dodgers just split a four-game series in baseball’s most difficult environment – the thin air and high-scoring atmosphere of Coors Field. The Dodgers and Rockies combined for 65 runs and 15 home runs in four games that averaged 3 hours and 36 minutes (30 minutes longer than this season’s major-league average). And they did all that on this visit with temperatures in the 90s at game time each day.Challenging as all that was, the numbers say it is even more difficult to come down from the mile-high altitude of Denver.Since 2013 – the start of the Dodgers’ current run of domination in the National League West – the Dodgers have a winning record at Coors Field (34-29). But in the series that followed those visits to Denver, they have struggled, going 24-35 – including a six-game losing streak that followed a series sweep of the Rockies in April (the Dodgers’ longest slump this season and the only time they have lost consecutive series). Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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