Online privacy: Best browsers, settings, and tips

Credit to Author: Galen Gruman| Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2020 03:00:00 -0800

“You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it,” Scott McNealy said of online privacy back in 1999, a view the former CEO of the now-defunct Sun Microsystems reiterated in 2015. Despite the hue and cry his initial remarks caused, he’s been proven largely correct.

Where mainstream mobile browsers differ in privacy settings

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How to give Chrome a super-simple security upgrade

Credit to Author: JR Raphael| Date: Tue, 03 Nov 2020 04:00:00 -0800

Smart security, just like autumn attire, is all about layers. The more effective pieces you have working to protect you, the less likely you’ll be to let a burst of cold air — whether a metaphorical one or a literal one — catch you off-guard. (Also, the more flannel, the better. I’m not entirely sure how that applies to the tech side of things, but I’m stickin’ with it.)

When it comes to browsing this wild ol’ web of ours, after all, potential threats are a-plenty. Shady sites sit in wait to try to trick you into doing something dangerous, passwords are compromised constantly, and ghoulish virtual boogeymen who look curiously like Gary Busey crouch behind dark corners and prepare to pounce.

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Google to trial drastically truncated URLs in Chrome in anti-phishing move

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2020 04:33:00 -0700

Google will run a trial with Chrome 86, the browser set to release in October, that will hide much of a site’s URL as a way to foil phishing attacks.

“We’re … going to experiment with how URLs are shown in the address bar on desktop platforms,” Emily Stark, Eric Mill and Shweta Panditrao, all members of Chrome’s security team, wrote in an Aug. 12 post to a company blog. “Our goal is to understand — through real-world usage — whether showing URLs this way helps users realize they’re visiting a malicious website, and protects them from phishing and social engineering attacks.”

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Firefox gets next-gen anti-tracking defense, stymies 'bounce' trackers

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Tue, 04 Aug 2020 14:35:00 -0700

Mozilla today announced a new defense against advanced tracking tactics that it will be switching on in Firefox 79 starting immediately and pushing out to the remaining user base during the next few weeks.

Calling the improved technologies and techniques Enhanced Tracking Protection 2.0 – Mozilla said that ETP 2.0’s primary job is to block redirect tracking, also known as bounce tracking.

Trackers have been exploiting a loophole of sorts to continue following users browsing with Firefox, which enabled its first-generation ETP by default in June 2019. ETP takes a hands-off approach for first-party cookies – those tied to the site being browsed – because to do otherwise would break many of those websites or require users to, say, log in each time they returned.

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At Microsoft Inspire, the new Edge browser took center stage

Credit to Author: Rob Enderle| Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2020 07:31:00 -0700

Disclosure:  Microsoft is a client of the author.

In the new Microsoft, Azure has – to a certain extent – taken over the center stage from the company’s Windows Server platform, and the new Chromium Edge Browser has taken center stage from Windows. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this result as the market rapidly turns from focusing on local hardware to using the Cloud as its primary place to do computing. 

As a result, each new browser update now feels a bit like what the old Windows refresh cycles used to feel like – but without the old compatibility drama. 

Microsoft Inspire took place this week, so let’s talk about the browser’s new features, mostly focused on business users (now mostly working from home) that look compelling. 

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Mozilla launches its first revenue-generating service, VPN for Firefox

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2020 16:52:00 -0700

Mozilla last week launched its virtual private network (VPN) in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and three other countries, part of its strategy to expand revenue opportunities for its Firefox browser.

Dubbed Mozilla VPN, the service costs $4.99 per month and is available for devices running Windows and Android. Besides the U.S., Canada and the U.K., Mozilla VPN is also available in Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand. The service will be offered on macOS and Linux devices “soon,” while the iOS version is currently in beta, Mozilla said. For the monthly fee, users can access the VPN from up to five devices.

Mozilla kicked off a VPN preview – then tagged Firefox Private Network – nearly a year ago that relied on a browser extension and was free to users within the U.S. The Firefox Private Network was seen as the first of the paid services Mozilla would eventually introduce – another might be online storage – in an attempt to create new revenue streams to augment what the organization is paid to make specific search engines the Firefox default.

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