privacy

Reintroducing Telegram: privately funded private chat with open source apps

Reintroducing Telegram: privately funded private chat with open source apps

I started to write an article about the latest update for Telegram, when I realized I might only be speaking to a select few in-the-know users. Far fewer than I think should be interested, anyway. Telegram is a private chat system with end-to-end encryption support and cross-platform functionality. It's privately funded by a guy named Pavel Durov, whose only goal seems to be "fast and secure messaging that is also 100% free."

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Next Nest update requires 2-factor authentication [UPDATE: for non-Google accounts]

Next Nest update requires 2-factor authentication [UPDATE: for non-Google accounts]

Starting this spring, Nest accounts will require 2-factor authentication, courtesy of Google. According to Google Nest, as they're called, all Nest users will be required to enroll in two-factor authentication, rather than just being given the option. Nest asserted that this feature will be required for all users, whether or not they've migrated their account to a Google account.

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Email apps caught scraping inboxes to sell data to third-parties

Email apps caught scraping inboxes to sell data to third-parties

It has become almost a common practice to offer free Internet services with a catch. More often than not, that catch involves gathering data that may or may not infringe on users' privacy. Most of the time, the reason given is for improving the service by providing a dataset they can study. Other times, however, these services are caught selling that data to the highest bidder, something that many users are apparently unaware of.

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Wacom caught tracking user on drawing tablet [UPDATE]

Wacom caught tracking user on drawing tablet [UPDATE]

In early 2020, an intrepid Wacom drawing tablet user by the name of Robert decided to do some investigative work on his beloved drawing tool. To do this, he employed the help of in-between software - that which allows a user to see what data's being sent from a device to a 3rd-party server via the internet (and vice versa). His findings did not please him.

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Is your smart home secure? Philips Hue Smart Bulb hack says no

Is your smart home secure? Philips Hue Smart Bulb hack says no

Security researchers proved this week that worries about the vulnerabilities of the future Internet-Of-Everything smart home were well founded. They've shown that a hack into a Philips Hue smart lighting system would allow them access to the smart hub at the center of a smart home. With this hack, malware could be implanted, and chaos could ensue.

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Google Chrome 80 SameSite Cookie enforcement could break some websites

Google Chrome 80 SameSite Cookie enforcement could break some websites

Google has just rolled out version 80 of Chrome, perhaps the world's most used web browser on both computers and mobile devices. It brings some very nice changes, like quieter notification requests, but has one change that could break how some websites work for a limited number of users. Unfortunately, this might be the type of wake up call needed for site owners and developers to step up and make the changes needed to protect their visitor's privacy.

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Avast apologizes for hurting feelings over selling user data

Avast apologizes for hurting feelings over selling user data

Although malware is just as rampant and even more dangerous than ever, it seems that the antivirus software market has seen better days. As these companies start losing profits from software sales and licenses, they turn to other sources of revenue, some more questionable than others. Avast has apparently made a business of "sharing" data to third parties and its CEO is now apologizing for hurting the feelings of its customers.

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You should change this new Facebook privacy option right now

You should change this new Facebook privacy option right now

Facebook made an update to Privacy options this week that allows users to stop tracking with "off-Facebook activity." If you get to the "Off-Facebook activity" section of your Privacy Settings, you'll see the option to stop "Future off-Facebook activity." That option can be switched OFF, at which point you'll be warned by Facebook that "Your experience may be less personalized and the ads that you see may be less relevant to you."

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iOS 13.3.1 brings privacy-related fixes and Powerbeats 4 hints

iOS 13.3.1 brings privacy-related fixes and Powerbeats 4 hints

We may finally be done with the phase of iOS 13 releases introducing bugs as much as they bring in fixes. Granted, this new 13.3.1 release is not that big of an update but considering it wasn't rushed out the door, it meant there was no emergency Apple needed to address in haste. Still, iOS 13.3 did leave some rather nasty holes open for others to potentially invade your privacy and safety. More than a month later, those are finally being closed shut.

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Facebook alerting users to check their privacy in 2020

Facebook alerting users to check their privacy in 2020

Earlier this month, Mark Zuckerberg outlined his goals for Facebook in the new decade, touching briefly on privacy in the process. Today, we're getting a clearer picture of Facebook's privacy plans moving forward, with the company saying that it knows privacy is one area where it needs to improve. To start down that path, the company will prompt most of its users to review their security settings.

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Ring Doorbell app found sending name, email to 3rd party tracker

Ring Doorbell app found sending name, email to 3rd party tracker

The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) revealed a study this week which showed the Ring Doorbell app for Android to be tracking users with 3rd-party systems. Included in the mix are four "analytics and marketing companies" that received information not explicitly sent by the user of the Ring app. This is not the first time Ring has exposed user data to 3rd-party groups - it's not even really all that rare.

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Avast Antivirus tracks your clicks and views – yes, even those [UPDATE]

Avast Antivirus tracks your clicks and views – yes, even those [UPDATE]

Avast Antivirus monitors and sells "anonymized" user internet usage data to a (subsidy) company called Jumpshot. When a new user installs Avast on their computer, they're asked to agree to a License - that's the part where most users scroll through all the text and don't take the time to read in any depth. In that agreement is a sentence that allows user data to be "anonymized" and shared with third parties "for trend analytics."

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