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Tag: PRIVACY

New software uses facial recognition to defend against prying eyes

Having the right programs and hardware to keep the information on your display safe from prying eyes is never a bad idea, and new software from Oculis Labs offers a very interesting take on how to do just that. It's called PrivateEye, and it utilizes facial recognition to automatically pixelate the contents of your display when you look away. If you step away from your system and someone...

Gmail ads will start learning from your email habits

Google is preparing to make the ads in Gmail even more accurately predict your tastes and needs. While Google has been relying on the contents of each individual email to help it target the ads next to it, the coming overhaul will make ads learn from the entirety of your email correspondence. To become more relevant to you, Gmail ads will start using some of the same signals that are...

Google settles Buzz privacy case with FTC, apologizes

Google and the FTC have just announced that they've reached a settlement in the FTC's investigation of Google's privacy violations committed during the rollout of Google Buzz, the company's social network built inside of Gmail. One of the reasons Buzz never quite took off may have been the enormous backlash surrounding its launch, and Google's handling of Gmail users' privacy. The FTC claims...

Yahoo! Messenger now censors the links you share

We've all thought it, but never dared think it could be true: what if Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL actively monitor our instant messenger chats? What if mentions of 'bomb' and 'underage' are tracked and sent to law enforcement agencies? What if chat providers don't agree with the things we say, or the links we share, and filter or censor the content of our transmitted messages? Well, it looks like...

Complete Browser for webOS offers tabs, private browsing

If you use a webOS smartphone and want a more desktop-like browsing experience, head to the App Catalog and check out Complete Browser. The app builds on the default webOS browser core and provides a handful of useful additional features like tabbed browsing, a private browsing mode, and easy access to clearing browsing data. There's also an anonymized Google search option built in. The tabs...

How to prevent people from seeing your recent activity on Facebook

Facebook changed its privacy controls a few times in 2010, and while it's now quite easy to block entire groups from seeing your location or contact details, there's no obvious way to hide your recent activities. Recent activities are everything you do on Facebook, from commenting on a friend's wall to posting photos or changing your relationship status. If a friend visits your profile they...

Charlie Sheen death hoax spreads malware on Facebook and Twitter

No, despite what you may have heard on Facebook and Twitter, Charlie Sheen is not yet dead. With the eye-catching title of "RIP! Charlie Sheen found Dead at his House," a massive clickjacking hoax is doing the rounds on Facebook and Twitter. Clicking the link will take you to a fake YouTube page -- and if you click anywhere on the page, the hoax will infect your Facebook profile and begin...

How to block specific friends from reading a Facebook status update

This week's set of tech tips are all about the most popular website in the world: Facebook. For more tips, check our tips index! Facebook, despite the blogosphere's perpetual bickering, actually has good, granular privacy controls. You can control exactly who can see each section of your profile, and easily block specific people from even finding your profile. One lesser-known feature,...

How Secure is My Password lets you know just that

We've all heard it before; you need to select a lengthy password, one that's hard to guess. Not a dictionary word. And it has to have some capital letters in it too, and some digits, and a symbol or two won't hurt either. That's a handy set of rules to keep in mind, but How Secure is My Password helps us understand why they're important. It's basically like a full-screen version of one of...

New Google navigation bar is not +1: it's for managing your online identity

Google's new cross-site navigation bar, which began rolling out last week, is actually a new measure to improve your surfing privacy, and not the 'Google +1' social layer that we've been anticipating. Basically, the bar elucidates the three 'states' in which you can use Google's services. First this is 'Unidentified,' which is where Google only knows your IP address, tracks you with a...

Winamp forums attacked, accounts and email addresses exposed

[Full disclosure: AOL is the parent company of both Winamp and Download Squad] Hackers have broken through security protecting the Winamp forum database, compromising the user forums, exposing accounts and email addresses in the process. In a post on the company's forum, Winamp's General Manager, Geno Yoham, explained that an attack was quickly detected and isolated to the Winamp forum...

Internet Explorer 9 Tracking Protection Lists not all created equal

Tracking Protection is Internet Explorer 9's kicked-up privacy protection system, a sort of evolution from IE8's InPrivate Filtering. And while there are now four lists posted on Microsoft's official site, they're not all designed to function the same way. ZDNet's Ed Bott took an in-depth look at all four, and what he found may surprise you. One list -- provided by TRUSTe -- does very little...

How to use Internet Explorer 9 Tracking Protection Lists

One of the more talked-about features in Internet Explorer 9 is the addition of Tracking Protection -- which is a bit of a re-tooling of IE8's InPrivate Filtering. Now that the IE9 RC is here, Tracking Protection is ready for you to test. All you need are some lists to subscribe to, and the know-how to plug them in to your browser. First, head over to the Tracking Protection Lists page from...

TorChat, anonymous and secure messaging and file transfers

Using the Tor network of virtual tunnels, TorChat is a small, portable and open-source IM client that allows for completely anonymous and secure communications and file sharing. It works on both Windows and Linux. If you're on Windows, all you have to do is download, unzip, and run torchat.exe. It will automatically connect to the Tor network -- which will take a few minutes -- but then it...

Hotmail now offers disposable email via aliases

Though it's still playing catch-up in terms of geek cred, Hotmail has grown into a much more modern, powerful webmail app in the past year. The latest update by Microsoft introduces support for email aliases -- a handy option which Gmail users have enjoyed for quite a long time which are like the privacy-protecting disposable email accounts we've told you about before. Using an alias is handy...