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Popular search engines and browsers do a great job at finding and browsing content on the web, but can do a better job at protecting your privacy while doing so.

With your data being the digital currency of our times, websites, advertisers, browsers, and search engines track your behavior on the web to deliver tailored advertising, improve their algorithms, or improve their services.

In this guide, we list the best search engines and browsers to protect your privacy while using the web.

Privacy-focused search engines

Below are the best privacy-focused search engines that do not track your searchers or display advertisements based on your cookies or interests.

 

DuckDuckGo

The first privacy-focused search engine, and probably the most recognizable, we spotlight is DuckDuckGo.

Founded in 2008, DuckDuckGo is popular among users who are concerned about privacy online, and the privacy-friendly search engine recently said it had seen 2 billion total searches.

DDG

With DuckDuckGo, you can search for your questions and websites online anonymously.

DuckDuckGo does not compile entire profiles of user's search habits and behavior, and it also does not collect personal information.

DuckDuckGo is offered as a search engine option in all popular browsers.

In 2017, Brave added DuckDuckGo as a default search engine option when you use the browser on mobile or desktop. In Brave browser, your search results are powered by DuckDuckGo when you enter the private tabs (incognito).

Last year, Google also added DuckDuckGo to their list of search engines on Android and platforms. With iOS 14, Apple is now also allowing users to use DuckDuckGo as their preferred search engine.

Startpage

Unlike DuckDuckGo, Startpage is not crawling the internet to generate unique results, but instead, it allows users to obtain Google Search results while protecting their data.

Startpage started as a sister company of Ixquick, which was founded in 1998. In 2016, both websites were merged and Startpage owners received a significant investment from Privacy One Group last year.

This search engine also generates its income from advertising, but these ads are anonymously generated solely based on the search term you entered. Your information is not stored online or shared with other companies, such as Google.

StartPage

Startpage also comes with one interesting feature called "Annonymous View" that allows you to view links anonymously.

When you use this feature, Startpage renders the website in its container and the website won't be able to track you because it will see Startpage as the visitor.

Ecosia

The next search engine in our list is Ecosia.

Unlike any other search engines, Ecosia is a CO2-neutral search engine and it uses the revenue generated to plant trees. Ecosia's search results are provided by Bing and enhanced by the company's own algorithms.

Ecosia

Ecosia was first launched on 7 December 2009 and the company has donated most of its profits to plant trees across the world.

Ecosia says they're a privacy-friendly search engine and your searches are encrypted, which means the data is not stored permanently and sold to third-party advertisers.

List of privacy-friendly browsers:

Web browser developers have taken existing browser platforms such as Chrome and Firefox, and modified them to include more privacy-focuses features that protect your data while browsing the web.

 

Brave Browser

Brave is one of the fastest browser that is solely focused on privacy with features like private browsing, data saver, ad-free experience, bookmarks sync, tracking protections, HTTPs everywhere, and more.

Brave

Memory usage by Brave is far below Google Chrome and the browser is also available for both mobile and desktop.

You can download Brave from here.

Tor Browser

The Tor Browser is another browser that aims to protect your data, including your IP address, as you browse the web.

When browsing the web with Tor, your connections to web sites will be anonymous as your request will be routed through other computers and your real IP address is not shared. 

In addition, Tor bundles comes with the NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere extensions preinstalled, and clears your HTTP cookies on exit, to further protect your privacy.

Tor

firefox focus

Firefox Focus also comes with built-in ad blocker to improve your experience and block all trackers, including those operated by Google and Facebook.

You can download Tor browser from here.

Firefox Focus

Firefox Focus is also a great option if you use Android or iOS.

 

According to Mozilla, Firefox Focus blocks a wide range of online trackers, erases your history, passwords, cookies, and comes with a user-friendly interface.

 [Source: This article was published in bleepingcomputer.com By Mayank Parmar - Uploaded by the Association Member: Logan Hochstetler]

Categorized in Search Engine

Dark Web is that area of the internet that consists of encrypted content and is not indexed by search engines.

About 97% cybersecurity companies had their data exposed on the Dark Web in 2020.

Some data breaches occurred as recent as in end of August, a survey by security firm ImmuniWeb found.

The survey covered 398 cybersecurity companies headquartered across 26 countries including USA, UK, India, Canada and Germany.

Dark Web included both Deep Web and Surface Web in the survey. Dark Web consists of encrypted content that is not indexed by search engines.

More than 160 companies faced incidents as their employees used identical passwords on more than one breached system. Most of the passwords lacked basic security requirements - uppercase, numerical and special characters. Common passwords included ‘password’ and ‘123456’.

 

Half the exposed data consisted of plaintext credentials like financial and personal information.

US-based security firms showed most number of high-risk data breaches, followed by the UK. High-risk breaches include credentials with sensitive information.

A large number of leaks were silently performed by trusted third parties like suppliers or sub-contractors to the company.

Some stolen credentials came from incidents involving unrelated third parties where victims used work emails to sign into adult websites.

At least 5,121 stolen credentials were found in pornographic and adult-dating websites, ImmuniWeb said.

The report also stated that half the companies did not comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules owing to vulnerable software, lack of strong privacy policy, and missing cookie disclaimers when cookies contain traceable personal information.

More than a fourth of the vulnerabilities remain unpatched to date, the security firm said.

[Source: This article was published in thehindu.com By Sowmya Ramasubramanian - Uploaded by the Association Member: Nevena Gojkovic Turunz]

Categorized in Deep Web

The words “privacy” and “internet” are sort of an oxymoron because it’s incredibly hard to be truly safe and anonymous on the internet. ISPs, browsers, and websites are constantly monitoring everything people do online and collecting their data. Cybercriminals should also be a major concern to everyone as they’re always looking for new victims to target.

That said, unless someone’s a person of interest to government organizations or crime syndicates, they can achieve a robust level of online privacy. Check out these 5 ways to safely and privately browse the internet.

Why is More Privacy a Good Thing?

Browsing the internet and using apps generally means giving up a lot of personal data. That’s because governments, ISPs, browsers, websites, and apps are constantly monitoring what people are doing. With websites, for instance, this is done via cookies and trackers.

 

People have always been generally aware that their data is being gathered by companies, usually for either service improvement or ad purposes. But recently, it’s become apparent that companies and app developers are privy to people’s personal lives to an alarming degree.

Many people might reiterate that “nothing to hide” mantra for why they freely give away all this information. Explaining why that statement is heedlessly naive may well fill a whole book, so here are two short but powerful reasons instead:

– Online security has become directly linked to physical security. Nevermind the people potentially spying over a webcam or smart home camera. Stalking and swatting are two other real-life consequences. Jameson Lopp can certainly attest to that after being swatted and threatened numerous times by an anonymous attacker.

– The copious amounts of data breaches occurring every year is a testament to the fact that companies cannot be trusted with everyone’s personal data. The information they collect is extremely valuable to criminals, and they will go to great lengths to get it.

How to Stay Safe and Private While Browsing the Internet

1. Use a VPN

VPNs are constantly being mentioned these days, but what is a VPN, and how does it actually work?

Virtual private networks provide a way to have a private connection over a public network. The technology utilizes what’s called an encryption tunnel to make data hard to get and unreadable. It also sends the connection through a VPN server which replaces a device’s IP address and changes its owner’s location.

This all means that a person gains both privacy and security while browsing with a VPN turned on. Just keep in mind that this does not protect against malware and a compromised computer or device will still send unfiltered information to attackers.

2. Go Incognito

Browsing in private or incognito mode provides a modicum of privacy by preventing the browser from saving that session’s browsing history. Chrome has also recently added a feature that automatically blocks third-party cookies in incognito mode – but not all trackers. Making this great when combined with other privacy and security steps.

3. Don’t Log Into Anything

Naturally, this advice cannot be applied to everyday browsing as logging into an email or other accounts is sometimes necessary. This is especially true during work hours. There are times when logging in isn’t necessary, however.

 

Following privacy measures, like using a VPN, is canceled out when someone logs into their accounts, instantly identifying them. VPNs will keep the connection secure from outside threats like SSL-stripping, and incognito still means browsing history won’t be saved. 

4. Avoid Too Many Extensions

Extensions can be convenient and incredibly helpful, but they can also be a siphon for browsing data and personal information. It’s not that the extensions themselves are necessarily dangerous – though some are malware in disguise. Instead, it’s that they can be weak links in a browser’s security infrastructure. 

Extension developers don’t always keep up with security updates for their products, and some get abandoned entirely. Cybercriminals take advantage of those weaknesses to infiltrate people’s browsing sessions through their extensions.

This doesn’t mean they should be avoided altogether, as that’s not always possible. Do take care by properly vetting and managing extensions to ensure they remain safe to use.

5. Try a Privacy Browser

Privacy browsers are becoming more and more popular thanks to their focus on the user’s need for protection rather than their corporate greed. Browsers like Tor, DuckDuckGo, and Brave, block all trackers and don’t collect browsing history. Each privacy browser has its own list of beneficial features but the Tor browser warrants a special mention.

Tor utilizes a network of servers to anonymize a person’s browsing session. It sends their network requests through a series of “nodes” which replace a device’s IP address. Keep in mind, however, unlike a VPN, Tor does not anonymize any other online events, like apps, nor does it encrypt the connection.

Final Thoughts

It’s not fair that these are the lengths needed to ensure online privacy and security. Things are looking up, regulation-wise, but the reality is that privacy declines as technology improves. Already there have been major issues regarding the IoT and home smart devices being abused to spy on people.

[Source: This article was published in thebuzzpaper.com By Devashish Pandey - Uploaded by the Association Member: Clara Johnson] 

Categorized in Internet Privacy

LastPass' new Security Dashboard gives users a complete picture of their online security

Knowing if your passwords have been leaked online is an important step to protecting your online accounts which is why LastPass has unveiled a new Security Dashboard which provides end users with a complete overview of the security of their online accounts.

The company's new Security Dashboard builds on last year's LastPass Security Challenge, which analyzed users' stored passwords and provided a score based on how secure they were, by adding dark web monitoring. The new feature is available to LastPass Premium, Families and Business customers and it proactively watches for breach activity and alerts users when they need to take action.

 

In addition to showing users their weak and reused passwords, the new Security Dashboard now gives all LastPass users a complete picture of their online security to help them regain control over their digital life and know that their accounts are protected.

Dark web monitoring

According to a recent survey of more than 3,000 global consumers conducted by LastPass, 40 percent of users don't know what the dark web is. The majority (86%) of those surveyed claimed they have no way of even knowing if their information is on the dark web.

LastPass' new dark web monitoring feature proactively checks email addresses and usernames against Enzoic’s database of breached credentials. If an email address is found in this 3rd party database, users will be notified immediately via email and by a message in their LastPass Security Dashboard. Users will then be prompted to update the password for that compromised account.

Vice president of product management, IAM at LogMeIn, Dan DeMichele explained why LastPass decided to add dark web monitoring to its password manager in a press release, saying:

“It’s extremely important to be informed of ways to protect your identity if your login, financial or personal information is compromised. Adding dark web monitoring and alerting into our Security Dashboard was a no brainer for us. LastPass already takes care of your passwords, and now you can extend that protection to more parts of your digital life. LastPass is now equipped to truly be your home for managing your online security – making it simple to take action and stay safe in an increasingly digital world. With LastPass all your critical information is safe so you can access it whenever and wherever you need to.”

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

Categorized in Internet Privacy

While the dark web offers a haven for criminals and serves as inspiration for Hollywood blockbusters, it’s much more mundane in real life. Still, many businesses feed into the fallacies surrounding the dark side of the Internet, ultimately delaying their ability to protect employees and consumers.

Our industry really needs to shed some light on the largest misconceptions associated with the dark web. Equipped with these new insights, we can empower security pros to explore the dark web and gain knowledge that will strengthen their security posture. But before we can debunk any misconceptions, companies must first understand the basics.

The dark web resides on a portion of the Internet where communications and transactions are carried out anonymously. Separate networks like TOR, Blockchain DNS, I2P, and ZeroNet make up the dark web and have different access requirements and resources. Cybercriminals and threat actors typically use these networks to securely and secretly coordinate crime functions, and openly discuss terrorist tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs). The dark web also serves as a marketplace to buy or sell goods or services, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, all manners of drugs, and stolen subscription credentials. It’s a long list.  

 

There’s also practical value for legitimate security organizations to access the dark web. Cybersecurity teams can track for evidence of attacks in various stages of execution. Today, companies are applying intelligence requirements processes to determine what they should do with the information they discover, like monitoring for vulnerabilities that are weaponized in malware families. To monitor the dark web successfully, organizations should carefully weigh options between people and technology. They must invest in both: people deliver context and expertise, while technology helps teams scale.  

Now that we understand a bit more about the dark web, let’s dive into the four biggest misconceptions:

Misconception: The dark web doesn’t have a good side.

Reality: Dissidents and civil rights advocates use the dark web to communicate in repressive governments around the world.

Understandably, the dark web gets a lot of bad press, which leads many to believe that it’s inhabited exclusively by nefarious types. However, it has many benign practices that organizations can partake in. For example, the Tor network was initially developed by the United States Naval Research Laboratory to protect U.S. intelligence communications from surveillance. Anonymity and protection from surveillance have made the Tor network and other parts of the dark web an invaluable tool for dissidents and civil rights advocates under repressive regimes, journalists, and whistle-blowers. The New York Times makes its website available as a Tor Onion Service for readers in countries that block access to the newspaper’s regular website, or who worry about their web activities being monitored.

Misconception: The dark web houses the majority of digital threats facing businesses.

Reality: Security pros find important communications tools on the dark web.

Contrary to popular belief, the dark web does not serve as a home to a majority of digital threats facing businesses. Although it includes a few thousand sites, it only makes up a relatively small portion of the deep web. People are often surprised to learn that more digital threats appear on the surface web than on the dark web. Communication, collaboration and transactional tools are all available on the dark web. These include forums and chat rooms, email and messaging applications, blogs and wikis, and peer-to-peer file-sharing networks.

Misconception: Organizations can’t mediate or anticipate dark web threats.

Reality: Security teams comb the dark web to prevent future attacks and takedown bad sites.

Although organizations can’t influence sites or marketplaces found on the dark web, the material found there can help discover sites and social media accounts on the surface web used for launching attacks, carrying out phishing campaigns, and selling counterfeit and stolen goods. By leveraging insights from the dark web, security pros can regularly “takedown” those websites and accounts from the surface web.

Misconception: Monitoring the dark web takes money – and it’s slow.

Reality: Doesn’t have to be that way with the right mix of people and technology.

Monitoring the dark web requires some skill, but it isn’t necessarily a slow and expensive process. Typically, organizations gravitate towards data loss protection (DLP) services, which ensure sensitive data doesn’t get lost, misused, or accessed by unauthorized users. Having the right technologies and people, and sometimes with outside DLP services, companies can prevent attacks and at a relatively modest cost.

Habitually categorized as an asylum for criminals of all stripes, the dark web holds an opportunity for organizations hoping to detect data breaches and anticipate and thwart attacks. While other companies are already profiting from monitoring and tracking certain areas of the dark web, others struggle to even understand and dispel its misconceptions. With some minimal investment, companies can establish comprehensive visibility across multiple digital networks. This will let them discover threats sooner and take action wherever attackers are vulnerable along their kill chain. With this level of visibility and understanding, companies can shed their fear of the dark web and have confidence in their digital risk protection program.

 

[Source: This article was published in scmagazine.com By Zack Allen - Uploaded by the Association Member: Alex Gray] 

Categorized in Deep Web

As we close out 2019, we at Security Boulevard wanted to highlight the five most popular articles of the year. Following is the fifth in our weeklong series of the Best of 2019.

Privacy. We all know what it is, but in today’s fully connected society can anyone actually have it?

For many years, it seemed the answer was no. We didn’t care about privacy. We were so enamored with Web 2.0, the growth of smartphones, GPS satnav, instant updates from our friends and the like that we seemed to not care about privacy. But while industry professionals argued the company was collecting too much private information, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg understood the vast majority of Facebook users were not as concerned. He said in a 2011 Charlie Rose interview, “So the question isn’t what do we want to know about people. It’s what do people want to tell about themselves?”

 

In the past, it would be perfectly normal for a private company to collect personal, sensitive data in exchange for free services. Further, privacy advocates were almost criticized for being alarmist and unrealistic. Reflecting this position, Scott McNealy, then-CEO of Sun Micro­systems, infamously said at the turn of the millennium, “You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.”

And for another decade or two, we did. Privacy concerns were debated; however, serious action on the part of corporations and governments seemed moot. Ten years ago, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council had the only meaningful data security standard, ostensibly imposed by payment card issuers against processors and users to avoid fraud.

Our attitudes have shifted since then. Expecting data privacy is now seen by society as perfectly normal. We are thinking about digital privacy like we did about personal privacy in the ’60s, before the era of hand-held computers.

So, what happened? Why does society now expect digital privacy? Especially in the U.S., where privacy under the law is not so much a fundamental right as a tort? There are a number of factors, of course. But let’s consider three: a data breach that gained national attention, an international elevation of privacy rights and growing frustration with lax privacy regulations.

Our shift in the U.S. toward expecting more privacy started accelerating in December 2013 when Target experienced a headline-gathering data breach. The termination of the then-CEO and the subsequent following-year staggering operating loss, allegedly due to customer dissatisfaction and reputation erosion from this incident, got the boardroom’s attention. Now, data privacy and security are chief strategic concerns.

On the international stage, the European Union started experimenting with data privacy legislation in 1995. Directive 95/46/EC required national data protection authorities to explore data protection certification. This resulted in an opinion issued in 2011 which, through a series of opinions and other actions, resulted in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entering force in 2016. This timeline is well-documented on the European Data Protection Supervisor’s website.

It wasn’t until 2018, however, when we noticed GDPR’s fundamental privacy changes. Starting then, websites that collected personal data had to notify visitors and ask for permission first. Notice the pop-ups everywhere asking for permission to store cookies? That’s a byproduct of the GDPR.

What happened after that? Within a few short years, many local governments in the U.S. became more and more frustrated with the lack of privacy progress at the national level. GDPR was front and center, with several lawsuits filed against high-profile companies that allegedly failed to comply.

As the GDPR demonstrated the possible outcomes of serious privacy regulation, smaller governments passed such legislation. The State of California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act and—almost simultaneously—the State of New York passed the Personal Privacy Protection Law. Both of these legislations give U.S. citizens significantly more privacy protection than any under U.S. law. And not just to state residents, but also to other U.S. citizens whose personal data is accessed or stored in those states.

Without question, we as a society have changed course. The unfettered internet has had its day. Going forward, more and more private companies will be subject to increasingly demanding privacy legislation.

Is this a bad thing? Something nefarious? Probably not. Just as we have always expected privacy in our physical lives, we now expect privacy in our digital lives as well. And businesses are adjusting toward our expectations.

One visible adjustment is more disclosure about exactly what private data a business collects and why. Privacy policies are easier to understand, as well as more comprehensive. Most websites warn visitors about the storage of private data in “cookies.” Many sites additionally grant visitors the ability to turn off such cookies except those technically necessary for the site’s operation.

Another visible adjustment is the widespread use of multi-factor authentication. Many sites, especially those involving credit, finance or shopping, validate login with a token sent by email, text or voice. These sites then verify the authorized user is logging in, which helps avoid leaking private data.

Perhaps the biggest adjustment is not visible: encryption of private data. More businesses now operate on otherwise meaningless cipher substitutes (the output of an encryption function) in place of sensitive data such as customer account numbers, birth dates, email or street addresses, member names and so on. This protects customers from breaches where private data is exploited via an all-too-common breach.

Respecting privacy is now the norm. Companies that show this respect will be rewarded for doing so. Those that allegedly don’t, however, may experience a different fiscal outcome.

 

[Source: This article was published in securityboulevard.com By Jason Paul Kazarian - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jason Paul Kazarian]

Categorized in Internet Ethics

Though Yahoo is a legitimate search engine, if it isn't your preferred site, it can be frustrating to have it continuously pop up every time you open your internet browser. But, you can easily resolve the issue -- here's how.

yahoo.jpg

If your default search engine keeps changing suddenly to Yahoo, your computer may have malware

The problem can likely be attributed to malware — specifically, the Yahoo search redirect virus. This virus works by rapidly redirecting your browser to an intermediary site (or sometimes to multiple sites) and then depositing you onto the Yahoo site. Any revenue then generated via clicks made on Yahoo will direct some revenue back to those intermediary sites. The hackers responsible for the virus also use it to collect your data and track your internet activity. 

 

So it's not Yahoo's fault, but it is an issue you need to clear up. You don't want to be forced to use Yahoo by malware that can track you and potentially harm your computer. 

flash.jpg

Beware of suspicious pop-ups like this one asking you to update Adobe Flash; these can be vehicles for the Yahoo redirect virus. 
Steven John/Business Insider

There are many ways your system can contract the redirect malware, but the solution is the same for most browsers: reset your browser's settings.

How to reset Safari browser settings

1. With Safari open, click the word "Safari" at the top left bar on your screen, then click "Preferences."

2. Click the gear wheel for "Advanced" and make sure the "Show Develop menu in bar" box is checked.

advanced.jpg

If “Show Develop menu in menu bar” is not selected already, click the box. 
Steven John/Business Insider

3. Click "Develop" in the top task bar, then click "Empty Caches" in the dropdown. 

4. Now click "History" from the top taskbar and clear all search history.

5. Finally, go back to "Preferences" and click "Privacy," then hit "Manage Website Data…" and "Remove All" on the pop-up window.

Now restart Safari and you should be all set.

How to reset Chrome browser settings

1. Open Chrome and click the three dots at the top right of the browser, then click "Settings."

google.jpg

Make sure you are logged into your account before trying to change settings. 
Steven John/Business Insider

2. Scroll down and click to expand the "Advanced" section, then click "Restore settings to their original defaults" under "Reset settings." 

3. Click "Reset settings" on the popup window to confirm.

Wiping your browser settings will clear all cookies and extensions and reset your search engine, new tab page, startup page, and pinned tabs. It will not erase your saved passwords, history, or bookmarks. Restart Chrome and off you go.

How to reset Firefox browser settings

1. Open Firefox and then click "Help" and then "Troubleshooting information."

2. Click the button that says "Refresh Firefox." 

3. In the popup window, click "Refresh Firefox" to confirm.

Your browser should now be clear of any malicious add-ons. 

 

[Source: This article was published in businessinsider.com By Steven John - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jay Harris]

Categorized in Search Engine

Scraping the Dark Web using Python, Selenium, and TOR on Mac OSX

Warning: Accessing the dark web can be dangerous! Please continue at your own risk and take necessary security precautions such as disabling scripts and using a VPN service.

Introduction

 

Finding Hidden Services

Method 1: Directories

Method 2: Snowball Sampling

 

Environment Setup

TOR Browser

VPN

Python

Pandas

pip install pandas

Selenium

pip install selenium

Geckodriver

Firefox Binary

Implementation

from selenium import webdriver
from selenium.webdriver.firefox.firefox_binary import FirefoxBinary
import pandas as pd
binary = FirefoxBinary(*path to your firefox binary*)
driver = webdriver.Firefox(firefox_binary = binary)
url = *your url*
driver.get(url)

Basic Selenium Scraping Techniques

Finding Elements

driver.find_element_by_class_name("postMain")

driver.find_element_by_xpath('/html/body/div/div[2]/div[2]/div/div[1]/div/a[1]')
driver.find_elements_by_class_name("postMain")

 

Getting the Text of an Element

driver.find_element_by_class_name('postContent').text

Storing Elements

post_content_list = []
postText = driver.find_element_by_class_name('postContent').text
post_content_list.append(postText)

Crawling Between Pages

for i in range(1, MAX_PAGE_NUM + 1):
page_num = i
url = '*first part of url*' + str(page_num) + '*last part of url*'
driver.get(url)

Exporting to CSV File

df['postURL'] = post_url_list
df['author'] = post_author_list
df['postTitle'] = post_title_list
df.to_csv('scrape.csv')

 

Anti-crawling Measures

captcha.png

driver.implicitly_wait(10000)
driver.find_element_by_class_name("postMain")
import pandas as pddf = pd.read_csv('scrape.csv')
df2 = pd.read_csv('scrape2.csv')
df3 = pd.read_csv('scrape3.csv')
df4 = pd.read_csv('scrape4.csv')
df5 = pd.read_csv('scrape5.csv')
df6 = pd.read_csv('scrape6.csv')
frames = [df, df2, df3, df4, df5, df6]result = pd.concat(frames, ignore_index = True)result.to_csv('ForumScrape.csv')

Discussion

[Source: This article was published in towardsdatascience.com By Mitchell Telatnik - Uploaded by the Association Member: Deborah Tannen]

Categorized in Deep Web

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

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
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