privacy

Tech Privacy 101 – Ways to keep private things private

Tech Privacy 101 – Ways to keep private things private

Privacy is no longer a concern of a few well-informed, conscious, or even paranoid individuals. Given how much of our lives we have stored on computers, phones, or the cloud, digital privacy should already gain the same level of attention that we give our physical spaces. Sadly, that just isn't the case and many, sometimes even the best of us, take such things for granted. And with governments seemingly more invested in actually invading citizens' privacy, the responsibility of securing our digital lives falls on us. Fortunately, you don't need to be a computer scientist nor a lawyer to implement these simple steps to protect your privacy, whether online or offline.

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Can my phone be tracked?

Can my phone be tracked?

Absolutely yes, your smartphone can be tracked - the question we should be asking is: what can we do about it? Today we're going to run down several easy ways in which we can see our phone being tracked, first of all. Then we're going to shut down this tracking in a few easy steps. It's really not too big of a hassle, just a trade-off - location tracking lets us map where we're going, but in exchange, our phone has to know where we are.

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Microsoft Privacy Dashboard shows what Microsoft knows about you

Microsoft Privacy Dashboard shows what Microsoft knows about you

There are some tech companies, like Google, who are often accused of privacy violations, but it wasn't until Windows 10 that Microsoft was put in a hot seat. The company received no small amount of flak for the gaping privacy holes in the OS it was pushing to everyone, which, in turn, pushed Microsoft to make changes to its policies and implementations. Today it is announcing yet another step forward with the launch of its Privacy Dashboard, a web-based tool that lets you see and control what Microsoft sees about you.

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Windows 10 privacy revamped: Creators Update to streamline settings

Windows 10 privacy revamped: Creators Update to streamline settings

Microsoft's Windows 10 Creators Update isn't just bringing new features, but a revamped privacy system that the company hopes will settle concerns about ads, location sharing, and more. Although the Creators Update isn't expected to arrive for Windows 10 fans until around April 2017, Microsoft has been detailing some of the tweaks and improvements, both in individual settings and how those settings impact the overall experience. Meanwhile, there's a taste of the new focus on privacy available to try today.

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Voxer walkie-talkie latest chat app to be encrypted end-to-end

Voxer walkie-talkie latest chat app to be encrypted end-to-end

This morning the folks at Voxer have released their first walkie-talkie functionality in their own app. This functionality will work with end-to-end encryption, making it the only end-to-end encrypted walkie-talkie-specific messenger on the market right this minute. This release from Voxer will be made available for iOS and Android devices immediately.

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Uber Movement gives cities a peek into company’s trip data

Uber Movement gives cities a peek into company’s trip data

It’s something urban planners have been dying to have and users will (or should) be dying to protect. Uber is a treasure trove of data about the comings and goings of people because of how it so conveniently integrates GPS locations, trip data, and such. It is, naturally, ripe for the picking for city planners and administrators who want raw and relevant data on how to improve their infrastructure as well as traffic management. To that end, Uber is announcing Movement, a website that gives everyone, from those urban planners to you and me, a look at that very data.

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WikiLeaks suggests questionable database of verified Twitter users

WikiLeaks suggests questionable database of verified Twitter users

WikiLeaks, a website that once stood for the disclosure of private and secretive government documents but has since gone a bit crazy, has come up with the bizarre idea of creating an "online database" of verified Twitter users and their financial, occupational, and even personal information. The idea was proposed on Twitter, of course, by the WikiLeaks Task Force, an official account of the organization, and was subsequently met with concern.

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How to opt out of Facebook ads that track you

How to opt out of Facebook ads that track you

Facebook has an opt-out page which shows how they track users for Facebook ads across the entire planet. This page lists the ways in which Facebook works with data providers that "help businesses connect with people who might be interested in their products or services." These are the the groups that show an advertisement of a movie ticket sales site to people that've been searching for information about which movies are out in their area. For the Ron Swanson in you, this is your page, this is how you get out.

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President Obama’s Russia sanctions response to election-related hacking

President Obama’s Russia sanctions response to election-related hacking

This afternoon President Obama issued an executive order to expand upon response to cyber threats - in this case against Russia. The original Executive Order (13964), "Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities", was issued on April 1st, 2015 by President Barack Obama. This order was expanded to allow sanctions to be ordered against people who fiddle with United States election processes or institutions.

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Behold: This North Korean tablet is the worst tablet of all time

Behold: This North Korean tablet is the worst tablet of all time

Let me introduce you to the worst tablet ever made - a new tablet by the name of "Woolim" made for citizens of North Korea. This isn't the sort of device you'd be able to pick up at a local Electronics Department Store - nor is it available to every citizen of the country's totalitarian dictatorship. Instead, made for what would appear to be "someone with money," according to researcher Florian Grunow, suggesting that this tablet is not meant for "the normal working class."

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Alexa a hostile witness in murder investigation

Alexa a hostile witness in murder investigation

How reliable a witness is Amazon's Alexa? The voice-controlled assistant, star of the Echo smart speaker but increasingly spreading to other connected devices, has become the unexpected informant in an Arkansas murder investigation set to go to trial come 2017. According to police, and freshly-unearthed warrants filed by investigators, the always-listening Echo could hold crucial evidence in the case.

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Signal’s private chat app uses Google to stay uncensored

Signal’s private chat app uses Google to stay uncensored

Signal, the encrypted messaging app endorsed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, just received rather significant update. No, we’re not referring to the new stickers and doodling functionality. Those are just a front for the real meat of the update. In almost a similar fashion, Signal now uses a “front”, specifically a domain front utilizing Google.com, in order to circumvent current and future government censorship that would block an app that is reported to be in popular use among activists, advocates, and even dissidents.

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