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An unlikely competitor enters the search engine market as Verizon Media launches its privacy-focused OneSearch.

OneSearch promises not to track, store, or share personal or search data with advertisers, which puts it in direct competition with DuckDuckGo. It’s available now on desktop and mobile at OneSearch.com.

What differentiates Verizon Media’s OneSearch from DuckDuckGo, a more established privacy-focused search engine, is the ability for businesses to integrate it with their existing privacy and security products.

In an announcement, the company states:

“OneSearch doesn’t track, store, or share personal or search data with advertisers, giving users greater control of their personal information in a search context. Businesses with an interest in security can partner with Verizon Media to integrate OneSearch into their privacy and security products, giving their customers another measure of control.”

Another unique offering from OneSearch is its advanced privacy mode. When enabled, OneSearch’s encrypted search results link will expire within an hour.

OneSearch’s advanced privacy mode is designed for situations where multiple people are using the same device, or if a search results link is being shared with a friend.

The full array of privacy-focused features offered by OneSearch include:

  • No cookie tracking, retargeting, or personal profiling
  • No sharing of personal data with advertisers
  • No storing of user search history
  • Unbiased, unfiltered search results
  • Encrypted search terms

Although it doesn’t sell data to advertisers, OneSearch does rely on advertising to keep its service free. Rather than using cookies and browsing history to target ads, OneSearche’s contextual ads are based on things like the current keyword being searched for.

OneSearch is only available in North America on desktop and mobile web browsers, though it will be available in other countries soon. A mobile app for Android and iOS will be available later this month.

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

Categorized in Search Engine

In 2008, the first privacy-focused search engine emerged on the scene - DuckDuckGo. The company was the first to bring consumers a search engine designed to protect consumer privacy as they searched online. By 2018, DuckDuckGo had 16 million searches a day, and by 2019, that number had jumped to 36 million searches.

Now, more than ten years later, privacy and search continue to evolve.

Privado is a new private search engine from  CodeFuel, which allows consumers to protect their right to online privacy. Search results are powered by Bing and driven by the consumer’s search query and not by their demographics or personal data

“Online privacy per se is not a new issue. But what we have seen until recently, is that a relatively narrow segment of users care enough to take action, mainly tech-savvy users, who understand how companies feed off their data,” said Tal Jacobson, General Manager of CodeFuel. “With the growing number of data breaches we hear about every other day, privacy concerns have finally made it to center stage.”

Jacobson says he strongly believes we have come very close to the privacy tipping point when people realize that this is just too much.

Tal Jacobson, General Manager, CodeFuel

“Think for a moment about the millions of parents out there, who have just heard about the accusations against TikTok secretly gathering user data and sending it to China,” added Jacobson. “Think about the Millions of users across social and search and how their data is used and abused to make more money, without their permission.”

Jacobson adds that users are waking up, and search privacy is making its way to the mainstream. “Privado enables users to realize the benefits of internet search without anxiety about their most intimate behaviors being observed and tracked.”

As consumer awareness increases around data and privacy, their actions have shifted as well. According to a data privacy and security report from RSA, 78 percent of consumers polled said they take action to limit the amount of personal information they share online.

[Source: This article was published in forbes.com By Jennifer Kite-Powell - Uploaded by the Association Member: Dorothy Allen]

Categorized in Search Engine

The lawsuit against Amir Golestan and his web-services provider firm Micfo is shedding light on the ecosystem that governs the world of online spammers and hackers, a Wall Street Journal article said on Monday (Feb. 17).

In this first-of-its-kind fraud prosecution of a small technology company, Golestan is facing 20 counts of wire fraud in a suit brought in the U.S. District Court in South Carolina. Golestan and his corporation have pleaded not guilty.

The alleged victim is the nonprofit American Registry for Internet Numbers, based in Centreville, Virginia. The company is in charge of assigning internet protocol (IP) addresses to all online devices in North America and the Caribbean, which in turn allows devices to communicate with one another online. The case revolves around IP addresses.

This is the first federal case that brings fraud allegations to internet resources. It could end up defining “new boundaries for criminal behavior” with the confines of the largely undefined internet infrastructure.

People are largely assigned an IP address automatically when it comes to getting online with a cellphone or internet service provider. IP addresses, however, are the online equivalent of home phone numbers and are “key identifiers” for authorities going after online criminals.

In the May Micfo suit, the Justice Department alleges that Golestan established shell companies to fool the registry into giving him 800,000 IP addresses. He then leased or sold the IP addresses to clients, he said and the complaint indicated.

His clients were reportedly Virtual Private Networks — VPNs — which enable users to maintain anonymity online. VPNs could be used for online privacy protection or to shield the identity of fraudsters and cybercriminals. They can be used to transmit illicit content or for online thieves to hide their tracks.

As Micfo amassed VPN clients using the illegitimately-obtained IP addresses, a lot of traffic — some being criminal — filed through its network without a trace, according to government subpoenas directed at Micfo and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Golestan and Micfo are not charged with being part of or even aware of illegal activity transmitted via VPNs across Micfo’s servers. The DOJ charged him and the company with “defrauding the internet registry to obtain the IP addresses over a period of several years.”

Prosecutors said Golestan’s alleged scheme was valued at $14 million, which was based on the government’s estimated value of between $13 and $19 for each address in the secondary market, according to the court complaint.

Born in Iran, Golestan, 36, started Micfo in 1999 in the bedroom of his childhood home in Dubai before emigrating to the U.S.

Even though the concept of smart cities is still largely under development, cybercriminals are waiting in the wings to begin laying virtual siege to infrastructure that the high-tech, highly responsive urban areas envisioned for the not-too-distant future.

[Source: This article was published in pymnts.com By PYMNTS - Uploaded by the Association Member: Bridget Miller]

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Almost a third of North Americans accessed the Dark Web daily in 2019

Despite the Dark Web's mostly negative connotation, new research from PreciseSecurity.com has revealed that over 30 percent of North Americans used it regularly during 2019.

Last year saw an increasing number of people beginning to use the Dark Web as a means of keeping their online activity hidden from governments and telecoms.

The Dark Web itself is made up of websites on the internet that cannot be found through traditional search engines. Instead users must rely on specific software such as the Tor browser, configurations or authorization to access these sites.

PreciseSecurity.com's 2019 survey show that North America is the leading region when it comes to daily usage of the Dark Web. The firm's findings revealed that 26 percent of North Americans admitted to using the Dark Web daily while another seven percent accessed it at least once a week.

Dark Web usage

North American may have taken the top spot in terms of Dark Web usage but Latin America was not far behind at second on PreciseSecurity.com's list with 21 percent of respondents saying they visit the deep net daily while thirteen percent said they did so weekly. Europe took third place with 17 percent of citizens utilizing the Dark Web daily and additional 11 percent accessing it at least once a week.

The 2019 survey showed that online anonymity was by far the most common reason for users to access the Dark Web. Almost 40 percent of respondents used it during the last year to stay anonymous online and 26 percent said they used it to retrieve content unavailable in their location despite the fact that using a VPN would be far easier.

Nearly 25 percent of North Americans used the Dark Web to ensure their privacy from foreign governments and another 38 percent used it to protect their privacy from internet companies.

Of those surveyed who don't use Tor or access the Dark Web, almost 50 percent of respondents globally stated that they didn't because they don't know how to while 45 percent said they had no reason for doing so.

[Source: This article was published in techradar.com By Anthony Spadafora - Uploaded by the Association Member: Rene Meyer]

Categorized in Deep Web

"In the future, everyone will be anonymous for 15 minutes." So said the artist Banksy, but following the rush to put everything online, from relationship status to holiday destinations, is it really possible to be anonymous - even briefly - in the internet age?

That saying, a twist on Andy Warhol's famous "15 minutes of fame" line, has been interpreted to mean many things by fans and critics alike. But it highlights the real difficulty of keeping anything private in the 21st Century.

"Today, we have more digital devices than ever before and they have more sensors that capture more data about us," says Prof Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger of the Oxford Internet Institute.

And it matters. According to a survey from the recruitment firm Careerbuilder, in the US last year 70% of companies used social media to screen job candidates, and 48% checked the social media activity of current staff.

Also, financial institutions can check social media profiles when deciding whether to hand out loans.

_108600940_banksybarelylegal2006.jpg

Meanwhile, companies create models of buying habits, political views and even use artificial intelligence to gauge future habits based on social media profiles.

One way to try to take control is to delete social media accounts, which some did after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, when 87 million people had their Facebook data secretly harvested for political advertising purposes.

While deleting social media accounts may be the most obvious way to remove personal data, this will not have any impact on data held by other companies.

Fortunately, in some countries the law offers protection.

In the European Union the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) includes the "right to be forgotten" - an individual's right to have their personal data removed.

In the UK the that is policed by the Information Commissioner's Office. Last year it received 541 requests to have information removed from search engines, according to data shown to the BBC, up from 425 the year before, and 303 in 2016-17.

The actual figures may be higher as ICO says it often only becomes involved after an initial complaint made to the company that holds the information has been rejected.

But ICO's Suzanne Gordon says it is not clear-cut: "The GDPR has strengthened the rights of people to ask for an organisation to delete their personal data if they believe it is no longer necessary for it to be processed.

"However, this right is not absolute and in some cases must be balanced against other competing rights and interests, for example, freedom of expression."

The "right to be forgotten" shot to prominence in 2014 and led to a wide-range of requests for information to be removed - early ones came from an ex-politician seeking re-election, and a paedophile - but not all have to be accepted.

Companies and individuals, that have the money, can hire experts to help them out.

A whole industry is being built around "reputation defence" with firms harnessing technology to remove information - for a price - and bury bad news from search engines, for example.

One such company, Reputation Defender, founded in 2006, says it has a million customers including wealthy individuals, professionals and chief executives. It charges around £5,000 ($5,500) for its basic package.

It uses its own software to alter the results of Google searches about its clients, helping to lower less favourable stories in the results and promote more favourable ones instead.

_108600440_googlegettyimages-828896324-1.jpg

"The technology focuses on what Google sees as important when indexing websites at the top or bottom of the search results," says Tony McChrystal, managing director.

"Generally, the two major areas Google prioritises are the credibility and authority the web asset has, and how users engage with the search results and the path Google sees each unique individual follow.

"We work to show Google that a greater volume of interest and activity is occurring on sites that we want to promote, whether they're new websites we've created, or established sites which already appear in the [Google results pages], while sites we are seeking to suppress show an overall lower percentage of interest."

The firm sets out to achieve its specified objective within 12 months.

"It's remarkably effective," he adds, "since 92% of people never venture past the first page of Google and more than 99% never go beyond page two."

Prof Mayer-Schoenberger points out that, while reputation defence companies may be effective, "it is hard to understand why only the rich that can afford the help of such experts should benefit and not everyone".

_108598284_warhol.jpg

So can we ever completely get rid of every online trace?

"Simply put, no," says Rob Shavell, co-founder and chief executive of DeleteMe, a subscription service which aims to remove personal information from public online databases, data brokers, and search websites.

"You cannot be completely erased from the internet unless somehow all companies and individuals operating internet services were forced to fundamentally change how they operate.

"Putting in place strong sensible regulation and enforcement to allow consumers to have a say in how their personal information can be gathered, shared, and sold would go a long way to addressing the privacy imbalance we have now."

[Source: This article was published in bbc.com By Mark Smith - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jay Harris]

Categorized in Internet Privacy

In Summary

  • Every time you use your Android device, access YouTube, Instagram or WhatsApp, even your internet provider is in on it - Big Brother is watching.
  • A fraudster now has key information that could allow them access banking details, government accounts etc.

According to University of Massachusetts psychologist, Robert Feldman, 60 per cent of people lie at least once during a 10-minute conversation. Especially when you are trying to appear likeable, not offend, capable or competent. Do you know who you never lie to though? Google.

Indeed, there is a high probability that Google knows you better than your spouse. The phrases you search for reflect your likes and aspirations, fears and trepidations - whether that is: News from Migori…Causes of red rashes...Arsenal vs Tottenham results…Best colleges for accounting …or How to get divorced (sssh don’t tell the wife!).

If you think these are private conversations between you and your search engine, think again.

INTERNET

Every time you use your Android device, access YouTube, Instagram or WhatsApp, even your internet provider is in on it - Big Brother is watching. Who dares to say no when you are browsing the internet and the pop-up screen appears asking if you consent to The ‘Cookies’.

I normally agree to these vaguely threatening messages, as I wish to continue using the site and who knows what will happen if you don’t accept.

As Al Franken, former US senator, says of the tech companies: “Accumulating massive troves of information isn’t just a side project for them. It’s their whole business model…We are not their customers; we are their product.”

And the problem is not so much that your search for ‘how many calories in a chocolate bar’, makes you a good candidate for Cadbury’s ads.

The issue is whether all the other data that is collected about you is used as innocuously or in a worst-case scenario, is secure from hackers.

Do you use Facebook?

FACEBOOK

The people’s republic of Facebook has over two billion netizens. It’s bigger than China, bigger than India and more populous than the whole of the African continent.

Its de-facto leader, Mark Zuckerberg, has unwittingly inherited many of the same headaches as a world leader. For instance, how to keep the peace.

The fact that Facebook may know more about you than your own government, makes it vulnerable to the sophisticated deceptions of unethical players whether it is Cambridge Analytica or Russia interfering with US election results; or other rogue elements such as terrorists using your platform to recruit followers for their misinformed ideologies.

And you know how John and Mary post photos of their new baby girl Waceke on their timeline, telling you the birth was at 3.02am, and of course that mother and baby are well at Mater Hospital in Nairobi? Well, they have just unwittingly created a digital footprint that exposes their child to identity theft in the future.

SOCIAL MEDIA

A fraudster now has key information that could allow them access banking details, government accounts etc.

Dear parents, there is a name for what you are doing. It’s called ‘sharenting’ meaning the over-sharing of children’s information on social media.

And if you live in the land of the Eiffel tower, your child could sue you for this. Let alone that in 18 years’ time, Waceke may cringe at having her future beaus or potential employers viewing half-naked toddler pics.

And you know how these days if you take a photo on an iPhone, it will be stored together with the name of your exact location.

Without your knowledge, this information may be shared. The answer to protect our individual online privacy may be global regulation. However this will take eons and we can’t live without the internet till then. So in the meantime, be safe. Be careful what you share.

[Source: This article was published in nation.co.ke By ADEMA SANGALE - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jason bourne]

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Friends, you're going to wish you were still making the scene with a magazine after reading this sentence: Google's web trackers are all up in your fap time and there's pretty much nothing (except maybe using a more secure browser like Firefox, read up on cybersecurity tips from the EFF, refusing to sign into a Google account and never going online without the protection of a VPN) that anyone can do about it.

From The Verge:

Visitors to porn sites have a “fundamentally misleading sense of privacy,” warn the authors of a new study that examines how tracking software made by tech companies like Google and Facebook is deployed on adult websites.

The authors of the study analyzed 22,484 porn sites and found that 93 percent of them leak data to third parties, including when accessed via a browser’s “incognito” mode. This data presents a “unique and elevated risk,” warn the authors, as 45 percent of porn site URLs indicate the nature of the content, potentially revealing someone’s sexual preferences.

According to the study, trackers baked up by Google and its creepy always-watching-you subsidiaries were found on over 74% of the porn sites that researchers checked out... for purely scientific reasons, of course. And the fun doesn't stop there! Facebook's trackers appeared on 10% of the websites and, for the discerning surveillance aficionado, 24% of the sites the researchers checked in on were being stalked by Oracle. According to The Verge, "...the type of data collected by trackers varies... Sometimes this information seems anonymous, like the type of web browser you’re using, or your operating system, or screen resolution. But this data can be correlated to create a unique profile for an individual, a process known as “fingerprinting.” Other times the information being collected is more obviously revealing like a user’s the IP address or their phone’s mobile identification number.

It's enough to give someone performance anxiety.

[Source: This article was published in boingboing.net By SEAMUS BELLAMY - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jay Harris]

Categorized in Search Engine

[Source: This article was published in foxnews.com By Kim Komando - Uploaded by the Association Member: Daniel K. Henry]

Google isn’t everything. Yes, it’s the most powerful search engine ever created. Yes, it processes 40,000 searches per second. And yes, Google is the go-to search engine for the majority of us.

There are many Google resources that most people don’t know about, including Google’s advanced search features that let you narrow searches by time, file type and website type.

Still, Google doesn’t know everything, and there are some resources that are actually better than Google at finding certain information. Some sites index streaming movies, others archive GIFs. Other search engines may not have the omniscience of Google, but they are far more committed to your privacy.

Speaking of privacy, you can use Google Take Out to find out how much Google knows about you, and how much of your personal information is being tracked.

For those special searches, here are seven search sites you can use other than Google. These services cover a range of themes and needs, but you’re almost guaranteed to find one useful – and you might find yourself consulting it over and over. The best part: They’re basically all free.

1. Find streaming movies

The internet is overflowing with streaming services, and yet the question always comes up: what should we watch tonight? Sometimes we browse through the options, seeking a few favorite classics, or this year’s Oscar nominees, but we have to bounce from platform to platform just to find the title we’re looking for.

There's a search engine that will do the work for you. It's called JustWatch. This free website combs through streaming sites, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, YouTube, iTunes, Roku and Vudu, and it will show where a particular movie is available to stream (free or otherwise).

You can fine-tune and filter the results any way you like -- by year, rating, price, genre, quality and age rating. This is extra useful if you're wondering if a movie or TV show is something you can get for free on other streaming sites. JustWatch's timeline shows you what's new on any particular service at any given time. JustWatch isn't limited to home streaming services. It can help you find all the latest theater movies, and give you summaries, show trailers and buy tickets.

A similar service is GoWatchIt, which boasts 2.5 million movies and 50,000 regular users. The page is attractive and easy to use, and like its rival, GoWatchIt uses your location to determine which content is available in your region.

2. Find GIFs for email and social media

The right GIF is worth a thousand words. Unlike a photo, a GIF is like a tiny video – an animation, a clip from a movie, or a piece of news footage. GIFs often express an emotion or sentiment that no single photo or verbal comment can. Most of the time, GIFs are spit-take funny.

Social media service like Facebook and Twitter make GIFs easy to track down, but for the full catalog, Giphy is the place to go. The site is packed with easy-to-find GIFs: just enter your keyword in the search bar and zillions of GIFs pop up. Like any online search, broad topics are more fruitful than obscure ones; you’ll find plenty of GIFs for “balloon,” but few for “supernumerary.”

To share, click on the GIF that you want, find the "Copy link" button on the right pane, and choose the format. A short GIF link works best, because you can copy and paste the link to pretty much anywhere. Even better, via Giphy's iOS or Android app, you can instantly share any GIF via text messaging, Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter.

3. Search space images

No matter how old we get, the sky will always enthrall us, especially at night. This fascination led the U.S. government to create NASA in the 1950s, and to this day, the agency continues to shed light on outer space. But short of actually leaving the Earth’s atmosphere, the best way to explore the cosmos is through online videos.

The NASA Image Library has pictures across 60 collections combined into one searchable database. This is convenient because you don't have to hop from page to page just to zero in on what you're looking for.

Whether you search for pictures of our solar system, far-off galaxies or the moon landings, you can browse through NASA images – and you can download the images for free, share them on social media sites or publish them for your purposes, as all this digital content is in the public domain.

4. Free software for coders and developers

Most people will not appreciate the glory of Libraries.io, but coders and software developers definitely will: The website lists thousands of pieces of open-source software. These packages and tools are free to the public, and you can use for them for any programming project. The site has a wide selection of package managers including WordPress, PyPi, Rubygems, Atom and Platform IO.

A Libraries.io account also alerts you to software updates and sends notifications about incompatibility and dependency issues.

5. Make money using a search site

Microsoft developed its own search engine, Bing, as a direct competitor to Google. Nobody is going to pretend that Bing has the popularity or reach of Google, but the free service is still very powerful, and there is even an incentive to use it: Microsoft will pay and reward you for your web searches. Go to bing.com/rewards to sign up.

How does it work? The system is called Microsoft Rewards, which pays users in the form of Amazon, Starbucks, Burger King, Xbox, Microsoft Store or other types of gift cards, as well as sweepstakes entries. Related: Looking for ways to make money online? Listen to this Komando on Demand Podcast for legitimate opportunities.

After signing up for a Microsoft account, sign into Bing using the account and begin searching to earn reward points. The system then tracks your points in the upper-right part of the screen, so you can keep track of your earnings while you do what you normally do anyway: search with Bing.

6. Private search engine

At first glance, StartPage.com looks a lot like Google. It has the same search field, and the same bolded and underlined websites pop up, arranged by relevance and popularity. You may not notice a difference, except for the color scheme and the absence of Google Doodles.

But StartPage is designed to retain your privacy. The engine doesn’t collect data, doesn’t keep tabs on your movements, and it isn’t owned by a gigantic corporation. The site is designed to retain privacy, yet it retains much of the power and ease of use that Google does.

If you like StartPage, you can open an account and use its free email service. This is a terrific option for people who use search engines for very basic research and are concerned about exposing their personal information.

7. Search without being tracked by Google

Similar to StartPage, the purpose of DuckDuckGo is to retain privacy. The company proudly abstains from targeted ads – though it does have sponsored ads in the first one or two search results that are relevant to your keywords. DuckDuckGo has a clean interface and deftly aggregates digital news. The “meanings” tab is a nice touch, as it helps analysis the significance of search terms.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call my national radio show and click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for my free podcasts.

Copyright 2019, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Categorized in Search Engine

[Source: This article was published in technadu.com By Sydney Butler - Uploaded by the Association Member: Dana W. Jimenez]

The Dark Web, as part of the Deep Web, is defined largely by the fact that search engines can’t index it. Yet, people need to find onion sites in order to use them and many onion sites would be pretty pointless if no one ever visited them.

Which brings us to the idea of Dark Web “search engines”. Is there such a thing? How do they work? It’s a little more complicated than simply making a “Google for the Dark Web”, but in this article, you’ll learn about some of the best “search engines”, right after we explain what the special meaning of that term is in this context.

What Are Dark Web Search Engines?

Many so-called Dark Web search engines are really just repositories of links. This is actually how early search engines on the internet worked. More like a giant phone book than a web crawler that indexed the contents of sites.

Then, of course, there are search engines on the Dark Web that search the surface web. In other words, they provide a super-secure way to search for things on the regular internet that you don’t want to be attached to your history or identity. So adjust your expectations a little of what it means for something on the Dark Web to be a search engine and feast your eyes on these excellent Dark Web destinations, in your search for hidden network content.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is easily accessible via the surface web, you just have to type its URL into any browser. It also offers an onion domain, which means that it counts as a Dark Web search engine, although it’s not really an engine that searches the Dark Web itself. You can search for onion links using this tool, but your mileage may vary.

What makes DuckDuckGo special is its ability to return relevant search results almost as good as those provided by Google. Yet, it does not need to store any information about you or your search history in order to do it. It’s one of the best privacy-focused search engines in existence and its presence on the Dark Web just adds another strong layer of security.

Torch

Torch

Torch is one of the oldest onion site indexes in existence. While no one knows for sure how much info is stored on the site, Torch itself claims that there are more than a million pages in its index. If something you’ve heard of exists on the Dark Web, Torch is probably your best chance of finding it.

The Onion URL Repository

Just as the name suggests, the Onion URL directory is another massive dump of onion sites with descriptions. More than a million sites by all accounts. That’s a lot of possible destinations to sift through, although no one knows how much of it overlaps with a site like Torch and how much is unique to this repository. Unfortunately, we weren’t actually able to find a working link to this one at the time of writing.

notEvil

notEvil

notEvil is the closest thing to a Google experience you may get on the Dark Web. The design of the site and how it appears to work is very reminiscent of the search giant. The name of this search tool is also a direct reference to Google since the company once had the motto “don’t be evil”, although that has been quietly retired.

notEvil provides some of the most relevant results and is probably the best “proper” search engine on the Dark Web.

Ahmia.fi

Ahmia.fi

OK, Ahmia is something a little different to the other sites listed here. Instead of being a search engine that resides on the Dark Web, this is actually an engine that searches the Tor Hidden Services network from the surface web. It also has an onion service and to actually visit any of the sites listed you’ll need Tor, but it’s pretty awesome that you can look for onion sites from any computer, not just one that has access to Tor.

Candle

Candle

Candle is a fairly new project that was first announced on r/onions/ three years ago. It’s a hobby project from the creator, trying to make a Google-like search engine for Tor. So Candle has actually been indexing onion sites and when it was announced there were already more than 100,000 pages.

Categorized in Deep Web

[Source: This article was Published in mashable.com BY KARISSA BELL - Uploaded by the Association Member: Deborah Tannen]

Here's something you might want to think about next time you check your email: chances are, at least some of your messages are being tracked.

From how many times you open a message, the time of day, and even what city you're in, the very act of reading an email can send a surprising amount of data back to the sender, even if you never respond. 

That unsettling fact was recently thrust back into the spotlight thanks to a much-hyped email startup called Superhuman. The $30/month invite-only email software beloved by Silicon Valley VCs and "inbox zero" adherents are so hyped, there's currently a waiting list more than 180,000 people long, according to The New York Times.

Then Mike Davidson, a VP at design platform Invision, pointed out that the email app had originally enabled its users to track who is opening their emails by default. The feature, which Superhuman dubbed "read receipts," allows message senders to see exactly when their messages are opened, what kind of device recipients are using, and where they are. And unlike, say, iMessage read receipts, which are opt-in, Superhuman's feature is enabled by default.

Davidson, who was previously VP of design at Twitter, penned a lengthy critique of Superhuman's "spying" on his personal blog, saying Superhuman "has mistaken taking advantage of people for good design." 

In response to criticism from Davidson and others, Superhuman CEO Rahul Vohra said the company would update its software so “read receipts” would no longer be enabled by default and location information would be removed. 

But the fact is, Superhuman is far from from the only company quietly surveilling your email habits. Though it's relatively unheard of for an email platform to offer this level of tracking by default, it's astonishingly easy to embed tracking software into emails.

What is pixel tracking?

Most email-tracking programs use something called pixel tracking. Here's how email marketing company SendGrid explains its version of the feature:

Open Tracking adds an invisible, one pixel image at the end of the email which can track email opens. If the email recipient has images enabled on their email client and a request to SendGrid’s server for the invisible image is executed, then an open event is logged.

So when one of these "invisible" images is added into an email, the person who sent it is able to keep track of how often you open the message. It's also common to track whether or not you click on any links in the email. 

Marketers love these kinds of tools for obvious reasons, but there are a ton of similar tools out there that anyone can start using. But just because it's commonplace doesn't make it any less creepy or less of a massive privacy invasion. 

And while you might expect these tactics from email marketers, there's something even more troubling when you consider the implications of people using these in their personal lives. As Davidson outlines in his blog post, email tracking could in some cases pose a safety risk to people who don't realize they are being tracked just by opening their inbox.

Luckily, there are a few ways to block this type of tracking without ignoring your emails entirely.

Image blocking is your friend

One of the most straightforward ways to prevent email tracking software from working is to block images from displaying by default. This is a setting you can enable in just about every email service., though you should note that it means loading images in your email will require an extra click.

Prevent images from automatically loading in Gmail.

In Gmail, click on the settings gear to open up your email preferences. From the "general" tab, scroll down to images and check the box that says "Ask before displaying external images." Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "save changes."

If you use a non-Gmail email provider, you should be able to find a similar setting. Just look for something that says something like "ask before displaying external images." 

It's also important to note that if you use a third-party email client like Outlook or Apple's Mail app to check your email, you'll need to enable this setting in that email app as well. Again, you can typically do this in the app's settings. 

How to block external images in Apple's Mail app.

In Apple's Mail app for iOS, you can disable images by going to the main Settings app, selecting "Mail," and scrolling down to "load remote images." (Instructions for disabling images in the MacOS Mail app can be found here.)

Track the trackers

If fiddling with your email settings is too inconvenient, or you're extra curious about who might be keeping tabs on how often you're reading your emails, there's another option available as well. There are a number of browser extensions that will also block the tracking pixels while alerting you to which emails contain trackers. 

PixelBlock is a simple Chrome extension that blocks images from loading and displays a red eye at the top of messages when it detects a tracker.

Similarly, Trocker, which is available for Chrome and Firefox, will show you pixel trackers and identify links that are being tracked. 

And Chrome extension Ugly Email, alerts you to the presence of possible trackers in your inbox before you even open a message. 

Even with extensions, some trackers may still be able to slip through, but they tend to be pretty adept at identifying the most obvious offenders. Using these is also a pretty eye-opening look at just how commonplace email tracking is:

Categorized in Internet Privacy
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