Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

At the end of last year, Mozilla launched a privacy browser called Firefox Focus for the iOS platform, providing more comprehensive and professional protection for your Internet privacy, by default, including tracking, social and advertising tracking. And now, this privacy-oriented browser officially landed Android platform.

Download: Google Play and App Store

Compared to the regular mobile browser Firefox Focus in the function is a bit a single, only a search and URL bar, but also in the settings panel is also relatively “simple”, you can turn on/off different tracking type. This browser does not support tabs or other menus, and there is an erase button at the top of the app to clean up your online traces manually, and the app is automatically cleaned up after the application is closed.

Compared to the iOS version, Android version Firefox Focus added some additional features. Including an ad tracking count that allows the user to know how many sites each site has blocked, and to allow the user to manually turn off tracking blocking when the page is not loaded correctly, and when you run Firefox Focus in the background, Clean up the Internet history.

Windows TVIf you have installed Windows 10 and agreed to its terms and conditions during installation then you are being spied on and this is not a conspiracy theory but a fact.

Here’s what’s going on and how you can prevent yourself from being spied on.

Microsoft’s new service agreement consists of about 12,000 words, which clearly states that the operating system will be invading your privacy like never before and if you haven’t read that then it’s not your mistake, we hardly read TOS (Terms Of Service) anyway.

So the Microsoft’s new service agreement states that,

WE WILL ACCESS, DISCLOSE AND PRESERVE PERSONAL DATA, INCLUDING YOUR CONTENT (SUCH AS THE CONTENT OF YOUR EMAILS, OTHER PRIVATE COMMUNICATIONS OR FILES IN PRIVATE FOLDERS), WHEN WE HAVE A GOOD FAITH BELIEF THAT DOING SO IS NECESSARY TO.”

Microsoft does, however, also gives you an option to opt-out of features that you think may be invading your privacy, but remember if you have installed Windows 10 you have opted-in for all features by default.

HOW TO STOP WINDOWS 10 FROM SPYING ON YOU

If you are reading this section because you are seriously worried about this, understand that opting out of Windows 10 is not so straightforward. However, if you follow each of the mentioned steps thoroughly then you will be able to prevent yourself from Windows 10 spying in no time.

NOTE: These steps will be appropriate in both cases, either you are about to install Windows 10 on your computer, or if you have already installed it without paying extra attention to the installation instructions. Depending on your situation, you might need to perform all of the following.

Here are 4 simple tasks you have to follow to stop Windows 10 from spying on you:

Task # 1: Go to ‘Settings’ -> ‘Privacy’. From there you will have to go through 13 different selection screens, turning everything of your concern to ‘off’. After that, you will find some of the most important setting under ‘General’ section, whereas the other setup screens will let you select whether you want specific Windows apps to access your messages, camera, calendar and other areas.

Task # 2: You might also want to change Cortana’s settings, turning every option to ‘off’. But your selections completely depends on whether you are finding this feature useful or not.

Task # 3: This one is an essential option that you have to turn off. And many are going to miss this one because these settings are only changeable through an external website. So head over tohttps://choice.microsoft.com/en-gb/opt-out, there you will find two selections i.e. “Personalized ads in this browser” and “Personalised ads wherever I use my Microsoft account”. Turn both of them to ‘off’.

Ms-personal-ad-preferences

Task # 4: To add another layer of privacy, you might also be interested in removing your Microsoft account from Windows 10, and use some local account instead. Doing this might take away some of the features like Synchronisation across other devices, OneDrive and Windows Store – won’t be a big deal for many! So to remove your Microsoft account, head over to ‘Settings’ -> ‘Accounts’ -> ‘Your Account within Windows 10’, and from there you will be able to remove the account.

Windows 10 will sync data and settings by default with its servers. That includes browser history, currently open web pages, favorites pages, websites, saved apps, Wi-Fi network names and passwords and mobile hotspot passwords.

We also advise you not to activate Cortana, Microsoft’s personal virtual assistant, but if you have already activated it here’s what you’ve allowed it to collect:

  • Your device location
  • Your email and text messages data
  • Your Calendar data
  • Apps you are using
  • Your contact list
  • Who’s calling you
  • With who you are in touch more often
  • Your alarm settings,
  • Your music on device
  • What you purchase
  • Your search history in case you’re using Bing search engine.

“TO ENABLE CORTANA TO PROVIDE PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCES AND RELEVANT SUGGESTIONS, MICROSOFT COLLECTS AND USES VARIOUS TYPES OF DATA, SUCH AS YOUR DEVICE LOCATION, DATA FROM YOUR CALENDAR, THE APPS YOU USE, DATA FROM YOUR EMAILS AND TEXT MESSAGES, WHO YOU CALL, YOUR CONTACTS AND HOW OFTEN YOU INTERACT WITH THEM ON YOUR DEVICE.”

This is not it,

“CORTANA ALSO LEARNS ABOUT YOU BY COLLECTING DATA ABOUT HOW YOU USE YOUR DEVICE AND OTHER MICROSOFT SERVICES, SUCH AS YOUR MUSIC, ALARM SETTINGS, WHETHER THE LOCK SCREEN IS ON, WHAT YOU VIEW AND PURCHASE, YOUR BROWSING AND BING SEARCH HISTORY, AND MORE.”

Windows 10 can also use you for marketing and advertising purposes as it generates a unique advertising ID for users on every device which can be further used to serve commercial content.

Though Windows 10 comes with default capability of automatically detecting malware on user’s PC, but when it’s collecting personal data as such a level you don’t need a malware.

So Windows 10 is spying on you, do opt-out from all such features you think are privacy invasion for you.

TV_Android

About 460 of the top 500 Android applications create a security or privacy risk when downloaded to Android devices, according to new research. And that’s largely because of a lack of user education and the fact that mobile users don’t mind sharing personal information for free apps in return.

MetaIntell, a vendor that specializes in cloud-based mobile risk management (MRM), set about testing the top apps in a range of stores, including Amazon, CNET, GETJAR and the official Google Play store. It found that more than 92% of the applications it tested used non-secure communication protocols, while 60% communicate with domains that are blacklisted by a reputation service.

Additional risks included developer reputation, content vulnerabilities and 20% of the apps tested had the ability to load external applications either locally or remotely – all without the express consent or knowledge of the user.

Digging deeper into the data, MetaIntell rated the risks so high on many applications that 42% of them should not be allowed onto any consumer or enterprise-owned device.

These results are from an analysis of the apps that people download the most – suggesting that much more user education is necessary when it comes to mobile use.

“What most people do not fully appreciate are the risks associated with downloading apps from the million-plus Android applications available in app stores,” the company explained in the research. “Most users assume that applications are trusted if they are offered in an official app market. App stores typically make no guarantee about the trustworthiness of the products they offer. Most often, applications are developed and hosted in the apps markets with no risk assessment.”

The reality is, almost any application can become the source of serious threats that can affect both the device and the intranets to which that device connects, which can have serious ramifications in an enterprise setting. Users should approach app downloads with this in mind – especially corporate users.

“Access to personal data is what makes mobile applications uniquely useful and relevant to users,” said Chris Hazelton, research director for mobile and wireless at industry analysts 451 Research, in a statement. “In exchange for free apps, consumers are willing to share personal data with third party developers. Companies cannot afford to do this, and must control access to data on mobile devices – creating a real need for greater transparency and control of the apps that are available to employees from public app stores.”

So how can mobile device users and enterprises protect themselves from risky mobile applications? By not downloading applications that carry risk, of course – and that means being vigilant about reading the terms and conditions of apps and understanding what one is agreeing to when downloading. “Threats occur where risk conditions exist. Eliminate the risk and avoid the threat,” said Kevin Mullenex, CEO of MetaIntell.

Unfortunately, that will be easier said than done.

 

Source: infosecurity-magazine

facebookTV

Shocking I know, but sadly, yes, this is a HOAX. I am talking about this silly message that is flying around Facebook at the moment and is probably the status message of many of your friends (and maybe yours too)….

‘WARNING!!! FACEBOOK HAS CHANGED THEIR PRIVACY SETTINGS ONCE MORE!!! DUE TO THE NEW “GRAPH APP” ANYONE ON FACEBOOK (INCLUDING OTHER COUNTRIES) CAN SEE YOUR PICTURES, LIKES, AND COMMENTS. The next 2 weeks I will be posting this, and please once you have done it please post DONE! Those of you who do not keep my information from going out to the public, I will have to DELETE YOU! I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. I post shots of my family that I don’t want strangers to have access to!!! This happens when our friends click “like” or “comment”… automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we cannot change this setting by ourselves because Facebook has configured it that way. PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (DO NOT CLICK), a window will appear, now move the mouse on “FRIENDS” (also without clicking), then down to “Settings”, click here and a list will appear. REMOVE the CHECK on “LIFE EVENTS” and “COMMENTS & LIKES”. By doing this, my activity among my friends and family will no longer become public. Now, copy and paste this on your wall. Once I see this posted on your page, I will do the same……’Facebook Spying On Your Text Messages

This is not real. This is not Facebook. But if you have posted this message as your status, don’t be ashamed, it is easy to fall for this sort of thing. The facts sound so real and the consequences so dramatic. However this is someone’s sick idea of fun & games and it’s got millions of people scrambling to change their settings this week then proceeding to unfriend people that have not done so. This is a variation of another hoax that also went viral a few months ago.

Read more of this superb post at www.thelikeffect.com

Google will soon know far more about who you are and what you do on the Web.

The Web giant announced Tuesday that it plans to follow the activities of users across nearly all of its ubiquitous sites, including YouTube, Gmail and its leading search engine.

Google has already been collecting some of this information. But for the first time, it is combining data across its Web sites to stitch together a fuller portrait of users.

Consumers won’t be able to opt out of the changes, which take effect March 1. And experts say the policy shift will invite greater scrutiny from federal regulators of the company’s privacy and competitive practices.

The move will help Google better tailor its ads to people’s tastes. If someone watches an NBA clip online and lives in Washington, the firm could advertise Washington Wizards tickets in that person’s Gmail account.

Consumers could also benefit, the company said. When someone is searching for the word “jaguar,” Google would have a better idea of whether the person was interested in the animal or the car. Or the firm might suggest e-mailing contacts in New York when it learns you are planning a trip there.

But consumer advocates say the new policy might upset people who never expected their information would be shared across so many different Web sites.

A user signing up for Gmail, for instance, might never have imagined that the content of his or her messages could affect the experience on seemingly unrelated Web sites such as YouTube.

“Google’s new privacy announcement is frustrating and a little frightening,” said Common Sense Media chief executive James Steyer. “Even if the company believes that tracking users across all platforms improves their services, consumers should still have the option to opt out — especially the kids and teens who are avid users of YouTube, Gmail and Google Search.”

Google can collect information about users when they activate an Android mobile phone, sign into their accounts online or enter search terms. It can also store cookies on people’s computers to see which Web sites they visit or use its popular maps program to estimate their location. However, users who have not logged on to Google or one of its other sites, such as YouTube, are not affected by the new policy.

The change to its privacy policies come as Google is facing stiff competition for the fickle attention of Web surfers. It recently disappointed investors for the first time in several quarters, failing last week to meet earnings predictions. Apple, in contrast, reported record earnings Tuesday that blew past even the most optimistic expectations.

Some analysts said Google’s move is aimed squarely at Apple and Facebook — which have been successful in building unified ecosystems of products that capture people’s attention. Google, in contrast, has adopted a more scattered approach, but an executive said in an interview that the company wants to create a much more seamless environment across its various offerings.

“If you’re signed in, we may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services,” Alma Whitten, Google’s director of privacy for product and engineering, wrote in a blog post.

“In short, we’ll treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience,” she said.

Google said it would notify its hundreds of millions of users of the change through an e-mail and a message on its Web sites. It will apply to all of its services except for Google Wallet, the Chrome browser and Google Books.

The company said the change would simplify the company’s privacy policy — a move that regulators encouraged.

Still, some consumer advocates and lawmakers remained skeptical.

“There is no way anyone expected this,” said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a privacy advocacy group. “There is no way a user can comprehend the implication of Google collecting across platforms for information about your health, political opinions and financial concerns.”

Added Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass), co-chair of the Congressional Privacy Caucus: “It is imperative that users will be able to decide whether they want their information shared across the spectrum of Google’s offerings.”

Google has increasingly been a focus of Washington regulators.

The company recently settled a privacy complaint by the Federal Trade Commission after it allowed users of its now-defunct social-networking tool Google Buzz to see contacts lists from its e-mail program.

And a previous decision to use its social network data in search results has been included in a broad FTC investigation, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is private.

Federal officials are also looking at whether Google is running afoul of antitrust rules by using its dominance in online searches to favor its other business lines.

Claudia Farrell, a spokeswoman for the FTC, declined to comment on any interaction between Google and regulators on its new privacy changes.

Source Washingtonpost