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Any opinions expressed here are my own and not necessarily those of my employer (I'm self-employed).

Nov 5, 2011

Twitter app privacy, there just might be hope!

A couple of months ago I blogged about Giving up your privacy for nothing at Yahoo News, ranting about how the Tweet button on a Yahoo News article required you to give complete control of  your Twitter account to some Twitter application. Well, I just had a more encouraging experience!

You've probably heard about this Klout thing. On Twitter there has lately been several reports of people getting Klout perks, so I became a bit curious on how all of this worked. After all, there's not that many web pages where you sign up and then get stuff sent to you by mail because you have many Twitter followers (deliberate over-simplification). I had to register to see what this thing was all about.

Note that there is an ongoing privacy discussion about Klout, here's an excellent article that summarizes some of the issues. I won't go in to that discussion here.

You can sign in to Klout using your Twitter profile. An this is where I was in for a pleasant surprise!


Nov 2, 2011

Base64 decode online — are you sure?

Are you using one of the many web pages that let you base64 decode data? In that case you should take a moment to think about the nature of the data you want to decode and what those pages could be doing with the data — apart from showing you the decoded version.
tl;dr: Check out transformtool.codeplex.com for an offline alternative to the online Base64 decoders.
Google's keyword tool reports 9,900 monthly searches for "base64 decode online". How many of these searches lead to disclosure of sensitive business information, or personal information (PII) to one of the Base64 decoding webpages? None of these searches are from IT-professionals trying to figure out what's wrong in a production system, right?

Top Google results for "base64 decode online" at time of writing

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