Category: Tech & Tools

Protect your privacy (WOT edition)

The browser plugin Web of Trust (WOT) claimed to protect your privacy. Instead, WOT recorded your internet usage from your browser, performed poor anonymization of this data and then sold it. Consequently, the private lives of millions of users have been compromised. Their account balances, their travel, their families, many things have been exposed.

Problem is: most browser add-ons are capable of monitoring your activities and noone knows what happens to the data they record. This is a wide field, but focusing on the WOT scandal and browser extensions, you can protect yourself.

  • Delete any blocker/tracking add-on with commercial background, e.g. AdBlock (Plus), Ghostery, WOT etc.
  • Instead, use open source or trusted-source add-ons like uBlock Origin (open source, Chrome, Firefox), Privacy Badger (by Electronic Frontier Foundation, Chrome, Firefox) and HTTPS everywhere (by Electronic Frontier Foundation, Chrome, Firefox).

Besides, you should use a password manager like KeePass (open source) or LastPass in order to use secure and different passwords for all websites / services you use!

If you think you’re safe, think again.

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The current state of Blockchain

…it seems the hype cycle did it again 🙂 The Blockchain keeps on being hyped so hard these days. There is no conference and no techtalk where some “blockchain evangelists” would NOT try to talk you into their super-duper project. I’m still waiting for a proof of concept, an actual product or at least platform which can be used by private individuals beyond some appealing but lab-style experiments.

To my knowledge, there is only two types of use secenarios for blockchain and distributed ledger technologies right now: firstly, tokens/currencies (which are basically worthless if you ask me due to carrying no real value beyond cloudy promises, and the absence of any regulation). Secondly, transactional systems, where the technology can be used in some closed-shop internal use cases in cross-border-banking to ease some of the problems which come with cross-border, multi-currency transactions.

But beyond that: nothing. I’d say the “valley of despair” shouldn’t be far 😉

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