Private Internet Access for Android

This installment of the Private Internet Access series will deal with the PIA Android app. Private Internet Access for Android is, quite frankly, much more flexible than the iOS version. Unlike the iOS version, Private Internet Access for Android allows you access to almost all of the settings you have on desktop. It also allows you to deal with the VPN on a per-app basis. Continue reading “Private Internet Access for Android”

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is nearlly upon us! October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. National Cyber Security Awareness month has been observed in the US since 2004. It is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Division, and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). This year I decided to get in on the act, too, and do a daily blog post during October. Yes, that’s thirty-one posts in thirty-one days!

These posts are going to focus heavily on encryption of data-at-rest. Many of these will be in a how-to format that will be appropriate for entry-level users, but all of us (including me) will learn something. There will be a few other topics thrown in throughout the month to keep things interesting. Every week I’m going to throw in a topic about anonymous – or at least private – purchasing, and a few other topics will find their way in, as well.

If you would like to support this effort there are a couple things I would ask. First, please help get the word out! Tell your friends, your family, your neighbors, your co-workers. Next, I still have a couple of blank days on the calendar. If you have a topic that you would like to see covered, get in touch with me. Finally, participate by commenting on the posts. If you have information that I haven’t covered, it would almost certainly be beneficial to someone else, too. So please feel free to get it out there!

Thanks to all of you who read! I’m looking forward to kicking it off next weekend!

Smartphone Bluetooth Interface Security

This post is a continuation of the series on smartphone interfaces and will cover Bluetooth interface security. Let me begin by saying that Bluetooth security is not as bad as it once was. As with the other articles in the series I will cover both the security and privacy concerns around this interface. Continue reading “Smartphone Bluetooth Interface Security”

Private Internet Access OpenVPN for iOS

Last week I discussed the Private Internet Access iOS app. In this post I am going to discuss using PIA with OpenVPN for iOS devices. The PIA app uses the IPSec tunneling and encryption protocol, and I am pretty comfortable with that. Many experts prefer the open source, OpenVPN protocol. Though this may sound like a somewhat daunting process it is definitely not! Continue reading “Private Internet Access OpenVPN for iOS”

Smartphone Cellular Interface Security

This article is the second in a multi-part series about the security and privacy of a smartphone’s various radios. In last week’s post I talked about security and privacy surrouding smartphone Wi-Fi. In this post I will discuss the smartphone cellular interface. Because of the complexity of the cellular radio, this article took a little more time than usual to write. There are a number of security and privacy concerns here. Continue reading “Smartphone Cellular Interface Security”

Private Internet Access for iOS

Today I am going to discuss Private Internet Access for iOS. This is going to be in two parts: the PIA app (available in the App Store) and the option to use OpenVPN, which requires a separate app. Both of these methods have some advantages, and both have their disadvantages. In this installment I am going to discuss the App. Continue reading “Private Internet Access for iOS”

Gear Review: Anker Powerline Cable

I know gear reviews are a little out of my lane. With the combination of the impending Your Ultimate Security Guide: iOS deadline, writing a couple articles for Lucky Gunner, and working on the DeleteMe series, I haven’t had a ton of time to focus on in-depth projects. So I though I would talk about some gear that I use on a daily. It’s not necessarily security-related but it’s important to me just the same. Since I use phones to research, write, and teach live courses, charging and syncing is something I do a lot of. OEM cables – especially iPhone cables – are really prone to failure at the connections where they are bent and pulled. I have been on the hunt for a suitable replacement and have finally found one: the Anker Powerline cable series. Continue reading “Gear Review: Anker Powerline Cable”

DeleteMe Privacy Service Review Part I

I frequently get asked about paid privacy services. There are several such services out there. Unfortunately I have not worked with any of them, and cannot give a good answer. Until now, perhaps. As you know, last week I put out a call for a volunteer for the DeleteMe privacy service. Within just a few hours of last week’s post going live, I received a response from John (a pseudonym). John is a 30-35 year old male from the mid-western United States. He and I exchanged a few emails and got busy. Continue reading “DeleteMe Privacy Service Review Part I”

Private Internet Access for Windows

Last week I covered setting up Private Internet Access for Mac. This week’s post on the topic will cover the Windows operating system. Even though the Private Internet Access interface is very similar from Mac to Windows, there are a couple subtle differences. The next couple of posts will cover iOS and Android. If sufficient interest exists, I will also do one for Linux (if you’d like to see Linux, message or comment). Without further ado, Private Internet Access for Windows: Continue reading “Private Internet Access for Windows”

Housekeeping Announcements

Doubtlessly you have noticed some changes to the look and feel of the main site. Similar changes are also coming to the blog, and I wanted to address these directly.

Newsletter: The first issue of the newsletter will be sent out on October 1st, 2016, and successive issues will appear in your inbox on the first of each month. The newsletter will contain exclusive content that will not be available on the blog. It will also contain the standard assortment of news, announcements, reminders, and other goings-on. If you haven’t subscribed to the newsletter, head on over to I won’t sell, trade, or otherwise give up your information, but I still recommend using a Blur masked email address (as many of you already have!) or ProtonMail alias.

Bitcoin: I am now accepting the cryptocurrency Bitcoin for book sales. Currently, this website is the sole source for purchasing The Complete Privacy and Security Desk Reference with Bitcoin, as well as the Your Ultimate Security Guide series.

Blog: Some minor changes are coming to the blog. There will be a visual change – I am adding a widget bar along the right side of the interface. This will contain some things you all have requested, including an RSS feed signup and a search bar.

Books: Work has commenced in earnest on Your Ultimate Security Guide: iOS 10. It should be finished by October 1st. It will be available through Amazon. Additionally, electronic copies will be available for purchase on iBooks, Kindle, and directly from me (as a PDF). Michael and I have also formally started The Complete Privacy and Security Desk Reference – Volume II: Physical. We have a week-long meeting planned to get the bones of the book in place, and it should be available for sale in within the next 12 months.


Thirty-Day Security Challenge: You guys have asked for it, so here it is: all the links to the Thirty-Day Security Challenge. Apologies for taking so long to get this together. I have also noticed that some of the Challenge posts are perhaps a bit dated. In my (very limited) spare time I am slowly beginning to update these.

Twitter (@opsecguide): Though I doubt many of your are Twitter users, I post all blog posts there, as well as occasional items of interest from the infosec world.