A compendium of Recomendo




Password manager

If you are not already using a password manager like 1PasswordDashlane, or LastPass you are inviting trouble. I am not a very security minded person generally, but a password manager on your phone, tablets, laptops and desktops is outright essential today. Let it generate strong passwords for you, keep your credit card and bank info, and supply them wherever and whenever you need them. No regrets. — KK

Secure messaging

Edward Snowden recommends the free encrypted chat and call app Signal. It works on Android, iOS and the desktop. Built by volunteer Open Source contributors and a group of grant-funded developers, Signal is slick and solid. I’m asking everyone I know to start using it. — MF

Block website tracking

Ghostery chrome extension shows me what’s being tracked when I visit a website and blocks it. I don’t know what it all means, but it makes web pages load faster and less cluttered and I like it. — CD

Secure surfing

For internet security pay extremely close attention to the url bar in your browser. For just reading it’s not so important, but if it is a site that you want to log into with a password you should see a green lock icon before the url in Chrome, and the phrase “https” should also be in green. There’s a gray lock in Safari. Firefox, and IE. No lock? Beware. If you click on the lock in your browser it gives you security details about that site. — KK

Have you been hacked?

SpyCloud is a scary and useful website. Scary, because it showed me how many times my passwords have been hacked from website databases. Useful, because I quickly changed those passwords to protect myself. A personal account is free. Do this now. — MF

Virtual credit card

Privacy is a browser extension that generates a virtual credit card for each online purchase you make. It offers different options when you create a virtual card — you can make a one-time-use card, a card with a limit (so that it expires once a certain amount is spent), or other kinds of limits. This seems like a great way to protect yourself from getting scammed by one of those sites that trick you into unwittingly signing up for a nearly-impossible-to-cancel monthly fee for something. — MF

See what other websites know about you

Visit Webkay to see what any website you visit knows about you, including your location, the device you are using, your IP address, social media accounts you are logged in to, and more. It also tells you how to plug these information leaks by using various services. — MF

ProductivityClaudia Dawson