Microsoft

Facebook, Google, Twitter and others join forces to fight coronavirus fake news

Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter and YouTube are joining forces to fight misinformation related to the coronavirus outbreak.  “We are working closely together on COVID-19 response efforts. We’re helping millions of people stay connected while also jointly combating fraud and misinformation about the virus, elevating authoritative content on our platforms, and sharing critical updates…

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Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter and YouTube are joining forces to fight misinformation related to the coronavirus outbreak. 

“We are working closely together on COVID-19 response efforts. We’re helping millions of people stay connected while also jointly combating fraud and misinformation about the virus, elevating authoritative content on our platforms, and sharing critical updates in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world. We invite other companies to join us as we work to keep our communities healthy and safe,” the companies said in a joint statement, posted on Facebook’s website. 

Other signees have posted the same statement on their social media channels. 

Some of the companies on the list have already taken measures to combat coronavirus fake news.

In February, Facebook said it would ban ads for supposed cures for the virus, and the co

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Instagram Bolstering Its Presence On Desktop Is A Move In The Right Direction – Mashable India

Instagram has largely been a social media platform that caters to smartphone users. Its only recently that the Facebook-owned company has started enriching the experience for desktop and laptop users. In its bid to further improve the experience on desktops, …

Instagram has largely been a social media platform that caters to smartphone users. Its only recently that the Facebook-owned company has started enriching the experience for desktop and laptop users. In its bid to further improve the experience on desktops, …
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Microsoft

Sorry Mac owners, a new report says Windows PCs are safer from malware

The Mac vs. PC debate isn’t nearly as intense as it was earlier in the 21st century, but a new malware report could stoke the flames a little bit for the first time in years. Antivirus company Malwarebytes released a big ol’ report about the prevalence of different types of malware across different operating systems…

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The Mac vs. PC debate isn’t nearly as intense as it was earlier in the 21st century, but a new malware report could stoke the flames a little bit for the first time in years.

Antivirus company Malwarebytes released a big ol’ report about the prevalence of different types of malware across different operating systems this week. There’s plenty to chew on, but the most eye-catching finding is that, for the first time anyone can remember, Macs are more susceptible to malware than Windows PCs.

Malwarebytes measured the average number of threats detected per endpoint, which basically means “device” in this context. In 2018, Macs only averaged 4.8 threats per endpoint, but that number ballooned to 11 in 2019. Windows devices, by comparison, only saw 5.8 threats per endpoint last year. 

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The cost of Avast’s Free Antivirus: companies can spy on your clicks

Your antivirus should protect you, but what if it’s handing over your browser history to a major marketing company? Relax. That’s what Avast told the public after its browser extensions were found harvesting users’ data to supply to marketers. Last month, the antivirus company tried to justify the practice by claiming the collected web histories…

Your antivirus should protect you, but what if it’s handing over your browser history to a major marketing company?

Relax. That’s what Avast told the public after its browser extensions were found harvesting users’ data to supply to marketers. Last month, the antivirus company tried to justify the practice by claiming the collected web histories were stripped of users’ personal details before being handed off.

“The data is fully de-identified and aggregated and cannot be used to personally identify or target you,” Avast told users, who opt in to the data sharing. In return, your privacy is preserved, Avast gets paid, and online marketers get a trove of “aggregate” consumer data to help them sell more products.

There’s just one problem: What should be a giant chunk of anonymized web history data can actually be picked apart and linked back to individual Avast users, according to a joint investigation by PCMag and VICE’s Motherboard.

How ‘De-Identification’ Can Fail

The Avast division charged with selling the data is Jumpshot, a company subsidiary that’s been offering access to user traffic from 100 million devices, including PCs and phones. In return, clients—from big brands to e-commerce providers—can learn what consumers are buying and where, whether it be from a Google or Amazon search, an ad from a news article, or a post on Instagram.

The data collected is so granular that clients can view the individual clicks users are making on their browsing sessions, including the time down to the millisecond. And while the collected data is never linked to a person’s name, email or IP address, each user history is nevertheless assigned to an identifier called the device ID, which will persist unless the user uninstalls the Avast antivirus product.

For instance, a single click can theoretically look like this:

abc123x 2019/12/01 12:03:05 Amazon.com Apple iPad Pro 10.5 – 2017 Model – 256GB, Rose Gold Add to Cart

At first glance, the click looks harmless. You can’t pin it to an exact user. That is, unless you’re Amazon.com, which could easily figure out which Amazon user bought an iPad Pro at 12:03:05 on Dec. 1, 2019. Suddenly, device ID: 123abcx is a known user. And whatever else Jumpshot has on 123abcx’s activity—from other e-commerce purchases to Google searches—is no longer anonymous.

PCMag and Motherboard learned about the details surrounding the data collection from a source familiar with Jumpshot’s products. And privacy experts we spoke to agreed the timestamp information, persistent device IDs, along with the collected URLs could be be analyzed to expose someone’s identity.

“Most of the threats posed by de-anonymization—where you are identifying people—comes from the ability to merge the information with other data,” said Gunes Acar, a privacy researcher who studies online tracking.

He points out that major companies such as Amazon, Google, and branded retailers and marketing firms can amass entire activity logs on their users. With Jumpshot’s data, the companies have another way to trace users’ digital footprints across the internet.

“Maybe the (Jumpshot) data itself is not identifying people,” Acar said. “Maybe it’s just a list of hashed user IDs and some URLs. But it can always be combined with other data from other marketers, other advertisers, who can basically arrive at the real identity.”

The ‘All Clicks Feed’

The cost of Avast's Free Antivirus: Companies can spy on your clicks

Image: PC Mag

According to internal documents, Jumpshot offers a variety of products that serve up collected browser data in different ways. For example, one product focuses on searches that people are making, including keywords used and results that were clicked.

We viewed a snapshot of the collected data, and saw logs featuring queries on mundane,

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Save on laptops from top brands in Amazon’s pre-Black Friday sale

TL;DR: Lots of laptops are on sale in Amazon’s “Countdown to Black Friday Sale,” with up to 25% off list price. The biggest news in the world of shopping is that Amazon has launched it’s “Countdown to Black Friday Sale,” and if you didn’t know that loads of products are already on sale, you do…


TL;DR:Lots of laptops are on sale in Amazon’s “Countdown to Black Friday Sale,” with up to 25% off list price.


The biggest news in the world of shopping is that Amazon has launched it’s “Countdown to Black Friday Sale,” and if you didn’t know that loads of products are already on sale, you do now.

You can save on a wide variety of popular devices from top brands, but the best deals right now are on laptops. You can pick up discounted devices from the likes of Microsoft, ASUS, HP, and many more massive names.

You could carefully search through all of these deals, and shortlist the ones that make the biggest impression, or you could do none of that. We have lined up the very best deals on laptops from the sale, so that you can shop with confidence and avoid all the hard work.

These are the best deals on laptops from Amazon’s “Countdown to Black Friday Sale.”

ASUS Chromebook C223NA — save £80

A cheap and cheerful device that can boost your productivity and let you have more fun on the move, thanks to its compact and lightweight design.

Save on laptops from top brands in Amazon's pre-Black Friday sale

ASUS Chromebook C223NA — £149 (list price £229.99) See Details

ASUS ZenBook 14 — save £300

This stylish device is all about creativity and innovation, and features a frameless NanoEdge display and a revolutionary ScreenPad.

Save on laptops from top brands in Amazon's pre-Black Friday sale

ASUS ZenBook 14 — £999 (list price £1,299.99) See Details

ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop — save £150

This impressive gaming laptop features an IPS-level NanoEdge display with AMD FreeSync technolo

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