Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

Are You being Tracked by Mobile Carrier Injected Tracking Headers?

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

I’m so old, that I can still remember way back when the internet used to be a free and open source of knowledge, rather than simply a means to deliver more effective advertising.

Mobile Internet is still on the rise and used by hundreds of millions of people around the globe to access the Internet. Mobile advertising is on the rise as well and with it comes the desire to track users to improve its effectiveness. One way of doing that is to use data provided by mobile carriers. Back in 2014 it became known that two large mobile carriers from the United States — Verizon and AT&T — were injecting special tracking headers to mobile connections of their customers which advertisers could use to track users across the Internet by identifying them using provided data about customers.

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Microsoft Intensifies Data Collection on Windows 7 and 8 Systems

Friday, August 28th, 2015

It turns out that it’s not just Windows 10 that has privacy issues. Apparently, Microsoft’s never-ending nosiness now applies to older Windows products too.

Microsoft has been criticized by privacy advocates in regards to the data hunger of its Windows 10 operating system. The operating system slurps data like there is no tomorrow, especially when systems are set up using the express settings. Experienced users may disable telemetry and data collection partially during setup, and then some more afterwards using the Registry or Group Policy. What makes this problematic however is the fact that it is nearly impossible to stop all of the data collecting that is taking place.

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Comparison of Windows 10 Privacy Tools

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

If you don’t feel like taking the time and trouble to disable Windows 10’s “phone home” features manually, these privacy tools can provide users with a simplified interface for setting up privacy features quickly.

Windows 10 users can modify the operating system’s privacy settings manually, for instance by disabling express setup during installation or upgrade, or by exploring the Privacy section of the new Settings application. While it gives them full control over each setting, it requires prior knowledge of these settings and time to make the changes. Privacy tools help users in this regard but may limit the control these users have over what is happening in the background depending on how the tool works.

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Microsoft Reserves the Right to Block Counterfeit Games and Disable Unauthorized Hardware

Friday, August 14th, 2015

The more I read about Windows 10, the less I like it.

While things look as if they are on track for Microsoft in regards to the rapid distribution of its new operating system Windows 10 — the company wants to push it on a billion devices in the next few years — things are heating up in regards to privacy. Windows 10 users can turn off most of the invasive tracking, data collecting and reporting features the operating system ships with — check out our privacy tools comparison for Windows 10 for links and information — but even if that is done carefully, data is still collected and submitted to Microsoft.

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Firefox Tracking Protection Decreases Page Load Times by 44%

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Improved privacy is definitely a good thing … but faster page load times are even better.

Mozilla launched Tracking Protection, a new feature to block trackers on the web automatically, in Firefox Nightly back in November 2014. The feature, turned off by default, needs to be enabled before it becomes available in the browser. To do so, load about:config in the browser’s address bar and hit enter, and confirm that you will be careful. Search for privacy.trackingprotection.enabled and double-click the preference to set it to true to enable it in the browser.

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HTTPS Everywhere 5 Launches with Thousands of New Rules

Monday, April 6th, 2015

The good news is that they’ve also added support for 16 new languages …

HTTPS Everywhere is a browser extension that is published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation that improves privacy and security by enforcing the use of the HTTPS protocol on websites supporting it. It is of specific use when you are connecting to sites or services that support http and https depending on how you access the site and its contents.

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VPNs – The Next Big Browser Feature?

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

A built-in VPN would indeed be a pretty appealing feature to find on a browser. It seems like it would be handy for both business applications and for those who are concerned about privacy.

While there are hundreds of web browsers, there are only a handful of engines all of these browsers run on, especially on the desktop. Chromium alone is the building block for more than a dozen different browsers from Google’s own Chrome browser over Opera and Vivaldi to Comodo Dragon, Yandex browser and SRWare Iron.

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AVG’s Invisibility Glasses Promise to Protect your Privacy in Public

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

A pair of those gag eyeglasses with a plastic nose and mustache would probably accomplish pretty much the same thing … and the gag glasses would look slightly less ridiculous too.

AVG unveiled Invisibility Glasses, a new product from its Innovation Labs, yesterday in Barcelona. I have to admit that I imagined a different kind of product when I read its name, thinking of a product that would make the wearer invisible or one that would automatically remove objects or people in your sight when you use the glasses. Invisibility Glasses serve a different purpose though. They have been designed by AVG to protect your privacy when you are in public.

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Mozilla Launches Tracking Protection Feature in Firefox Nightly

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Even though these capabilities have been available via add-ons for a while now, this is still a step in the right direction for privacy advocates …

Advertising and marketing companies use tracking to learn more about users that visit properties on the Internet that their services run on. Knowing more about users increases the profitability of advertisement which is the core reason why tracking is used so widely these days. Do Not Track was a first attempt to give control back to users but the main problem with the feature is that it is not mandatory.

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What Websites Know About You and How to Protect Yourself

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Here are a few more tips for those who are concerned about online privacy …

This is the second part of a mini series about privacy on the Internet. Check out the first part about IP addresses here. Whenever you connect to a website using a web browser, mobile application or program that supports Internet connections, information are automatically made available to those sites.

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