5 Reasons Why You Should Ditch WhatsApp for Viber

If you are using WhatsApp, you really need to read Rob Nightingale’s article in the MakeUseOf web site.

Nightingale points out that WhatsApp‘s 1.2 billion users send tens of billions of messages to each other EVERY DAY. Obviously, that’s huge. Viber only has 800 million users. Yet Nightingale says that Viber is the better app in almost every way but WhatsApp got a head start and became popular before Viber could get started.

Both apps:

  • Are free to download.
  • Provide end-to-end encryption.
  • Work over 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi.
  • Work on Android, iOS, and Windows smartphones.
  • Have Windows and Mac desktop apps.
  • Offer instant messaging.
  • Offer voice and video calls to other users.
  • Allow you to send photos, audio, and video clips.
  • Offer private group chats.
  • Work with Google Now and Siri.

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The Ultimate Encrypted Voice & Data Modem

If you like gadgets, this may be the ultimate device to own. Well, you and your associates will need at least two of them. The RT7 Encrypted Voice and Data Modem works with any HF or V/UHF two-way radio system or computer network to provide secure voice, data and position services.

The RT7 provides robust secure voice, text, forms, file transfer, quickcodes, navigation, situational awareness, sms*, and email* (* via Gateway or CommandPoint Software). It is not a two-way radio itself. Instead, it connects to compatible two-way radios, networks (via an ethernet connection), or computers. It securely encrypts voice or data and also provides positioning information, all while using military-grade encryption.

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We Have Lots of Encrypted Chat Capabilities, Why Not Add Encrypted Calls?

If encryption works for text-based chat, voice seems like a natural extension. If only it were that easy.

Encrypted voice calls can circumvent government wiretaps, or criminal snooping. But a host of technical challenges with facilitating the calls themselves has slowed the spread of voice over internet protocol overall.

You can read the details in an article by Lily Hay Newman in Wired at http://bit.ly/2p566TT.

However, encrypted voice applications do exist. See https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aprivacyblog.com+voice+encryption&t=ha&ia=web for some past articles about voice encryption, mostly about applications that are available today.

The Wolf That Guards the Door or Why Privacy Matters

The Tutanota Blog has published an interesting article:

On April 3, 2017, President Trump signed a bill which was designed to cut out all of the FCCs protective laws for consumer internet use in the US. This action effectively opened the floodgates for advertisers and increased the reach of government procurement on data generated by private citizens.

Unfortunately, in many other countries, the loss of privacy is already a common fact of life. With corporate giants and government entities finding new ways to spy on private citizens, there seems to be a dark void where peace and personal rights should be, leaving consumers the world over smiling nervously at their ISPs and wireless providers, like the proverbial sheep with the wolves that promise to guard them.

The article then goes on to detail:

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Bose Headphones Secretly Collected User Data

My headphones did what?

The audio maker Bose, whose wireless headphones sell for up to $350, uses an app to collect the listening habits of its customers and provide that information to third parties—all without the knowledge and permission of the users, according to a lawsuit filed in Chicago on Tuesday.

The complaint accuses Bose of violating the WireTap Act and a variety of state privacy laws, adding that a person’s audio history can include a window into a person’s life and views.

Details, and a video, are available in an article by Jeff John Roberts in the Fortune web site at: http://fortune.com/2017/04/19/bose-headphones-privacy/.

Always Keep Your Data on Foreign Servers

German news outlet Heise reported on the recommendation by computer magazine c’t to leave US clouds and keep data on European servers. An earlier analysis declared the USA ‘walling itself in’ after President Trump signed an executive order throwing heavy doubt on the successor of the data privacy protecting Safe Harbour agreement, Privacy Shield.

Then the magazine c’t hedges a bit and states, “Even European hosted solutions developed by American companies, like Telekom’s Microsoft Office 365, are far from safe with the last (Trump) executive order already shaking its foundations.”

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Is the Chromebook the Most Private and Secure Computer Available Today?

I must admit that I love my Chromebook computer. I am using it more and more every day, including right now as I write this article in Microsoft Word Online. This low-cost ($150 to $500 US) powerhouse does almost everything I ever want to do on a computer. I am also impressed with the privacy and security that the Chromebook provides.

Of all the consumer-grade operating systems available today, most security experts will tell you that Linux is the most secure of all. That is especially true of the more security-focused “distributions” of Linux, such as Tails, Security Enhanced Linux (often called SELinux, developed by the NSA’s Trusted Systems Research Group ), Ubuntu Privacy Remix (UPR), or Whonix. All of these are designed to protect your private information and to keep out spies and hackers.

I am not aware of any published studies comparing the security of Chromebooks versus any version of Linux. However, after using both Chromebooks and Linux for several years, I find that numerous facts lead me to believe that Chromebooks also provide very high privacy and security, possibly even better than Linux. No computer, not even a Chromebook, is 100% secure, but a Chromebook probably is the most secure consumer computer you can buy off the shelf today.

Here are a few facts to consider:

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