Along with the release of their new Lion OS X, Apple has issued a new version of its Safari browser for Mac and Windows users, pushing version 5.1 and 5.0.6 to patch a boatload of security holes, some of which are critical.
Browsing Author: Chris Brook
Google’s new social network is growing fast, with more than 10 million users in its first week of operation. That’s not too bad for an invite-only Closed Beta release! The new social network is also a hit with users, unlike previous efforts like Orkut and Buzz.
Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra warned of “an IT cartel” of vendors in a discussion with President Barack Obama and his scientific advisors on Friday, according to a report from Network World.
If you access Google+ using your Android phone, photos and videos you take are automatically uploaded to Google’s cloud via a new tool called Instant Upload. Don’t worry – photos aren’t shared by default, but are stored on a private Picasa Web folder for future sharing. Instant Upload is a fine idea – for a minority of users – but its enabled by default and may take a lot of new G+ users unaware.
If you are affiliated with other websites — if you have a blog, are on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, or have a Tumblr account — then the Google+ “Links” feature is a great way to consolidate your life online that can also impact (or impair) your online privacy. When adding sites to your “Links,” you can elect to make the link “public,” associating it with your Google+ profile, or keeping the link private. You can also use the Circles feature to limit access to your Links. For example, allowing only your friends to see your Links, but not your colleagues.
If you want to hide behind a fake name, don’t count on Google+ to be your “phony me” social network. As Threatpost has reported, the new social network doesn’t truck with fake identities – a position that’s quite similar to the one taken by Facebook. The company has also taken a hard stand on groups, like the hacking collective Anonymous, that hoped to use Google+ to reach people.
The +1 feature is Google’s answer to Facebook’s “Like” button. As with the Facebook “Like” feature, if you click the “+1” button for an article you like from another website, Google+ will post that link to your stream. Unlike Facebook, Google+ makes it easy to control who will see that link depending. As with many security and privacy issues, it all comes back to your circles – who’s in them and which circles you decide to share +1 links with. Pay attention to how your “+1” votes are being published and think twice before allowing one to go to all your followers (Google+’s default).
Nobody likes to think that
their actions, interests and expressions on a fun, social network like Google+
might be somehow diverted into the database of some giant advertising firm and
used to push them products. But, when you get right down to it, that’s how
Google makes money. Rather than stick your head in the sand, get smart and
review Google’s five point list of Privacy Principles.
Much like geolocation services Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook, Google+ is counting on your desire to share what you’re doing wherever you are. Accordingly, Google+ allows you to geotag content, such as photos, that you upload. This is a great feature. But, as Threatpost has reported, geolocation data is of great interest to malicious hackers.
Google+’s new Huddle function is a group messaging platform that allows Google+ friends who have the G+ application to communicate en masse – Twitter-like. Beware, though: there’s a fine line between huddling and spamming. For one thing, starting a Huddle will send a text message to all your designated Huddle friends. If they haven’t yet downloaded the application, they’ll have to agree to Google’s Terms of Service before partaking in the conversation.