Security

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Dear Lifehacker, I teach a computer class and last week I had a client with a copy of Win 10 which was installed by a friend and it is weird. For example, it doesn't have MS Office so I used Wordpad to show him creating and saving text files but when he saved as an RTF the file morphed into a spreadsheet. His pictures folder is full of pictures of a red truck. I suspect that he does not have a legal copy although his computer seemed eager to install updates (I only had an hour for the lesson so didn't follow up on that). Is there a quick way of finding out if his copy is legal?

Shared from Gizmodo

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For years now, people have been letting Unroll.me read the contents of their email inboxes, to help them unsubscribe from email spam. The service was endorsed by our sister site Lifehacker in 2011 for its effectiveness in finding and cleaning out unwanted subscriptions (and Gizmodo wrote about its iOS app release last year).

But a New York Times profile of Uber this weekend revealed, in passing, that Unroll.me, which is owned by a company called Slice Intelligence, isn't just in the business of tidying up customers' inboxes. Slice makes money by scanning its users' email for receipts, then packaging that information into intel reports on consumer habits. Uber, for example, was paying Slice to find users' Lyft receipts, so it could see how much they were spending each month, "as a proxy for the health of Lyft's business."

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The majority of Australians still suck at password creation. Chances are, you either use a bunch of different passwords that are easy to remember (and therefore, easy to crack) or one "tricky" password that you use for everything. From a security perspective, both are terrible options.

If you fall into one of the flimsy camps above, this in-depth infographic will help turn your email into a digital Fort Knox. It contains a multitude of tips consolidated into one image - including essential dos and dont's.

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Users of the newsletter management app Unroll.me have been left outraged after discovering the service was "secretly" mining and selling their data to Uber - specifically, email receipts from rival company Lyft.

On the surface, this seems like a sneaky and underhanded betrayal of user trust. However, the app's Privacy Policy made it abundantly clear that this sort of thing was a possibility. It's another reminder that you need to actually read the terms and conditions if you care about privacy.

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Using a password manager is basically internet security 101 these days, but that doesn't make them any less intimidating. If you've never used a password manager, they're annoying, cumbersome to use, and baffling at a glance. 1Password is one of the easiest to use options around, but that doesn't mean you don't need some help setting it up.

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Last week, a group calling themselves the ShadowBrokers leaked malware that was used by the NSA to target computers running Windows. It was a striking data dump that potentially put millions of Windows users at risk. Luckily, Microsoft says they have already patched the vulnerabilities.

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The Federal Government's Metadata Retention Scheme has now become compulsory for telcos and internet service providers in Australia. This means your metadata - including text messages, location information and internet connection details - will be stored for two years and available to Government agencies to access on request without a warrant.

If you value your privacy, you're going to need a virtual private network (VPN) to help mask your online activity. Here are some tips from the consumer protection group Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA), along with the best guides from our archives.

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As of now, Australia's telecommunications service providers have to store your metadata — records of your phone and internet activity, which can reveal a huge amount of detail — for two years. Approved government agencies can access that data without a warrant. It's not private information, either.

One way to circumvent Australia's draconian metadata retention scheme is to install and use a VPN on your phone and on your PC. Here's what a VPN is, what it does, and why — and how — you should get one.