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Millions of Chrome users quietly added to Google’s FLoC pilot

Last month, Google began a test pilot of its Federated Learning of Cohorts—or FLoC—program, which the company has advertised as the newest, privacy-preserving alternative in Google Chrome to the infamous third-party cookie. Sounds promising, right? Well, about that. Despite Google’s rhetoric about maintaining user privacy, its FLoC trial leaves much to be desired. Google Chrome users had no … [Read more...]

Has Facebook leaked your phone number?

Unless you keep your social media at a pole’s distance, you have probably heard that an absolutely enormous dataset—containing over 500 million phone numbers—has been made public. These phone numbers have been in the hands of some cybercriminals since 2019 due to a vulnerability in Facebook that allowed personal data to be scraped from the social media platform, until it was patched it in … [Read more...]

A week in security (March 29 – April 4)

Last week on Malwarebytes Labs, our podcast featured Malwarebytes senior security researcher JP Taggart, who talked to us about why you need to trust your VPN. You’ve likely heard the benefits of using a VPN: You can watch TV shows restricted to certain countries, you can encrypt your web traffic on public WiFi networks, and, importantly, you can obscure your Internet activity from … [Read more...]

Relax. Internet password books are OK

Passwords are a hot topic on social media at the moment, due to the re-emergence of a discussion about good password management practices. There’s a wealth of password management options available, some more desirable than others. The primary recommendation online is usually a software-based management tool. Some include online syncing alongside web browser extensions. Others involve syncing … [Read more...]

The one reason your iPhone needs a VPN

For years, Apple has marketed its iPhone as the more secure, more private option when compared to other smart phones, which do not, by default, include an end-to-end encrypted messaging app, warn users repeatedly about app location requests, or provide a privacy-forward Single Sign-On feature. But, while Apple has taken several, commendable steps into protecting users, the company’s reach only … [Read more...]

Don’t post it! Six social media safety sins to say goodbye to

If you or anyone you know is committing the below social media sins, it’s time to change that habit of an online lifetime. Even the most innocuous of things can cause trouble down the line, because everyone’s threat model is different. Unfortunately, people tend to realise what their threat model is when it’s already too late. With this handy list, you’ll hopefully avoid the most common … [Read more...]

How your iPhone could tell you if you’re being stalked

The latest iOS beta suggests that Apple’s next big update will include an iPhone feature that warns users about hidden, physical surveillance of their location. The feature detects AirTags, Apple’s answer to trackable fobs made by Tile, and serves to block the potential abuse of the much-rumored product. While the feature represents great potential, digital surveillance experts said that … [Read more...]

iPhone app exposed other people’s call recordings

Video and audio are huge privacy concerns for people. If something goes wrong with tech it can have major ramifications. You’re likely very familiar with warnings about video. However, audio hasn’t always been so prominent. It’s only really since the rise of home assistants like Amazon’s Alexa that audio worries have gone mainstream. Turning up the volume on audio threats Bluetooth … [Read more...]

TinyCheck: Stalkerware detection that doesn’t leave a trace

In 2019, when Malwarebytes helped found the Coalition Against Stalkerware, which brings together cybersecurity vendors and nonprofits to detect and raise awareness about stalkerware, we encountered a significant roadblock in our fight: For some users, the very detection of these potentially privacy-invasive tools could put their lives at greater risk. In short, we needed a way to detect … [Read more...]

Will Google’s Privacy Sandbox take the bite out of tracking cookies?

Third-party cookies have been the lynchpin of online advertising for many years. Plans to phase cookies out forever continue to run at a steady pace, with Google in the driving seat. In 2019, it announced its vision for a “Privacy Sandbox”. The building blocks for this were essentially: Most aspects of the web need money to survive, and advertising that relies on cookies is the dominant revenue … [Read more...]