How Google Chrome OS Will Handle Web Security

Before you get drown into the waves of news items explaining what Google Chrome is and what it is not, let’s not forget one of its most  important feature  which might make it click among Internet security geeks, like us.

The Official Google Blog explains why Chrome OS is very a secured OS by saying that since all apps that you will use will be living within the Chrome browser, Google has made sure that security was given utmost priority. [Read more...]

“Digital tattoo” embarrassing to British 20-somethings

Young Brits have expressed regret over their “digital tattoo” – the indelible marks their activities have left scattered around various social media networks and online video portals.

According to research by security firm Symantec, one-third of under-25s said that they would like to delete parts of their online history, including embarrassing photographs and throwaway comments.

Having said that, 35% said that they didn’t worry at all about what they’d posted online. Perhaps they’ve never inadvertently told their posse via Facebook that he’s a pervert, or had compromising videos posted on YouTube, and they’ve obviously not considered the implications of cyber-crime, either. [Read more...]

Are You Dirty?

While we could spend hours debating the usefulness of the Web, one thing is certain: it’s an amazing resource to research people. From sordid pasts keeping people from landing jobs to reconnected with a long lost love, if you exist on earth, there’s a good chance you’ll be found on the Web.

DirtSearch hopes to make your life a bit easier when it comes to searching for scoop on either you or someone you know. A free resource, the Website scours public record data and pulls it all together. Among the things you can expect to find out are criminal records, sex offenders, property ownership and more.

With the results you will also receive a “Dirty Score,” calculating the number of times your name is located.

I happen to have a very common full name, and I happen to live in New York. The site was able to tell me that I have 77 counterparts on LinkedIn – and that’s about it.

Meanwhile, a search conducted in Pipl.com seems to turn up much more information, including social network information.

If DirtSearch wants to compete in this space, they’ll have to beef up the number of sources they pull from. If you give it a try, let us know how it goes in the comments section below.

Web companies stepping up stalking activities

confidential Web companies stepping up stalking activities In this digital world it’s all about the details. Collectively, this chunk of information is worth billions of dollars in the form of advertising revenues.

So it’s not really surprising why most online companies are dying to gather our personal information by tracking our online activities. Just ask Facebook’s Zucerkberg is you don’t believe me.

However, Internet activity tracking is worse that we normally imagine. According to a news article, research firm comScore found out that major Web companies including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Myspace and AOL capture about 336 billion data every month!

Now, here’s why Microsoft is so into Yahoo. It turned out Yahoo gathers the most information every month, recording about 110 million data per month or 811 per user.

Why are the privacy groups and consumers not complaining about this? Apparently, most of the data collected are done covertly.

As expected, these online companies are quick to defend its practices using consumer-protection policies and credibility as punch lines.

Majority of online users not worried about privacy

Despite the public clamor against Facebook’s controversial ad system, a new survey by non-profit Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that 60% of Internet users say they are not worried about how much information is available about them online.

Understandably, almost the same percentage does not feel compelled to limit the amount of information about them online. In short, digital footprint does not matter much to majority of online users these days.

And because many online users do not care much about their personal info shared online, more than half (53%) have searched online for information about friends, family, romantic interests, or business colleagues.

In terms of privacy, only 38% have made some steps to limit their information in the Internet. Given the statistics provided, I find myself asking the same question asked by InformationWeek: Is privacy really a legitimate issue if only a fifth of those online express serious concerns about it?

Ask.com adds privacy feature

While the leading search engines and social networking sites like Facebook are very eager to invade our privacy, Ask.com is taking the road less traveled with its new “privacy switch” named AskEraser.

Displayed prominently on the upper right corner of its home page, AskEraser gives users the power to delete their search activities from Ask.com’s servers within hours. All info like IP address, user ID, session ID, and the complete text of their searches will be deleted in just one click at the “AskEraser” link.

ask Ask.com adds privacy feature

Allowing online users to control information is practically a first in an industry filled with aggressive advertisers and information-hungry companies. Ask.com hopes other players will follow suit.

“Anywhere that you log into, anywhere where you put in personalized information, there should be a way – an easy way – to control how that information is used and retained,” said Doug Leeds, senior vice president at Ask.com, a unit of IAC/InterActive Corp. (IACI). “We are giving users the ability themselves to take control of their privacy.”

Still, information will not be totally erased because of the 5-year contract between Google and Ask.com. The search engine giant is not obliged to delete any data coming from Ask.com.

I guess we owe it all to Facebook for making a big mistake with Beacon. Now, every company is paying more attention to privacy issues more than ever.

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2 men convicted for pornographic spamming business

Two men have been sentenced to more than five years in prison for organizing and running an international pornographic spamming business that grossed over $1 million.

Jeffrey A. Kilbride, 41, of Venice, Calif., and James R. Schaffer, 41, of Paradise Valley, Ariz., were sentenced by U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell of the District of Arizona in a hearing that began on Sept. 24, 2007, and concluded yesterday. Kilbride was sentenced to 72 months in prison and Schaffer was sentenced to 63 months in prison.

Beginning in 2003, Kilbride and Schaffer established a spamming operation in the United States. Their business model consisted of sending millions of unsolicited email messages which advertised commercial Internet hard-core pornography Web sites.

Kilbride and Schaffer earned a commission for each person they caused to subscribe to one of these Web sites. Hard-core pornographic images were embedded in each email they sent and were visible to any person who opened the email.

In all, AOL and the FTC received over 1.5 million complaints from spam recipients. The evidence at trial established that the defendants falsified header information and domain names of the messages they sent by creating a fictitious employee at a shell corporation in the Republic of Mauritius, in order to hide their criminal conduct.

Age verification software for social networking now available

cybersitter Age verification software for social networking now availableIn response to the requests of many parents and government officials to develop age verification system for social networking, a new patent-pending technology called CYBERsitter V-Token allows parents to specify the ages or age ranges of their children and what types of content or activities that should not be allowed when their children visit a web site.

Parents simply need to download a small program that allows them to configure their preferences for each restricted user. Whenever a user visits any web site, these preferences are sent automatically to the remote server with every page request.

“It is simply not reasonable to encumber parents with an age verification process for every popular site their kids want to visit. Nor is it reasonable to inconvenience millions of adult aged users who may want to remain anonymous. CYBERsitter V-Token technology allows parents and content providers to cooperate in offering a safer environment without overburdening anybody,” said Brian Milburn, president of CYBERsitter developer, Solid Oak Software.

Advice for job applicants about identity theft

itrc Advice for job applicants about identity theftWhile the Internet can be a valuable asset for job seekers and for employers, the recent hacking of Monster.com serves as a reminder to all job seekers of the dangers of placing a resume on the Internet.

That’s why the Identity Theft Resource Center, a nonprofit that focuses on identity theft issues, would like to warn job seekers not to place items on resumes posted on the Internet such as sex, age, Social Security Number (SSN), year of graduation from various schools, professional license number, driver’s license number, and EIN.

In addition, all job seekers, whether they have used the Internet or not, should verify an interview if it is not being held at the corporate headquarters or the nearest main office of a company that wants to get to know you better.

To learn more about identity theft prevention and common scams, visit the Identity Theft Resource Center now.

Microsoft and Ask.com call on industry to join together to evolve privacy protections for consumers

microsoft Microsoft and Ask.com call on industry to join together to evolve privacy protections for consumersBuilding on their respective efforts to protect consumer privacy, Microsoft Corp. and Ask.com, a wholly owned business of IAC, today joined together in the commitment to call on the industry to develop global privacy principles for data collection, use and protection related to searching and online advertising. The companies will work with other technology leaders, consumer advocacy organizations and academics to come together and join them in working on the development of these principles, which could include developing and sharing best practices to provide more control for consumers.

Microsoft and Ask.com are proposing that leading search providers, online advertising companies and privacy advocates convene to engage in an active dialogue to discuss privacy considerations posed by the proliferation of online advertising and search. The goal of the dialogue is to determine ways that the industry can work cooperatively to define privacy principles that take these new considerations into account. The companies will provide an update on their progress in September.

More information about Microsoft’s and Ask.com’s current privacy policies and practices is available at www.microsoft.com/privacy and about.ask.com/en/docs/about/privacy.shtml.