Pro Tip: Lock down your Amazon account with two-step verification


Keep your Amazon details safe with two-step verification.
Keep your Amazon details safe with two-step verification.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugIf you’re an Apple ID owner, you know that two-step verification is the best way to make sure that only you have access to your personal credit card details along with your app, music, and video purchases.

Until a couple of weeks ago, Amazon–another company that probably has private financial information from you–didn’t have a way to do the same thing. That way, even if someone figures out your password, they’ll only have half the info needed to make changes to or access your account.

Now that the Seattle-based books-and-everything-else company allows for it, it’s time to zip up your personal details. Here’s how.

Pro Tip: Keep your boss from snooping on you with Tor messenger beta


Even some of my screenshot has to be secure.
Even some of my screenshot has to be secure.
Screen: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bug While you may chat about state secrets while on your Mac at work, you might not want your chats to get out there or be archived. The answer is to use encryption so no one can intercept your messages and figure out you’re really angry at your boss.

The Tor Project aims to make anonymous, off-the-record chats simple with a new instant messenger app you can run on your Mac or Windows PC. Simply run the app (now in beta), log in to your preferred instant messaging service or services, and talk about whatever you want, secure in the knowledge that your chats are safe from your boss’ prying eyes.

Popular messaging app blocked in Iran after creator refuses to turn spy


Photo: Quixotic54/Flickr CC
Lotf Allah Mosque, Iran.
Photo: Photo: Quixotic54/Flickr CC

The maker of Telegram, a popular messaging app, has had his creation blocked in Iran on the grounds that he refused to help authorities to spy on their own citizens.

Creator Pavel Durov said that Iran’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology asked him to provide them with “spying and censorship tools” for the service. When he refused, Telegram was quickly given the boot.

Apple bans hundreds of apps that swiped user data


Apple responded swiftly to the discovery that over 250 apps collected data with private APIs.
Photo: Jason Howie/Flickr CC

Apple banned over 250 apps from the App Store that were using software to access users’ personal information. These apps managed to get through the App Store approval process with private APIs, which are against the rules. Apple took action shortly after news broke this morning that a security firm discovered these apps.

Hundreds of iOS apps secretly collect users’ data


Developers need to check their in-app purchase code.
Does Apple need to double up on its security measures for new apps?
Photo: PhotoAtelier/Flickr

A security firm claims to have discovered 256 apps that illicitly gather user email addresses, lists of installed apps, serial numbers and other identifying information.

Apple may be obsessed with user privacy, but these apps — which violate App Store policy and have been downloaded by an estimated 1 million people — somehow got by Cupertino’s gatekeepers.