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My girlfriend snooped through my phone. Now what?

I found out my girlfriend snooped through my phone. I don't know how to proceed. [more inside]
posted by hobodeluxe on Jun 27, 2014 - 47 answers

Why would police need my birthday?

I just called up the non-emergency police station in a suburb in Long Island to report some keys I found, and upon the police coming by to pick them up, the officer asked me for my name and birthday. I was caught off guard and gave the information to the officer. While I'm sure the information is certainly not difficult to find in other ways, is there any reason I should be concerned?
posted by jangie on Jun 24, 2014 - 9 answers

Old(ish) and established, or hot new startup?

I'm in a good position; I'm being pursued by two big tech companies for a public policy/government relations/privacy role, at a regional (ie multi-country) manager level. One is an established giant, the other is a hot, extremely well-funded and rapidly expanding startup. But which to choose? Hope me, MeFites! [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 18, 2014 - 12 answers

What are the real risks to having a google account?

What are the real risks to having a google account? What are the benefits to staying out of Google's ecosystem that outweigh the inconvenience? [more inside]
posted by Naib on Jun 10, 2014 - 15 answers

Twitter / phone autolinking - what the hell?

I just texted a friend while sitting in front of my laptop with Twitter open, and the text automatically posted to Twitter. How did this happen, and how do I stop it from ever happening again? [more inside]
posted by ryanshepard on May 30, 2014 - 9 answers

Obtaining consent before posting family photos to social media?

Am I wrong to want for my 25-year-old sister to get consent before posting photos of our family to >900 followers on social media sites (including Facebook and Instagram)? I feel annoyed by the Pinterest-perfect ideal of our family life that she's selling, and like my privacy is being violated in a big way. We're currently arguing about this and I can't tell if I'm being unreasonable, or if there's a better/more productive script I can follow so that we might actually resolve the conflict. [more inside]
posted by magdalemon on May 22, 2014 - 41 answers

Help me sort out my conflicting thoughts about this vaccination issue

My workplace offers free flu vaccinations and is aiming for a certain percentage of staff to be vaccinated this year. I had mine; I'm all for vaccinations, think anti-vaxxers are dangerous, would definitely vaccinate my hypothetical kids, might even discourage them from playing with unvaccinated kids; everything is fine. The staff clinic have sent memos to department heads with a list of staff who have not been vaccinated through the clinic, with instructions to mark who has received the flu vaccination elsewhere, who is planning to get it, and who does not want it at all. My manager has put this list up on the noticeboard for those on the list to come and check off their own names (I presume it is easier than for him to track down every staff member directly). I want to ask him to take this list down. [more inside]
posted by Naanwhal on May 20, 2014 - 29 answers

This is stupid! Please help me enjoy my new toys (Moto G, iPad, Macbook)

I've recently acquired some new toys that I'm not getting any use out of because of my unusually strong hatred of spyware, adware, and "social networking". Specifically, I've had a new Moto G phone for about two weeks, an iPad mini for a few months and a Macbook Pro for about two years. I'm not getting any enjoyment or use out of these tools because I need help configuring them in such a way that they don't bother me with social networking noise and spyware-related crap. Please help. [more inside]
posted by LuckySeven~ on May 14, 2014 - 20 answers

Why does my college website have advertising trackers?

Today I installed Ghostery, which is supposed to flag and block advertising trackers, analytics, and beacons. When I visited my college's homepage I found that the site used the trackers adap.tv and Trade Desk and the beacon Rocket Fuel. This alarmed me. I checked a dozen other college websites. None had any ad trackers. So...why would my school have ad trackers on its website? Am I right to feel a bit creeped out by this?
posted by anonymous on May 5, 2014 - 4 answers

sharing passwords with significant others?

My SO recently gave me his password. What does this mean? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 13, 2014 - 37 answers

Gmail message went to A Co-worker

I sent myself an important tax document as an attachment this afternoon, sending it from my corporate gmail account to myself at the same address. No one was cc'd or bccd. an hour later a coworker wrote me and asked: did you mean to send this to me? He had received my message and attachment... I checked my sent messages and found the message i sent to myself but nothing to him and he was not Bcc'd. How could this have happened? His name and mine are not close by the way.
posted by dougiedd on Apr 12, 2014 - 11 answers

Wee wee pain and Doctor privacy issues (NSFW)

My penis hurts and I think I shouldn't have told my doctor about my lifestyle. I need advice on prognosis and dealing with privacy in a big HMO. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 4, 2014 - 22 answers

What's the best way to cover my built in webcam?

In light of revelations that some folks can look at me over the internet through my webcam without me knowing, I would like to have a solution to this problem. I was thinking that taping over the webcam would work well, but it might also look tacky, and might also add a residue to my computer that I would not like. Is there a kind of tape that would look good on a unibody macbook pro? How would I make that tape look good? What sort of tape would be suggested for its no residue, opaque characteristics? Is there a better solution than tape, like a well-thought out kickstarter project or something of that nature? Please help me with my paranoid bougie computer problem.
posted by oceanjesse on Mar 6, 2014 - 26 answers

Help me keep from feeling like I'm on Big Brother.

I value my privacy, and knowing that people I don't really know can easily discover my current physical location makes me feel queasy inside. How can I use the internet/social without basically shouting to the rest of the internet "this is where my body is right NOW!"? Details inside. [more inside]
posted by Kamelot123 on Mar 4, 2014 - 12 answers

Can an iPad that's been turned off be tracked?

My company recently issued iPads to my colleagues and me. Most of us are pretty happy about it, because, among other things, they will replace a lot of paper we had to lug around. There is a vocal minority, however, that fears the iPads will allow the company to track us, even when they're turned off. [more inside]
posted by dinger on Mar 4, 2014 - 12 answers

Keep it secret, keep it safe

I have been asked by my roommate's boyfriend to covertly find her ring size for an engagement ring. He suggested digging through her stuff until I find a ring to use with an online ring sizing guide. I'm uncertain whether the surprise factor is a bigger deal than the invasion of privacy. [more inside]
posted by Durin's Bane on Feb 27, 2014 - 57 answers

Facebook Minimalism for Noobs

How can I set up Facebook from scratch with minimal spam/leakage into other accounts and minimal leakage from/to people I don't know? [more inside]
posted by lalochezia on Feb 6, 2014 - 8 answers

#trolls #privacy #twitter #Ifoundyou?

Long story short: an anonymous twitter user started harassing me. Twitter troll has no followers so I guess was made up for the purpose of harassing me and a friend. No biggie, I've blocked. Slightly perturbing however is that the troll referred to something I've only talked about in private. How could troll know this and how do I protect myself? [more inside]
posted by mooza on Jan 31, 2014 - 25 answers

Do home-brewed audio files record your GPS information?

I'm starting a podcast, and the following (slightly paranoid) thought occurred to me: would people be able to extract information about the location where I recorded and/or uploaded the audio? These will most likely be mp3s, recorded using Garageband on my computer. [more inside]
posted by delight on Jan 30, 2014 - 7 answers

Google lawyer, Main Street cost

Can anyone refer me to an attorney or paralegal who is very experienced at writing the various types of legalese needed for web sites/apps, desktop software, etc.? [more inside]
posted by Dansaman on Jan 30, 2014 - 3 answers

How can someone stay on the grid but minimize government tracking?

Suppose I want to use my phone and computer like a normal human being (I do not want to jump through lots of annoying technical hoops every time I make a call or send email or browse a web page), but I want to minimize how much government agencies can learn about me. What are some reasonably cheap (free is best) and transparent methods or tools or products I could use? And what are some more secure (if more elaborate and annoying) methods I could use supposing I didn't mind jumping through a few extra hoops every once in a while if the stakes were high enough?
posted by pracowity on Jan 20, 2014 - 11 answers

Security and Privacy - Malware and Corporate tracking Edition

I am looking for ways to browse securely over the internet, while not giving any data to corporations (including my ISP) that is unwarranted and also preventing malware (like the CryptoLocker ransomware epidemic in late 2012). [more inside]
posted by theobserver on Jan 19, 2014 - 8 answers

My new place has sheer blinds. Seems weird?

I just moved into my new place I'm renting - a beautiful loft, part of a nice, quiet-seeming community generally composed of 30-somethings, with huge, 10" windows along the outside-facing wall of a 20" ceiling place. Everything is great except for one thing. I didn't realize it when I checked out the place, but it turns out those huge windows have sheer blinds on them. [more inside]
posted by naju on Jan 13, 2014 - 32 answers

Private Screen Sharing

I would like to work from home and remote in to my work computer without people being able to see what I'm doing on my screen. Right now I am using iCloud's back to Mac screen sharing feature, but that is distracting my students in my computer lab and encouraging them to do mischief. I cannot install Timbuktu or other screen sharing programs at this time due to cost constraints. Is there a way to screen share or remote login wherein the target computer's screen stays off, giving me privacy to work and do what I need to do? Target computer is an iMac. Other suggestions for free but secure programs appreciated.
posted by These Birds of a Feather on Jan 9, 2014 - 11 answers

Public sector employee wants to maintain privacy but also use Linkedin

I am a public sector employee, and I would like to stay in touch with former private sector colleagues via Linkedin. But I don't want the public-at-large to be able to find me easily. [more inside]
posted by vignettist on Jan 7, 2014 - 10 answers

Use 'terms' on hardware?

Are terms and conditions, disclosed after sale, legitimate? What if the associated item is a gift? [more inside]
posted by Goofyy on Dec 30, 2013 - 24 answers

Need to remove a file from Yahoo Groups but we don't know what group

A document revealing my friend's private information has shown up on Google searches and she is hoping to have it removed. It looks as if someone posted the PDF to Yahoo Groups, as a file attachment. The trouble is that we can't figure out what Group it belongs to because the URL is obscure. [more inside]
posted by steinsaltz on Dec 29, 2013 - 3 answers

What is the best way to "purge" my information from the internet?

I'm interested in what people have done to find and then delete their personal information (address, especially) from online directories. I've deleted my info from WhitePages and Spokeo, but I'm wondering what other sites I should look at or if there's a master directory of some sort out there. Googling doesn't turn up much, but I know my information could still be out there. Thank you.
posted by madonna of the unloved on Dec 17, 2013 - 5 answers

What do I do with "fans" on Facebook?

I'm lucky enough to be experiencing some success in my career, and people are adding me on Facebook who don't know me. I want to communicate with these people as I appreciate their support, but how do I do this in the best and safest way? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 13, 2013 - 12 answers

Privacy concerns about the Abilify savings card

I was just prescribed Abilify by my pdoc, and as it is really crazy expensive he gave me an Abilify Savings Card, apparently given out by the pharmaceutical company who makes it to allow people who's insurance doesn't sufficiently cover it to buy it anyway. That's fine, but the third party company who runs the card (Otsuka) makes you sign a contract which says that they can share your information with any company they are working with. That sounds to me like any company who wants to buy your information. Is this normal? Acceptable? What are the risks associated with this? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 9, 2013 - 5 answers

Google Glass Etiquette

Given that many people are divided about Google Glass, with some people especially resistant to even the idea of someone wearing them, how, when and what would be appropriate for someone wearing them? I'd especially like to hear feedback from people who are averse to the concept. [more inside]
posted by mulligan on Nov 27, 2013 - 43 answers

How do I send an encrypted email with attachments from gmail?

I know there are a variety of options out there, but I'm having a hard time sifting through the information myself. [more inside]
posted by snarfles on Nov 14, 2013 - 7 answers

Need to find something that will warn me I'm posting on a Public FB post

I'm running Firefox and have greasemonkey installed. I need to find an addon, or script that will alert me to when I'm commenting on a Public post. [more inside]
posted by Meep! Eek! on Nov 5, 2013 - 6 answers

Mass Special Senate Primary and the NSA, who thinks what?

Ok, so I have not been following the MA primary as close as I would like for the last couple of months since Markey resigned. I am doing as much research as possible prior to the primary tomorrow but one issue in particular I have not been able to find much on despite my googling around. [more inside]
posted by sendai sleep master on Oct 14, 2013 - 4 answers

Shouldn't have snooped, feeling anxious: Part two

I find myself in exactly the situation of this recent poster, with one difference: My girlfriend knows that I snooped but hasn't confronted me, and I haven't confessed. What now? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 27, 2013 - 23 answers

Curtain fabric for maximum light, minimum visibility?

Moving into a new apartment (yay!) with big windows, and I love me some sunlight. The problem is that the apartment is on the first floor and located in a pretty busy area where people will be walking and driving right by my windows a lot. Thus, I want curtains and I'd like to make them myself. My question: what fabric would allow the most light to enter the windows but also provide me with some decent privacy? [more inside]
posted by RingerChopChop on Sep 27, 2013 - 11 answers

Shouldn't have snooped, feeling anxious

My SO left her Facebook and email accounts open, I snooped, and I didn't find anything suspicious. Now I'm feeling extremely guilty and paranoid that she will find out. Advice? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 25, 2013 - 36 answers

Please don't Facebook our wedding photos....yet

My fiance and I have hired a fancy photographer for our wedding and would prefer that our guests refrain from uploading their iPhone snaps to Facebook et al until we have had a chance to formally release 'the wedding photos'. One guest that we asked is being....difficult, wondering if it's even worth asking the other guests. Are we being unreasonable? How to best phrase the request, if at all? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 18, 2013 - 98 answers

Will the NSA get my Fingerprints?

Given that it has been revealed the NSA has access to all smartphones, and given that recent reports have indicated the NSA is capable of breaking all known encryption... should I trust Apple that the NSA will not have access to my fingerprint? If I buy the new iPhone... should I stop short of using the fingerprint identification feature?
posted by banished on Sep 10, 2013 - 17 answers

Is Authenticator part of the Google Panopticon?

Does third-party use of Google Authenticator go through the Google panopticon? If I use Google Authenticator on a third-party site, will that interaction send information back to Google, thereby informing Google of what I'm doing? [more inside]
posted by alms on Sep 6, 2013 - 10 answers

What do you want to know about online privacy?

I need advice on setting up a resource that breaks down online consumer privacy in the simplest and most effective way possible. [more inside]
posted by bluelight on Aug 31, 2013 - 4 answers

Trying to understand privacy in the Snowden era

What identifying info does your laptop send? [more inside]
posted by LonnieK on Aug 15, 2013 - 8 answers

"If You Knew What I Know About Email, You Might Not Use It"

Lavabit's Ladar Levinson was recently quoted as follows: "I'm taking a break from email. If you knew what I know about email, you might not use it either." Why would Levinson warn other people off using email? He's not just saying, "Be careful how you use email," but, "It's probably a good idea not to use email at all. I'm taking a break from it myself." [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Aug 13, 2013 - 20 answers

Record of improper private medical information disclosure?

Would a U.S. health care service provider be required to publicly report the improper disposal and disclosure of health care records and other personal information? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 25, 2013 - 4 answers

Is autocomplete spying on me?

Is there a privacy risk specifically associated with Google search autocomplete/typeahead? [more inside]
posted by kristi on Jul 23, 2013 - 4 answers

Woman Next Door Making Herself Throw Up Every Night

I'm up again listening to this poor woman torture herself, it's so loud. [more inside]
posted by OneHermit on Jul 17, 2013 - 58 answers

Camgirl seeks mail forwarding service to protect her location.

I'm a camgirl ("adult model") and I have clients who enjoy sending me things (lingerie, toys, the like). For obvious reasons I don't want my location to be revealed, so just getting a PO Box in my city really isn't enough for me. I would imagine that there are middleman services that allow people to send mail to a "fake" address which would then forward on to their real address. I found Aloha Forwarding but they only seem to ship outside the contiguous US... any other ideas? Thank you so much! (Anon for the same above-mentioned obvious reasons.)
posted by anonymous on Jul 13, 2013 - 13 answers

father daughter exposure limits

Is it necessary for a father or step father to completely avoid exposure of private parts (penis) to a 5 year old daughter? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 1, 2013 - 43 answers

How to Refuse a Loaded Request from Boss

My boss just majorly promoted me and then snuck in a weirdly punitive request at the end of what was otherwise an absolutely outstanding/stellar review. Why would he ask this of me in the first place given my promotion, and how can I say no? [more inside]
posted by Hello Darling on Jun 30, 2013 - 32 answers

Is there a history of librarian collusion and resistance to repression?

In this New Yorker blog post, Internet Archive's Brewster Kahle mentions this in an answer: "Libraries have had a long history of dealing with authoritarian organizations demanding reader records—who’s read what—and this has led to people being rounded up and killed. As a librarian, you take this very, very seriously." Is there a concise history of this somewhere?
posted by history is a weapon on Jun 29, 2013 - 4 answers

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