Opera’s launched an iOS app to expand its free, unlimited, ad-blocking VPN

This story was updated with further information about the user data collected by the app.

Opera Software takes its VPN campaign to iOS with a free, unlimited virtual private network app. Launched Monday, the new app follows Opera’s debut in late April of a free, built-in virtual private network in the beta version of its PC and Mac browsers. Opera’s VPN services are offered by SurfEasy, a Canadian VPN provider that Opera acquired in early 2015.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Continue reading »

Google turns on HTTPS for all Blogspot blogs

All blogs hosted on Google's blogspot.com domain can now be accessed over an encrypted HTTPS connection. This puts more control into the hands of blog readers who value privacy. Google started offering users of its Blogger service the option to swi...
Continue reading »

Microsoft’s CEO explains why his company sued the U.S. government

Microsoft surprised the world last month when it filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice, alleging that the frequent practice of attaching gag orders to search warrants for customer data violates the U.S. Constitution.

On Monday, CEO Satya Nadella told a group of tech luminaries why the company did so: Microsoft has a strong view on its privacy promises to users, and the company will fight to prevent government overreach that, in its view, compromises the principles of privacy. 

Governments have a compelling need to help preserve public safety, but Microsoft wants to make sure that users’ privacy is also preserved, Nadella said. 

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Continue reading »

Why Windows 10 wants your feedback and diagnostics, and how to control them

We now know the tradeoff for free Windows 10: Microsoft wants data about what you do with your device. But you don't have to send everything you do back to Redmond.

You can control the data you send back, and how often, by delving into Windows 10's privacy settings (we've taken you here before) and looking specifically at Feedback frequency and Diagnostic and usage data. The former is typically just an automated survey, but the diagnostic component actually peers into your machine.

These features comprised the Customer Experience Improvement Program, or CEIP, in previous versions of Windows—and they were voluntary. In Windows 10 they've become mandatory, but you can control some aspects.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Continue reading »

How to seize control of your privacy with Mozilla’s Firefox browser

When it comes to online privacy, Mozilla’s open-source Firefox browser is probably the best choice for keeping your data away from prying eyes. Even though Mozilla does have some behavior-based advertising on its new tab page, it’s still by far the browser maker that most respects your right to browse unmolested.

Nevertheless, Firefox does require several tweaks if you want to avoid privacy-invading tactics like ad tracking. Here's a rundown of the basic steps you can take in this browser.

Do not track and tracking protection

firefoxprivacytab

The default settings for the Firefox Privacy tab.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Continue reading »

Pure URL simplifies web addresses for safer surfing

Continue reading »

Pure URL simplifies web addresses for safer surfing

Continue reading »

Why you need a cloud backup service, and how to use one

Cloud backup is exactly what it sounds like. Your data is stored in an online repository, where it’s accessible to you when you need it. It works like this: You download a desktop client to your PC, select the folders you want to back up, and that data uploads to the service on a set schedule. Then if catastrophe strikes, such as a house fire or robbery, you have a clean, up-to-date copy of your data stashed on a server somewhere, all safe and sound.

Cloud backup does not eliminate the need for a local backup on an external hard drive of some sort, but it provides an easy solution for keeping another backup off-site. Your other options are to circulate a few hard drives that you keep in a safe at the office (a pain to remember), or run a remote server (technically challenging). Pay a few bucks a year to store your hard drive data online with a third-party provider is the easiest choice for most people.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Continue reading »