Victory: Trump’s Interior Department drops plan to hike fees at national parks


Great news! Thanks to the more than 85,000 CREDO members who submitted public comments, Trump’s Interior Department backed off its proposal to drastically raise entrance fees at some of our country’s most iconic national parks.

If these rate hikes had gone through, it would have prevented many people from enjoying these national treasures and would have hurt local economies. America’s national parks are meant for everyone, not just the people who can afford them.

But thanks in part to the activism of CREDO members, more visitors will be able to enjoy our country’s precious national parks.

Tuesday Tip: Encrypting My Phone, Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About a Stranger Accessing My Data

Tuesday Tip: Encrypting My Phone, Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About a Stranger Accessing My Data

Losing your phone is the worst: you aren’t just out of a phone—you also have to worry about a stranger having access to all your photos, banking apps, messages, contacts, emails, social media posts, and… yikes.

Luckily, there are two big things you can do that prevent someone with physical access to your phone from seeing what’s inside!

1) Set a password, and

2) Encrypt your phone.

Password-protecting and encrypting your device is a powerful combination: encryption scrambles the data on your phone into gibberish, which can then only be meaningfully decrypted (unscrambled and read) by someone who knows the password.

The steps for setting a password and encrypting your device differ for iPhones and for Android.

You can access Apple’s encryption guide here.

To set a password and encrypt iPhones running iOS 9 through iOS 11: Open the Settings app. Then, tap Touch ID & Passcode. Follow the prompts to create a passcode.

Good news for iPhone users: your phone is already encrypted by default, so you don’t have to do the second step—you just have to set a password to protect it from unwanted physical access. We recommend using a unique password (something you don’t use anywhere else), rather than a thumbprint.

Looking for more safety tips? Check out the full guide from Surveillance Self-Defense: https://ssd.eff.org/en/module/how-encrypt-your-iphone

To set a password and encrypt an Android phone: On Android devices, setting a password and encrypting a phone can be distinct processes—turning on password protection doesn’t mean that your phone’s data is encrypted. Be mindful to look up what options your phone has available, and whether your phone is already encrypted.

Caution: if your phone is not encrypted by default, you will want to back up your phone data to your computer beforehand and set aside time for it to encrypt and restart.

Setting a password on an Android phone: Open Settings. Go to Security. Under Security, look for Screen lock. Select a password option—try setting a password that you can memorize, and that you don’t use anywhere else.

Looking for advice on what makes a strong password? Read EFF’s tips in Surveillance Self-Defense https://ssd.eff.org/en/module/creating-strong-passwords

If your Android phone is not encrypted by default: Open Settings. Go to Security, then Encrypt Device. Alternatively, you might find encryption settings by opening Storage, then, Lockscreen and security. The option for encrypting your device may be under Other security settings.

Soraya Okuda is the education and design lead at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). EFF was founded in 1990 to protect the rights of technology users, a mission that expands as the digital world evolves. They provide leadership on cutting-edge issues of free expression, privacy, and human rights. CREDO and EFF have been long-time partners in the fight for privacy and civil liberties, and CREDO members have voted to donate over $323,000 to the organization since 2007.

CREDO is Fighting Trump’s Dangerous Tax Scam

CREDO is Fighting Trump’s Dangerous Tax Scam

Paying taxes is an American duty and important part of participating in civil society. Our taxes fund public education, Social Security and Medicare, infrastructure, and public safety.

But this Tax Day, let’s not forget that Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion Tax Scam was a massive giveaway designed to benefit billionaire Republican donors, Wall Street bankers and the ultra-rich – while putting our social safety net at risk.

While the media remains distracted with Trump’s early morning, Fox News–inspired tweets, congressional Republicans are moving forward a dangerous agenda to slash Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.

Here are some of the ways the Trump Tax Scam is hurting America:

  • According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the Trump Tax Scam could wipe away health care coverage for 13 million people with its sabotage of the Affordable Care Act protections keeping healthy people in insurance markets.
  • Multinational corporations are receiving a massive tax handout despite sitting on billions in offshore profits while Americans lose health care coverage. Poor and middle-income Americans are getting pocket change while the super-rich pocket big money.
  • Immediately after Trump signed his scam into law, Paul Ryan and Trump’s lapdogs in Congress called for cuts to earned benefits like Social Security and Medicare that tens of millions of people rely upon.


But CREDO and our members are fighting back.

We’re demanding that Congress stop Republicans from gutting our earned benefits. More than 200,000 CREDO members have added their names – and you can sign the petition here to join them. CREDO is also proud to be the official livestream partner of the 2018 Tax March in Washington.

And our customers, by using CREDO products, are helping to fund progressive groups like Social Security Works, People’s Action and the Economic Policy Institute who are organizing on the ground and fighting on the front lines to protect Social Security, Medicare and other critical earned benefits programs.

Three decades of protecting our environment and standing up for renewable energy

For more than 30 years, CREDO members have played a major role in some of the biggest progressive accomplishments in our country’s recent history, and we’re especially proud of our members’ activism and victories to protect the environment, slow runaway climate change and advance the adoption of clean energy.

Millions of CREDO activists have taken action for climate justice over the years – and we’ve won some amazing victories. Here’s just a small sample of some of our members’ recent accomplishments:


Read More

Tuesday Tip: How to Take Great Food Photos With Your Phone

How to take great food photos with your phone

When you sit down to a nice meal, which do you pick up first, your fork or your phone? Join the club. We’re all snapping pictures of our plates before we start eating. Well, a lot of us anyway. A study last year showed a whopping 69 percent of millennials photograph their food and put it on social media before they put it in their mouth.

Of course, like your selfies, you want your foodstagrams to look amazing and make the internet think you’re a total superhero – especially if you cooked the food yourself.

Here are a few tips for taking excellent photos of your fare.

Use natural light

The flash on your phone will do no favors for your food shots. The light is harsh, it casts odd shadows and makes the food look cold. The best light for food boasting is natural light. If you’re at home and it’s overcast, take your creation outside or next to a window. If the sun is shining, consider hanging a white sheet to filter the light. If you’re at a restaurant and the light is dim, turn off your flash and prop your phone against a glass to hold it steady.

Try the flashlight feature

If you’re in a restaurant with muted light, borrow a friend’s phone and use that phone’s flashlight feature. If the light looks too harsh, hold up a napkin to diffuse it. If you need more light, you can use a white napkin or a white menu to reflect light onto the food.

Change the exposure

If you have a relatively new smartphone, you can control the phone’s exposure. When you open your camera and focus manually by tapping on the screen, you’ll see a sun icon appear. Press and hold the sun and slide your finger up and down to control the level of light in your photo.

Play with depth of field

Experiment with different angles to create depth of field, which will make your food photos look more interesting, even cornucopian. Try 45 degrees or even eye level. Overhead shots can also be good, depending on the dish.

Focus on the food

Lean in close to fill the frame and evoke a feel of intimacy and abundance. Tighter images tend to look better on social media.

On the other hand, if you’re in an artsy mood and the table is not cluttered with crumbs and spills, try creating negative space (empty space) around the food to draw  attention to it and evoke interest.

Introduce props

Food should be the star of your shot, but props can tell a nice story. A napkin, utensils, the little stone bowl of wood-smoked sea salt (yes, that’s a thing) – used imaginatively, they can create atmosphere and bring a moment to life.

Get on the grid

Photographers work with the “rule of thirds.” Imagine a grid of four lines superimposed on your phone display, dividing it into tic-tac-toe thirds. On most new phones, you don’t have to imagine the grid – you can go into settings and display a grid on your screen. Then place your focus at a point where the lines intersect. You’ll get more interesting photos this way.

Edit after you shoot

Hey, we all edit our selfies, right? (Right?) So why not edit your food photos with a little postproduction? No one will ever know. If your smartphone is a recent model, it likely has editing features built in. Or try one of Instagram’s editing tools to adjust contrast, saturation, brightness, warmth – all sorts of variables. But don’t overdo it or the food in your photo will look about as edible as something from a laminated menu. (Watch for our upcoming post on how to edit your phone photos.)

Practice makes perfect

The secret to taking great photos is taking a lot of photos. Take 25 pictures, and at least one should turn out OK.

We hope this advice helps you create more epic food selfies for your social media pages.

SOLAR XL: Resisting Keystone XL by Building Clean Energy in the Pipeline’s Path


TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels per day of dirty tarsands from Canada through hundreds of American homes, farms and ranches. It would cross the delicate Sandhills in Nebraska and put the critical Ogallala Aquifer and sacred Indigenous sites like the Ponca Trail of Tears at risk. Farmers, ranchers and indigenous Nations are fighting with everything they have to protect the land and their communities from eminent domain for private gain.

We refuse to allow the Keystone XL to put our land and water at risk. We already have the solutions we need, which is why we’re building solar panels directly in the path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The solar panels are being connected to Nebraska’s power grid, generating clean, renewable energy for the state – as opposed to a risky pipeline that would provide little benefit to Nebraskans. If Keystone XL is approved, TransCanada would have to tear down clean and locally produced energy to make way for its dirty tarsands pipeline.

The SOLAR XL project is organized by Bold Nebraska, with support from partners including 350.org, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International and CREDO (P.S. Thank you!)

Solar XL: Building solar in the path of Keystone XL

Bold Nebraska and farming families are crowdfunding to build solar directly in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Donate now==> bit.ly/solarxl

Posted by Bold Nebraska on Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Read More

Tuesday Tip: How to Change Your Facebook Settings After the Cambridge Analytica News

Tuesday Tip: How to Change Your Facebook Settings After the Cambridge Analytica News


This is the first part of a special three part series on digital security by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. 

You shouldn’t have to do this. You shouldn’t have to wade through complicated privacy settings in order to ensure that the companies with which you’ve entrusted your personal information are making reasonable, legal efforts to protect it. But Facebook has allowed third parties to violate user privacy on an unprecedented scale, and while legislators and regulators scramble to understand the implications and put limits in place, users are left with the responsibility to make sure their profiles are properly configured.

It recently became clear that Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics company, got access to more than 50 million Facebook users’ data in 2014. The data was overwhelmingly collected, shared and stored without user consent. The scale of this violation of user privacy reflects how Facebook’s terms of service and API were structured at the time. Make no mistake: This was not a data breach. This was exactly how Facebook’s infrastructure was designed to work.

In addition to raising questions about Facebook’s role in the 2016 presidential election, this news is a reminder of the inevitable privacy risks that users face when their personal information is captured, analyzed, indefinitely stored and shared by a constellation of data brokers, marketers and social media companies.

Tech companies can and should do more to protect users, including giving users far more control over what data is collected and how that data is used. That starts with meaningful transparency and allowing truly independent researchers – with no bottom line or corporate interest – access to work with, black-box test and audit their systems.

Finally, users need to be able to leave when a platform isn’t serving them – and take their data with them when they do.

Of course, you could choose to leave Facebook entirely, but for many that is not a viable solution. For now, if you’d like keep your data from going through Facebook’s API, you can take control of your privacy settings. Keep in mind that this disables ALL platform apps (like Farmville, Twitter or Instagram) and you will not be able to log into sites using your Facebook login.

Log into Facebook and visit the App Settings page (or go there manually via the Settings Menu > Apps ).

From there, click the “Edit” button under “Apps, Websites and Plugins.” Click “Turn Off.”

Gennie Gebhart is a researcher at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). EFF was founded in 1990 to protect the rights of technology users, a mission that expands as the digital world evolves. They provide leadership on cutting-edge issues of free expression, privacy, and human rights. CREDO and EFF have been long-time partners in the fight for privacy and civil liberties, and CREDO members have voted to donate over $323,000 to the organization since 2007. This piece originally appeared in EFF’s Deeplinks blog

Download your March for Science posters here

Last year, more than 1 million people worldwide marched in support of science, an event that organizers called the “largest event for science advocacy in history.”

This April 14, students, teachers, scientists, supporters and advocates will again gather across the globe at marches, rallies and science expos to hold political leaders accountable and urge them to support good science policy.

If you or someone you know is attending the March for Science this month, we have free posters for you to download.

 

Download Your Free Poster

Download Science is not a liberal conspiracy (PDF) – 11×17 in.

Download Fossil fuels are not the future (PDF) – 11×17 in.

Download 4 hottest years (PDF) – 11×17 in.

Download Science is true (PDF) – 11×17 in.

Download Not a hoax (PDF) – 11×17 in.

Download Oil spoils (PDF) – 11×17 in.

Download Planet before profit (PDF) – 11×17 in.

Download Ruins EPA (PDF) – 11×17 in.

Download Save EPA (PDF) – 11×17 in.

Download SOS (PDF) – 11×17 in.

Download Water is life (PDF) – 11×17 in.

Our March grantees thank you for your support

Each month, CREDO members vote on how we distribute funding to three incredible organizations. Those small actions add up – with one click, you can help fund groups fighting for civil rights, press freedom and net neutrality, and workers’ rights. Just last month, over 65,000 CREDO members voted to distribute $150,000 in donations to Center for Popular Democracy, Free Press Action Fund and OUR Walmart.

These donations are made possible by CREDO customers and the revenue they generate by using our services. The distribution depends entirely on the votes of CREDO members like you. And for that, our March grant recipients thank you.

Center for Popular Democracy
“Thank you for supporting CPD! CREDO members like you help make our work to protect our communities possible. Through our collective action, we can and will transform America to be the country of our hopes and aspirations.” To learn more, visit populardemocracy.org.

Free Press Action Fund
“Thank you for your support! CREDO members like you are helping Free Press Action Fund and our 1.4 million members to save net neutrality, fight for your rights to connect and communicate – and transform media and technology.” To learn more, visit freepress.net.

OUR Walmart
“Thank you for your support! CREDO members have always stood with people working at Walmart as we fight to make our lives better. We couldn’t do it without your love and support. We love you, CREDO” To learn more, visit united4respect.org.

Now check out the three causes we are funding in April, and cast your vote to help distribute our donations.

CREDO members who use our products are the reason why we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile, the carrier with a conscience.

These three progressive groups are waiting for your vote this April

Every month, CREDO members vote to help distribute tens of thousands of dollars among three great progressive causes. This April, you can help fund groups fighting for gun control, against Big Oil and for economic justice by voting for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Oil Change International and People’s Action. Learn more about each of these groups, and then cast your vote for one, two or all three by April 30.

Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
The Brady Center is committed to creating a safer America by cutting gun deaths in half through public awareness, legal action and public policy.

A grant from CREDO members would have a significant impact on the three main areas that the Brady Center focuses on: reducing the flow of crime guns into communities most heavily impacted by gun violence, expanding and protecting the Brady Background Check system and changing the cultural perception that owning or carrying a gun makes you safer. Read More