How To Break Our Bad Online Security Habits

How To Break Our Bad Online Security HabitsThe number of cyber attacks is estimated to have risen by 67% over the last five years, with the majority of these data breaches being traced back to human error.

Understanding The Real Costs Of Cheap Surveillance

Understanding The Real Costs Of Cheap Surveillance

Surveillance used to be expensive. Even just a few years ago, tailing a person’s movements around the clock required rotating shifts of personnel devoted full-time to the task. Not any more, though.

Do We Really Own Our Digital Possessions?

Do We Really Own Our Digital Possessions?

Microsoft has announced that it will close the books category of its digital store. While other software and apps will still be available via the virtual shop front, and on purchasers’ consoles and devices, 

Why Your Phone Won't Quit Ringing

Why Your Phone Won't Quit Ringing
Advanced automatic dialing systems make it easier and cheaper for small operations to generate huge numbers of calls.

Here's How To Protect Yourself From The Inevitable Data Breaches

Here's How To Protect Yourself From The Inevitable Data Breaches It’s tempting to give up on data security altogether, with all the billions of pieces of personal data – Social Security numbers, credit cards, home addresses, phone numbers, passwords and much more – breached and stolen in recent years.

Your Smartphone Apps Are Tracking Your Every Move

Your Smartphone Apps Are Tracking Your Every MoveIf you have a smartphone, it probably is a significant part of your life, storing appointments and destinations as well as being central to your communications with friends, loved ones and co-workers.

Why Are Some Americans Changing Their Names?

Why Are Some Americans Changing Their Names?
In 2008, Newsweek published an article on then-presidential candidate Barack Obama titled “From Barry to Barack.” The story explained how Obama’s Kenyan father, Barack Obama Sr., chose Barry as a nickname for himself in 1959 in order “to fit in.” But the younger Barack – who had been called Barry since he was a child – chose to revert to his given name, Barack, in 1980 as a college student coming to terms with his identity.

Why Life Insurance Companies Want Your Fitbit Data

Why Life Insurance Companies Want Your Fitbit Data

I recently predicted that health data from electronic sources could soon be compiled into a health or wellness report and shared with insurance companies to help them determine who they’ll cover.

How Passports Evolved To Help Governments Regulate Your Movement

How Passports Evolved To Help Governments Regulate Your MovementThe Trump administration is denying passports to U.S. citizens who live in Texas near the U.S.-Mexico border, according to news reports.

The administration is accusing applicants of having inadequate documentation of their birth on U.S. soil, and refusing to issue them passports on that basis.

Why Do People Fall Prey To Scams?

Why Are There So Many Suckers?

If you have a mailbox, you probably get junk mail. If you have an email account, you probably get spam. If you have a phone, you probably get robocalls.

How Your Genome May Have Already Been Hacked

How Your Genome May Have Already Been HackedCalifornia law enforcement announced the possible capture of a long-sought serial killer. Shortly after, it was reported that police had used public DNA databases to determine his identity.

4 Ways Your Google Searches And Social Media Affect Your Opportunities In Life

4 Ways Your Google Searches And Social Media Affect Your Opportunities In Life
Whether or not you realise or consent to it, big data can affect you and how you live your life. The data we create when using social media, browsing the internet and wearing fitness trackers are all collected, categorised and used by businesses and the state to create profiles of us.

What Is Doxxing, And Why Is It So Scary?

What Is Doxxing, And Why Is It So Scary?
“Doxxing” is an old internet term that comes from the idea of collecting the documents, or “docs,” on a person. The effort to discover and reveal personal information, of course, long predates the internet. It’s worrying, and potentially dangerous, when someone peels back the curtain of another’s identity.

Why We Trust Our Privacy To Some Apps But Not Others

Why We Trust Our Privacy To Some Apps But Not Others
As concerns about privacy increase for people using mobile apps, new research suggests that trust and engagement may hinge on perceptions about how the app uses personal data and whether it seeks user input before delivering services.

Why The Internet Is Not Designed For People

Why The Internet Is Not Designed For People
As a scholar of the social and political implications of technology, I would argue the internet is designed to be hostile to the people who use it. I call it a “hostile information architecture.”

How To Stop Hemorrhaging Data On Facebook

How To Stop Leaking Data On Facebook
Every time you open an app, click a link, like a post, read an article, hover over an ad, or connect to someone, you are generating data.

What Friends Of Our Friends Reveal About Us Online

What Friends Of Our Friends Reveal About Us OnlineAt a time when social network privacy is in the news, new research shows there are more ways than previously realized to reveal certain traits we might be trying to conceal.

You Don't Have To Quit Facebook, But Don't Trust It, Either

You Don't Have To Quit Facebook, But Don't Trust It, EitherIs it time to give up on social media? Many people are thinking about that in the wake of revelations regarding Cambridge Analytica’s questionable use of personal data from over 50 million Facebook users to support the Trump campaign.

How Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook Targeting Model Really Worked

How Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook Targeting Model Really Worked

The researcher whose work is at the center of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data analysis and political advertising uproar has revealed that his method worked much like the one Netflix uses to recommend movies.

How Can Differential Privacy Protect Your Data?

It’s no secret that big tech companies like Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon are increasingly infiltrating our personal and social interactions to collect vast amounts of data on us every day.

Encrypted Smartphones Secure Your Identity, Not Just Your Data

Encrypted Smartphones Secure Your Identity, Not Just Your Data
Smartphones store your email, your photos and your calendar. They provide access to online social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and even your bank and credit card accounts. And they’re keys to something even more private and precious – your digital identity.

How Secure Is Your Data When It's Stored In The Cloud?

cloud privacy 2 2As cloud storage becomes more common, data security is an increasing concern. Companies and schools have been increasing their use of services like Google Drive for some time, and lots of individual users also store files on Dropbox, Box, Amazon Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and the like.

How Technology Is Changing What Young People Share Online

How Technology Is Changing What Young People Share OnlineThe revelation that New Zealand children as young as six or seven are posting sexually explicit images of themselves online may come as a shock to many, especially parents. The reality is that for many teenagers today, engaging with explicit material is not uncommon.

How Some Websites Watch Your Every Move And Ignore Privacy Settings

How Some Websites Watch Your Every Move And Ignore Privacy SettingsHundreds of the world’s top websites routinely track a user’s every keystroke, mouse movement and input into a web form – even before it’s submitted or later abandoned, according to the results of a study from researchers at Princeton University.

What You Need To Know About Credit Card Fraud

What You Need To Know About Credit Card FraudIf you are the owner of a credit or a debit card, there is a non-negligible chance that you may be subject to fraud, like millions of other people around the world.

7 In 10 Smartphone Apps Share Your Data With Third-party Services

7 In 10 Smartphone Apps Share Your Data With Third-party ServicesOur mobile phones can reveal a lot about ourselves: where we live and work; who our family, friends and acquaintances are; how (and even what) we communicate with them; and our personal habits.

What Are The Orwellian Dystopias Of The 21st Century?

07 08 dystopiaFictional metaphors matter, and in the battle to safeguard our civil liberties few metaphors matter more than George Orwell’s 1984. Although first published almost 70 years ago, the lasting salience of this most archetypal dystopia is undeniable.

Why What You Post Online Can Wreck Your Life

Why What You Post Online Can Wreck Your LifeHarvard recently rescinded admission offers for some incoming freshmen who participated in a private Facebook group sharing offensive memes.

How On The Internet, You Are Always The Product

Anyone who spends much time online knows the saying: “If you’re not paying, you’re the product”. That’s not exactly correctAnyone who spends much time online knows the saying: “If you’re not paying, you’re the product”. That’s not exactly correct. The Conversation

How The Internet Knows If You're Happy Or Sad

happy or sad 5 28Think about what you shared with your friends on Facebook today. Was it feelings of “stress” or “failure”, or perhaps “joy”, “love” or “excitement”?

Why Banning Laptops From Airplane Cabins Doesn't Make Sense

Why Banning Laptops From Airplane Cabins Doesn't Make SenseRecent reports suggest that terrorists can now create bombs so thin that they cannot be detected by the current X-ray screening that our carry-on bags undergo.

How To Protect Yourself From Ransomware

How To Protect Yourself From Ransomware What would it mean if you lost all of your personal documents, such as your family photos, research or business records?

Tor Upgrades To Make Anonymous Publishing Safer

Tor Upgrades To Make Anonymous Publishing SaferIn the coming months, the Seattle-based nonprofit The Tor Project will be making some changes to improve how the Tor network protects users’ privacy and security.

Can Customs and Border Officials Legally Search Your Phone?

Can Customs and Border Officials Legally Search Your Phone? A NASA scientist heading home to the U.S. said he was detained in January at a Houston airport, where Customs and Border Protection officers pressured him for access to his work phone and its potentially sensitive contents.

When Will We Learn Almost Everything Is Potentially Hackable?

When Will We Learn Almost Everything Is Potentially Hackable?This week’s WikiLeaks release of what is apparently a trove of Central Intelligence Agency information related to its computer hacking should surprise no on.  

Why We Should Not Know Our Own Passwords

Why We Should Not Know Our Own PasswordsSince 2009, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have been allowed to search electronic devices carried by citizens or noncitizens as they cross the border into the United States from other countries.

Could Your Fitbit Data Be Used To Deny You Health Insurance?

Could Your Fitbit Data Be Used To Deny You Health Insurance?Wearing a fitness tracking device could earn you cash from your health insurance company. At first, this sounds lucrative for the people who participate, and good for the companies, who want healthier insurance customers.

How Right To Be Forgotten Puts Privacy And Free Speech On A Collision Course

How Right To Be Forgotten Puts Privacy And Free Speech On A Collision CourseThe age of digital technology, in which we can search and retrieve more information than we could in any previous era, has triggered a debate over whether we have too much information. Is the cure to “unpublish” things we think are wrong or out of date? Ought we have a “right to be forgotten”?

Backdoors And Spyware On Smartphones Is The Norm In China

Backdoors And Spyware On Smartphones Is The Norm In ChinaKryptowire, a security firm, recently identified several models of Android mobile devices that have preinstalled permanent software, known as firmware, that serve as backdoor that collects sensitive personal data, including text messages, geolocations, contact lists, call logs and transmits them to a third-party server in Shanghai, China.

6 Things You Can Do To Prevent Online Theft

 6 Things You Can Do To Prevent Online TheftWhen it comes to theft online, “you’re only protected by other, easier victims,” says Hsinchun Chen, an expert in cybersecurity.

Data Surveillance Is All Around Us, And It's Changing Our Behavior

Data Surveillance Is All Around Us, And It's Changing Our BehaviorEnabled by exponential technological advancements in data storage, transmission and analysis, the drive to “datify” our lives is creating an ultra-transparent world where we are never free from being under surveillance.

What Is Brainjacking And Is It A Cyber-security Threat?

What Is Brainjacking And Is It A Cyber-security Threat?We live in an interconnected age where wirelessly controlled computing devices make almost every aspect of our lives easier, but they also make us vulnerable to cyber-security attacks. Today, nearly everything can be hacked, from cars to lightbulbs

Corporations Want Your Digital Data and the FCC Must Stop Them

Corporations Want Your Digital Data and the FCC Must Stop ThemWhen Yahoo! confirmed that it had experienced a massive online attack from hackers who stole personal information from more than 500 million people — including names, emails and phone numbers — it revealed a disturbing truth about our digital media system.

The Price Of Connection: Surveillance Capitalism

The Price Of Connection: Surveillance CapitalismImagine, if you can, a period long before today’s internet-based connectivity. Imagine that, in that distant time, the populations of every country were offered a new plan.

We Can Read All Your Email, And You'll Never Know

We Can Read All Your Email, And You'll Never KnowFear of hackers reading private emails in cloud-based systems like Microsoft Outlook, Gmail or Yahoo has recently sent regular people and public officials scrambling to delete entire accounts full of messages dating back years.

Should We Worry About The Privatization Of Genetic Data

Should We Worry About The Privatization Of Genetic DataPresident Obama has promised to support a bold future for medicine where diagnostic testing and treatments aren’t just what’s best for most people – they’re what’s best for you.

Is Your Employer Watching You Online?

Is Your Employer Watching You Online? A new study reveals employers are using online information about job applicants without their knowledge, to inform hiring decisions. Approximately 55% of organizations now have a policy about this type of practice, called profiling.

More Third Parties Know What You Do Online

More Third Parties Know What You Do OnlineFor more than two decades, people have used the internet to research, shop, make friends, find dates, and learn about the world. And third parties have been watching—and learning.

How Companies Learn What Children Secretly Want

 Student privacy laws are not adequate. Mary Woodard, CC BY-NC-ND If you have children, you are likely to worry about their safety – you show them safe places in your neighborhood and you teach them to watch out for lurking dangers.

Buying And Selling Hacked Passwords: How Does It Work?

Data breaches are a regular part of the cyberthreat landscape. They generate a great deal of media attention, both because the quantity of information stolen is often large, and because so much of it is data people would prefer remained private.

Securing Web Browsing: Protecting The Tor Network

Securing Web Browsing: Protecting The Tor NetworkThere are more than 865 encryption tools in use worldwide, all addressing different aspects of a common problem. People want to protect information: hard drives from oppressive governments, physical location from stalkers, browsing history from overly curious corporations or phone conversations from nosy neighbors.

How To Stop Your Phone From Being Hacked

How To Stop Your Phone From Being HackedIf you’ve ever forgotten your phone or left it at home for the day, you will have realised just how much you use it. On average, we check our mobile phones about 110 times a day.

Can Your Devices Spy On Your Every Move?

people talking phonesWe now have dozens of smart devices in our houses and even on our bodies. They improve our lives in so many ways – from lowering energy consumption in our homes to egging us on to be active.

Giving Up Security And Privacy Could Hurt Us All

Giving Up Security And Privacy Could Hurt Us All“You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide” is an argument that is used often in the debate about surveillance.

Why Apple Is Making A Stand Against The FBI

Why Apple Is Making A Stand Against The FBIApple has been ordered to help FBI investigators access data on the phone belonging to San Bernardino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook. The technical solution proposed by the FBI appears to undermine Apple’s earlier claim that they would be unable to help.

Hello Barbie, Hello Hackers: Accessing Personal Data Will Be Child's Play

Hello Barbie, Hello Hackers: Accessing Personal Data Will Be Child's PlayAt the top of some children’s Christmas present wish list this year will be the new Hello Barbie doll. Mattel’s latest doll connects to the internet via Wi-Fi and uses interactive voice response (IVR) to effectively converse with children. When the doll’s belt button is pushed, conversations are recorded and uploaded to servers operated by Mattel’s partner, ToyTalk.

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