A Defensive Computing Checklist    by Michael Horowitz
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MAY 2024

May 30: In the topic on Multiple Email Addresses, added a new Microsoft Outlook section
May 29: In the Android topic, added a heads up article about repairing a Samsung phone at an independent shop
May 28: In the Search Engine topic, added how to configure Desktop Firefox to remove Google AI from Google Search. In the Cars topic, added a Defensive Computing suggestion for Tesla owners. In the iOS topic added a spyware article with defensive steps.
May 26: Updated the VPN - My Experiences topic to note a new feature in the Mullvad iOS app. Started a Table Of Contents section for the Android topic. Android Battery information was moved to the Battery topic.
May 24: In the Search Engine topic added a new section on disabling Google AI Overviews
May 23: Expanded the topic of Guided Access in the iOS topic. Many changes to the Batteries topic. Added a couple things to the Fake/Scam voices topic.
May 22: Updated the NAS topic with a damning article about bugs in QNAP software. Updated the Camera section of the Airbnb topic. Added an article about Microsoft being bad to the Microsoft topic. In the web browser topic, linked to an online suite of browser auditing tests.
May 21: Updated the Venmo section of the Cash Apps topic. In the Secure Messaging topic, added info on securing the Proton Mail mobile app with an app run password.
May 20: Added the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to the topic of Reporting Bad Stuff. In the iOS topic, added a new section on Lockdown Mode.
May 19: Updated the Travel topic to add a note about keeping the airline phone number handy. Updated the VPN topic with a note about ads in podcasts. Added ChromeOS Flex to the Chromebook topic. In the Android topic added a note about the Private Spaces feature of Android 15.
May 16: In the iOS topic, on the topic of iCloud leaking, linked to an article about ADP. Also updated the topic of Apple account recovery.
May 13: Added Zebra Crossing to the list of other websites focused on Defensive Computing.

APRIL 2024

April 28: In the Google topic, added an article on deleting data Google has about you. On the Cars page, added more articles about G.M. spying on its customers.
April 27: On the VPN page, trashed an article in Wired about using a VPN on a router
April 25: Documented some gripes with IVPN on the VPN user experience page
April 24: A new example of cars spying on us was added to the Cars topic
April 22: In the topic of Multiple Email addresses, added a good article in the Reading section
April 21: In the Cars topic added an article about cars spying on us with many defensive suggestions. Added an article about smartphone backup to the iOS and Android topics. Multiple updates to the Battery topic. Added another article with details on Microsoft screw-ups to the Microsoft topic that suggests avoiding their software.
April 17: Added coverage of the massive AT&T data breach to the Cell Phone companies topic and the Rules of the Road topic
April 15: Added a warning in the VPN topic that an iPhone 13 mini has no visual indication that the VPN is connected.
April 12: Expanded the ROKU information in the TV Watches You topic. Updated the VPN topic to add the Google VPN is dead.
April 11: Added a D-Link section to the NAS topic. Updated the Facebook topic with info on detecting and reporting scams in their Marketplace.
April 10: Updated recommended web browsers. Added another recommendation for the Kagi search engine.
April 9: Added a plug for Kagi in the Seach Engine topic
April 7: Updated topic on US Tax Filing
April 6: Updated the Two Factor Authentication topic with recommended Authenticator apps. In the Cash Apps topic, updated Venmo with a new article.
April 3: Added a warning in the Microsoft topic about the new Outlook for Windows and how it spies on you. Added a warning on the VPN page to avoid Google VPN, at least on Windows.

MARCH 2024

March 31: Added a video on configuring macOS to be more secure to the macOS topic. In the iOS topic added an article about MFA bombing attacks. Updated the Apple instructions for reporting bad stuff in the topic on Reporting Bad Stuff.
March 28: In the Microsoft topic, added a heads up about a recovery email address for a Microsoft account
March 26: Updated the topic of having Multiple Email addresses
March 25: Updated the Domain Name Rules topic with an expanded intro and a link to a relevant article. Also added Advanced Protection to the Google topic.
March 19: Updated the topic of Multiple Email Addresses with info on a new Alias feature from Proton Mail March 13: Updated the Web Browser topic with more advice on tweaking desktop Firefox. Added a warning about Gazelle to the Rules of the Road page.
March 11: In the Cars topic added another article about cars spying on your
March 8: Updated the Social Security topic
March 7: Added a long article about AI fake voice scams to the Voices page
March 6: In the Twitter topic added a warning about the new calling feature
March 5: Updated the Battery topic. Updated the US Tax preparation topic with a new warning.
March 4: Many updates to the Two Factor Authentication topic. More articles in the Traveling topic about avoiding Boeing planes.
March 3: Updated description of Proton Drive in the Secure File Storage topic. Also noted that Skiff is shutting down.


Feb 29: Minor update to the Traveling topic. Consumer Reports found video doorbells with security flaws and no required FCC sticker. Yet, every major retailer selling the things continues to do so even after being notified by CR. Added this to the Amazon and News topics.
Feb 21: Updated my VPN experience to include an issue with IVPN and Wireguard on Windows 10
Feb 18: In the Google topic, linked to my new blog post about a new aspect of Google's spying. The Traveling already suggested not to fly on any plane made by Boeing, now it also links to an interview with a Boeing whistleblower.
Feb 13: Added an article about defending against voice phishing phone calls
Feb 11: In the iOS topic added a suggestion to look for apps consuming mass quantities of storage
Feb 9: More changes to the Secure Websites topic
Feb 8: Updates to the Secure Websites topic
Feb 6: Lots of updates to the new Secure Website topic
Feb 5: Updated iOS topic with my bad experience with Lockdown Mode and Wifi
Feb 2: New page on Secure Websites. Must reading, if I say so myself.


Jan 29: Added Stolen Device Protection feature of iOS 17.3 to iOS topic. In the Voices topic added some more articles about fake voices scamming parents. In the VPN User Experience topic, added observations about IVPN on iOS.
Jan 28: In the Twitter topic added warning not to give them your birthdate
Jan 26: In the Android topic, added a warning that the apps from Simple Mobile Tools have gone from good to bad. Added an article about saving money to the Cell Phone Companies topic. Organized the topics better on the Traveling page.
Jan 25: Updated the TikTok, Facebook and Twitter topics with a warning to disable their Notifications on iOS
Jan 24: On the Twitter page, added another warning not to give them your phone number. On the Windows page, added a Defensive Computing article.
Jan 23: In the Windows topic, added a great article about fixing Windows Update
Jan 22: Updated the item on Screen Time passcodes in the iOS topic
Jan 20: Minor update to the app run password topic on the iOS page
Jan 19: In the iOS topic, added info on getting your data from Apple and looking at it
Jan 17: Added an article about Facebook spying on you to the Facebook topic. It has some defensive steps. Added articles about finding cheap airfare to the Traveling topic.
Jan 16: Added a new Honda section in the Cars topic
Jan 15: Added an article on Credential Stuffing to the topic and News page. New short topic: Credit Freeze.
Jan 14: In the Public Wifi topic added a note about privacy and old SSIDs
Jan 13: Added some Mullvad VPN on iOS user experience to the VPN user experience topic
Jan 11: Moved Car Services topic to its own page and added config info for Uber app
Jan 10: Updated the About page
Jan 9: Added a new Statistics page with the average daily page views for each month
Jan 8: In the iOS topic added more on Lockdown Mode in iOS 17. In the Apple topic, added an Apple article on Lockdown Mode.
Jan 7: New article in the Facebook topic about a new configuration option in their mobile app
Jan 4: Added Substack to the list of companies to avoid on the Rules of the Road page
Jan 3: Updated the About page. Changed some heading/footer colors site-wide. Moved email topic to its own page.
Jan 2: Changed the website home page. Broken links are to be expected for a while.


Dec 30: On the Rules of the Road page, added ad blocking in a browser and system wide
Dec 27: Updated Venmo topic with info on their ID checks
Dec 21: Updated the Android section of the Batteries topic
Dec 19: Multiple updates to the TV watches you topic. New topic/page on Apple, perhaps you have heard of them? Updated the Rules of the Road and News pages. Added a website to track cell network outages to the Cellphone Companies page.
Dec 15: In the iOS topic, in the section on iOS 17 added the new stolen device protection feature
Dec 12: Updated the Death topic
Dec 10: Added another article on not using the Chrome browser to the Web Browsers topic. Expanded the VPN topic with a new sub-topic on Device Limits. Added an article about Amazon fraud in the Amazon topic.
Dec 7: Added Olvid to the secure messaging topic. Other changes too to the same topic.
Dec 6: Minor updates to the Domain Name Rules topic and the Batteries topic. Added WhatsApp locked chats feature to the Secure Messaging topic.
Dec 4: In the VPN topic, updated the section on testing if the VPN is working
Dec 2: Multiple updates to the Batteries topic.


Nov 27: Expanded Apple iMessage topic in the Secure Messaging topic
Nov 25: Added iPhone Family Sharing to track the location of family members
Nov 15: Updated the Search Engine topic with info on changing the default search engine on iOS and Android
Nov 14: Still more updates to the Batteries topic
Nov 12: Updated the VPN user experiences topic to better explain the Mullvad device limits
Nov 9: Assorted updates to the TV Watches You topic
Nov 8: Updated the downsides to a VPN in the VPN topic
Nov 7: In the Amazon topic added an article about their bad search results. Battery info for iOS, macOS and ChromeOS has been expanded and moved to the Batteries page.
Nov 5: Updated the Battery topic again, this time with more Android info
Nov 4: Updated the Battery topic to add that Sony phones can stop charging at less than 100 percent.


Oct 28: Updated the battery topic and moved it to its own page
Oct 27: Updated the battery section in the iOS topic
Oct 25: Added a warning in the iOS topic about upgrading to/from version 17
Oct 22: Lots of crap about Amazon added to the Amazon topic
Oct 21: Updated the IVPN user experience in the VPN user experience topic. Added fake usb flash drives to the Amazon topic thanks to research by Steve Gibson.
Oct 20: Updated Rules of the Road with a warning about cheap Flash Drives
Oct 19: Another example of a scam domain using punycode was added to the Domain Name Rules topic
Oct 18: Added an article to the Voice Scam topic
Oct 16: New topic added: Credential Stuffing. Minor updates to TikTok topic.
Oct 15: Added more on Google safe search in the Search Engine topic. Added the Google Analytics opt-out browser extension to the Google and Extra Credit topics.
Oct 14: Updated Twitter, TikTok, Instagram topics with more on protecting kids. New YouTube topic added.
Oct 13: Minor update to Death topic. Added Mullvad browser to web browser topic. Added Google Pixel phone EOL dates to Android topic.
Oct 11: Added the Consumer Report Permission Slip app to the Extra Credit topic
Oct 9: Added Steve Gibsons ValiDrive program to the USB Flash Drive topic. More disaster prep info on the Power outage page.
Oct 6: Added a warning in the Extra Credit topic about external hard drives
Oct 4: In the Android topic, added another privacy focused de-Googled phone, the The Murena 2, which runs /e/OS. Two new Rules of the Road: don't do Google searches while logged in to Google and avoid the cheapest Android devices.
Oct 2: Added a warning for Patreon users that more information about your use of Patreon would be made public by the company by default. Patreon does not have its own topic/page here, this was added on the Odds and Ends page
Oct 1: The Secure Website topic was both updated and moved to its own page.


Sept 30: In the VPN topic, added warnings about VPN providers that lie about the physical location of their servers.
Sept 29: In the Extra Credit page, added a new section on photos of your most important cards/papers
Sept 26: In the topic on Multiple Email Addresses expanded the offerings from Fastmail. Added an excellent article reviewing many secure messaging products to the Secure Messaging topic.
Sept 24: Some more updates to the Secure File Storage topic
Sept 23: Some updates to the Secure File Storage topic
Sept 22: Added the customization of Google ads to the Google topic. Added more on Kia and Hyundai car thefts to the Cars topic. Added info on limiting the iPhone battery to an 80 percent charge to the iOS and Battery topics.
Sept 21: Added diskless VPN servers as a feature to look for in the VPN topic
Sept 20: Added info on new Apple Roadside Assistance feature to Traveling and iOS topics
Sept 19: Added a dedicated IP address as a VPN feature in the VPN topic
Sept 18: Started adding some Natural Disaster info to the Power outage topic
Sept 15: Updated the Chromebook topic to note that Chromebooks now get 10 years of bug fixes.
Sept 14: Added Pegasus Defensive advice to the iOS topic
Sept 6: Lots of additions to the Cars topic.
Sept 5: Updated the VPN topic with an article about Windows malware that leaks your location. Added a VPN Relationship Map to the VPN topic.
Sept 4: Added an article on the new Proton Sentinel feature to the News and Extra Credit topics
Sept 3: Updated the Domain Name Rules page to add Country Code TLDs.

See the full history of changes back to 2019

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