privacy

The 5 best apps to block spam calls on your phone

The 5 best apps to block spam calls on your phone

T-Mobile is boasting built-in network technology that notifies its customers about suspected spam callers and, if they'd like, blocks them from getting through entirely. That's great if you're a T-Mobile customer, but what if you're on a different network? The same sort of functionality is available to you, but you'll have to download an app to get it. Which one? Any of these five will do.

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Internet proxies are now illegal in Russia

Internet proxies are now illegal in Russia

It will soon be a lot harder for Internet users in Russia to access anything outside of government-sanctioned or region-locked sites and services. Vladimir Putin has just signed into law a bill that makes it illegal to use Internet proxy services, including VPNs or virtual private networks. While the law is primarily aimed at curbing anti-government activities, it also puts other legitimate or excusable uses of proxies at terrible risk.

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AdUps Chinese spyware still on Android phones, including Blu

AdUps Chinese spyware still on Android phones, including Blu

They say good things never last and bad things last for ages. That seems to be the case with AdUps, a Chinese “technology firm” that was blatantly installing spyware on countless of Android smartphones worldwide. Despite being involved in a scandal that even got the US Homeland Security’s attention, AdUps’ operation continues and its spyware still infects entry-level and budget smartphones, even Blu Product’s own, which was at the heart of that scandal.

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Android’s WannaCry “SLocker” source leaks online: Here’s how to avoid it

Android’s WannaCry “SLocker” source leaks online: Here’s how to avoid it

A piece of mobile ransomware that mimics the methods of WannaCry malware has leaked online. The source code for the malicious software has been spilled to the web, allowing this "SLocker" to be downloaded and spread ad infinitum. The source code might also give security experts an easy way to ramp up protection against the malicious code - but the potential costs far outweigh the potential benefits.

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Google snaps every search your phone makes – yes, even that one

Google snaps every search your phone makes – yes, even that one

While there are certain ways to block the internet from seeing what you're viewing, Google's latest update keeps a screenshot for later. Much like how Google Maps remembers everywhere you've ever been so you can find your car, Google (the search engine app) keeps a snapshot history of what you've searched for in Google Search. This search history does not make a significant impact on your smartphone's data storage space as it's all stored with Google on Google's servers.

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Microsoft swats Russia’s Fancy Bear with ingenious legal takedown

Microsoft swats Russia’s Fancy Bear with ingenious legal takedown

It's time for Putin's hackers to be on the receiving end of the beatdown stick of digital attacks this week. The folks behind the attack come from Microsoft, and the Russian hacker team goes by the name Fancy Bear. Yes, Fancy Bear, a name that's brought relative shame to the Democratic National Convention's game, also known as the Kremlin's cyber spy team. But Microsoft isn't attacking with "the cyber" - they're attacking with... the law!

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Google weeds out intrusive apps by looking at its peers

Google weeds out intrusive apps by looking at its peers

Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are, as the saying goes. Google has apparently taken that age-old adage to heart in trying to protect users from less than conscientious Android apps. Such apps might use permissions and data more than they should, at least compared to other similar apps that behave properly. And while the reasoning behind such peer grouping, Google unsurprisingly injects a pinch of machine learning to make it a less overwhelming task.

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Facebook isn’t responsible for your privacy, judge rules

Facebook isn’t responsible for your privacy, judge rules

Facebook users can't expect the social network to protect their privacy when they're browsing online, a US judge has ruled, throwing out a lawsuit against the social networking behemoth. The case had seen Facebook accused of violating both US federal and Californian laws around privacy and wiretapping, in its use of tracking cookies. However the judge, in a decision made on Friday last week, disagreed.

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Microsoft is getting in-your-face about Windows 10 privacy

Microsoft is getting in-your-face about Windows 10 privacy

Microsoft is pretty darn keen for you to be on the latest version of Windows, to the point that it now plans to pester users to install Windows 10 Creators Update. The strong-arm tactics will kick off this week, with Microsoft pinging PC owners who are yet to upgrade to the most recent version with a privacy settings review. For a while you'll be able to avoid it, Microsoft says, but not forever.

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Amazon’s “creepy” Echo Show feature is being overhyped

Amazon’s “creepy” Echo Show feature is being overhyped

Listen to the critics, and Amazon's Echo Show represents be a honeypot of privacy intrusion and creepy surveillance. Though Alexa, the retailer's virtual assistant, isn't new, the addition of a camera to the Echo Show smart speaker gives her eyes in your home for the first time. It's the circumstances around when those eyes are open - and who can turn on that camera remotely - that is triggering privacy fears.

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You won’t have to wait too long for a Purism Librem Laptop anymore

You won’t have to wait too long for a Purism Librem Laptop anymore

Although the chatter, whistleblowing, and mudslinging revolving around data privacy and security have somewhat died down, it hasn't completely vanished and is perhaps more critical than ever before. That is perhaps why Purism, the folks behind the privacy-focused Librem Laptops, have decided to take a more mainstream approach to their sales, shipping the laptops in just weeks after paying for one instead of the months-long waiting period before.

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You can now ask Google to delete medical records from search: here’s how

You can now ask Google to delete medical records from search: here’s how

Personal medical records showing up in search results is a big problem, and now Google is addressing it. The Internet giant will start pulling these records from results when someone asks them to, helping individuals maintain privacy in a world where hackers are increasingly breaching medical facilities' networks. This marks a change in policy for the company, which recently updated its policy page to reflect the new removal category.

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