Global Internet freedom has experienced some setbacks recently as Apple pulled VPNs from its Chinese App Store, and Russia has banned VPNs completely.
What Are VPNs?
VPN stands for ‘Virtual Private Network’ and a VPN allows a user to connect to the internet via a server run by a VPN provider. This means that all data traveling between the user’s computer, phone or tablet, and the VPN server is securely encrypted.
Russia and China Dissent
More than a year ago, the UN ruled that the rights people have offline must also be protected online. Although the resolution was not binding, there were notable dissenters that included Russia and China.
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Antivirus software company Kaspersky is starting a free global rollout of the bare essentials of its famous antivirus software.
Free Basic Protection
Kaspersky wants to offer basic protection like file, email, and web protection, quarantine function, and automatic updates, to web users who can’t afford to buy premium protection. Despite the risks of cyber attack, many users are deterred by the high prices of some leading antivirus software and turn to relying on Windows Defender or downloading and installing freebies that are not necessarily secure.
A free version therefore provides an effective alternative to both.
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With the huge rise in the use of mobile devices, and to promote design consistency across platforms, Google has dropped its Instant Search feature for desktops.
What Is Instant Search
Introduced in 2010, Google Instant Search offers pre-emptive, dynamically generated search results as you type, and was, at first, a revolutionary experience, as desktop users were given possible search results based on their history, thus simplifying and speeding up the act of searching. Google estimated that collectively, millions of seconds per hour could be saved by suggesting search results.
Fast forward 7 years and studies have now shown that Internet search via mobile has grown so much that Google Instant Search on desktops is being left behind. In 2015 alone, Google recorded that more than half of Google searches happened on mobile, and Instant Search can’t be used as easily or effectively on a mobile device as it can on a desktop.
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The level of competition in the mobile network market has now become so fierce that O2, Three, and Vodafone have made inroads into EE’s lead in overall market share.
EE Still Leading
The latest mobile network performance report from RootMetrics, which covers the first half of 2017, has revealed that that BT-owned EE is still the UK’s top-performing network even though its rivals have been giving it some serious competition in the market by investing in network improvements.
Depends Which Country
According to the report, mobile performance is split and differs across the UK’s four countries—England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. EE emerged as the top network because of its advantage in England over other competitors.
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The potential of AI to be used against businesses when in the wrong hands has been highlighted with the news that an AI robot has been able to crack open a safe and that AI can be used to create custom malware that can defeat Anti-Virus software.
Safe Cracking Robot
Witnessed live by several hundred hackers in DefCon over the weekend, a low-cost robot, developed by a team from SparkFun Electronics, was able to open a safe in around 30 minutes. The safe was developed by SentrySafe, a leading safe maker in the market.
AI Process of Elimination
The AI robot was able to quickly reduce a possible million combinations to just 1,000, which meant that the robot was then able to try the remaining combinations until it cracked the safe with 51.36.93 as the combination.
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German researchers have reported that the browsing data used by some companies to create customized display adverts can also be easily tracked to individual users, and could be used against us by cyber criminals.
The results of research by Svea Eckert and Andreas Dewes was revealed at the Def Con hacking conference held in Las Vegas over the weekend. It showed that a user’s search history can generate reams of information that companies can use (called ‘clickstreams’) to customise display adverts, but, that it is actually relatively easy to identify an individual user from this data (when correlated with other publicly available data).
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