macos – No allow button in security and privacy preferences

An example of what should be there. When trying to install VMWare in MacOS Catalina, under security and privacy system preferences and then general, I do not see a way to allow what it needs to work properly. Even when I unlock the system preferences, it does not give me an option to allow in order to complete the setup. I also recently tried installing parallels desktop, which requires the same procedure in system preferences, and I was not able to get that working properly either because the allow button is not there.
Anyone know why this might be?
Thanks so much for the help!

Add-On Domains and Privacy

Is the main site account of an Add-On Domain visible in any way? For example, my site: https://bonafidebankruptcy.com/ is an Add-On Domain, but I don't want random people to know that. Do I need to get a different level of hosting or do anything else to keep it separate?

privacy – Why should I use a Bitcoin Mixer?

Using a mixer helps preserve your financial privacy. The question is: who are you protecting your privacy from?

Bitcoin transactions are public record, so anybody can view any historical transaction at their leisure. So when considering your privacy, there are a few different situations worth exploring, for example:

An unrelated third party is looking at your transactions

The blockchain history is public record, so anyone can view the entire history. Addresses aren’t linked to real-world identities, but by looking at spending patterns, a third party can make guesses at which addresses are controlled by the same wallets (and thus users). Keep in mind this is only a guess, made by using certain heuristics that are not always correct, but nonetheless in many cases these guesses can still be accurate.

A counterparty to your transactions is looking

This is perhaps where a Bitcoin mixer becomes most useful. While addresses are pseudonymous, when you transact with someone they will gain some information about which addresses you control.

For example, if you have a 5 BTC UTXO, and spend it to send 1 BTC to somebody, then by looking at the transaction, your counterparty would know that you own at least 4 BTC more. And by analyzing the history of inputs (and outputs) from your transaction with them, the third party may be able to guess which other addresses you own, by using the same sort of heuristics mentioned above. So suddenly, just by transacting with someone, you’ve sacrificed a perhaps unnecessary amount of your financial privacy and history to them.

This is where a mixer can help: it breaks the links between addresses in your wallet, by allowing you to participate in transactions which break blockchain analysis techniques. As in the example above, your counterparty would still be able to see your change output, but they would be unable to look at the history of inputs (and outputs) from the transaction to gain more information about your wallet (though they would be able to tell you used a mixer).

An analytics company with a lot of resources is looking

This situation has the same considerations as above, but it is worth noting that analytics companies may have enough resources to engage in deeper investigations and analysis, for example by using IP address tracking to associate addresses to users. Nonetheless, using a mixing service will still help preserve your financial privacy.

As an example, many KYC’d exchange services are required by law to keep track of how their users interact with the service, and spend the bitcoin they acquire through it. This means the service might watch how you spend bitcoins that they sell to you, in order to ensure you aren’t engaging in some illicit activities (according to the legislation the exchange must follow). So by using a mixer, you can sever the link between your exchange account, and your bitcoin spending habits.


Note that throughout all of this, the main idea is that you should only reveal your financial history to those individuals you choose to, meaning, this gives you the selective ability to preserve your privacy. If you need to provide a history of transactions for an audit, then you can do so, and a bitcoin mixer will not help you fake that history.

This makes a bitcoin mixer more useful for the everyday user that wants to uphold their privacy, than it is for a criminal wishing to hide their history from authorities. Maintaining privacy is difficult, but possible, and in fact many Bitcoin developers are working on technologies that will make the tracking of transactions more difficult. Maintaining privacy and fungibility is important: without it Bitcoin as a system of money and value would be broken.


EDIT: It is also worth mentioning that not all mixers are alike. In fact, many mixers have historically been unable to actually break the links between users/wallets/addresses, so they provide a false sense of security.

Consider this: if you were running a chain analysis company, and the existence of a mixer would hurt your business model, then why not just run a mixer yourself, and keep logs of all the transactions that users send through it? You would have front-row access to all their transactions, under the guise of providing them privacy.

With this in mind, A good mixer should be:

  • Non-custodial
  • Unable to distinguish between users/inputs/outputs, and thus unable to keep a history of users/transactions
  • It should probably run exclusively over the Tor network

If a mixer doesn’t satisfy these points, it should be avoided.

macos – How to add/remove applications from “File and Folders” inside “Security and Privacy” -> Privacy Tab

enter image description here

How to remove these bunch of files from here.
I use VS code, when I debug a program it asks for this permission that a file that is created while debugging wants to access your Document folder. And every time I have to allow it and then those files end up in Privacy -> “Files and Folders”.

enter image description here

privacy – How does Google track users in Incognito mode?

There is a common misunderstanding of what “Private Browsing” or “Incognito Mode” actually does.

There is no anonymity or tracking protection provided. What these modes do is block persistence of information across sessions, preventing permanent storage of cookies or history after the browser has been closed.

Within a given browser session, meaning from start to stop, Incognito and similar works exactly the same (caveat) as a normal browsing session. The difference is that local storage is blocked so all of the session information is gone upon browser termination.

Some browsers (Firefox) proactively block writing to local storage in private mode. Some browsers (IE as of 2 years ago) wrote to local storage but cleared local storage upon start up.

Caveat:

Because protected browsing may not allow HTML5 local storage, many sites now complain about protected browsing. Some sites, like Netflix, will not work at all without the ability to write local storage.

privacy – Effect of Firefox’s “Responsive Design Mode” on the browser’s fingerprint

Today I switched ON the “Responsive Design Mode” under the “Web Developer” Section of the Firefox menu, and from the dropdown menu selected “iPhone X/XS iOS 12”.

So now every webpage I visited was being sent the request that the screen size of my device was “375×812”.

My question is that, can this method enhance my protection against browser fingerprinting(assuming I also take some other precautions)? Because the websites now wouldn’t be able to know my original aspect ratio/screen resolution, and above 2 iPhones are quite common too(I am using a laptop).

I earlier tried to scale the Firefox window to nearly the aspect ratio of a mobile phone, but that didn’t make any differnce at all.

Note:

(i) In the context of this question my adversaries are only the companies and their websites,and not the Governments & ISPs.

(ii) I am just asking about the effect of this method on my browser’s fingerprint, that is, whether it will increase or decrease the fingerprint. Be advised: I am not using this as the only method.

(iii) Firefox version: 78.0.2

(iv) OS: some linux distro.

privacy – Is there a not-advertised “Windows 10 for Rich People” edition?

When Windows 10 was not yet released, a spokesperson from Microsoft stood on stage talking about how important privacy is to Microsoft and literally ended with:

Because you are our customersnot our products!

(Loud applauds, and understandably so.)

Well, I probably don’t have to tell you what happened once it was released, but every time I have to reinstall my computer system, I’m absolutely appalled by the insane number of cryptic and ever-changing steps I have to take to force my Windows 10 Pro (the version I bought) into something that could be considered “just barely usable, if you forget all about privacy”. Every last bit of joy has been sucked out of computers in the last 20 years.

It strikes me that this cannot possibly be what rich people see on their computers. It simply cannot. There must exist some kind of not-advertised Windows 10 version (possibly having existed since Windows 8 was first released or even before) which has all of this spying and insultingly dumbed-down consumer madness turned off/removed by default. I imagine that their version of Windows brings them immediately to a truly clean desktop and can instantly start installing whatever third-party software they need, without first having to go through this long ritual of steps from a long “laundry list” of objectively user-hostile defaults.

Basically, I’m convinced that there must exist a “Windows basic platform engine” with some sort of professional, polished GUI running on top of it which is quite different from the big, ugly mess that is presented to the general public as Windows 10. Something which, to the user, never or very rarely changes.

I simply cannot imagine that a rich person, who doesn’t like or want to use Apple/Mac computers (or simply need to use one or more of the numerous Windows-exclusive software products), goes through what I go through every time they set up a new computer or reinstall my current one. It’s a scene I just cannot believe happens. Just like a rich person would never put up with my living conditions, I don’t believe that they would put up with my “computing experience”.

Maybe you’ll say that they probably just hire an expert to do it for them, and while that sounds reasonable for somebody who can afford it, would such a person really trust somebody else to set up their personal computer, this highly personal and central machine, for them properly and not make any mistakes or even add their own spying software for personal blackmail purposes?

I certainly would never let anyone, even if they have a big diploma from “Privacy University”, install and set up Windows 10 on my “rich man’s” PC even if I had as much money as Bill Gates; there are many GUI-accessible settings related to updates and sending “samples” (personal files) to Microsoft by default related to the anti-virus product built into Windows, for example, which most people would more than likely miss even if they were tasked with this job and got paid dearly for it. And it keeps changing.

It simply doesn’t add up. Something is missing from the equation.

I assume that Bill Gates himself has a private build of Windows, but of course most rich people are far from his wealth and he also is the founder of the company, so it’s meaningless to focus on him for this question which is about “rich, intelligent, important people” in general. Take Elon Musk or somebody like that. (And please don’t try to convince me that he’s running Linux…)

Please note that I’m not talking about a “clean” copy of Windows 10, that is, one without all the extra garbage added in by the PC maker, pre-installed on most PCs you can buy in stores. I’m talking about a “clean ISO” directly from Microsoft. The most “vanilla” Windows 10 that you can get. The “intended” OS, which is so full of nonsense by now that I just cannot imagine having a secondary computer and having to maintain two of these things. There’s just too much stuff to disable and (attempt to) block.

Of course, I don’t think it’s actually called “Windows 10 for Rich People”, but what do such people do? Just like they pay for so many other annoying/unpleasant/privacy-invasive things to “go away” for them, surely this must also be the case with computers?

PS: I’m aware of the “Enterprise” and “Enterprise LTSC” editions, but they are very specifically for mass-installations in companies, cannot be purchased normally and, having tried them out myself, are only very marginally better than the home/”Pro” editions in terms of spying, unwanted bloat and (lack of) polish, so I cannot accept these as the versions I’m referring to.

privacy – Is it possible that my personal photos in my smartphone may end up in the internet even if I never uploaded or sync it anywhere in the internet?

Sorry if its a dumb question. I am pretty sure that my smartphone (android miui11) is constantly sending various data to its servers anytime when the internet is on. So, does it send my personal photos to the servers? Or any data related to my personal photos? Can this be a threat? Like if someone in the servers could see and upload my photos somewhere else in the internet?

privacy – Is it possible that the photos I click with the smartphone camera gets uploaded secretly?

When I take a photo with my smartphone camera is this information sent to the servers provided my internet connectivity is on? I came across some articles about spying on personal data by mobile company servers. So I am a bit worried and curious. I have cloud sync turned off. Is it possible that the photos I click are sent to the servers and the people working there can see my photos and can do anything they want? I am using a redmi phone.