High-school senior Omar Martin Del Campo and his small team of developers have found a way to make text messaging even more secure. Peek lets you chat with friends via the app and your messages are erased as you read them.
The app asks you to authenticate with Twitter or Facebook to ensure your identity to your friends, and then you can chat away in the fairly clean, purple-themed interface on offer.
“Our focus,” said Del Campo in an email with Cult of Mac, “is a great user experience, beautiful design, simplicity and safe and secure messaging.”
Every once in a while, you might want to password protect a PDF file with encryption. While there are several nice third-party apps that will do the trick, the simplest way to do this is with the built-in image and PDF viewer, Preview.
Ever wondered if somebody you thought you could trust is going through your phone when it’s out of sight?
That’s the (all too pertinent) premise behind Catchr, a new app designed to give users peace of mind while they are away from their iPhone. While the app won’t protect against “leaky apps” or other forms of government eavesdropping, it can tell you whether your phone has been moved, and which applications have been started or stopped during your absence — along with plotting on a map where your iPhone has been during the time Catchr is running.
Last week, a speech recognition developer found a potential exploit in the Chrome web browser that could possibly let malicious web sites activate your Mac’s microphone and listen in on any sounds your mic might pick up around you. Even if you’re not actively using your computer, the mic could be active and conversations, meetings, and phone calls could potentially be recorded or listened in on.
Luckily, there’s a way to keep this from happening, because–however remote the possibility–it’s always a good idea to keep your private information, including real-world conversations, private.
Of course, if you don’t use the Chrome browser at all, this won’t apply to you.
If you want to be sure your data is secure on your Mac, Apple has provided an easy way to do so. They’ve created File Vault, accessed via the System Preferences, to encrypt your startup drive with some heavy duty file security.
You’ll need OS X Lion or later, and you’ll have to have an OS X Recovery partition on your drive. This last bit is typically installed on newer Macs, anyway, but to test it out, reboot your Mac and hold the Command-R key down. If you see an OS X Recovery screen, you’re good to go.
Setting up FileVault is even easier than that. Just launch System Preferences and click on Security & Privacy to get started.
When you browse the web with mobile Safari, you’ll come across sites that ask you to create a login, and that usually requires a password.
You can save your passwords in mobile Safari automatically, but there are some sites that request passwords not be saved. There’s a workaround, though, if you feel like you should be able to save whatever passwords you darn well please, and it’s buried in the Settings app.
The web is full of all kinds of links, both clearly labeled ones as well as links with varying degrees of treacherousness (Rick Roll, we’re looking at you). While finding yourself sent to a video of Rick Astley may be fairly innocuous, there are times when you’re on the web and you come across a link that could possibly do something more serious.
That’s where the mobile web browsers in iOS 7 come in. I’ve tried this trick in both Safari and Chrome, but there may be other, less popular browsers that do the same thing: your mileage may vary.
DeGeo is an app that removes the location data from your photos before sharing them, while leaving non-location metadata intact. As someone who switches off the location option in Instagram whenever I’m at my home or a friend’s home, I’m totally into this $1 data stripper.
While other web browsers exist and thrive on iOS, Safari is the one Apple includes with it’s iOS system software, and it’s probably the one most of us use often, no small thanks to the fact that it’s integrated at the system level. Every click through, unless third-party apps (like Mailbox) allow something different, takes us to Safari as our main browser.
Therefore, if you’re looking for ways to protect more of your privacy, you’ll want to enable the Do Not Track feature in mobile Safari, as well as possibly block cookies, which are bits of code that store your preferences on website servers for return visits.
There are few tech terms more loaded than “user privacy” here in 2013.
Back in January Cult of Mac reported that Apple had lost its spot on a list of the 20 most trusted companies when it comes to user information. That was long before the revelations of Edward Snowden and PRISMgate (the subject of an entire recent issue of our Newsstand magazine), which made everyone super-jumpy about data collection and what it means for personal liberties.