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08/12/2017

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Of course, Truecrypt can't help you if the files you have stored inside its robust cryptographic storage are also present in C:WindowsTemp, or available for forensic recovery after you move them into your Truecrypt container. If you are worried about that, you can get TC to encrypt your boot partition so you have to enter your password to even get Windows to begin booting. Of course, that's still vulnerable if someone snatches your booted-and-unlocked laptop from your grasp.Despite the recent scares, many people are still comfortable with using the previous (7.1a) release of the massively popular encrypted storage application. Now that the dust has settled a little, I am too.I share Steve Gibson's opinion that the dire it's insecure, stop using it message put out by its developers should more accurately be interpreted as we quit, there will be no support from us going forward, so please use something else.At this point, although version 7.1a of Truecrypt is considered safe, it is appropriate to urge a little bit of caution about where you download. This would be a great opportunity for ne'er-do-wells to put up fake mirrors serving compromised, weakened or malware-addled versions of the software. I would recommend either Steve Gibson's mirror on his GRC page, or the new Truecrypt.ch site hosted in Switzerland, as being appropriate and trustworthy.Now we've got all that out of the way, here's a link to a decent tutorial to walk you through the basic setup (creating a container-file based volume).

For greater depths of background reading, Andrew Y has reconstructed the original Truecrypt website for reference purposes, including the Documentation section.While you certainly can use Truecrypt to send files to someone else, that would require you to either pre-arrange a shared password in advance, or have some other already-secure channel to transmit it to them. That's not hugely useful in many situations, such as a whistleblower wanting to communicate securely with a journalist they’ve never met.That's where the clever maths of Public Key Cryptography comes in. Rather than the symmetric model used by Truecrypt (encrypt with a password, decrypt with the same password), Public Key tools work with a mathematically-related pair of really massive numbers. One of those can be shared freely with the entire world and is used to encrypt data (the Public Key), but that ciphertext can then only be decrypted by the other half of the pair, which you keep secret (the Private Key).The de facto standard for this is OpenPGP, descended from the original Pretty Good Privacy created by Phil Zimmermann. The Free Software toolset GPG (GNU Privacy Guard) is the most commonly used implementation.

There are a number of possible configurations available for GPG, depending on if you would rather use it as a plugin to a local email client or use it entirely as a stand-alone app. My personal preference is to use the Enigmail plugin for the Mozilla Thunderbird mail client, whereas a more-manual approach which requires less changes to your general way of working (not needing you to use a different email client) would be to use the Gnu Privacy Assistant (GPA) standalone app from the GPG4Win bundle.There are also Chrome extensions which implement OpenPGP in client-side Javascript inside your browser, to aid using it with webmail services. I haven't used any of these and I'm not sure if they would provide seriously top-tier protection – there are hazards like Gmail's autosaving of unsent emails that could cause your message to be sent to Google in the clear.This would be another security versus convenience trade-off. For best security, don't compose your sensitive emails in a webmail page – write them locally in Notepad, run them through GPG by hand, then copypaste the encrypted version in to Gmail to send it.Withings is building a name for itself with its range of techie health products that include Wi-Fi scales, a Smart Body Analyser and a blood pressure monitor. The company has recently announced its Activité Swiss made watch, but that'll set you back £320. Much cheaper is the Pulse O2 (or Pulse OX in some regions), a clip or strap on activity tracker featuring a built-in heart rate monitor, altimeter, sleep tracking and whopping two-week battery life.

Features include OLED touchscreen and links up to the Withings Health Mate app which can link up with other Withings devices, so it can be part of a system that’s more about keeping tabs on health than the sporty side of fitness. That said, it also integrates with MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper.The heart rate sensor is good to have but to use it the Pulse O2 needs to be removed from the clip so that readings can be taken from your fingertips. Unlike other devices, it also monitors blood oxygen levels, which ensures enough oxygen is getting through to muscles. How useful this can be is questionable (high altitude climbers perhaps?), as for most, the figure stays above 95 per cent with medical assistance only required if dipping below 90 per cent.The rubber strap is comfortable, but the design looks a bit cheap, so most will probably prefer the clip as an alternative to wear on clothing. While it doesn’t look as impressive as the VivoSmart, if you’re a hiker or love counting how many stairs taken, the altimeter is worth having. It’s also one of the cheapest all-rounders you’ll find with heart rate monitoring.If your training borders on religious dedication and biological science, then you should be shopping for a wearable that’s a dedicated heart monitor and tracking device for cardio training.The main selling point of this strap on is the accurate heart monitor and realtime coaching. You simply swipe through to Quick Start, then tap Get Ready to record pulse rate during training. While the smartwatches in this section were also accurate for heart monitoring, none were as instantaneous as the miCoach in getting a reading, nor as constant in maintaining the pulse information.

Among the features are on-screen coaching and a workout review. There’s 4GB of storage for music (3GB) and data too. When paired with wireless headphones (not supplied) you can listen to music and receive audible coaching. The captured data is used to update fitness readings with a PC or Mac via Wi-Fi and an miCoach user account. This part was fairly easy to set up and the LCD touch screen watch very easy to use. The miCoach Train and Run app can be used to select a cardio training plan and monitor stats.A single button to turn on or jump back to the main screen makes it user friendly, but it’s big and chunky on a female wrist and the clasp gets in the way if used as an everyday watch, especially when typing on a laptop. It can get a bit sweaty but comfortable all the same. Built-in GPS records a range of data during runs and cycles, with distances and timings. However, battery life isn’t great, lasting only 4 hours or without music up to 8 hours. Designed for a very specific breed of fitness fanatic, the Adidas miCoach Smart Run is certainly not cheap, but its built-in GPS and instant heart rate reader will always add to the cost.

If you've read Glenn Greenwald's recently released book, he describes how the mysterious Cincinnatus tried (unsuccessfully) to get him to install and configure GPG, including creating a video tutorial to walk him through the steps; that tutorial is still up and available to view on Vimeo. Although the audio can be a little tricky to understand – he had run his voice through a particularly enthusiastic autotune-like filter to hide his identity – it's a very thorough treatment of how to install and use GPG at a click here, choose this option level of detail.One area that video doesn't cover is how to validate that the Public Key you have found genuinely does belong to the intended recipient. There are known instances of fake keys being uploaded to the public key servers (such as Erinn Clark, developer for the Tor project, and one for Glenn Greenwald himself. This is believed to be how an internal encrypted email between Jesselyn Radack (Edward Snowden's lawyer) and Glenn Greenwald escaped into the wild, as reported here and here.PGP uses Public Key tools that work with a mathematically-related pair of really massive numbers In cosy web browser padlock icon land, aka SSL/TLS, we all trust a bunch of Certificate Authorities (such as Verisign, Thawte and Digicert). They check the identities of the people they're issuing certificates to – at least, in theory – and the presence of an intact digital signature from the CA means we can be confident that we are genuinely connecting to the site we're trying to reach and not being redirected through an interloper. Of course, those CAs all have to obey the law of the land in their local jurisdictions, National Security Letters and all.

OpenPGP doesn't have that top-down CA-style validation of public keys. Rather, users can sign their friends' or colleagues' public keys to assert that they have checked that the specific key really belongs to the proper person. If you verify my key and tell your OpenPGP client that you trust it and trust me, then you will inherit the trust I have stamped on to Duncan's key when I signed it. This entire concept, while technically incredibly clever, is also a massive pain in the backside. Accordingly, people don't really do it much or enough – if at all.The most common approach at the moment is to publish your Public Key directly on your own website. That's a pretty good starting point for most needs, although if you are getting into government-level adversary land then there is still the theoretical risk that either the site has been modified on the webserver or the contents substituted on its way over the internet to you.To manually verify that the Public Key you're intending to use really does belong to the right person, you need to compare the Key Fingerprint (40 hex digits) that you see on the key with the Fingerprint that the key owner sees on their definitive copy. Counter-intuitively, this process does not need to be done in secret – a Skype or normal-phone call is entirely acceptable. What matters is that the information you're exchanging (fingerprints of public keys) is not changed in transit - there's no specific problem with allowing The Man to eavesdrop on that conversation.

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