privacy

Google research reveals security questions’s vulnerability to attack

Google research reveals security questions’s vulnerability to attack

Google has just published research which puts the nail in the coffin of security question-based password protection. We like to think that security questions are reliable because the answers are easy to remember, but research shows this isn't the case. Not only are the answers to security questions often forgotten, but they are susceptible to attacks by simply guessing answers. These reasons contribute to the evolution of two-step authentication and SMS-based verification codes for quicker, more reliable password retrieval and authentication.

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“Creepy” Google robot toys would be your smart home butler

“Creepy” Google robot toys would be your smart home butler

Google is flirting with the concept of interactive robotic toys, that could provide a personable - or just plain creepy - interface to the smart home. The research, revealed in a recently published patent, is the handiwork of Richard Wayne DeVaul of Google [X], the search giant's unorthodox skunkworks lab: like a cuddly, moving version of Amazon Echo, the robo-pals would listen out for trigger words and then subsequent spoken instructions, capable of responding with not only speech but actions and expressions.

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Researchers design new Tor client resistant to NSA attacks

Researchers design new Tor client resistant to NSA attacks

Internet anonymity has become difficult to procure as the NSA is doing everything in its power to keep tabs on Internet activity. One way that people have been protecting their anonymity is by using the anonymizing network, Tor. It was popularly used to access dark web sites like Silk Road, but it can also be used for good. For example, people in certain countries without free speech protections could be jailed or worse for disparaging online claims against the government; Tor provides a way to prevent those users' web activity from being tracked. As it turns out, Tor isn't as safe from the prying eyes of big government surveillance as we once thought.

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Kim Dotcom just called out Clinton with Assange’s untold secrets

Kim Dotcom just called out Clinton with Assange’s untold secrets

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom speaks up about the 2016 Presidential Elections in the United States, suggesting that Julian Assange will call out Hillary Clinton with some "potential roadblocks." In an interview about a wide range of internet-related topics, Dotcom spoke with Bloomberg's Emily Chang this week on "Studio 1.0." This interview called upon Dotcom's earlier suggestion that he would be "Hillary's worst nightmare in 2016," while Dotcom suggested further that he'd "have to say it's probably more Julian," but that he was "aware of some of the things" that will inhibit Clinton's road to the White House.

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Google tipped to give Android users finer privacy controls

Google tipped to give Android users finer privacy controls

Google I/O 2015 is shaping up to be one interesting conference, at least based on rumors and "accidental" leaks. We already have a redacted mention of Android M, a new hands-free "Voice Access" experience, and what may be a new wearable. Now Google is rumored to give Android users a new gift too, probably in the next Android version. Insider sources are claiming that the search giant is just about ready to give users more fine-grained control over what an app can and cannot access, strengthening the platform's privacy controls.

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Free Android apps found tracking personal data

Free Android apps found tracking personal data

The Google Play store is a veritable frontier for apps of varying degrees of quality, while Apple tends to rule its App Store with an iron fist, only allowing thoroughly vetted apps to make an appearance. Only apps that are visibly malicious are barred entry to the Google Play store, leaving room for apps that aren't completely honest with their intentions. Perhaps it's time that Google follow Apple's lead and tighten up on the reins a bit, especially considering that a security team found thousands of free Android apps that are sharing user data by connecting with advertising and tracking sites--all unbeknownst to users.

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Facebook massages privacy with anonymous login and more

Facebook massages privacy with anonymous login and more

Facebook may be the natural home of over-sharing, but new Facebook Login options mean users now have more granular control over what third-party apps can know about them. Announced at F8 2014, the amended "Log in with Facebook" option will now serve up an "Edit the info you provide" link, where tweaks to exactly what gets passed over from your profile can be made. However, while the new feature may have been a year in the making, it's not a complete fix for online privacy.

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Twitter abuse now requires your phone number

Twitter abuse now requires your phone number

As one of several new means of combating abuse on their social network, Twitter is bringing on phone number verification for users. This system will not require that every Twitter verify their account using a phone number, but would potentially have some users required to verify their account or risk having said account destroyed entirely. Twitter is also enacting a feature which hides abusive Tweets from those that abused users do not follow. Abuse, Twitter hopes, will soon be a thing of the past - or it'll be hidden from view, at least.

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Twitter tightens security after messaging snafu

Twitter tightens security after messaging snafu

Today Twitter is updating their Policy and Product outlines to further combat abuse on their social networking platform. This comes just one day after Twitter announced that they'd be opening the proverbial gates to more Personal Messaging between users, creating a feature update which needed to be turned on to be used. Today, Twitter updates their violent threats policy as well as expanding their coverage of suspected abusive Tweets. In short - Twitter isn't taking this whole "public abuse" thing sitting down - they want you to feel safe and comfortable in their social networking environment.

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Forget spying, now the NSA wants your password list

Forget spying, now the NSA wants your password list

The NSA isn't interested in a sneaky back door into your smartphone or computer any more, it just wants you to leave the front door wide open. While arguments continue around just what the National Security Agency can and can't get access to - dragging more than one big tech name into the controversy - the spy organization's chief is suggesting a far more blunt approach: in effect, handing over the keys to encryption upfront.

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