Privacy

How to Always Start Any Browser in Private Browsing Mode

Private browsing mode doesn’t offer complete privacy, but it does prevent your browser from saving your history, searches, cookies, and other private data between browsing sessions. You can have your browser always start in private browsing mode if you prefer it.

Most people won’t want to use private browsing mode permanently. You will have to log into the websites you use each time you open your browser, as your browser won’t save the cookies that keep your login state.

Google Chrome

To activate Google Chrome’s incognito mode by default, you must add a command line option to its shortcut.

First, locate the shortcut you use to launch Google Chrome—either on your taskbar, desktop, Start menu. Right-click it and select “Properties”.

If you’re using a taskbar shortcut, you’ll have to right-click the Google Chrome shortcut on your taskbar, right-click “Google Chrome” in the menu that appears, and then select “Properties”.

Add -incognito to the end of the text in the Target box. That’s a space, one dash, and then the word incognito.

Click “OK” to save your changes after adding this option.

Google Chrome will now start in incognito mode when you launch it from this shortcut. If you use other shortcuts to launch Google Chrome, you will also need to modify them.

To undo this change in the future, edit your shortcuts and remove the -incognito text you added.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox allows you to automatically enable private browsing mode via its options window. Click menu > Options to…

Twitter Changed Their Privacy Policy, So Update Your Settings

Twitter introduced an updated privacy policy on Wednesday that has users worried about how their private information is being tracked, stored and used. In the policy, the micro-blogging platform announced its plans to discontinue a privacy preference it previously honored, store your cookies for a longer period of time, and change how Twitter shares your private data.

“Twitter’s announcement is bad news for online privacy,” Marc Rotenberg, president of the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center, told The Associated Press. “The company dropped Do Not Track and gave advertisers access to more user data.”

But there’s reason not to get too worked up: Twitter’s also rolling out a new set of controls giving you the choice to opt out of sharing certain kinds of data. You just have to remember to actually do it since they’re going to to opt you into these changes in a month’s time.

How has the privacy policy changed?

No More “Do Not Track”: The new privacy policy, effective June 18, eliminates the “Do Not Track” option—a privacy preference that allows you to opt out from being tracked by third-party services on the website. Though, according to The AP, many social networks didn’t honor the Do Not Track request anyway.

Twitter explains their rationale on their website:

Twitter has discontinued support of the Do Not Track browser preference. While we had hoped that our support for Do Not Track would spur industry adoption, an industry-standard approach to Do Not Track did not materialize.

Then, of course, there’s the fact that Twitter can generate more revenue on tailored advertisements than it can on generic ones. And tailored advertisements require a bunch of information about who you are and what you like.

Cookies: When you visit a site that…

Drone law goes down, and now hobbyists don’t have to register

Buying a drone for fun just got a little less complicated.

A court ruling has declared that civilians c no longer need to register their non-commercial drones with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of drone user John Taylor, who filed an initial petition challenging the drone registration rule back in 2015, just days after the FAA’s drone registry went live in December of that year.

The rule required drone hobbyists to pay a $5 fee to register their drone with the FAA’s website.

However, the judge in Taylor’s case cited the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act, signed by President Obama, which states that the FAA “may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft.” According to the FAA, there have…

E.U. Fines Facebook $122 Million Over Disclosures in WhatsApp Deal

Europe’s love affair with Facebook may be coming to an end.

On Thursday, the European Union’s powerful antitrust chief fined the social network 110 million euros, or about $122 million, for giving misleading statements during the company’s $19 billion acquisition of the internet messaging service WhatsApp in 2014.

The fine — one of the largest regulatory penalties against Facebook — comes days after Dutch and French privacy watchdogs ruled that the company had broken strict data protection rules. Other European countries, notably Germany, are clamping down on social media companies, including issuing potentially hefty penalties for failing to sufficiently police hate speech and misinformation.

The European Union’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, said that Facebook had told the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, that the social network would not combine the company’s data with that of WhatsApp, which has more than one billion users.

Yet last August, Facebook announced that it would begin sharing WhatsApp data with the rest of the company. That could allow it to gain an unfair advantage over rivals, by giving it access to greater amounts of data to help support its online advertising business.

“Today’s decision sends a clear signal to companies that they must comply with all aspects of E.U. merger rules,” Ms. Vestager said in a statement. “And it imposes a proportionate and deterrent fine on Facebook. The commission must be able to take decisions about mergers’ effects on competition in full knowledge of accurate facts.”

In response, Facebook said that it had acted in good faith in its deliberations with Europe’s antitrust officials, and that it would not appeal the financial penalty.

“The errors we made in our 2014 filings were not intentional,” Facebook said in a statement. “The commission has confirmed that they did not impact the outcome of the merger review.”

The overall penalty amounted to a slap on the wrist — it pales in comparison with the tens of billions of dollars the company earns in online advertising every year, and Europe’s antitrust officials stopped short of voiding the deal completely.

But the fine signals that European officials are increasing their scrutiny of Facebook just as it becomes one of the largest technology companies on the planet.

Increased oversight has become something of a rite of passage for American technology companies operating in Europe.

During the…

Does Facebook Own My Photos?

Like clockwork, every couple of months some “fact” about Facebook goes viral. Facebook is going to start charging you money! Copy and paste this status or Facebook will cook your children! As soon as you upload them, Facebook owns your photos!

That last one is especially common, so let’s talk about it.

What Rights Does Facebook Have to Your Photos?

Let’s start by getting on the same basic page: no, Facebook doesn’t own your photos. That’s not how copyright or real life works. They’re still your photos, not Facebook’s. In fact, it’s right in Facebook’s terms of service: “You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook.“

Got it? Good. Myth busted. Now let’s address what rights Facebook does have with your photos once you upload them. Here’s the relevant bit of the terms of service:

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:

  1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
  2. When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar…

5 Quick And Easy Ways To Encrypt Your Life Safely In Less Than An Hour.

The use of mobile and computers’ become so common that we probably don’t even know our personal information secretly leaks to others.

Just try to recall how many public figures’ personal information or photos leaked to the public over the last 10 years. And look at what’s just recently happened to Emma Watson and Amanda Seyfriend with their private photos on the phone got hacked.

In fact, the leakage of personal information has become so easily that even the FBI director covered his personal laptop’s webcam with a piece of tape. He suggested us to cover our in-computer webcam with a tape because this is an essential security step that everyone should take.

Director James Comey said during a conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies,[1]

“There’s some sensible things you should be doing, and that’s one of them. You go into any government office and we all have the little camera things that sit on top of the screen. You do that so that people who don’t have authority don’t look at you. I think that’s a good thing.”

So, how what do we do to protect our privacy and encrypt our life?

Doubling up the safeness – Use two-factor authentication for your email account.

Lots of our social media or online tools accounts are connected with our email account. If your email account gets hacked, besides having your email information and contact list leaked, all the other connected accounts will…