Archive for the ‘privacy’ Category

Block Opera VPN from Leaking Your IP Address

Monday, April 25th, 2016

It appears that Opera’s built-in VPN still has a few bugs that will need to be worked out …

Opera Software added a virtual private network (VPN) to Opera Developer a couple of days ago to improve user privacy and security while using the web browser. This VPN client is free to use, does not impose restrictions in regards to bandwidth or data to users, and there is little reason not to make use of it unless you are already using a VPN that runs system-wide, or want to watch shows on Netflix.

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Firefox Cross-Extension vulnerability discovered

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

This is definitely a problem. Firefox appears to be working on the problem and although there are tools that help to detect vulnerability to extension re-use, at present there is no solution for preventing it.

Nine of the ten most popular Firefox add-ons, based on users, are vulnerable to extension reuse vulnerabilities that allow malicious extensions to leverage these vulnerabilities. Add-ons are one of the hallmarks of the Firefox web browser. The most popular Firefox add-ons are used by millions of users, and since the extension system in place does not limit add-on developers as much as on other platforms, some add miraculous things to the browser that are not possible elsewhere.

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Security Paper Suggests to Remove McAfee from PCs, Finds Issues in OEM Devices

Friday, March 18th, 2016

Apparently, a study has found that many new Windows 10 laptops have security and privacy issues that are related to McAfee.

A recent security analysis of OEM laptops running Windows 10 by Duo Security Inc concluded that all analyzed devices had privacy and network protocol related issues. The seven laptops, produced by Dell, HP, Lenovo and Acer, shared many of the privacy and security issues, while some laptops had additional issues caused by installed OEM software.

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Windows 10 PCs Phone Home Even After Privacy Hardening

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

This might help to explain why Microsoft can afford to essentially give their newest operating system away for free.

When you install Windows 10 on a new PC or upgrade an existing version of Windows to the new operating system, you get the option to customize select preferences or use the defaults instead. If you select to customize, you get the option to disable three pages full of features related to privacy. While that is a good start at limiting Windows 10’s hunger for data, it is nowhere near sufficient to keep the operating system from talking with Microsoft servers regularly.

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Microsoft Edge Leaks Private Browsing Data Locally

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

I guess I’m naive, but I’ve always assumed that the whole purpose of private browsing was, uh, privacy.

A not-so recent report indicates that Microsoft’s Edge web browser may be leaking web browsing data of the browser’s private browsing mode locally. The researcher’s investigation of locally stored data by Microsoft’s Edge browser came to the conclusion that the browser is storing private browsing data in a local database even after the session is ended.

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Oscobo – A New Privacy Focused Search Engine

Friday, January 15th, 2016

If you’re tired of being bombarded with ads for everything you’ve recently searched for, you might want to give Oscobo a try.

Ever since the Snowden relevations, privacy search engines and privacy in general has been a boom on the Internet. Search engines focused on privacy have seen a rise in daily searches. While they are still nowhere near popular as Google Search or Bing, the two main search services in most parts of the world, they have shown that there is a market for these kind of services.

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Chrome’s “Clear Browsing Data” to Display Details about Deleted Data

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

This feature doesn’t do much as far as protecting your privacy, but it does provide an interesting look at the types of files that your browser stores on your PC.

Google Chrome’s “clear browsing data” dialog will soon become more useful as Google has started to add information about items that get deleted by it to it. Most web browsers ship with options to delete browsing data directly from within the browser. What they all fail to reveal however is what gets removed when you use the feature. The main issue with that approach is that you may not clear a single item depending on what you are selecting which in turn means that the selected action has no impact on the browser or local storage.

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Cross-Device Tracking: A Privacy Invasive Tracking Method

Monday, November 16th, 2015

No matter where you go or what you do, somebody is watching and trying to figure out how they can sell you more stuff that you don’t really need.

Marketing companies are always on the lookout for new methods to track user activity on the Internet. These information are used to display targeted advertisement to users which have a better return than less-targeted ads. The more a company knows about a user, the higher the return and that is the main reason why companies step up the tracking game despite public outcry about it and the rise of ad-blockers.

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New Browser Security Features have Tracking Side-Effects

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

If browser developers spent less time adding tracking and spying features and more time ensuring that their products are free of bugs, they’d probably have happier customers.

Most modern browsers are not simple tools anymore to display HTML websites properly in the browser. They are complex programs that support a wide variety of technologies including several designed to improve the security and privacy of users. While that is a good thing usually, it may lead to issues as well if these new technologies can be abused.

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Google Allows Companies to Target You Based on Your Email Address

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

No matter where we go or what we do these days, we’re constantly battered with advertisements. You’d think that advertisers would eventually realize that the more ads that they feed us, the less likely we are to pay attention to the content of those ads.

Google announced the roll out of a new advertising tool recently on the company’s official Adwords blog that allows companies to target users based on email addresses. The system, called Customer Match, works in the following way. Companies upload email addresses they want to target to Google, for instance by uploading emails of part of the company’s customer base to Google.

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