Welcome!

Loose Leaf Security is an independently produced podcast from Liz Denys and Geoffrey Thomas about making good computer security practice for everyone. We believe you don't need to be a software engineer or security professional to understand how to keep your devices and data safe. In every episode, we break down complex digital security and privacy topics into accessible primers and practical takeaways.

You can find Loose Leaf Security on many podcast clients or stream our episodes in your web browser. You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

In addition to podcast episodes, we'll also be covering some security- and privacy-related topics in blog-style articles, where we can go into more detail than we could in an episode. We also send out a weekly newsletter that includes a practical tip about improving your personal digital security, short summaries of relevant security news, and any thought-provoking articles we've seen about digital privacy and security.

If you're new to Loose Leaf Security, you might want to check out our archives for some suggestions on where to start and a complete list of our episodes, articles, and reference materials.

Our latest episode:

Covering your webcams

Liz and Geoffrey take a look at how attackers compromise webcams and discuss why it's worth physically covering them. Malware and alleged threats of malware are only some of the avenues attackers take to access other people's webcams; vulnerabilities in legitimate software, like the recent Zoom security flaw, can also be exploited. Additionally, sharing ownership of your devices with another party like your school district or workplace may leave you and your webcams exposed. In the news, the FTC fines Facebook, weaknesses in Apple's iMessage and Visual Voicemail, and U2F support added to Firefox for Android.

Covering your webcams episode art

Continue reading for the show notes and complete transcript…

Other recent episodes:

  • Password managers: how they should work and when they didn't: Liz and Geoffrey discuss password manager extensions in depth: everything from how they keep your passwords safe from malicious websites to how they sync your passwords between your devices to how they've made mistakes in the past. If you haven't… (June 27, 2019)
  • Two-factor tidying: With a wide variety of possible two-factor authentication methods, it's difficult to keep track of which ones you're using - and which ones you could be using. Liz and Geoffrey talk about their personal strategies and how to handle difficult cases… (May 16, 2019)
  • Using a password manager effectively: In a deeper exploration of password manager browser extensions and features for sharing as well as a survey of alternatives to password managers, Liz and Geoffrey go back to the topic of Loose Leaf Security's very first episode and discuss how… (March 20, 2019)

See all of our episodes sorted by release date, most recent first.

Our latest article:

Loose Leaf Security Weekly, Issue 22

Happy (belated) Valentine's Day! Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm glad we use end-to-end encryption, so no one sees my love note but you.

If someone forwarded this to you, you can sign up yourself at https://looseleafsecurity.com/newsletter.

Tip of the week

Automatic, regular backups are great for getting back to work quickly when something happens to your computer, phone, or tablet, but it's also important to backup important files separately, too. If an important file is only in your regular, automatic backups, you could find yourself without information you need if you accidentally delete it and don't notice until after the oldest automatic backup containing it gets replaced. You're also protected from malware deleting an important file, like in one of the stories we're covering later in this newsletter.

You don't necessarily need a separate cloud storage account or separate hard drives for manual backups of important data, though it doesn't hurt to keep them as separated as is practical for your workflow. Even if you aren't using different accounts or hard drives for these manual backups, you do want to make sure you're storing the backups of these files in places you won't accidentally overwrite …

Continue reading…

Other recent articles:

  • Loose Leaf Security Weekly, Issue 21: Happy Monday! One of our stories this week discusses the use of "cell-site simulators" or "IMSI-catchers," small devices that can trick cell phones into connecting to them instead of to actual cell towers. They're an increasingly popular… (February 10, 2020)
  • Loose Leaf Security Weekly, Issue 20: "Skimmed" may be what you're looking for when selecting milk for your tea, but probably isn't something you want to hear happened to your credit card. We talk about skimming attacks in our episode "Credit and debit card security," but since a… (February 2, 2020)
  • Loose Leaf Security Weekly, Issue 19: The weather's getting just a bit warmer where we are, which means we usually don't need to wear gloves anymore. "Touchscreen gloves" with capacitive fingertips are handy, but not totally accurate, and it's annoying when you mistype your passcode… (January 27, 2020)

See all of our articles sorted by release date, most recent first.