UR Browser Blog

Privacy and security with UR Browser

Month: March 2017 (page 2 of 2)

FCC Privacy Rules in Jeopardy

Congress is moving against FCC privacy rules

Senators have introduced legislation to repeal the FCC privacy rules.

Legislators in the United States are in the process of reversing privacy rules that were introduced last October and voted on by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The privacy rules in question oblige internet service providers (ISP) to inform users when sharing “sensitive” information about them. This includes browsing history, location, email content and other communications. Voted on at the end of the Obama administration, these rules were supposed to take effect in early 2017.

If these rules are repealed, ISPs will be free to share or sell user data to partners, who can then advertise and serve targeted advertising—all without informing users.

Read more on The Verge.

UR is a web browser created specifically to keep your online data private and safe. Learn more about our privacy features.

The Dark Side of Big Data

big-data

Every click, like, purchase and search is potentially recorded, analyzed and stored. What impact does this have on our privacy?

What is Big Data? 

“Big Data” is an umbrella phrase used to mean a massive volume of both structured and unstructured data that is so large, it is difficult to process using traditional database and software techniques.

Big Data has the potential to improve operations and make faster, more intelligent decisions. It’s not just companies that are collecting and analyzing these massive stores of data.

  • The healthcare industry is using it to better research cures and treatment options.
  • City planners are using it to build smarter cities that waste less.
  • Environmental organizations are using it to track the progression of climate change.

This data, once captured, formatted, manipulated, stored, and analyzed can help a company or organization gain useful insight to predict behavior, increase revenues, obtain or retain customers and recognize emerging patterns, among others.

Continue reading

Rate A Website In Two Clicks

shield-rate-sites

Shield – Rate a website and contribute to the community

Click on the shield icon in the upper right-hand corner to rate a site and see its current rating. It’s just like traffic lights!

  • Green = you find this site safe
  • Orange = you would proceed with caution on this site
  • Red = you find this site suspicious

The more users that rate websites, the safer we all are, and the bigger the community becomes!

 

UR is a web browser created specifically to keep your online data private and safe. Learn more about our security features.

Phishing vs. Pharming

fish-in-fishbowl

What is phishing?

Though phishing and pharming attacks are related, they both happen by different means. For example, phishing attacks usually involve an email that appears to be from an e-commerce company prompting you to take action and log in to your account with the link provided in the email.

The website you visit is not the real site but a well-designed imposter site. It may seem authentic to you, so you will enter your username and password, which is then obtained by the attacker. 

What is pharming?

On the contrary, pharming is different in that it can happen when you are going to a legitimate website, even when you have typed the URL of the site yourself. In a pharming attack, the criminal “hijacks” the intended site’s DNS (domain name system) server.

The end result is that you are redirected an imposter site that looks like your intended site. Most people can not tell the difference and will enter their username and password as usual, only to be captured by the attacker. 

 

UR has an integrated Safe Browsing feature which alerts you of sites that are suspected of phishing or pharming. Learn more about UR’s safety features.

AdControl: How Many Ads Have I Blocked?

AdControl - ad blocker

If you are curious how many ads you’re blocking, click on the ‘ADS’ icon in the upper right-hand corner. Here, you will see how many ads you are blocking on a page, as well as the total number of ads you have blocked.

Party time? A Refresher in First, Second and Third Party Data

Advertisers, websites and data brokers are having a ball with your data.

The Breakdown on Your Data

First-party data is the data you give away willingly to websites. Advertisers and publishers can extract and compile data by requiring you to register online and by then analyzing your activity.

Example: your email address, name, pages you like, ads you click, etc.

Third-party data is information that’s collected by an entity that doesn’t have a direct relationship with consumers. This data is normally compiled by specialist firms who pay websites to collect information about their visitors. This data is then used to piece together detailed profiles about users’ tastes and behaviors as they browse the Internet.

Example: an advertising tracker will place a cookie on your browser and see where you go so you see ads for things you want. (Maybe those shoes?)

Second-party data is the newcomer to the scene. It is essentially first-party data that another party obtains directly from the source. This data isn’t given away directly—it usually is obtained through a direct relationship with another entity. Deals can be made between publishers or a Data Management Platform (DMP). Or simply between two parties who could benefit from each other’s first-party data.

Example: a pet store sharing data with a veterinarian, who both have similar clients.

The Wider Scope of Your Data

Collecting and dealing with all that information requires a wide range of different players. Data brokers earn their living by helping advertisers and publishers manage their own first-party data, as well as selling them more data about users.

“Companies stress that they do not know users’ names. But they identify them by numbers, and as they build up detailed profiles about those numbered users, there is concern that the information might be traced to individuals.”

– The Economist

All this data is divided into segments defined by location, device, marital status, income, job, shopping habits, travel plans and many other factors. These segments are then are then auctioned off to buyers of ad space in real time.

While data sharing can lead to products and services that make your life easier, more entertaining, economical or even informational, it is important to be aware of your data. So, whether it’s your first-, second- or third-party data, it is important to understand where your data goes, and how it is used.

Sources

http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21615871-everything-people-do-online-avidly-followed-advertisers-and-third-party

https://hbr.org/2015/05/customer-data-designing-for-transparency-and-trust

https://www.wired.com/insights/2015/03/internet-things-data-go/

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