Home Routers Under Attack by NSA-Spawned Malware: What to Do

If you have an older home wireless router with the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) protocol activated, there is a substantial chance that the router may have fallen prey to malware developed by none other than the U.S. National Security Agency.

As is common with government “secrets,” the U.S. National Security Agency-developed malware has been leaked to the entire world and now hackers all over the world are using it to gain access to your in-home computer(s).

That’s called “Your taxpayer dollars at work.”

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Tor is Easier to Use than Ever. Perhaps it is Time to Give It a Try

Good news: The Tor anonymity service is easier to use and more accessible than ever. The digital anonymity service Tor is also one of the best methods of keeping your web browsing private.

According to an article by Lily Hay Newman in the Wired web site: “Tor has been relatively accessible for years now, largely because of the Tor Browser, which works almost exactly like a regular browser and does all the complicated stuff for you in the background. But in 2018 a slew of new offerings and integrations vastly expanded the available tools, making 2019 the year to finally try Tor. You may even end up using the network without realizing it.”

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Facebook is Voted the Least-Trusted Tech Company

2018 has seen the social network experience a series of privacy scandals and data breaches, helping it become the most untrusted firm—and by a massive margin.

Consumer research company Toluna surveyed 1000 people earlier this month to discover which tech companies they distrust the most with their information. Topping the list was Facebook, which took a massive 40 percent of the vote. Both Twitter and Amazon, which came equal second, were on just 8 percent each.

Details may be found in an article by Rob Thubron in the TechSpot web site at: http://bit.ly/2LIH9qy.

Several Popular Apps Share Data With Facebook Without User Consent

Some of the most popular apps for Android smartphones, including Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and MyFitnessPal, are transmitting data to Facebook without the consent of users in a potential breach of EU regulations.

Previous research has shown how 42.55 percent of free apps on the Google Play store could share data with Facebook, making Facebook the second most prevalent third-party tracker after Google’s parent company Alphabet. In this report, Privacy International illustrates what this data sharing looks like in practice, particularly for people who do not have a Facebook account.

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Facebook Data Scandals Stoke Criticism That a Privacy Watchdog Too Rarely Bites

Quoting from an article by By Nicholas Confessore and Cecilia Kang in the New York Times:

“Last spring, soon after Facebook acknowledged that the data of tens of millions of its users had improperly been obtained by the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, a top enforcement official at the Federal Trade Commission drafted a memo about the prospect of disciplining the social network.

“Lawmakers, consumer advocates and even former commission officials were clamoring for tough action against Facebook, arguing that it had violated an earlier F.T.C. consent decree barring it from misleading users about how their information was shared.

“But the enforcement official, James A. Kohm, took a different view.”

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Stop Sending Regular Text Messages!

From an article by Victoria Song in the GizModo web site:

“Thanks to a Federal Communications Commission vote last week, wireless carriers now have more control over your text messages. If that sounds ominous, that’s because it is—so much so that now’s the perfect time to ditch regular ol’ text messaging altogether.

“Here’s the deal: The FCC’s decision means wireless carriers now have a greater ability to block text messages. The FCC is claiming a victory for consumers who have been bombarded with spam texts, but critics of the decision say it’s a threat to free speech. And given that there are already better alternatives to basic text messaging, like Signal, there’s little reason to not just take it all the way.”

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How to Keep Your Internet-Connected Device From Spying on You

Many of us are familiar with methods of improving privacy during the use of computers, cell phones, and more. But what about the other Internet-connected devices in your home? How about the thermostat, Xbox, Roku device, baby monitor, alarm system, and especially your children’s toys?

Check out the article by David Murphy in the LifeHacker web site at: https://lifehacker.com/how-to-keep-your-internet-connected-device-from-spying-1831230689.