Change This Browser Setting to Stop Xiaomi from Spying On Your Incognito Activities – Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

If you own a Xiaomi smartphone or have installed the Mi browser app on any of your other brand Android device, you should enable a newly introduced privacy setting immediately to prevent the company from spying on your online activities.
Smartphone maker Xiaomi has begun rolling out an update to its Mi Browser/Mi Browser Pro (v12.1.4) and Mint Browser (v3.4.3) after concerns were raised over its practice of transmitting web browsing histories and device metadata to the company servers.
The new privacy setting now allows Mi Browser users to disable aggregated data collection feature while in Incognito Mode, but it bears noting that it’s not enabled by default.

The option can be accessed by tapping the settings icon in the browser > Incognito mode settings > and then disable ‘Enhanced incognito mode,’ as shown in an attached screenshot below.
Mint Browser and Mi Browser Pro have been downloaded more than 15 million times from Google Play to date.

The development comes on the heels of a Forbes report last week that detailed how the company’s browsers record users’ website visits — even in incognito mode.
The browsers, which come pre-installed on millions of Xiaomi devices, capture search engine queries on Google and DuckDuckGo, and also amass data about what folders users open and to which screens they swipe, including the status bar and the settings menu.

The aggregated data is then transferred to the servers located in China and Russia, counting servers the company rented from another Chinese tech giant Alibaba, ostensibly to better understand its users’ behavior.
“My main concern for privacy is that the data sent to their servers can be very easily correlated with a specific user,” Gabi Cirlig told Forbes.

In response to the report, Xiaomi claimed there were “several inaccuracies and misinterpretations about our process for browser data collection and storage,” and that does not collect any data without permission from the user. It added all data is “aggregated and cannot alone be used to identify any individual.”
Cybersecurity researcher Andrew Tierney, who investigated the data sniffing alongside Cirlig, refuted Xiaomi’s response over the weekend, stating “they attach UUID to my requests which persists over at least 24 hours,” and that “this is close enough to an ‘individual.”http://thehackernews.com/”

To Opt-In or Opt-Out?

In pushing the update, the company doesn’t seem to be stopping the practice altogether. In other words, unless users explicitly opt-out, Xiaomi will still continue to collect aggregate statistics while in incognito mode.
To be noted, the company still continually collects the same activity data when browsing in normal (non-incognito) mode, and there’s no proper way to disable it.
“We believe this functionality, in combination with our approach of maintaining aggregated data in a non-identifiable form, goes beyond any legal requirements and demonstrates our company’s commitment to user privacy,” Xiaomi said in an update.
The fact that this data collection will remain enabled in the incognito mode is yet another example of a dark pattern that pushes for a privacy-intrusive default setting.
What’s more, selecting the privacy-friendly choice takes at least three steps, proving once again that privacy comes at a cost, and it’s always opt-out and never opt-in.
If Xiaomi was serious about its “commitment to user privacy,” it would have sought users for their explicit consent. In its present state, it’s just an illusion of control.

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All New Mobile Browser With Data Encryption Launched By Avast- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Avast (LSE:AVST), a global leader in digital security products, has released an Android version of Avast Secure Browser to extend its platform support beyond Windows and Mac on desktop to mobile. The introduction of a multi-platform browser is part of Avast’s ongoing focus to converge security and privacy services to enable a safer, more private and faster-browsing experience across devices and operating systems.
Avast Secure Browser for Android was developed following Avast’s 2019 acquisition of Tenta, a private browser backed by Blockchain pioneers ConsenSys, and has been built from the ground up by privacy and cybersecurity engineers focused on total encryption. At its core is strong encryption including AES-256, ChaCha 256-bit, and the latest TLS/SSL cryptographic protocols for the data transport layer. To ensure that user DNS requests are kept private and secure, Avast Secure Browser for Android supports multiple DNS options straight out of the box, such as DNS over TLS, DNSSEC and decentralized DNS support.
Additional built-in security and privacy features available with Avast Secure Browser for Android include:

A lightning fast VPN that encrypts all inbound and outbound connections to the VPN location
A unique ephemeral user PIN code for device access that is never stored on any server nor on the device itself
Anti-tracking technologies used to prevent websites, advertisers and other web services from tracking online activity
Adblock integration to improve website load time
An encrypted media vault

Scott Curtiss, Vice President and General Manager of Avast Secure Browser, said, “Avast’s core mission is to make the world a safer place by protecting the security and privacy of every customer. Our commitment to being a privacy-by-design technology provider was behind our acquisition of leading private mobile browser Tenta, whose technology has contributed to the development of our new Avast Secure Browser for Android. We know that our customers care deeply about security and privacy and want to be in control of their own personal data without compromising the quality of their online interactions. Our goal is to be the first all-in-one browser to secure our users’ privacy along with a frictionless secure browsing experience. Adding support for mobile is another milestone in our journey towards this long-term goal.”
In early March, Avast Threat Lab researchers found that the increasing use of mobile devices around the globe is fueling the growth of mobile-related malware. To date, 131 COVID-19 related apps have been detected as malicious through Avast’s apklab.io platform as cybercriminals look to exploit the pandemic using social engineering tactics. According to statistics gathered by the Avast researchers between October and December 2019, adware (software that hijacks user devices to spam them with malicious ads) is responsible for 72% of mobile malware, with the remaining 28% of threats linked to banking trojans, fake apps, lockers and downloaders.
“There is still a perception among many consumers that on mobile, internet and browser-based threats do not exist”, said Curtiss. “This is not the case. Mobile is a lucrative platform for cybercriminals because of its majority market share versus desktop and higher levels of internet traffic. In the past 12 months, we’ve seen adware rise by 38% on Android.”
Later this year, the mobile version of Avast Secure Browser will be made available on iOS. Avast Secure Browser is currently compatible with Windows 10, 8 and 7, Android and MacOS and is available to download now at www.avast.com/secure-browser.
 

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Bitcasino Enables TronLink Browser Extension to Bring Users Secure Deposits and Withdrawals- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Licensed Bitcoin-led casino operator, Bitcasino, has integrated the TronLink browser extension, giving its players the option to seamlessly deposit and withdraw TRON.
The TronLink extension allows Bitcasino players to access the TRON (TRX) blockchain on their browser, enabling the deposit and withdrawal of funds, in a safe, and secure manner. TronLink protects the user’s funds and private key but will still allow interaction with the blockchain, without the need to share one’s private key first.
For the extension to work, players need to be logged onto their Bitcasino account and extension. Bitcasino account deposits are instant, and withdrawals are deposited to players’ wallets within only a few seconds. The TronLink extension can be downloaded from the browser web store.
Tauri Tiitsaar, Director of Bitcasino, stated that:
“Crucially TronLink offers our players both security and speed with deposits and withdrawals; it is the next innovative step in ensuring our players have the best possible experience with Bitcasino. Gone is the need to deposit or withdraw TRON to hardware wallets, open an app on your phone or any other website. Players can easily manage their instantaneous deposits and withdrawals without any extra hassle.”
Last year, The Coingaming Group, (Bitcasino and Sportsbet.io) entered into a partnership with the Tron Foundation, which saw TRX accepted for deposits, bets and withdrawals on both sites.

If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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Apple cops flak for deleting local browser storage after 7 days – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Apple this week released iOS and iPadOS 13.4, and Safari 13.1 for macOS, with updates to its WebKit browser framework doubling down on the company’s strong privacy protections for users.
Most of the new features under Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) such as full blocking of third-party cookies which among other things disables login fingerprinting and a class of cross-site request forgery attacks against website have been welcomed by developers and users.
One ITP feature however, a seven-day cap on a website’s script-writeable storage in Safari, has been met by howls of protest as developers fear it could kill offline web apps.
Apple WebKit engineer John Wilander who developed the ITP explained that from now, script-writeable storage has been aligned with existing client side cookie restrictions.
Once seven days has passed and users not interacted with a specific site in that period of time, Safari will delete all the script-writeable storage for it.
Wilander said the policy change affects data types and application programming interfaces such as Indexed DB, LocalStorage, media keys, SessionStorage and Service Worker registrations.
The reason for deleting the stored data after seven days is to block third-party scripts from getting around restrictions introduced a year ago that curbed cross-site tracking of users.
Script developers were quick however to move their tracking data elsewhere such as LocalStorage that have no expiry functions for it, meaning there’s no way to limit how long it should remain on users’ computers.
Boosting user privacy in this way sparked concern that it could stop offline web apps from working reliably however.
Activist and open source developer Aral Balkan wrote: 
“Block all third-party cookies, yes, by all means.
But deleting all local storage (including Indexed DB, etc.) after 7 days effectively blocks any future decentralised apps using the browser (client side) as a trusted replication node in a peer-to-peer network.
And that’s a huge blow to the future of privacy.”
Another developer, Andre Garzia, echoed Balkan’s sentiments, and accused Apple of “crippling the web” with the change, as it could stop decentralised Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) that don’t use a backend server and store data locally, from working.
“Basically, you go on vacation and the data is lost.
This means apps must necessarily keep the data on a server, or they risk losing it all because Apple thinks this equates to privacy,” Garzia wrote.
Wilander later added to his original announcement and clarified that the seven-day local data deletion deadline is for Safari only.
Web apps added to the home screen are not part of Safari, and have their own days of use counter.
“We do not expect the first-party in such web applications to have its website data deleted,” Wilander wrote and encouraged users to report it to the WebKit team as a serious bug.
Wilander’s update did little to mollify Garzia, who said that installing apps to the home screen is not what makes a PWA. 
“A PWA is still a PWA if the user accesses it only occasionally by typing the URL in the browser, or keeping a bookmark,” Garzia wrote.
Garzia views the change as Apple preventing web apps from working local-only.
Building native apps for Apple’s platform isn’t an answer either, Garzia pointed out, as these are subject to strict App Store restrictions which developers don’t have to consider for web apps.

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Brave partners with Binance to enable private cryptocurrency trading in the web browser – Blog – 10 minute

Why it matters: Cryptocurrencies still don’t have nearly the same level of adoption as traditional digital money, but that also depends on what users can do with them in the real world. For instance, the Brave browser will now have an integrated Binance widget that allows crypto enthusiasts to do their transactions from the comfort of a privacy-focused browser.
The Brave browser isn’t nearly as popular as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, but its focus on performance, privacy and creating a way to support websites without the need for intrusive, targeted ads has helped it grow to over 10 million monthly users.
Now, the company behind it has partnered with Binance to allow users to easily trade cryptocurrencies within the browser. This functionality takes the form of a new widget in the new tab page of the Brave browser that offers a simple interface for buying and selling crypto assets, as well as depositing and getting an overview of recent transactions.

The new widget is baked into Brave, which means it can offer the same level of security and privacy to users who interact with it. The browser already has a mechanism that gives websites a number of BAT tokens depending on the time spent by users on those websites, and allows everyone to earn BAT by choosing to view Brave ads in notifications as well as the new tab page.
Through the Binance widget, Brave will now support other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. The idea isn’t new, but as noted by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, it could entice users that are privacy-conscious or otherwise afraid of the complexities of working with crypto. So far, the BAT Rewards program has attracted 1.6 million crypto enthusiasts, so the demand is clearly there.
Zhao noted that “we are looking forward to our long-term partnership with Brave to make it even easier to interact with crypto and encourage more utility in the near future,” hinting to more functionality being added in subsequent releases. The specifics are anyone’s guess, but odds are he’s talking about the Venus stablecoin that has more chances to gain traction than Facebook’s controversial Libra.
You can already try out the new feature in Brave’s Nightly desktop version, and once it hits the stable channel in April you can turn it off if you don’t need it. The company intends to bring it to mobile as well, but hasn’t said anything about when it plans to do so.

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Google halts Chrome browser and Chrome OS releases due to coronavirus outbreak – Blog – 10 minute

In a nutshell: Google’s decision is proof positive that working remotely isn’t ideal in all circumstances. While still technically possible thanks to the Internet and numerous collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack, there is undoubtedly some efficiency that gets lost in the process. Worse yet, imagine the headache Google would face if unanticipated bugs cropped up.
Google on Wednesday announced it is pausing all upcoming Chrome browser and Chrome OS releases due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The tech titan specifically cited adjusted work schedules as the reason for its decision but noted that they will continue to prioritize updates related to security.
Chrome 81 was originally scheduled to launch on March 17 but the rollout was ultimately halted.

Google, like many of its peers, has asked employees to work from home to help slow the spread of the virus. The search giant issued a soft deadline of April 10 for its recommendation although based on recent developments, this could be extended soon.
Apple, for example, said last week that it was closing all of its retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27. Just days later, the Cupertino-based company said it would keep all stores closed until further notice.
The best move with regard to software development during this trying time, it would seem, is to settle into a holding pattern.
Masthead credit: Google by Benny Marty. Chrome by rafapress.

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Apple is exploring the idea of allowing custom browser and email default apps in iOS 14 – Blog – 10 minute

Something to look forward to: Apple’s antitrust battles in the US and EU have caused quite a stir inside the company, to the point that it is now considering significant changes in the way it treats third-party apps in iOS. The company is likely evaluating this possibility to avoid any legal action that might ensue, but there’s no denying that it would make power users and app developers happy.
According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is looking into changing policy surrounding iOS apps to quell antitrust concerns of US lawmakers. In a hearing with a House of Representatives antitrust panel last year, the iPhone maker was told that it provides an unfair advantage to 30-plus homegrown apps by forcing them to be the default options for browsing, email, maps, and music.
While you can install a third party app of your choice on these categories, the upcoming iOS 14 update might allow you to configure them as the system default. By doing this, Apple can save itself some flak from developers who routinely claim they’re unable to compete otherwise.
Furthermore, the Cupertino giant is considering the idea of loosening the restrictions imposed on third-party streaming services that distribute their apps on the App Store.
This would come in response to the likes of Spotify who have been openly critical about the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from subscriptions made through the App Store, which is arguably unfair considering Apple Music doesn’t suffer from that disadvantage.

There is also talk inside the company about whether Apple should allow third-party music services to become the default for Siri, as well as enable their use with HomePod. However, there’s one app that’s notably absent in the report, and that is iMessage, which is one of the company’s most guarded ecosystem advantages.
Apple’s main argument for the way it enforces default apps in iOS is to give users a great vanilla experience, and most of its users are probably fine with those options. However, letting people that want to use third-party alternatives do so would be beneficial for power users, as well as people who consider these limitation a deal-breaker when they’re looking into buying an Apple device.
Whatever the reasoning behind the change, this might also prevent the expense of future legal action against the company on the grounds of anticompetitive practices, and accusations of using iOS to advertise and the App Store to push its own apps onto a loyal customer base.
On a related note, earlier this month, Apple made its users a lot happier by enabling universal purchases for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS apps.

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3 Amazon Price Tracking Tools For The Desktop Or Browser – Blog – 10 minute

Amazon has been the largest e-commerce retailer for years, and as the company has branched out into developing its own massively popular products, such as the Kindle Fire and Echo Dot, there’s no sign of it slowing down.
What was once a modest online book store is now a massive online marketplace that sells its own products directly and also allows third-party merchants to list items for sale. With such a hodgepodge of listings, the frugal and savvy are always looking for new ways to take advantage of Amazon’s deals.

Amazon holds large-scale sales very infrequently, it’s most popular being Prime Day, but prices are slashed and deals are launched every day—so many that it’s hard to keep track of.
However, to the benefit of thousands of shoppers, there are several online Amazon price tracking tools that aggregate Amazon’s millions of products and store price histories. In this article, let’s go over some of the best Amazon price tracking tools for your desktop or browser.
Keepa is our pick for the top Amazon price tracking tool in your browser. It’s supported through browser extensions on Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Edge, and even on mobile through the Firefox app.
Although Keepa does offer premium features, I’ve been using it freely for years now and it’s been the best way for me to track the perfect time to snag a product on Amazon.
After creating an account and installing one of Keepa’s browser extensions, it will automatically show price history charts on every Amazon product page.

This allows at-a-glance insight into the best time to purchase a product. This chart alone has saved me from purchasing products for tens of percentages above their frequent lowest prices, and that feels good.
Keepa will also allow you to set up individual price alerts for items directly on Amazon product pages.

When triggered, you can have these price notifications sent to your email, Facebook, Telegram, desktop notifications, or even an RSS feed.
Keepa makes Amazon price-tracking simple and intuitive, and I’ve found no sufficient reason to switch from it to a competing service.
CamelCamelCamel is surprisingly similar to Keepa. The main difference is the functionality of each’s website, rather than their browser extension. CamelCamelCamel’s website offers an Amazon price tracking tool, which offers very unorderly and inconsistent results. It feels like a step back from simply searching on Amazon directly.
CamelCamelCamel offers browser extensions to users of Firefox and Chrome, and its extension works almost identically to Keepa’s.
The key difference is that Keepa’s price charts embed into the Amazon page itself, whereas CamelCamelCamel’s are accessed via the extension’s icon in your browser’s toolbar. When you navigate to an Amazon product page, you’ll see the extension icon light up. Clicking it will bring up the product’s price chart.

The chart allows you to show or hide price types (Amazon, third-party new, and third-party used), and you can easily create price alerts directly from this pop-out by entering your desired price(s).
Choosing CamelCamelCamel over Keepa is a simple matter of if you require the more polished website features that Keepa provides, or if you prefer one’s charts over the other. Both work very similarly and well.
SlickDeals is very different from Keepa and CamelCamelCamel. It’s not a traditional Amazon price tracking service in the sense of keeping a database full of price histories. Instead, it relies entirely on the community to submit relevant deals.
There are pros and cons to this method of deal curation, but SlickDeals users have become masters of their craft over the years. SlickDeals was first to catch the $13,000 camera being sold for just $90 (an obvious price mistake) during Prime Day 2019, for example.
Amazon is all over SlickDeals, and it’s one of the official stores they list in their search results. This allows users to narrow deal alerts down to ones that only appear at Amazon.

While you may not be able to feed SlickDeals the URL of an Amazon product to monitor it for price fluctuations, what you can do is add a custom deal alert narrowed down to an exact store, category, brand, and keyword. As shown above, adding this alert would let me know the instant a user finds a deal for a Kingston DataTraveler flash drive on Amazon.
SlickDeals also has an official browser extension, but it functions more like Honey rather than Keepa or CamelCamelCamel. It’s more of a coupon tracker than a price tracker. One advantage SlickDeals does have over the other two trackers on this list, though, is an awesome app for both iOS and Android.
While it’s not necessarily an Amazon price tracking service, you won’t regret giving SlickDeals a try. You’ll be surprised to see the deals that the community finds!
Investing in the time to set up and maintain tracking on one of these three Amazon price tracking and deal-tracking services will pay dividends in the long run. If your goal is to become a more frugal shopper, definitely try out all three options listed above!

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Google finds security flaws in Apple’s web browser – FT – Security- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Google researchers have found multiple security flaws in Apple Inc’s Safari web browser that allowed the tracking of users’ browsing behaviour, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing a soon-to-be published paper.
The vulnerabilities were found in a tool specifically designed to protect privacy and could have allowed third parties to obtain sensitive information about the browsing habits of users, the report added.
Alphabet Inc’s Google disclosed the flaws to Apple last August, according to the report.
In a blog post in December, an Apple engineer said that the company had fixed flaws disclosed to it by Google researchers.
An Apple spokesman on Wednesday confirmed that the flaws found by Google and highlighted in the Financial Times’ story were patched last year.
Google did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

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Opera reportedly behind predatory loan apps as its browser struggles against Chrome – Blog – 10 minute

What just happened? While the Opera browser has a number of features that could attract people away from Chrome, Google’s product completely dominates the market. According to a new report, Opera has expanded into loan apps to help bring in extra revenue, but their extortionate interest rates and short repayment times put them in violation of Google’s Play Store policies.
The report from Hindenburg Research claims that Opera runs four Android apps—CashBean, OKash, OPay, and OPesa—that are aimed at the “developing” markets of India, Kenya, and Nigeria.
While Opera describes the loans’ interest rates as being between 12 percent and 33 percent maximum per year, the actual rate is 365 to 438 percent. Those figures are even worse if repayments are late by just one day, rising to 876 percent.
Additionally, the loans are offered over 91 to 365 days, but the actual lengths range from just seven days (for OPay) to a maximum of 29 days for OKash—all significantly lower than the 60-day minimum Google has in place for apps on its store.

As unscrupulous as the apps seem, the Play Store reviews make them sound even worse. Some of the apps scraped phone numbers from borrowers’ phones, texting or calling them when payments were late in an attempt to get customers to pay—a practice that stopped last year as it’s illegal. Some of the messages threatened legal action or putting a borrower on a credit blacklist.
One of the apps has already been removed from the Play Store, and more could follow, which would have a huge effect on the company’s bottom line. Since the report’s release, Opera’s stock price has dropped from $9 to a low of $6.88.

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