*Google’s interest-based ads can be controlled

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Don’t you hate it when an ad about a product or service you recently looked for tends to follow you around the Internet?

Most of the time, this is thanks to ad networks. An ad network is made up of companies that share information they know about you so you see ads you’re more likely to click on. While that’s scary, it also means you can opt out in one place and it applies to many companies, as in the case of Facebook and the Digital Advertising Alliance. However, Google has another ad-targeting system you need to know about.

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*Four browsers with secure ad-blocking features built in.

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Having to wade through websites that are loaded with ad placements in every corner and between paragraphs can be a major nuisance. And these days many of the ads can be set to download malware onto your computer as well.

So a large number of people use ad-blockers to help eliminate that problem. Most work fairly well, even though a few ads may slip through. And some websites will even block you from viewing their content if you use an adblocker, requiring you to turn your ad-blocker off if you want to proceed.

Simply wanting to browse the Internet and not be pummeled with ads is getting more difficult all the time. Wouldn’t it be great if browsers actually used security methods to block ads?

There are actually quite a few browsers with these features built in, some lesser known than others. Here are four that we’ve tried that seem to do the job fairly well. These browsers will by no means block everything, but they are a great addition to add to your arsenal of ad-blocking and security programs.

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*Trump supports bill to modify Obama-era Internet privacy rules

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The controversial measure, which would change a host of Internet privacy protections enacted near the end of the Obama administration, would mean broadband Internet providers can collect data on user’s online activities. But backers of the proposal say the regulatory rollback of rules merely puts Internet providers on the same level as search engines like Google.

And there is some validity to this point of view. Other Internet giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and others, already collect and sell personal data from users. The rollback simply allows ISP’s to compete on a level playing field.

“Congressional action to repeal the [Federal Communications Commission’s] misguided rules marks an important step toward restoring consumer privacy protections that apply consistently to all Internet companies,” the Internet and Television Association, a telecommunications trade group, said in a statement.

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*Windows 10 is Really an Advertising Platform, Not Just an Operating System

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After Microsoft’s ethically questionable rollout of Windows 10, and it’s pushed data collection from users, we are now learning that Windows 10 will become its primary platform for advertising.

Except the ads are being called, “suggestions”.  Ahhh, Semantics…..

They are beginning to appear in the Start menu, in the taskbar, in the Action Center, in Explorer, in the Ink Workspace, on the Lock Screen, in the Share tool, in the Windows Store and even in File Explorer.

This is not the first time Microsoft has crammed ads into the Windows UI — there are the lock screen ads disguised as backgrounds, notification ads for Edge, and a strange pop-up ad for Microsoft’s personal shopping assistant in Chrome. But as more and more ads have gradually crept into Windows 10, the implications of using Windows 10 become ever clearer.

Microsoft has lost its grip on what is acceptable, and even goes as far as pretending that these ads serve users more than the company. But if we’re honest, the company is doing nothing more than abusing its position, using Windows 10 to promote its own tools and services, or those with which it has marketing arrangements.

Does Microsoft think we’re stupid?

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*Microsoft now pushing advertising on your Windows 10 desktop

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Just when you thought Microsoft couldn’t get any sneakier than collecting personal user-data from Windows 10 users, now we have to contend with it pushing advertising direct to our desktops.

We are now seeing advertising beginning to appear on the lock screen, the start screen, and the task bar. Most recently it was in an attempt to increase the user base for it’s flawed Edge browser.

Pop-ups would do their best to get you to try it. Unfortunately, most people who tried it simply shrugged their shoulders with a collective, ‘meh’, and went back to whichever browser they were previously using.

This time, the company is advertising one of its Chrome shopping-based extensions to users of the Chrome browser. The pop-up appears over Chrome’s icon in the taskbar, whether or not Chrome is actively running.

Needless to say, users of Windows 10 are now even more furious about how Microsoft is behaving. How did Microsoft know which browsers they were using if they weren’t spying on them in the first place? And why is Microsoft now pushing advertising directly to the desktop?

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*How we lost the war on privacy

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Even before computers really hit their stride at the turn of the century, it was easy to see the surveillance infrastructure we’re so accustomed to today just finding its legs. Cameras popped up — visibly — in department stores, gas stations, grocery stores, movie theaters, and parking lots.

Even those places who had used cameras for years, like banks, seemed to make an effort to put those mechanical eyes in the sky in full view as a deterrent to would-be criminals.

As camera technology has become more sophisticated, it has become smaller. Those huge, black fiberglass domes you’d see in most department stores have been replaced with rows upon rows of small, individual camera domes, dotting the ceiling like a grid.

Technology is even better now. Mini-cameras look back at you from the gas station. Most computers and phones come with webcams that pose a potential security risk. Traffic and street cameras line the roads, often with resolution clear enough to identify civilians when paired with facial recognition.

Even if you disregard the visual threat, the data you willingly provide to social networking sites and internet service providers can be used to track you. Couple that with ‘digital fingerprinting’, which tracks which unique equipment regularly visits what websites, and those remaining gaps in personal identity begin to fill in.

Personal data is trackable. It’s no stretch to understand that governments and corporations have a vested interest in knowing more about you, the citizen and the consumer, and it’s why the war for privacy was lost before it even started.

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*Update On Yahoo Name Change, and Merger With Verizon & AOL

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Only the investment part of Yahoo that will be renamed ‘Altaba’, while the main brand will retain its name.

Contrary to some news reports on Monday, only the part of Yahoo that is not being sold to Verizon will be renamed “Altaba”.

In addition, Yahoo’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, is to step down from its board, but will continue to be CEO.

Verizon agreed to buy Yahoo’s search engine and web portal for $4.83bn back in July. However, Yahoo’s shareholders held on to the company’s lucrative investments – including a 36% stake in Yahoo Japan and a 16% stake in Alibaba, and patent portfolio. This remaining entity has no product and no staff members.

According to an SEC filing released on Monday, that entity will, provided the Verizon deal goes through, be know as Altaba and Mayer, along with five other board members, will resign from its board.

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