Surfing the web privately is something many web users are interested in, whether they’re doing it on a desktop, laptop or mobile device, but not many people know how to do it. Recently, a detailed WhoIsHostingThis infographic showed you how to secure your connection using a VPN — a virtual private network created on top of a public network to anonymize web traffic — on Windows, Mac and iOS, assuming the user already has access to a VPN service. Phone Arena has put together a similar step-by-step guide of enabling VPN connectivity on Android devices. More →
If we learned anything in 2014, it’s the simple but painful truth that here in the digital age, we are not safe. Nefarious hackers are lurking around every virtual corner of the Internet, constantly developing new ways to attack us and steal our private data. Many times, these hackers target the large companies that store our data and as troubling as it is, there is simply nothing we can do to safeguard information that is held by third parties. Instead, we must rely on these companies to take the necessary measures to protect our data.
When it comes to our own data and our personal browsing habits, there are measures we all can and should take to protect ourselves. More →
Apple’s stance on privacy and data security appears to be stronger than ever, as the company has published an entire new privacy section on its website, complete with an important privacy-related message from CEO Tim Cook. The pages also include details on how Apple handles private data, what users can do to protect their Apple IDs used to log into iTunes and iCloud, and what information the company shares with law enforcement agencies. More →
It’s been a busy week for privacy and security related to personal data, obviously caused by a certain celebrities’ nudes hack, so it’s not entirely surprising to see Facebook double down on privacy at this time. The company on Thursday announced that its Privacy Checkup tool – which was first mentioned a few months ago – is finally rolling out to users in order to help them make sure they’re sharing status updates, posts and other things only with the people they want. More →
Making sure your private information stays private is more difficult than ever before. From major companies being hacked to vulnerable apps on smartphones, everyone with an electronic device that connects to the Internet is at risk, but how much would it cost for you to give up that privacy once and for all?
Market research group Luth Research thinks that $100 a month should do the trick. More →
Internet users looking to better guard their online privacy are probably aware of a new tracking trick certain sites are experimenting with in order to offer better targeted ads even to those people who block other tracking measures. Called canvas fingerprinting, the new tool tells your browser to create a unique fingerprint for your computer, by retrieving certain details about how the browser is rendering text on your system. The fingerprint then can be used to track users across websites, and it looks like at least 5,619 website have used the technology during May 1-5, 2014, according to researches that looked into how canvas fingerprinting works. More →
Internet users who are actively trying to make sure their online activity isn’t tracked by websites or government agencies should know there’s an even creepier tracking tool out there used by a variety of websites, “from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn,” as ProPublica puts it, that’s almost impossible to block. More →
Being anonymous online is very difficult in the current Internet landscape that’s filled with companies and government agencies looking to either keep tabs on your Internet habits, or to monitor all your communications — but there are ways to be completely anonymous online, a new Wired report reveals. More →
When it comes to privacy, Facebook is hardly a shining beacon. Despite efforts in the past few months to clear up its image, it continues to upset privacy advocates, most recently with its decision to use your browsing history to show you more targeted ads. Of course, Facebook wants all this information to serve better ads, which in turn allows it to keep the social network we’re all addicted to free. After decisions like this, though, it’s worth being reminded about just how much Facebook knows about you, which is exactly what The Wall Street Journal did with its list of the most important things that you’re sharing with Facebook. Here’s just a taste: More →
When it comes to the Internet, your eyeballs are worth more than you know. Online advertising is a massive multi-billion dollar industry and the companies dominating the industry — Google and Facebook, for example — are the companies in possession of the most private data. This data is used to target ads at consumers based on their history and preferences, and the better a company can target ads, the more it can charge advertisers to display those ads.
It looks like the Federal Trade Commission is finally starting to realize that some companies go too far when collecting data and building a profile of Internet users to be sold to marketers, and consumers deserve to have more control over how they are tracked online. More →
Facebook on Thursday announced new privacy-related features that apply to both existing and new users interested in joining the platforms. The company has apparently acknowledged the fact that not all things should be shared with the public, and Facebook users should be able to only share stuff with their friends. More →
If you’re pregnant and you don’t want to be subjected to countless ads reminding you of your pregnancy, then you may want to avoid using the Internet for the next 9 months or so. ThinkProgress has an interview with Janet Vertesi, an assistant professor of sociology at Princeton University who tried her best to conceal her pregnancy from Facebook and other social networks’ ad algorithms and found that it was so difficult that it wasn’t even worth doing unless you’re willing to basically send and receive any messages about your pregnancy through a carrier pigeon. More →
This past December, we reported that a popular Android app called Brightest Flashlight could do more than just shine light. Brightest Flashlight was a simple flashlight app that was highly-rated and had over 50 million installs. However, it had one devious, hidden feature: It would share personal data, such as your location, with advertisers. The FTC caught wind of this and began investigating the developer. According to GigaOm, the FTC reached a settlement with the developer last week, and it looks like he got away easy. More →