Stories by Jon L. Jacobi

Portable storage for the paranoid: We test two secure USB drives on keypad vs. software security

Congratulations: You've decided your data is sensitive enough (or you're paranoid enough) to store it on a secure USB drive. Basically encrypted storage on a stick, these portable flash drives come with FIPS 140-2 level three validation, meaning the cryptographic module will be rendered inoperable if tampering is detected. It costs quite a bit to acquire validation, which is part of the reason for premium pricing of these drives.

Jon L. Jacobi | 20 Mar | Read more

IronKey Workspace W700 FIPS Review: Windows To Go on one tough, secure little key drive

Looking to free yourself or your employees from the painful logistics of traveling with a laptop? Liked the looks of Windows to Go, but wanted the peace of mind that hardware security brings? You need to check out the Imation IronKey W700 Workspace--a hardware-encrypted, FIPS 140-2 level-3 validated, USB 3.0 Windows to Go thumb drive that can be managed remotely. It's the first of its breed and as secure a compute-on-any-PC solution as you'll find. It's also expensive.

Jon L. Jacobi | 05 Dec | Read more

Lookout Premium: Outstanding anti-theft protection for Android phones

Android security suites generally have a lot of tricks up their sleeves, but Lookout Premium has taken it up a notch with anti-theft and recovery features. The program's variety of email alert settings is without peer. That said, the latest results from AV-TEST pegged Lookout as below par in malware detection and perhaps too aggressive in picking out suspect software.

Jon L. Jacobi | 25 Jul | Read more

Apricorn Aegis Padlock DT review: Capacious, secure storage for your desktop

If you're looking for secure storage with lots of capacity for your home or workplace, Apricorn's Aegis Padlock DT is a good place to start the search. This 3.5-inch external hard drive is relatively affordable--for the secure storage market, that is. It's FIPS 140-2 certified and can be administered via an on-board keypad. That makes it more versatile than solutions that rely on client software for encryption and access.

Jon L. Jacobi | 04 Jul | Read more

VyperVPN: secure Internet usage with abundant international servers

If you read our recent Freedome review, you know the reasons you might want to utilize a VPN (Virtual Private Network): privacy and spoofing your location. Freedome proved good at both, but VyprVPN from Golden Frog is in another class when it comes to location spoofing, with servers in 38 separate countries, including a small-fry like Luxemborg (sorry Luxemborgers...). You can pretend you're from almost anywhere with VyperVPN.

Jon L. Jacobi | 17 May | Read more

F-Secure Freedome review: VPN and security for mobile devices

With the mobile, connect-to-any-Wi-Fi-you-can-find lifestyle comes a certain amount of risk. It's not a simple deal, but unscrupulous types can hack unencrypted communications between your mobile device and Wi-Fi hotspot or routers. That's where F-Secure's Freedome--a combination of VPN (Virtual Private Network) service and malware protection for your iOS or Android device--steps in.

Jon L. Jacobi | 26 Apr | Read more

Aegis Padlock SSD Review: Small, fast, FIPS-secure, and expensive

Apricorn's Aegis Padlock SSD offers a number of advantages over rival secure storage solutions. It delivers more capacity than the ubiquitous secure thumb drive, being available in capacities of 120-, 240-, and even 480GB, while remaining considerably smaller than the usual 2.5-inch portable SSD. It also has an on-board keypad that you can use to access the data stored inside it. Finally, you can use it with any device that can connect to USB mass storage, not just computers.

Jon L. Jacobi | 03 Apr | Read more

Bugs & Fixes: The Moon Worm slinks by Linksys E-series routers

A slimy piece of malware called the moon worm has managed to slither past the login for Linksys E-series routers. SANS ISC said that it's the CGI script for the administration interface that's vulnerable, and recommends that you upgrade your firmware--when an upgrade that fixes the problem is made available. As of now, you're invited to switch off your E-series router's Remote Management Console to avoid possible hacking. If you never turned it on, you're in luck, it's disabled by default.

Jon L. Jacobi | 05 Mar | Read more

5 password managers that protect your personal data too

Credit cards, social security numbers, logins--each of us passes enough personal information through our PCs and mobile devices to complete a dossier. All that data isn't just tough to remember, it's also difficult to keep secure. Writing everything down on a piece of paper or in a text file or PDF is risky, but do you really want to encrypt your hard drive for a few lousy passwords and account numbers?

Jon L. Jacobi | 24 Feb | Read more

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