UR Browser Blog

Privacy and security with UR Browser

Tag: browser

May you have a happy, successful and more private year!

Browser, VPN, privacy, security, internet browsing, internet security, digital identity

We should all be aware by now that 2018 was a watershed year for digital privacy and data protection, marked by one Facebook or Google scandal after another.

Leading with Facebook Cambridge Analytica fiasco, Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony, a massive hack, and revelations of corporate smear campaigns were only the tip of the iceberg. (Refer also to: A bug may have exposed the unposted Facebook photos of millions ; Facebook is using your two-factor-authentication phone number to target ads ; Facebook has been collecting call history and SMS data from Android usersUK Parliament publishes Facebook secret documents showing ‘whitelisting’ firms in return for access to data)

The Facebook privacy issues revealed last year should not overshadow other important revelations like: Strava’s heat map exposing military locations; The giant Marriott hack or Google’s already obsolete Google+ bug that may have exposed private data from millions to its third-party apps;

It’s important to acknowledge the above and understand that some tech companies, and unfortunately some of the most trusted ones, not only harvest gazillions of users’ data but also employ flawed systems to use, share and profit from it. The zenith of privacy invasion played out in a report that alleged both Facebook and Google partnered with banks and bought financial data in secret, trying to get access to yet another sensitive category of private user information.

The aforementioned tech companies, and many other less well known, put their profits before your privacy, and actually built business models that demanded it. In addition, there is nothing FREE and we the users are often the product being monetized.  By itself there is nothing wrong with a consumer getting a free service and enabling profit for the service provider through some element of behavior and/or identity, as long as the profiting entity makes disclosures around business practice, doesn’t abuse the user’s trust by violating their own terms, and has no hidden tradeoffs that a user only finds out about after the fact.

So, what is next for 2019? It could continue with other giants like Microsoft, Amazon or Apple, especially with the latest digital assistant trend, but at this point it would only be speculation.

In any case, we should keep protecting our devices and be aware of which free or paid services we use. Put simply, we must be aware of and take action around our own digital identity.

To that end, great things happened as well, in the context of privacy, during 2018. Moreover, we salute and support initiatives like Europe’s GDPR law, trying to get back more privacy for consumers, but currently far from perfect in practice. It is still worth supporting and following how it will succeed in combating the most sophisticated tracking methods, like browser fingerprinting. Besides the European Union, many publications and organizations, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, started drawing attention to the ways Google, who owns the most used browser and largest tracking network in the world, uses its power to protect its own interests rather than protecting its users.

 

The good and the bad around privacy, in 2018, further validated the need for privacy awareness and tools, therefore fueling our conviction around UR Browser, including the addition of more simple-to-use privacy features.

Spectre allows the execution of malicious scripts via your browser!

meltdown spectre malicious scripts browser

You’ve probably heard of two vulnerabilities recently revealed by a 22-year-old German researcher, a member of Google’s Project Zero team, Jann Horn: Meltdown and Spectre. Continue reading

Using your browser to save your passwords? Be careful, you could be tracked …

password could be cracked browser

Remembering different passwords for the wide range of sites we visit daily is a real challenge. How many times did you not have to press the “forgotten password” link to generate a new one? Some services have noticed the aberration of the classic password and offer to authenticate via a code received by SMS or a push notification in a dedicated app. This saves you from constantly having to go back through email. This is the most secure technique, which is also found in the double-authentication process. Continue reading

Search Engine vs. Browser

You know they’re related, but…what’s the difference again?

Do you know what the difference is between a browser and a search engine?

There is a lot of confusion around the two frequently-used words: search engine and browser.

A search engine is designed to search information on the Internet. The search results are usually presented in a list of results called “hits,” based off of the specific keywords you have entered. Examples of popular search engines include: Google, Qwant, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo and others.

A (web) browser is a software application that allows you to retrieve and display content from websites and information across the internet. You first open up your web browser, and then go to a search engine to find information.

Think of it this way: a browser is like a car and the search engine is the map that lets you search the internet—all the roads, houses and shops along the way.

🚗  For smooth driving, UR is a browser that transports you across the web, and in total privacy. Learn more here.

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