Read Me First - Take Control of Your Online Privacy (1.1) (2014)

Take Control of Your Online Privacy (1.1) (2014)

Read Me First

Welcome to Take Control of Your Online Privacy, version 1.1, published in March 2014 by TidBITS Publishing Inc. This book was written by Joe Kissell and edited by Geoff Duncan.

This book explains potential privacy risks in everyday online activities like Web browsing and sending email, and suggests strategies for avoiding common pitfalls and improving online privacy.

If you want to share this ebook with a friend, we ask that you do so as you would with a physical book: “lend” it for a quick look, but ask your friend to buy a copy for careful reading or reference. Also, you can Teach This Book.

Copyright © 2014, alt concepts inc. All rights reserved.

Updates and More

You can access extras related to this book on the Web (use the link in Ebook Extras, near the end; it’s available only to purchasers). On the ebook’s Take Control Extras page, you can:

· Download any available new version of the ebook for free, or buy any subsequent edition at a discount.

· Download various formats, including PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket. (Learn about reading on mobile devices on our Device Advice page.)

· Read the ebook’s blog. You may find new tips or information, links to author interviews, and update plans for the ebook.

If you bought this ebook from the Take Control Web site, it has been added to your account, where you can download it in other formats and access any future updates. However, if you bought this ebook elsewhere, you can add it to your account manually; see Ebook Extras.


Here are a few “rules of the road” that will help you read this book:

· Links: All blue text in this ebook is hot, meaning you can click (or tap) it, just like a link on the Web. If you click a link that takes you to a different part of the ebook, you can return quickly to where you were if your ebook reader offers a “back” feature. For example, if you use iBooks to read the EPUB version of this ebook, you can click the “Back to” link at the lower left. Or, if you use Preview on the Mac to read the PDF version of this ebook, you can choose Go > Back or press Command-[.

· Menus: Where I describe choosing a command from a menu in the menu bar, I use an abbreviated description. For example, the abbreviated description for the menu command that creates a new folder in the Finder is “File > New Folder.”

· Mobile devices: In this book I distinguish between conventional (desktop or laptop) computers and mobile devices, by which I mean smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and other handheld computer-like devices. The iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Kindle, and BlackBerry (among many others) would all be considered mobile devices.

What’s New in Version 1.1

Version 1.1 of this book, released about eight months after the original publication date, updates the book with the latest privacy-related information and adds numerous details. The most significant changes are as follows:

· Added a note in Hackers about how to search for information on recent privacy breaches.

· Included a tip in Big Brother with links to resources detailing government surveillance revelations.

· Updated Fix the Easy Things to emphasize the importance of keeping one’s operating systems up to date with security fixes.

· Replaced numerous graphics (see, for example, Encrypt Your Wi-Fi Connection) with spiffier versions.

· Made several clarifications about speed and reliability in Use a VPN.

· Added a sidebar, SSL Implementation Bugs, covering the serious SSL vulnerability Apple disclosed and fixed in February 2014.

· Updated the sidebar Set-top Boxes and the Like to further discuss the Internet of Things (“smart” connected objects like light bulbs and thermostats).

· Mentioned how a password manager can ensure that you Go to the Right Site.

· Noted the improved Private Browsing option in Safari for iOS 7 in Private Browsing Modes.

· Included information on iCloud Keychain in Protect Passwords and Credit Card Info.

· In Browse Anonymously, added a note distinguishing between anonymity and untraceability, and mentioned a further Tor vulnerability.

· Mentioned cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin in Shop Online Privately.

· In Understand the Privacy Risks of Real-Time Communication, noted a potential vulnerability in audio and video chats, and added a sidebar, Security in iMessage and Other Apple Services.

· Added “secret-sharing” apps to the list of areas of concern in Use Other Social Media Precautions.

· Renamed “Create a Private Cloud” to Create a Personal Cloud and added information about several other products.