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Chrome wants to make your passwords stronger

A common sentiment, shared by many people down the years, is that storing passwords in browsers is a bad idea. Malware, for example, would specifically target password storage in browsers and plunder everything in sight. Password managers weren’t exactly flying off the shelves back in 2007, your only real options were home grown. People ended up saving logins in all sorts of odd places: Text … [Read more...]

Are TikTok’s new settings enough to keep kids safe?

TikTok, the now widely popular social media platform that allows users to create, share, and discover, amateur short clips—usually something akin to music videos—has been enjoying explosive growth since it appeared in 2017. Since then, it hasn’t stopped growing—more so during the current pandemic. Although the latest statistics continue to show that in the US the single biggest age group (32.5 … [Read more...]

Zoom watermarking: pros and cons

Metadata, which gives background information on pieces of data, is typically hidden. It becomes a problem when accidentally revealed. Often tied to photography mishaps, it can be timestamps. It might be location. In some cases, it can be log analysis. Many tutorials exist to strip this information out. This is because it can reveal more than intended when it hits the public domain. Default … [Read more...]

What’s up with WhatsApp’s privacy policy?

WhatsApp has been in the news recently after changes to its privacy policy caused a surge of interest in rival messaging app Signal. Initial reports may have worried a lot of folks, leading to inevitable clarifications and corrections. But what, you may ask, actually happened? Is there a problem? Are you at risk? Or should you keep using your apps as you were previously? Setting the … [Read more...]

How a VPN can protect your online privacy

Have you ever experienced the feeling of relief that comes when you do something silly, but you’re glad you did it where people don’t know you? Or maybe you wished you were somewhere like that, but alas… That is what a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can do for you: it can put you in a place where you are unknown. To determine if and when you need a VPN, you must define what … [Read more...]

Beware: not so festive social media scams

We’re now into the most crucial stage of Christmas festivities, where money and gifts are on the march…and social media is a conduit for both good and bad tidings. This is the absolute best time for social media scammers to make their move. A little confidence trick here, the promise of good cheer there, and someone is going to be out of pocket. Here’s a roundup of some of the most … [Read more...]

Smart toy security: How to keep your kids safe this Christmas

Christmas is coming, and so are the smart toys. The ever-present pandemic has meant a lot more staying at home this year. Videogame playing has increased considerably, because why not? Screentime for kids has gone up, because again, it’s bound to. It hasn’t brought about the end of civilisation and the kids are still alright. You’d expect a big surge in smart/IoT toys all over the place given … [Read more...]

Prop 24 passes in California, will change data privacy law

First-day returns in California showed voters firmly approving to change their state’s current data privacy law—which already guarantees certain privacy protections that many states do not—through the passage of Prop 24. As of the morning of November 4, according to The Sacramento Bee, 56.1 percent of California voters said “Yes” to Prop 24. At that time, 65.3 percent of the state’s votes had … [Read more...]

Caught in the payment fraud net: when, not if?

Sometimes, I think there are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and some form of payment fraud. Security reporter Danny Palmer experienced this a little while ago, and has spent a significant amount of time tracking the journey of his card details from the UK to Suriname. His deep-dive confirmed that it is easy to become tangled up in fraud, even if you’re very careful. I myself have … [Read more...]

Charities and the advertising industry: data ecosystems and privacy risks

Data makes the world go round, more often than not via advertising and its tracking mechanisms. Whether you think making money from large volumes of PII to keep the web ticking over is a good thing, or a sleazy data-grab often encouraging terrible ad practices, it’s not going to go away anytime soon. A detailed analysis of ad tracking mechanisms on popular charity websites has been released by … [Read more...]