Following in the footsteps of two great guides, “10 Commandments for a Safer Internet” and “0x0A Hack Commandments”, I was inspired to give something back to the community. For the average Joe, operational security – or OPSEC for short – is basically just about risk management through identifying specific pieces of information requiring protection, and employing measures to protect them. Sounds intimidating? Don’t worry, because you’re already doing it.
There’s a lot of details on how Google and specifically Android tracks your location, that most people aren’t aware of. And if you ask me, that’s cluelessness by design. For most people, turning on “location” on their devices, seeing that little 📍-icon popping up, means that the device is now “connected to the GPS”. In reality however, that usually means that the device is scanning Wi-Fi, mobile networks and even Bluetooth in some cases to improve the results – in battery saving mode Android isn’t actually using GPS at all to locate the device!
So why’s this a big deal? Because every Wi-Fi sharing device is automatically mapped by Google, and they’re using your devices as a tool of doing so. In a nutshell:
- Google knows the location of your device (i.e. you), even if you’re using a VPN and your IP would be pointing elsewhere.
- Your device is basically enslaved to Google, providing location data regarding its surroundings, and thus improving Google’s services with the cost of your device’s battery life, performance, and your privacy.
- Every Wi-Fi hotspot, router and such is unwillingly acting as a location beacon for Google.
Luckily there are few ways to opt-out of these things. In this blog post, I’m going to show you how to do just that.
The Police of Finland has been noticeably increasing its presence on social media, especially on Twitter where there’s more than 60 official accounts already. Most of these accounts represent individual police officers, and therefore they’re supposed to represent the official police’s brand and communication, but of course there’s bound to be some personal nuances included in the tweets as well. This personal tone is perfectly normal and only human, but unfortunately it makes them (individuals and the police) a target for a backslash.
And oh boy, they’ve been targeted alright. As of this writing, there’s at least eight parody accounts made of Finnish Police, and most of them have been activated within the last two months. Although parody accounts are accepted in Twitter’s policy and often intended just as harmless fun, I wanted to take a closer look at these eight and see if I could find any interesting details on them.
There were definitely some similarities and other easily connectable dots between the eight that were apparent even after just a quick glance (e.g. multiple mentions of “vihapuhe” = “hate speech”). I realize that by doing this I’m just feeding the trolls, so to speak, but let’s just call this professional curiosity that prompted me to investigate further.
But what many Twitter users don’t know is that there are other ways that Twitter is already (and by default) doing to “enhance” your timeline. This is how you can opt-out from the rest of those settings: Continue reading “Make Twitter Non-Personalized Again”
Privacy Options: https://www.reddit.com/prefs/
Personalization Preferences: https://www.reddit.com/personalization
(This used to be called Personalized Ads, but Reddit has since expanded its “personalization” options)
Didn’t see that one coming. Or the fact that I would be writing about, *sigh*, emojis. Those funny yellow faces were cool maybe 10-15 years ago, when they were popularized by MSN Messenger. Sure they’ve been plaguing our text communications more recently too, mainly because of smartphones and IM platforms, but for some reason, a lot has been happening in the emoji-front in 2015. Let’s take a look:
One week and 46 years ago, the Internet was born. Or to be precise, its predecessor (or an earlier manifestation) the ARPANET delivered its first message, on 29 October 1969. Due to the creation of The World Wide Web two decades later, the Internet became the backbone interconnecting first the selected few and then eventually billions of people around the world. Although the amount of Internet users has grown staggering 806% since December 2000, shockingly still only 45% of global population has access to the Internet. So how do we get the rest 55% online? One answer to this is free Internet. Utopian? Not necessarily, since it’s actually closer than most of us think.