The Pros and Cons of using a Password Manager

Many cybersecurity professionals can’t stop recommending using a password manager to ensure your online safety. There are however some downsides that you should be aware of. Used as a vault for all your login credentials they can be a seemingly invaluable tool. Anyone that uses more than a handful of services online would benefit greatly from using seperate unique login credentials. But do you really need a password manager? To help you decide, let’s look at some pros and cons so that you can make a better more informed decision.

a password manager can help with online privacy

a password manager can help with online privacy

The Pros

They’re Easy & Convenient

One of the most prominent and noteworthy benefits of using a password manager is the fact that they make keeping track of your login credentials exceptionally easy! All you do is log in to a site once and your credentials will be saved allowing you to automatically log you in the next time you visit. Any good password manager will also sync your passwords across all your devices for added convenience.

They Offer Stronger Protection

You should never use simple, easy to guess passwords, and they should be different for all sites you visit. Keeping track of all these complex and unique passwords can be time consuming, and keeping them safe equally as difficult. A good password manager will generate unique random passwords and store them for you with little to no extra effort.

They Protect More Than Just Credentials

A password manager does more than just keep all your passwords safe. You can also store any kind of important info ranging from online security passwords to credit card details and more. A password manager can act as your online diary with all your secrets stored in a single location.

They’re Simpler & Efficient

Whether you want to share your passwords with a family member or change any compromised password instantly, a password manager lets you do that with a few simple clicks. When it comes down to it, a password manager is all about making your online life simpler, safer and more convenient.

The Cons

You Have All Your Eggs In One Basket – Literally

The most glaring and concerning issue with using a password manager is that if someone manages to gain access to your password manager then they have access to all your online credentials for every site. As most password managers use *proprietary code – you have not way of knowing just how safe your data actually is.

*There are some open-source privacy managers which are totally transparent in their security practices.

A Prime Target For Hackers

Rather than targeting all your accounts separately, a hacker will always opt for targeting one account that has all the info for all other accounts you have. If the tool itself gets hacked then all your info will be compromised. This has happened in the past and most recently with OneLogin which suffered a major data breach.

They Can Be Expensive

Whether you’re on a PC or a MAC, using a password manager to protect your online privacy can **get pricey. As a subscription-based service (as many current privacy managers are), the cost of using one can easily stack up over time and in some cases, as stated above may just not be worth it.

**I personally find the built-in password manager in Safari to be more than adequate for my needs. 🙂

In the end, it all comes down to whether you prioritize convenience over the minimal (but real) risk factor. Some password managers do make the effort to protect your online privacy but even they can’t offer you complete protection against any malicious hackers.

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Why you should clear your browser cookies regularly

When you browse the internet, information from site’s you visit are stored on your device in the form of cookies. Every day you use your browser to check your email, do banking and buy things online using web sites. Information you enter, places on the page you look at, how fast you scroll and links you click can all be easily stored and used by advertising companies.

cookies are a potential privacy threat

cookies are a potential privacy threat

What are Cookies

Basically, they are small packets of Data stored on your device when you visit a site. They can contain crucial information such as your login credentials, search history, and more. This all depends on the kind of site you visit. A cookie can also include a detailed log of what you did on the site or what you’ve got laying around in your Amazon cart. They operate in the background and you won’t even notice whether your browser is using a cookie or not.

Why Cookies are a potential risk to your Privacy

Cookies are very useful. But there is a potential privacy risk. Hackers could potentially access cookies stored on your computer. They could even forge new ones related to your online accounts that allow them complete access. This already happened back in 2013, 2015 and 2016 when hackers broke into Yahoo’s systems and stole proprietary code relating to Yahoo’s use of cookies. Using the stolen proprietary code, hackers were able to forge cookies for 32 million users which gave them complete access to user accounts without a password. Malicious sites can place cookies on your device with malicious intent leaving you open to online threats.

Tracking Cookies and advertising

Cookies are widely used by advertisers, and data sharing is common. This enables companies like Google or FaceBook to track your browsing sessions. It is also the reason why ads seemingly know what you’re thinking and “follow” you around. Perhaps you have been researching holiday destinations. Then all of a sudden you start seeing ads for flights or car rentals. Many would argue that this is a useful side effect. In some cases it may be! But take a moment to think just how much other data these private companies may have stored ready to sell to the highest bidder.

Why you should clear your browser Cookies regularly

You can’t tell whether a site is using them or not (although most are). Some are deleted when you log out of a site or quit your browser. Others are stored on your computer for years! There is one thing they all have in common. They are all used for data collection. Whether this is useful or not depends on the intended purpose. Regularly clearing them will prevent companies from deeply profiling you, and potentially safeguard you against malicious hacks.

Logging In Through A Public Computer

Every now and then, we find ourselves using a public computer to get something done in a hurry. Whether it’s to check our emails or log into Facebook. The last thing you want is the Computer to remember your login credentials. It’s always recommended that you delete your browser history and cookies or use Incognito/Private mode when using a public computer to access any accounts online.

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Why You Should Be Using a VPN

A VPN (virtual private network) is a popular consideration by many using the internet. While there is the initial view that people only use this type of system for illegal gains, there are many innocent reasons to invest in one for your own internet browsing.
In fact, you need to install a VPN right now. It’s time to protect your privacy, especially with the state of the privacy laws at the moment. Your protections are only going to disappear more.

Let’s look at why you should use a VPN for your internet browsing.

Keeping Your Browsing Anonymous

Do you really want everyone knowing what you’re doing online? Even if you’re just going from legal site to legal site, you don’t want the world tracking everything you do. The world is becoming a Big Brother state as it is. You don’t need to contribute to that if you don’t want to. Not only do you protect your privacy, but you will also add a level of security through anonymity. You’ll have an extra layer of protection against the “hackers” in the world.

How does a VPN offer anonymity?

A VPN masks your true IP address. This is your internet protocol address and is issued by your internet provider. You can’t change this yourself. The IP address tells websites where you’re browsing from and who you’re browsing through. Websites will know if you’re coming from the UK, USA, China or anywhere in between. When you use a VPN, your IP address is masked with the IP address of the VPN. You may be browsing from the UK, but it can look like you’re browsing from the USA, Canada, or elsewhere in the world. Nobody knows who you really are and where you’re actually from, helping to protect your identity when you’re online.

This isn’t just good for protecting yourself from hackers or the government spying on you. It’s also possible to prevent Amazon, Facebook, Google, and other big sites following and tracking you. They won’t know what you’re searching for or looking at, meaning they can’t blast you with emails and ads based on your browsing habits. They have no idea that it was you doing the searching. If they’re collecting information on your shopping and searching habits, what else are they collecting?

Keep Your Details Secure While Browsing

VPN privacy

secure your private data from snooping

You can use a VPN when using a public hotspot or Wi-Fi. This means you can use one in a coffee shop, at an airport, or at your local internet café. The great news about this is the added layer of security. Public Wi-Fi just isn’t secure. Hackers find it very easy to intercept and steal information from you whilst surfing public WiFi – don’t take chances with your private data.

Browse as If You’re in Another Country

US Netflix has far more available than Netflix anywhere else. VPNs have become very popular because of this. Someone in the UK can use a VPN to mask their IP address and make it look like they’re browsing from somewhere in the US. While Netflix has started blocking VPN access, there are still reasons to have one installed on your computer.

VPNs have been around much longer than Netflix, but have been used for similar reasons. The benefit is you get to mask your IP address. It looks like you’re browsing elsewhere in the world. This is great when you’re travelling. You can get access to all your home comforts when in another country. Want to access BBC iPlayer while in Canada? Not a problem! This can also be great when travelling in a country where certain sites are blocked. For example, China blocks access to a lot of US owned websites. You can mask the Chinese IP address with one outside the country to access all the sites that you need.

Final Words on VPN use

It’s time to improve your browsing experience and protect your privacy. A VPN is something that you need right now. You’ll prevent sites and governments tracking your every move and open the world to you no matter where you are.

***disclaimer, all information provided above is dependant upon you using a respectable VPN which doesn’t track your browser activity. I personally use TorGuard (a completely anonymous VPN service) along with the free OpenVPN client TunnelBlick for my Mac, and OpenVPN for iOS.

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Connecting your Apple TV to a Hotel Wi-Fi network

OK so your’e travelling, and you’ve decided you can’t be without your Apple TV. You’ve checked into your Hotel, and the Hotel has Wi-Fi. But how can you connect to access all your content?

It’s actually quite a simple process. But you do have a few things you need to prepare before you travel. Let’s go through the process.

Preparation (do this before you leave home!)

Get your Apple TV MAC address

First of all you need to find your MAC address.
You can find it like so:

  • Turn on your Apple TV
  • Go to the Main Menu and select Settings
  • Select About

The MAC address will be near the bottom of the page, and may actually be listed as Wi-Fi Address.

Apple TV MAC address

AppleTV MAC address

take note of the MAC address!
in this case it is:

Get WiFiSpoof

You should get your self a copy of WiFiSpoof,
so that when you are at your Hotel, you can spoof (with your laptop) the MAC address you just noted – to easily give your Apple TV access to the Hotel Wi-Fi.

At the Hotel

open up WiFiSpoof, and enter the MAC address of your Apple TV into the MAC address input: 00:11:00:10:10:11 then click the Change Address button

WiFiSpoof - change your MAC address

WiFiSpoof – change your MAC address

Now, Login to the the Hotel Wi-Fi on your Laptop.
Once, you have connected – your (Apple TV) MAC address should now be registered with the Hotel. You can safely disconnect your laptop from the WiFi, and connect your Apple TV.

Don’t forget to restore the MAC address of your laptop using WiFiSpoof:

WiFiSpoof - restore your MAC address

WiFiSpoof – restore your MAC address


You should now be able to access all your content, and still use the Wi-Fi on your laptop. For even more convenience, save the MAC address as a favorite in WiFiSpoof.

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a mini Hosts File tutorial

So, Ive had a few requests for a tutorial on blocking certain websites, and everyone on a Mac who has ever browsed the internet at length has been no doubt bombarded with prompts to install… lets call it ‘MacSleeper’.

Whether or not you need it, ill leave up to you to decide. But if you want to block accidental installation (or block any website for that matter), then this mini tutorial is for you.

Lets edit the Hosts File

What we are going to do, is block the MacSleeper website, using our Hosts File. I recommend using this great host file editor: Gas Mask. Although you also can easily do this in

  • open up Gas Mask
  • scroll to the bottom of the file ‘Hosts File’ and paste in the following:

#Block MacSleeper

  • press save

And you’re done – while you will still see annoying popups and ads. (which you can block using an adblocker) – you will be unable to download and install MacSleeper, or even access their website.

Host File

Editing the Hosts File with Gas Mask

Don’t worry, this is all completely reversible. To access the website again, just delete the entries you just added to the Hosts file and press ‘save’.

*Be careful what you add in the Host File, as you wont be able to access them anymore. I personally use this technique block a few sites in my Hosts file which ive found to be a constant distraction from getting work done. It is also super easy to set up alternate hosts files. This can be useful to limit access to certain sites, for your children perhaps.

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Set up a personal VPN in less than 15mins

We wont go into why you need a personal VPN, as there are many other blog posts which go into this in great detail. Let’s just get straight to the point and create our very own personal VPN. *This tutorial is going to focus on macOS and iOS, but can easily be applied to Windows or Linux.

So, Lets go!

First of all we need a VPS (Virtual Private Server) to host our personal VPN, I’ve chosen DigitalOcean, as its reasonably priced, and best of all – super easy to setup.

Now we need to create a new Droplet where we will install the OpenVPN server for our VPN. Ive chosen Ubuntu, and the smallest size is more then sufficient. I also chose New York as the datacenter region, but you can choose any location. *A U.S. location will come in handy if you use something like Netflix.

choose droplet Operating System

choose droplet Operating System

choose droplet plan

choose size for droplet

choose droplet location

choose region for droplet

the newly created droplet

the freshly created droplet

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Create you’ll end up with something like this:

*Take note of the “IP Address”, you’ll need it again later. In our case it is:

Open a Terminal window and login to your newly created droplet using the IP Address we noted above. *You should recieve a password for your droplet via email.
In this case we login with the following command:
ssh [email protected]

logging into the droplet

logging into the droplet

Now lets install our personal VPN with OpenVPN

This is super simple using the script maintained in this GitHub account:

In the Terminal window, type:
wget -O && bash

Press ENTER and run through the setup, selecting default answers for all questions.

running the setup script

running the setup script

Continue pressing ENTER and wait a minute or 2 for the script to install and configure openVPN. You should be rewarded with this prompt:

OpenVPN setup complete

OpenVPN setup complete

*Take note of the client configuration location, in this case it is /root/client.ovpn

Extra Steps

If you want to connect multiple devices to your VPN,
enter the following command, then press ENTER
nano /etc/openvpn/server.conf
Scroll to the bottom of the window and paste duplicate-cn

connecting multiple devices

connecting multiple devices to VPN

Click CONTROL + X to commit the change
youll be prompted to confirm, click y
youll be prompted to save, click ENTER

OK, our VPN is now setup and we can logout of the droplet.
Type logout into the Terminal window then press Enter to logout.

Now that our VPN is configured, We need a way to connect to it via our computers/iPhone/iPad. That is also super simple.

Download configuration file

Let’s download the configuration file using the IP Address, and configuration location we noted above:
scp [email protected]:/root/client.ovpn ~/Desktop/client.ovpn
*change the IP address to the IP Address of your droplet. The configuration file will be saved to your Desktop, and be named client.ovpn

All thats left now is to use the configuration file on our devices to connect to our VPN.

Connecting to our VPN on macOS

Download and install TunnelBlick

installing TunnelBlick in macOS

installing TunnelBlick

Once TunnelBlick is installed, drag the configuration file to the TunnelBlick menu icon

drag configuration file to the menuBar icon

drag config file to menu

All thats left to do is to tell TunnelBlick to connect to our VPN, which in our case is as simple as clicking Connect client

connecting to personal VPN in TunnelBlick

connect to VPN

Connecting to our VPN on iOS

You need to install Open VPN Connect

OK, lets add the configuration file to the app, this is super easy. All you need to do is open iTunes and connect your iPhone/iPad.
Click on Settings>Apps then scroll down to File Sharing and find OpenVPN
Drag the config file into the window and click Done

installing the configuration file on iOS vis iTunes

install config file in iTunes

Now we head back to our iDevice, and open OpenVPN
Look for the config profile you just imported and click the + icon.

importing configuration file in OpenVPN

importing config file

Click the toggle switch to connect:

connecting to personal VPN in iOS

connecting to VPN in iOS

Congratulations now your’e rocking your very own VPN!
In my own usage, and on my own meagre Internet connection I haven’t really noticed any noticeable slowdowns.

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Tracking – tips and hints to stay safe and protect your privacy while browsing online


we have scoured the internet and discovered some great tools to help you maintain your Privacy and keep you secure from tracking and online profiling.

With the advent of Social media sites such as Facebook, and Twitter we have become much more open to the idea of sharing personal details on the internet. But while the thought of casually sharing some pics of our weekend bar-b-que with friends is a great way of keeping in touch with our various social circles – we do need to be smart and take some precautions while surfing the information super highway. Some things just don’t need to be shared.

Most of the tools outlined below are Free or reasonably priced with a focus on macOS and Safari users. Although all information provided is relevant for all Desktop operating systems. The situation for mobile browsers requires a different approach and is beyond the scope of this article.

What Do I Need?

A Good Cookie Manager

Tracking protection with Cookie

Cookie by SweetP Productions, Inc.

Your first line of defense should be a good Cookie manager. Every site you visit on the internet potentially saves cookies to your computer, leaving a trail of where you’ve been and what you’ve looked at. This may sound innocent, but advertising companies use this information to profile you and sell to the highest bidder. This can be seen by some as beneficial, as now you see ads targeted more to your personal tastes – but there is also the potential for hackers to steal personal information.

Cookie is an advanced cookie manager which gives you complete control over which cookies you keep and which are deleted.

Learn More About Cookies

An Adblocker

Adblocking with Adguard extension

Adguard Adblocker by Adguard

Whilst not technically required to mitigate any security threats, a good adblocker will make your browsing experience much more pleasant and can have the added bonus effect of speeding up page loads.

Adguard Adblocker by Adguard is a fantastic adblocker with many customizable features

Learn More About Adblocking

A Script Blocker

Avoid Tracking with Ghostery Script Blocker

Ghostery by Cliqz International GmbH i.Gr.

Script blocking should be a priority for anyone interested in maintaining a degree of privacy on the internet. What a script blocker does is disable the running of blacklisted javascripts, which can be used for tracking and profiling you.

Ghostery by Cliqz International GmbH i.Gr. is a popular choice for script blocking and is easily configured.

Learn More About Script Blocking

DNS Encryption

DNSCrypt to avoid DNS leaking


DNS encryption can provide protection from “Man-in-the-middle” attacks via DNS leaking. DNS leaking is a major privacy concern potentially allowing third parties to monitor and intercept all internet requests you make.

DNSCrypt-OSXClient makes using DNSCrypt a breeze.

Learn More About Dns Encryption

Mac Address Spoofing

Mac Address spoofing with WiFiSpoof

WiFiSpoof by SweetP Productions, Inc.

MAC address spoofing provides an extra layer of security from hackers when browsing public WiFi networks. It is not really of much benefit when browsing your own home network, unless of course you leave your network open for anyone to connect.

WiFiSpoof is a great macOS app for managing your MAC address.

Learn More About Mac Address Spoofing

Be Smart, Stay Safe and avoid online Tracking

By utilizing all the tools outlined here, not only will your internet sessions be more secure, but they have the added benefit of speeding up your browsing! For even extra security, you can also look into utilizing a VPN while browsing.

Good luck! and Stay safe out there.

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A Guide to Protecting Your Personal Information and Protecting Your Privacy Online

Everything you do online is stored on your computer. You may have heard of terms like cookies and the cache on your PC or Mac. Companies try to say that they’re good to personalise your experience, but they’re gathering data on you. They’re taking personal information and storing it for your future visit. Third party companies can use some of the information to create target ads.

Isn’t it time to protect your online privacy? Don’t you deserve to keep your web browsing and product buying a secret? Of course! Here’s your complete guide to manage it with your computer, especially your Mac.

Clean Out Your Cookies Regularly

Cookies are never good. Real cookies are full of refined sugar and computer cookies are filled with personal information. All websites will store cookies. They want to know the last time you checked and where you went the last time you visited.

The purpose is to hold a small amount of information. You don’t get a choice over whether the company stores this information, so you need to take action afterwards. It could just be a first and last name or an IP address and search term that is stored. This will allow the website to personalise the experience, so you only get a web page suitable for your location or pull up similar items to the ones that you were recently viewing.

cookies are used for tracking and online profiling and are potential security threats for your personal information

clear out your cookies to protect your personal information

Cookies will expire on their own. Most websites will set the cookies to last for around 30 days. However, they can be whatever length of time the company deems necessary. The Terms of Service will detail the cookie-storing length, unless you do something about it yourself.

There are some benefits to cookies, since they can store the items that you placed in your shopping cart. You don’t have to purchase right away and can leave the site for a few days and come back to the item still in the shopping cart.

To protect your online privacy, you should clear out your cookies on a regular basis. Try to do it once a week or once a month. You won’t clear out any stored passwords you may have or lose track of websites in your bookmarks. This just gets rid of the stored files from other web servers, so they need to gather the information all over again.

Mask Your ISP Through a VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) is one of the best and quickest ways to mask your internet service provider (ISP). The ISP is a series of numbers that is connected to your provider or the router that you have. Your ISP will change if you switch provider or you use public Wi-Fi.

Companies and people can store your ISP and use it to track your internet activity. There is the risk of your online privacy being disrespected and companies can block access to various sites due to your ISP not being within the same country as the website. This is very common with TV stations and playback options around the world.

You can opt for a VPN to block your ISP and mimic something from a particular country. Governments can’t block outside access, since they don’t realize that your computer is accessing a local Wi-Fi. Companies think that you’re visiting from within their countries, rather than from your own location. You can also block the ability for governments to build up information on how you use the internet.

Opt for MAC Address Spoofing

Every device has its own unique MAC address. Think of it like ISPs and physical addresses. The address is stored by websites to store some personal information and “personalise” your experience. Online privacy is especially affected in public Wi-Fi areas, as the MAC address isn’t encrypted.

You want to use MAC address spoofing or masking to help protect yourself. You’re not just stopping companies from storing information, but you make it harder for hackers to use your MAC address later on.

your MAC address can be a potential target for hackers to steal your personal information

mask your MAC Address for better online privacy

Like with the VPN, when address spoofing, the MAC address appears to be different. This can sometimes take the form of another legitimate MAC address. It is possible to work your way around the internet without being tracked, since all information will point to the new spoofed address.
This is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself online at all times. You’ll still want to delete cookies now and then.

Try the Onion Router (Tor)

The Onion router will take you into the dark web. While this is commonly used by hackers, it is also an excellent way to avoid detection and prevent companies from storing your information. It’s known as the onion router due to the layers of dark web available. Each layer you pull back, the deeper you will go into avoiding detection.

Information is shared completely anonymously. This is why it is a popular area for hackers and political activists, who want to share encrypted or secret information without being detected. However, it’s not illegal to use and you can add a browser extension relatively easily to access through your own browser.

If you want to be completely anonymous, you will need to make changes to you web browsing activities. However, if you’re just looking for a way to stop any company or third party from getting your information, it’s a popular option.

Make Changes to Your Online Habits to protect your personal information

You don’t need to change the way that you use the internet completely. To protect your online privacy, you just need to change a few things that you do before and after visiting websites. Start by regularly deleting the cookies that other websites will store. This is something you should do with any browser, device, and computer.

From there, look at the different ways of browsing online. Use MAC address spoofing to protect your computer’s information and consider a VPN to keep your online browsing private. If you want to go deeper, you could consider the onion router to keep your personal information out of the hands of others.

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WiFiSpoof and Privatus updates

WiFiSpoof and Privatus updates have just been released on my Store. Mac App Store updates will be available hopefully tomorrow… pending review by Apple. Some of you may have noticed that both apps are currently unavailable in the Mac App Store.

SweetP Productions, Inc.

This is due to the fact that I am currently in the process of incorporating SweetP Productions. A side-effect of this is that I have needed to transfer all apps from my personal iTunes account to the new SweetP Productions, Inc. iTunes account. Most apps were a straight transfer, with the exception of WiFiSpoof, and Privatus which both utilised some special entitlements. App Groups to be specific.

Another side-effect of this is that users of Privatus, and WiFiSpoof won’t be notified of/or be able to update either app. If you are a WiFiSpoof user caught in this situation, please send me an email with proof of purchase so I can provide a code to upgrade to the new version. For Privatus users, ill make Privatus free for a short time to allow people to upgrade.


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Xliff Editor version 1.5.2

Xliff Editor v1.5.2
I am happy to announce that Xliff Editor is now available in French!
Many thanks to Denis Marques!

I will try to find time to work on Xliff Editor some time in the new year to add in some requested features.

Download Link

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