Tagged With privacy

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Almost every service you use on the web that involves a username and password is in some ways collecting information about you. In some cases, that info might just be your email and a few identifying data points like your age or gender. In others, (*cough* Facebook) you're handing over information about your likes and dislikes, who your friends are, and even where you go during the day.

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Instagram was experimenting with a new privacy feature. Using a test pool of small number of users, whenever an Instagram Story was captured in a screenshot of sent on to someone else in a direct message, the original poster was notified. But the company has backed away from deploying this feature, which is part of Snapchat, saying the experiment is over and you can go back to screenshooting and forwarding things to your heart's content.

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Android/iOS: Snapchat announced a new feature yesterday that allows any user to delete any messages they send in individual or group conversations. In other words, if you Snapchat message your mum "nice bod", but meant to send that to your favourite friend instead, you can now use Snapchat's "Clear Chats" feature to prevent all the awkwardness ever.

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You might know what a virtual private network (VPN) is, but the odds of you actually using one are low. You really should be using a VPN -- ultimately, you may end up seeing it as just as vital as your internet connection. We'll tell you why, explain how to choose a VPN provider and list five that are worth considering.

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In the show I'm in right now, there's an scene when the less-than-pleasant Archdeacon of the Notre Dame Cathedral, Claude Frollo, tells his adopted son, Quasimodo, that "it takes two people to communicate." But it's not just the hunchback that forgets this lesson — I'm surprised, but not that surprised, about how easy it is to ignore this fact in everyday life.

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How many times have you gone to share an interesting story (or comic) with a friend — a pretty standard process — only to find that the short URL you thought you were copying and pasting is actually one giant, messy paragraph of text. You can thank all the services and sites that append a ton of extra junk to URLs so they can have a better understanding of how you visited the site, what you've looked at and where you're going.

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Until now, in order to use two-factor authentication (2FA) with your Facebook account you needed to give Facebook your phone number. Which seemed a little dumb as, in order to improve your privacy, you needed to give the largest data collection service in the world more data. But that's changed with a new 2FA system coming into play that lets you use third party authenticators.

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Google is being investigated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission following revelations, that came to light through research by Oracle, that the company has been using mobile plan phone data to track the movements of Android phone users. And that is costing users a pretty penny as the data being collected adds about 1GB to the monthly use of many users.

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Apple has removed a number of apps from the App Store and sent a letter to developers as they clamp down on apps that collect location data. Although Apple has rules in their App Store Review Guidelines about this, they are now enforcing the rules more strictly.