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 Latest Dump of Alleged NSA Tools puts Millions of Windows Computers at Risk

Thanks to The Shadow Brokers, any hacker can now easily attack and take over millions of Windows computers on the Internet. Actually, the risk has existed for years although probably only the NSA knew about the majority of these weaknesses in the Windows operating system. However, with the latest release of all the previously confidential information by The Shadow Brokers, everyone now has access to the same hacking tools.

The systems affected include Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 along with Windows Server versions NT, 2000, 2003, 2008 and up to 2012.

Microsoft says the company already has patched the majority of the exploits released by The Shadow Brokers. However, most of those “patches” require an upgrade to Windows 10. If you are using Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8, that isn’t such a simple “fix.” If you are using aversion of Windows older than Windows 10, hackers all over the world the tools can easily break into your computer and into millions of other older Windows computers.

Some security experts are recommending that Windows users, even those running Windows 10, should power off their computers right now and disconnect them from the Internet. Permanently. “It’s not safe to run an internet facing Windows box right now,” said a hacker who used to work in the US Department of Defense.

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TOX: an Encrypted Skype Replacement

I wrote about Tox more than two years ago at http://bit.ly/2nUqo1p. A lot has happened since then.

In 2014, Tox was “under development.” In fact, it was in pre-Alpha status and was notably buggy. Today, a lot has changed. Tox now is a fully supported release and is as close to bug-free as most other software that you use every day.

Tox (pronounced “talks) is a secure Skype alternative. Unlike Skype, it cannot be monitored by government spies or by hackers. It is not supported by a corporation. Rather, it’s an open-source tool made by “people fed up with the existing options that spy on us, track us, censor us, and keep us from innovating.”

Good-bye Microsoft!

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Make Encrypted Voice Calls Using Telegram

Telegram is introducing the ability to make encrypted voice calls. It offers end-to-end encryption, meaning it is super secure.

The Telegram interface is both familiar and easy to use. However, Telegram’s voice calling capabilities offer two major innovations over most of the competition: end-to-end encryption and granular control.

Telegram puts you, the user, in charge of who can and cannot call you. This precision control means you can turn voice calls on for everybody, just your contacts, or nobody. You can also restrict certain individuals from calling you on a one-on-one basis. It also offers crystal-clear call quality. It works on wi-fi as well as on cellular connections.

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Macintosh Users: Encrypt and Hide Your Private Files with Hider 2

If you have something you would like to keep secret, whether it is your income tax return, your bet list you give to your bookie, or your wife’s or girlfriend’s (or both!) sizes needed for Christmas gifts, Hider 2 is the application you need. It keeps your data locked up and protected with password protection. Nobody gets into the app or your data without your password. It also optionally hides your file(s) and folder(s) so that they are invisible to Macintosh Finder, Spotlight, and other Mac applications. Family members who share your computer or online spies who access it remotely will not find or decode files that have been encrypted and hidden with Hider 2.

In short, as mentioned on the application’s web site, “Hider 2 is the Fort Knox of digital storage. Anything and everything you hide with Hider 2 is tightly locked up and hidden, making it ultra-secure.”

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LinkLocker: Much More than Just Another Simple Bookmark Manager

LinkLocker is a lightweight bookmarking service with an emphasis on privacy. Save your links on our secure servers, and they will be visible only to you. In other words, it works in much the same way as a dozen or more other “bookmark managers” but with one major difference: privacy.

LinkLocker is a bookmarking site has just recently launched. It is built from the ground up with privacy in mind. The site’s purpose is to provide a place where people can store links to stuff privately and anonymously. There are no public links, and there is no sharing. There is nothing social about LinkLocker. LinkLocker is completely private; the only person who can see your bookmarks is you.

LinkLocker’s features:

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If You Want Privacy You Need to Run Linux

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has published an interesting article about privacy in the Computerworld web site. he says (in part):

“Windows is unsafe by design, and macOS isn’t a lot better”

“With President Trump considering asking foreign visitors to disclose all websites and social media sites they visit and Jeff Sessions, Trump’s attorney general pick, wanting cryptographic back doors, I think privacy is more important than ever.

“True, I’ve been praising desktop Linux for ages, but privacy is a new reason to use it. In the past, while Windows had lousy security, at least it didn’t report into headquarters. Now it does. So do almost all operating systems.

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