Privacy & Security : All Tech Considered Cloud computing and mobile apps have put the power of the Internet everywhere from our laptops to our pockets, but they also continue to raise concerns about privacy, the security of our personal information and even national security. We explore the ongoing conflicts between convenience and safety.

People in the U.S. who want to keep their activity hidden are turning to virtual private networks — but VPNs are often insecure. Stuart Kinlough/Ikon Images/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Stuart Kinlough/Ikon Images/Getty Images

Turning To VPNs For Online Privacy? You Might Be Putting Your Data At Risk

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/543716811/544259829" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Gierad Laput, a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University, demonstrates how his team's universal sensor picks up the sound from a hand-held vacuum. Liz Reid/WESA hide caption

toggle caption
Liz Reid/WESA

Our Homes May Get Smarter, But Have We Thought It Through?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/541699733/543477538" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Passports and some credit cards have RFID chips that allow information to be read wirelessly. An industry has sprung up to make wallets and other products that block hackers from "skimming" the data. Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

There Are Plenty Of RFID-Blocking Products, But Do You Need Them?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/535518514/535530508" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Charles Camiel looks into the camera for a facial recognition test before boarding his JetBlue flight to Aruba at Logan International Airport in Boston. Robin Lubbock/WBUR hide caption

toggle caption
Robin Lubbock/WBUR

Facial Recognition May Boost Airport Security But Raises Privacy Worries

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/534131967/534448056" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

It's already difficult to create distance from the technology that surrounds us, but as connectivity increases, it might become impossible to do so. Aleksandar Nakic/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Aleksandar Nakic/Getty Images

In this photo dated Aug. 23, 2010, Iranian technicians work at the Bushehr nuclear power plant, where Iran had confirmed several personal laptops infected by Stuxnet malware. Ebrahim Norouzi/AP/International Iran Photo Agency hide caption

toggle caption
Ebrahim Norouzi/AP/International Iran Photo Agency

A screenshot of the warning screen from a purported ransomware attack on a laptop in Beijing. Mark Schiefelbein/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Mark Schiefelbein/AP

From Kill Switch To Bitcoin, 'WannaCry' Showing Signs Of Amateur Flaws

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/528570788/528570789" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Microsoft President Brad Smith speaks at the annual Microsoft shareholders meeting on Nov. 30, 2016, in Bellevue, Wash. Elaine Thompson/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Elaine Thompson/AP

Microsoft President Urges Nuclear-Like Limits On Cyberweapons

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/528555400/528570820" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A driver uses a phone while behind the wheel of a car on April 30, 2016, in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

'Textalyzer' Aims To Curb Distracted Driving, But What About Privacy?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/525729013/525850846" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Former FBI agent Clint Watts testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday in Washington, D.C. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Win McNamee/Getty Images

How Russian Twitter Bots Pumped Out Fake News During The 2016 Election

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/522503844/522503845" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Both chambers of the U.S. Congress have voted to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's privacy rules for Internet service providers. Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images

Companies And Users Can Do More To Stay Secure With Smart Devices

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/521362526/521550470" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Washington Post and other media organizations have launched webpages outlining ways you can leak information to them confidentially. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

How The Media Are Using Encryption Tools To Collect Anonymous Tips

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/517037537/517458943" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Pixsooz/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cryptoparties Teach Attendees How To Stay Anonymous Online

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/513705825/513769981" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

President Trump gives a thumbs up as he speaks on the phone in the Oval Office on Jan. 29. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Is Trump Tweeting From a 'Secure' Smartphone? The White House Won't Say

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/513256171/513311378" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

If we care about protecting our personal information and feel uncomfortable giving it away, why do we keep doing it? John Hersey for WNYC hide caption

toggle caption
John Hersey for WNYC

Privacy Paradox: What You Can Do About Your Data Right Now

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/512434746/513105122" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Amazon's personal assistant device Echo, powered by the voice recognition program Alexa, is one of the most popular gifts this holiday season. Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg/Getty Images

As We Leave More Digital Tracks, Amazon Echo Factors In Murder Investigation

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/507230487/507359612" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Privacy groups have filed a complaint about My Friend Cayla dolls to the Federal Trade Commission, arguing that they spy on children. Brian Naylor/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Brian Naylor/NPR

This Doll May Be Recording What Children Say, Privacy Groups Charge

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/506208146/506284726" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Nest thermostat is an Internet-connected device. Security technologist Bruce Schneier says that while Internet-enabled devices have immense promise, they are vulnerable to hacking. George Frey/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
George Frey/Getty Images

Despite Its Promise, The Internet Of Things Remains Vulnerable

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/504467134/504467135" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript