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Mozilla Firefox commonly called Firefox is free to use web-browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation along with its subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation. The web browser remembers all the pages you have visited, files you have downloaded and more. This information is known as the history of the Mozilla Firefox browser.

You can choose to delete this history in order to not let the browser remember all your search details.

Deleting history will delete:

  • Browsing & download history: Browsing history consists of the list of websites that you have visited which is visible in the History menu, the Library window's history list and the address bar autocomplete list. And the download history contains the list of files that have been downloaded, which is shown in the download window.
  • Form & search history: Form history contains the items you have entered into web page forms for ‘form autocomplete’. Search history consists of items that have been entered into the search field on the new tab page or into the search bar of Firefox.
  • Cookies: It stores information about websites that you visited, such as site preferences or login status. This has information and site preferences stored by the Adobe Flash plugin.

Here is the step-by-step guide to delete the history.

 

How to clear my history?

Step 1: Open the Mozilla Firefox browser.

Step 2: Then, click on the three horizontal lines at top-right.

Step 3: Then tap on the ‘library’ option on the menu.

Step 3: Go to ‘history’ and choose ‘clear recent history’.

In order to select the timeline of history you want to clear:

Step 4: Click on the ‘ok’ button.

Now, the window will get closed and the selected items will be deleted from your history.

How to make Firefox clear history automatically?

You can switch on the automatic settings to clear the search history every time on exit.

Step 1: Open the Mozilla Firefox browser.

Step 2: Then, click on the three horizontal lines at top-right.

Step 3: Select ‘preferences’ on the menu.

Step 4: Then, choose the ‘Privacy & security panel’.

Step 5: Go to the ‘history’ section.

Step 6: Now, choose ‘use custom settings for history’.

In the drop-down menu next to ‘Firefox will’,

  • Check the box for ‘clear history when Firefox closes’.
  • In order to clear a specific type of history, click the ‘settings’ button next to ‘clear history when Firefox closes’.
  • In the ‘settings for clearing history’ window, check the items you wish to get deleted automatically each time.

Step 7: Once, you have made a selection, click ‘ok’ to close the ‘settings for clearing history’ window.

Step 8: Now, close the about: preferences page.

Any changes you have made will be saved automatically.

Note: In certain circumstances, the performed function will not be successful:

  • Firefox did not shut down normally. If Firefox gets crashed, you will need to restart Firefox and exit/quit normally to make sure that this function runs successfully.
  • Firefox is set to use automatic private browsing. History stored from normal sessions can be deleted from a regular window only.

Clear cookies and data for a specific website

How to remove a single website from your history?

Step 1: Open the Mozilla Firefox browser.

Step 2: Now, click the ‘library’ button at the top-right on your toolbar.

In case you cannot find the button, then click the ‘menu’ button (three horizontal lines at top-right) and then click the ‘library’.

Step 3: Go to ‘history’.

Step 4: Then, click the ‘show all history’ tab at the bottom to open the library window.

Step 5: Now, look for the website you wish to delete from your history by entering the name of the website in the ‘search history’ area in the top-right corner.

Step 6: Then click ‘return’.

Step 7: Now, in the search results, hold down the 'Ctrl' key while you select the site you wish to delete.

Step 8: Then, choose ‘forget about this site’.

Please note that all history items (browsing and download history, cookies, cache, active logins, passwords, saved form data, exceptions for cookies, images, pop-ups) for that site will be deleted

Step 9: Finally, close the library window.

(Source: Mozilla Firefox help)

[Source: This article was published in indiatoday.i  - Uploaded by the Association Member: James Gill]

Categorized in Search Engine

On Wednesday, Google announced broad changes in its default data practices for new users, including a significant expansion in the company’s willingness to automatically delete data.

In a blog post announcing the changes, CEO Sundar Pichai emphasized the company’s commitment to privacy, security, and user choice. “As we design our products, we focus on three important principles: keeping your information safe, treating it responsibly, and putting you in control,” Pichai wrote. “Today, we are announcing privacy improvements to help do that.”

Google’s auto-delete feature applies to search history (on web or in-app), location history, and voice commands collected through the Google Assistant or devices like Google Home. Google logs that data in its My Activity page, where users can see what data points have been collected and manually delete specific items. Historically, Google has retained that information indefinitely, but in 2019, the company rolled out a way to automatically delete data points after three months or 18 months, depending on the chosen setting.

Starting today, those settings will be on by default for new users. Google will set web and app searches to auto-delete after 18 months even if users take no action at all. Google’s location history is off by default, but when users turn it on, it will also default to an 18-month deletion schedule.

The new defaults will only apply to new users, and existing Google accounts won’t see any settings change. However, Google will also be promoting the option on the search page and on YouTube in an effort to drive more users to examine their auto-delete settings. Auto-delete can be turned on from the Activity Controls page.

The system also extends to YouTube history, although the default will be set to three years to ensure the broader data can be used by the platform’s recommendation algorithms.

In some ways, the new settings represent a compromise between the privacy interests of users and Google’s business interests as an ad network. A user’s most recent data is also the most valuable since it can be used to target people who have recently engaged with a particular product. By keeping the last 18 months of activity, Google is able to retain most of that ad value while also deleting most of the data that would otherwise be available.

Alongside the new default settings, Google will also make it easier for users use Chrome’s Incognito mode, allowing mobile users to switch to Incognito mode with a long-press on their profile picture. The feature launches today on iOS and will soon come to Android and other platforms.

Google announced an expansion of the Password Checkup tool earlier this week.

 

[Source: This article was published in theverge.com By Russell Brandom - Uploaded by the Association Member: David J. Redcliff] 

Categorized in Search Engine

Google is enhancing its Collections in Search feature, making it easy to revisit groups of similar pages.

Similar to the activity cards in search results, introduced last year, Google’s Collections feature allows users to manually create groups of like pages.

Now, using AI, Google will automatically group together similar pages in a collection. This feature is compatible with content related to activities like cooking, shopping, and hobbies.

collection.jpeg

This upgrade to collections will be useful in the event you want to go back and look at pages that weren’t manually saved. Mona Vajolahi, a Google Search Product Manager, states in an announcement:

“Remember that chicken parmesan recipe you found online last week? Or that rain jacket you discovered when you were researching camping gear? Sometimes when you find something on Search, you’re not quite ready to take the next step, like cooking a meal or making a purchase. And if you’re like me, you might not save every page you want to revisit later.”

These automatically generated collections can be saved to keep forever, or disregarded if not useful. They can be accessed any time from the Collections tab in the Google app, or through the Google.com side menu in a mobile browser.

 

Once a collection is saved, Google can help users discover even more similar pages by tapping on the “Find More” button. Google is also adding a collaboration feature that allow users to share and work on creating collections with other people.

Auto-generated collections will start to appear for US English users this week. The ability to see related content will launch in the coming weeks.

[Source: This article was published in searchenginejournal.com By Matt Southern - Uploaded by the Association Member: Logan Hochstetler]

Categorized in Search Engine

Google to offer users the option to auto-delete location history and web search data that it harvests

Google is to give users the choice of being able to automatically delete their search and location history after three months.

It announced the auto-delete tools for location history data, as well as web browsing and app activity, which will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

Last November Google was accused of misleading about location tracking after consumer groups from seven European nations asked their privacy regulators to take action against the search engine giant.

 

google logo mountainview 011

Location tracking

Consumer groups from the Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Slovenia and Sweden, all filed GDPR complaints against Google’s location tracking.

They alleged that Google is tracking the movements of millions of users in breach of the European Union’s privacy laws.

Google, of course, is already facing a lawsuit in the United States for allegedly tracking phone users regardless of privacy settings.

That lawsuit was filed after an investigation by the Associated Press found that a number of Google services running on Android and Apple devices determine the user’s location and store it, even when Google’s “Location History” setting is switched off.

It should be remembered that Google had already allowed users to manually delete the data it harvests when they use its products such as YouTube, Maps and Search.

But now it trying to give users more control by offering auto-delete tools.

“And when you turn on settings like Location History or Web & App Activity, the data can make Google products more useful for you – like recommending a restaurant that you might enjoy, or helping you pick up where you left off on a previous search,” wrote David Monsees, product manager of search in a blog posting.

Auto-delete

“We work to keep your data private and secure, and we’ve heard your feedback that we need to provide simpler ways for you to manage or delete it,” Monsees added.

“You can already use your Google Account to access simply on/off controls for Location History and Web & App Activity, and if you choose – to delete all or part of that data manually,” he wrote. “In addition to these options, we’re announcing auto-delete controls that make it even easier to manage your data.”

Essentially, the user will give a time limit to choose for how long you want your data to be saved. This could be 3 months or 18 months.

Any data older than that will be automatically deleted from your account on an ongoing basis.

“These controls are coming first to Location History and Web & App Activity and will roll out in the coming weeks,” Monsees wrote. “You should always be able to manage your data in a way that works best for you–and we’re committed to giving you the best controls to make that happen.”

It should be noted that there will be no auto-delete of YouTube watch history or voice commands issued via Home and Assistant.

[Source: This article was published in silicon.co.uk By Tom Jowitt - Uploaded by the Association Member: James Gill]

Categorized in Search Engine

 [Source: This article was Published in mirror.co.uk BY Sophie Curtis - Uploaded by the Association Member: Issac Avila]

Google now lets you automatically delete your location history after a fixed period of time

It probably comes as no surprise that Google keeps track of everywhere you go via the apps you use on your smartphone.

This information is used to give you more personalised experiences, like maps and recommendations based on places you've visited, real-time traffic updates about your commute, help to find your phone and more targeted ads.

 

But while these things can be useful, you may not feel comfortable with the idea of Google holding on to that information indefinitely.

In the past, if you chose to enable Location History, the only way to delete that data was to go into your app settings and remove it manually.

But Google recently introduced a new setting that allows you to automatically delete your location history after a fixed period of time.

There are currently only two options - automatically deleting your Location History after three months or after 18 months - but it beats leaving a trail of information that you might not want Google or others to see.

Here's how to automatically delete your Location History on Android and iOS:

  1. Open the Google Maps app
  2. In the top left, tap the Menu icon and select "Your timeline".
  3. In the top right, tap the More icon and select "Settings and privacy".
  4. Scroll to "Location settings".
  5. Tap "Automatically delete Location History".
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions.

If you'd prefer to turn off Location History altogether, you can do so in the "Location History" section of your Google Account.

 

You can also set time limits how long Google can keep your Web & App Activity, which includes data about websites you visit and apps you use.

Google uses this data to give you faster searches, better recommendations and more personalised experiences in Maps, Search and other Google services.

Again, you have to option to automatically delete this data after three or 18 months.

  1. ​Open the Gmail app.
  2. In the top left, tap the Menu icon and select "Settings".
  3. Select your account and then tap "Manage your Google Account".
  4. At the top, tap Data & personalisation.
  5. Under "Activity controls" tap Web & App Activity"
  6. Tap "Manage activity".
  7. At the top right, tap the More icon and then select "Keep activity for".
  8. Tap the option for how long you want to keep your activity and then tap "Next".
  9. Confirm to save your choice.

The new tools are part of Google's efforts to give users more control over their data.

The company has also introduced "incognito mode" in a number of its smartphone apps, which stops Google tracking your activity

It is also putting pressure on web and app developers to be more transparent about their use of cookies so that users can make more informed choices about whether to accept them.

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Source: This article was Published mentalfloss.com By JAKE ROSSEN - Contributed by Member: Barbara Larson

Google search data can be a very private thing. While Google itself may be intent on keeping a record of your keystrokes, you may have a number of reasons why you don’t want the site to maintain a memory of what you’ve typed into the search engine.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to address that. Abhimanyu Ghoshal at The Next Web recently broke down a simple process for deleting your search history from the site. Using your Google account, log in to myactivity.google.com and look for “Delete Activity by” on the lefthand sidebar. You can customize a date range to scrub your history from “Search” in the drop-down menu.

Google also allows you to delete your history directly from the search page, provided you’re logged in to your Google account. Click on “Settings,” then find “Your Data in Search.” From there, you can head to myactivity.google.com, or use the toolbar to delete your history.

Note that these actions don’t erase your search history from your browser. On Chrome, you can wipe out that data by accessing “History” on the browser toolbar and selecting “Clear Browsing Data" along with a date range.

While these steps work for scrubbing search data, Google still accumulates a considerable amount of information through advertising, cell phone locations, calendar appointments, and other applications.

Categorized in Search Engine

Google et al. are constantly getting smarter and use machine learning to break into our minds and explore our deepest, darkest secrets… well, not quite but these search engines are pretty damn clever and they are only getting freakishly more.

Using algorithms (sets of rules) to process and rank content so we don’t have to sift through thousands of pages of copy to find the answers to our queries, search engines can even understand natural, human speech to make for a fluid service – but the web hasn’t always been this easy to work with. There was a time when you would have needed to know the exact wording of a webpage’s title to find it and you couldn’t have a “casual browse”, oh no, the internet was rife with spam.  

Pay homage to search engine history with the timeline below.

1990

Archie, the world’s first search engine, crawled FTP (File Transfer Protocol) archives to create an index of downloadable files. Limited space meant that only the headlines were visible – contents were available upon clicking.

1991

Tim Berners-Lee launches the world’s first website, the “World Wide Web”.

1994-95

In order to help users navigate a steadily growing crowd of websites, four game-changing engines hit the scene: 

Infoseek – the first to sell advertising using the CPM (cost per thousand impressions) metric. It was bought by The Walt Disney Company in 1998.

Lycos – was a university research project that’s still going today. If you’re a fan of dogs the homepage on this search engine will get your tail wagging.

AltaVista – the first engine to have unlimited bandwidth and allow natural language queries.

Yahoo – at one point it was one of the most popular websites in the US but is now commonly thought of as “Google’s ugly mate”.

1995

Microsoft’s MSN is released on the same day as Windows 95. The web portal is still live, surprisingly.

1996

A search engine named “BackRub” – the first whisper of Google – goes into build. The brains behind it are Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who go on to found Google. The idea behind BackRub was to use backlinks as an indication of authority. If ranked pages were to mention another website, it counted each instance as a “vouch” and rewarded that website with improved search presence.

Ask Jeeves, the lovable, question-answering valet, encouraged people to ask questions using everyday natural language. Now known as Ask.com, it still functions in much the same way as well as offering maths, dictionary and conversion capabilities.

1998

Google becomes official and sets out to improve how data is indexed and delivered.

2000

Baidu, a Chinese search engine, hits the market. At the time of writing, approximately 0.05 percent of the UK are active users, making it the 6th most popular search engine in the UK.

Google launches its AdWords service, allowing advertisers to display copy on search engine results pages. Today it is Google’s main source of revenue.

2001

Google Images launches, allowing searches for visuals.

2002

The first update to Google’s algorithm is documented. We know that nowadays Google can update its algorithm up to 600 times a year in order to keep spam low and quality high.

2003-05

Local search engine optimisation is born, helping to connect users with valuable information close to them, from shop opening times to listings in maps.

2008

Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo flutters to life.

Google Suggest, the auto-complete function, is released to offer users more relevant content by suggesting search options.

2009

Bing (previously MSN Search, Windows Live Search and later Live Search) comes late to the party from Microsoft with a couple of new features, including its own version of Autosuggest, Explore pane.

Ecosia, powered by Bing as well as its own algorithms, gets a mention purely for its ethics. A social business that donates 80 percent of its income to conservation organizations, this search engine is answering queries and planting trees at the same time.  

2010

Developers at Google begin preparing for the “mobile-first” culture.

2013

Interflora is hit with a huge Google penalty due to its unethical link building tactics. This move had publishers and businesses up late at night desperately revising the search engine’s Webmaster Guidelines.

2015

RankBrain, a deep learning system that helps generate responses to search queries, is rolled out to make search engine results even more relevant.

2016

Voice search explodes as more personal assistants hit the market. (Think Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri).

2017

Pinterest launches Lens to its 200 million users as part of its plan to dominate the visual search sphere.

2018 and beyond

Many brands and marketers are plowing their money into image and voice search and machine learning, and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. A surge in data means it’s easier than ever to understand customer needs and use these insights to refine advertising and marketing practices.

Earlier this year Amazon had a crack at paid voice search but nothing came of it and it’s gone oddly quiet. Expect more tests from more brands on the horizon, as well as further developments in voice search: one current line of thought is that voice search could be fundamentally flawed in its one-answer response – nobody wants to listen to a full list of results but, at the same time, if a personal assistant was to give an incorrect or displeasing answer faith would be lost very quickly.

 Source: This article was published telegraph.co.uk By Louise Merry

Categorized in Search Engine

How has Google's local search changed throughout the years? Columnist Brian Smith shares a timeline of events and their impact on brick-and-mortar businesses.

Deciphering the Google algorithm can sometimes feel like an exercise in futility. The search engine giant has made many changes over the years, keeping digital marketers on their toes and continually moving the goalposts on SEO best practices.

Google’s continuous updating can hit local businesses as hard as anyone. Every tweak and modification to its algorithm could adversely impact their search ranking or even prevent them from appearing on the first page of search results for targeted queries. What makes things really tricky is the fact that Google sometimes does not telegraph the changes it makes or how they’ll impact organizations. It’s up to savvy observers to deduce what has been altered and what it means for SEO and digital marketing strategies.

What’s been the evolution of local search, and how did we get here? Let’s take a look at the history of Google’s local algorithm and its effect on brick-and-mortar locations.

2005: Google Maps and Local Business Center become one

After releasing Local Business Center in March 2005, Google took the next logical step and merged it with Maps, creating a one-stop shop for local business info. For users, this move condensed relevant search results into a single location, including driving directions, store hours and contact information.

This was a significant moment in SEO evolution, increasing the importance of up-to-date location information across store sites, business listings and online directories.

2007: Universal Search & blended results

Universal Search signified another landmark moment in local search history, blending traditional search results with various listings from other search engines. Instead of working solely through the more general, horizontal SERPs, Universal Search combined results from Google’s vertical-focused search queries like Images, News and Video.

Google’s OneBox started to show within organic search results, bringing a whole new level of exposure that was not there before.  The ramifications on local traffic were profound, as store listings were better positioned to catch the eye of Google users.

2010: Local Business Center becomes Google Places

In 2010, Google rebranded/repurposed Local Business Center and launched Google Places. This was more than a mere name change, as a number of important updates were included, like adding new image features, local advertising options and the availability of geo-specific tags for certain markets. But more importantly, Google attempted to align Places pages with localized search results, where previously information with localized results was coming from Google Maps.

The emergence of Places further cemented Google’s commitment to bringing local search to the forefront. To keep up with these rapidly changing developments, brick-and-mortar businesses needed to make local search a priority in their SEO strategies.

All the algorithm updates plus insightful analysis delivered directly to your inbox. Subscribe today!

2012: Google goes local with Venice

Prior to Venice, Google’s organic search results defaulted to more general nationwide sites. Only Google Maps would showcase local options. With the Venice update, Google’s algorithm could take into account a user’s stated location and return organic results reflecting that city or state. This was big, because it allowed users to search anchor terms without using local modifiers.

The opportunity for companies operating in multiple territories was incredible. By setting up local page listings, businesses could effectively rank higher on more top-level queries just by virtue of being in the same geographic area as the user. A better ranking with less effort — it was almost too good to be true.

2013: Hummingbird spreads its wings

Hummingbird brought about significant changes to Google’s semantic search capabilities. Most notably, it helped the search engine better understand long-tail queries, allowing it to more closely tie results to specific user questions — a big development in the eyes of main search practitioners.

Hummingbird forced businesses to change their SEO strategies to adapt and survive. Simple one- or two-word phrases would no longer be the lone focal point of a healthy SEO plan, and successful businesses would soon learn to target long-tail keywords and queries — or else see their digital marketing efforts drop like a stone.

2014: Pigeon takes flight

Two years after Venice brought local search to center stage, the Pigeon update further defined how businesses ranked on Google localized SERPs. The goal of Pigeon was to refine local search results by aligning them more directly with Google’s traditional SEO ranking signals, resulting in more accurate returns on user queries.

Pigeon tied local search results more closely with deep-rooted ranking signals like content quality and site architecture. Business listings and store pages needed to account for these criteria to continue ranking well on local searches.

2015: RankBrain adds a robotic touch

In another major breakthrough for Google’s semantic capabilities, the RankBrain update injected artificial intelligence into the search engine. Using RankBrain’s machine learning software, Google’s search engine was able to essentially teach itself how to more effectively process queries and results and more accurately rank web pages.

RankBrain’s ability to more intelligently process page information and discern meaning from complex sentences and phrases further drove the need for quality content. No more gaming the system. If you wanted your business appearing on the first SERP, your site had better have the relevant content to back it up.

2015: Google cuts back on snack packs

A relatively small but important update, in 2015, Google scaled back its “snack pack” of local search results from seven listings to a mere three. While this change didn’t affect the mechanics of SEO much, it limited visibility on page one of search results and further increased the importance of ranking high in local results.

2016: Possum shakes things up

The Possum update was an attempt to level the playing field when it came to businesses in adjoining communities. During the pre-Possum years, local search results were often limited to businesses in a specific geographical area. This meant that a store in a nearby area just outside the city limits of Chicago, for instance, would have difficulty ranking and appearing for queries that explicitly included the word “Chicago.”

Instead of relying solely on search terms, Possum leveraged the user’s location to more accurately determine what businesses were both relevant to their query and nearby.

This shift to user location is understandable given the increasing importance of mobile devices. Letting a particular search phrase dictate which listings are returned doesn’t make much sense when the user’s mobile device provides their precise location.

2017 and beyond

Predicting when the next major change in local search will occur and how it will impact ranking and SEO practices can be pretty difficult, not least because Google rarely announces or fully explains its updates anymore.

That being said, here are some evergreen local SEO tips that never go out of fashion (at least not yet):

  • Manage your local listings for NAP (name, address, phone number) accuracy and reviews.
  • Be sure to adhere to organic search best practices and cultivate localized content and acquire local links for each store location.
  • Mark up your locations with structured data, particularly Location and Hours, and go beyond if you are able to.

When in doubt, look at what your successful competitors are doing, and follow their lead. If it works, it works — that is, until Google makes another ground-shaking algorithm change.

Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Brian Smith

Categorized in Search Engine

An unlikely recent discovery has taken Richard Attenborough's feeble amber-encased mosquito and raised you a whole dinosaur tail, complete with soft tissue and feathers. 

The tiny tail of a 99 million-year-old dinosaur has been found preserved in an amber fossil, according to a Thursday report in the journal Current Biology. It's the first time researchers have been able to study dino feathers while they're still attached to a body. 

Next step? Use their DNA to open a prehistoric theme park featuring cloned dinosaurs, obviously. JK, please don’t. 

Incredibly, paleontologist and report co-author Dr. Lida Xing of China's University of Geosciences made the discovery while perusing an amber marketplace in Myitkyina, Myanmar.

Reportedly, the small piece of amber was believed to contain a plant and would have been turned into a rather fetching piece of vintage jewelry, had Xing not come along.

"It's one of those things where if there hadn't been the right person on the ground at the time, I think it would have disappeared into a private collection or gone entirely unnoticed," co-author Ryan McKellar of Canada’s Royal Saskatchewan Museum told the ABC

 

The appendage itself is believed to have come from a sparrow-sized juvenile coelurosaur, a dinosaur belonging to the theropod family, same as ol' Tyrannosaurus rex, but much teenier. 

Micro-CT scans of the mini feathers show they're a "chestnut brown" colour, with a pale-ish under side. Researchers believe the full tail would have been made up of over 25 vertebrae. 

This kind of articulated vertebrae was not found on Cretaceous birds nor their modern equivalents, who all have pygostyle vertebrae. This ruled out the possibility that the tail belonged to a prehistoric bird, according to researchers. 

"[A pygostyle] is the sort of thing you've seen if you've ever prepared a turkey," McKellar told National Geographic

The amber goodness came from a fossil-rich mine in Hukawng Valley within the Kachin state of Myanmar. 

Sadly the piece of amber containing "Eva," as it was affectionately named, had already been shaped and polished for use in jewelry by the time Xing found it.  

"Maybe we can find a complete dinosaur," Xing told Nat Geo. Maybe one day

In the meantime, this will be the closest thing we've got to patting a real-life dinosaur. 

Really makes you think.

Author:  JERICO MANDYBUR

Source:  http://mashable.com/

Categorized in News & Politics

Russian digital forensics firm Elcomsoft recently discovered that Apple’s mobile devices with enabled iCloud feature automatically transmit their users’ call logs to the company servers without any notification.

According to Elocomsoft the relayed information contains a list of calls made and received on the mobile device and also phone numbers, dates, times and duration of the calls. Furthermore, it is not only call logs that are sent to Apple’s servers, but calls made through WhatsApp, Viber, Skype and Facetime; with the data being stored by Apple for as long as 4 months.

Vladimir Katalov, CEO of Elcomsoft, told Sputnik that users are essentially left unaware of this feature because there’s no notification that call logs can actually be synched with iCloud. He also remarked that it’s hard to say exactly how legal this particular feature is in terms of privacy issues.

"To be honest, I haven’t read Apple’s privacy agreement completely – it is a very large document, about twenty pages or so. ofcourse it does mention that some of your information can be stored to iCloud. But there’s other document that shows and describes in detail what information stored in the iCloud can be shared by Apple with the law enforcement, by the legal request of course; and there’s no single mention of the call log synching there. Apple only says that they can provide law enforcement with iCloud backups, the information stored in the iCloud backups and some other data stored in the iCloud, but nothing about the calls," he said.

Katalov pointed out that such information could be of great interest to law enforcement agencies and that there are basically two ways for them to access that data.

"Law enforcement people can contact people directly and get all the information stored there; it is encrypted of course, but the thing is, everything stored in Apple’s iCloud (well, almost everything) is encrypted in the way that the encryption keys are stored along with the data, so there’s no problem for Apple to decrypt everything and provide the plain-text information. And the other way of course is to use the software like ours to get access to the information stored in iCloud, but in that case of course you will need iCloud credentials such as the Apple ID and password or the authentication token," Katalov explained.

He added that there are also two ways for iPhone users to protect their information, but each of these methods has its own drawbacks.

"The simplest, but probably not the most effective one is to disable iCloud completely; if you can't do that then at least enable th two-factor authentication for your account to make it harder for hackers to get at your information. But still, you have to know that law enforcement can access your information stored there regardless of whether the two-factor authentication is enabled or not," he surmised.

Author:  TECH

Source:  https://sputniknews.com

Categorized in Social

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