VPNs Blocked In China, Banned In Russia

russiaGlobal 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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Kaspersky Rolls Out Free Antivirus Software Worldwide

Kaspersky Anti VirusAntivirus 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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Google Stopping Instant Search

Google Instant SearchWith 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

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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EE Clutches Onto No.1 Spot

EE Mobile Data Signal NetworkThe 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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AI Can Defeat Anti-Virus Software

Anti-Virus AI codeThe 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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You Can Be Easily Identified From Your Browsing Data

eye watching indentify browse browsingGerman 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.

What Research?

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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House of Lords Investigating AI ‘Ethics’

AI ethicsWith the advancement of artificial intelligence, the House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence is calling on academics, experts, industry insiders, and the public for feedback on the social, economic, and ethical implications of the technology.

Information and Evidence Gathering

Appointed by House of Lords on 29 June 2017, the committee has been tasked to gather evidence and prepare a report by 31 March 2018, and will start listening to statements of evidence in the autumn.

The committee are encouraging concerned sectors to provide their views on how Artificial Intelligence may be or has been affecting them. Evidence will be mainly gathered using a questionnaire.

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New ‘Pay To Read’ Facebook Content Model

pay to read Facebook contentIt has been reported that in a move to satisfy the publishers on its social network, Facebook may soon be moving over to charging its users for reading content on its platform.

Keeping Publishers Happy

Facebook is reported to be in the early stages of talks with various news organisations and publishers on monetising content that is currently being consumed by Facebook users for free on its platform.

This means the company could soon support subscription-based revenue models, making users pay for news and information.

10 Articles a Month

For the present, Facebook is telling its publishers that they can show at least 10 free articles a month before the paywall starts. Publishers will also have full access to and control of subscriber data generated from Facebook.

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Vloggers – A Great Example Of Video To Engage With Your Market

Video vloggers marketingIn the interest of starting the kids early with life skills, The Halifax is enlisting the help of young YouTube stars / ‘vloggers’, to help teach other children about basic money management.

Halifax and the Young Vloggers

What better way is there to communicate with young people than using a combination of their peers, celebrity (vloggers), and a medium that many of them use regularly? This is just what The Halifax, part of Lloyds Banking Group, has decided is a worthwhile tactic pursue, as it has selected children who are YouTube video bloggers, or vloggers, and asked them to create vlogs for 11 to 15 year-olds.

Money Matters

The YouTubers will talk about management in a language that is familiar to the target age bracket and they will offer guidance and information on savings, spending, and online safety.

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Mobile Banking Iris-Scanning

Iris Eye ScannerThis September, TSB customers will just have to look at their phone’s camera to access mobile banking services thanks to the introduction of iris-scanning authentication.

Iris-Scanning Access

TSB customers with Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ will be the first in Europe to use iris-scanning technology to unlock their TSB banking app. As always, users will be required to register their biometric data within the app first, and then use it in lieu of passwords and personal identification numbers.

Authentication Most Secure

Carlos Abarca, TSB’s CIO, is reported to be all for a more customer-friendly approach to identification and authentication and, aside from reducing the time spent on keying in your PIN, iris recognition is believed by many to be the most secure method of verifying a customer’s identity because no two irises are the same.

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