WhatsApp advises users after group chat links seen again on Google search

Jan 11, 2021 - 12:53 PM - by Reverend
Concerned at private group chat links being available on Google Search, WhatsApp on Monday said that they have asked Google not to index such chats and advised users not to share group chat links on publicly accessible websites.

Google had indexed invite links to private WhatsApp group chats, meaning anyone can join various private chat groups with a simple search.

The indexed WhatsApp group chat links have now been removed from Google.

Independent cybersecurity researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia on Sunday shared screenshots with IANS showing indexing of WhatsApp group chat invites on Google.

"Since March 2020, WhatsApp has included the "noindex" tag on all deep link pages which, according to Google, will exclude them from indexing. We have given our feedback to Google to not index these chats," a WhatsApp spokesperson told IANS.

"Links that users wish to share privately with people they know and trust should not be posted on a publicly accessible website," the company spokesperson added..

The issue was first cropped up in February last year when app reverse-engineer Jane Wong found that Google has around 470,000 results for a simple search of "chat.whatsapp.com", part of the URL that makes up invites to WhatsApp groups.

Journalist Jordan Wildon also discovered that WhatsApp's "Invite to Group Link" feature lets Google index groups, making them available across the internet since the links are being shared outside of WhatsApp's secure private messaging service.

The WhatsApp spokesperson further said that as a reminder, "whenever someone joins a group, everyone in that group receives a notice and the admin can revoke or change the group invite link at any time".

Danny Sullivan, Google's public search liaison, had tweeted earlier: "Search engines like Google & others... [Read More]
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Microsoft is fixing a Windows 10 bug that causes forced reboots

Jan 11, 2021 - 12:49 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft is finally fixing an annoying Windows 10 bug that causes a random reboot on some devices running the October 2020 Update. The tech giant has also removed the ‘compatibility hold’, which should allow more users to install the upcoming feature updates.

In November 2020, Microsoft confirmed that some of Windows 10’s most recent updates result in critical problems with the Local Security Authority Process for some configurations.

If your device is affected, Windows will start to randomly reboot with a cryptic error message that states your “PC will automatically restart”. You’ll have less than one minute to save your work. It could lead to data loss if you don’t quickly save any work you’ve open in the background.

The good news is that the issue is rare and a fix is now available, according to a new message posted to the support document.

The documentation states that the fix is bundled with the latest updates and users won’t encounter the critical error as long as they’re using the most recent version of Windows 10 version 20H2.

Microsoft has also lifted the upgrade block, which prevented the October 2020 Update (version 20H2) from being offered on some PCs. This move will also allow the tech giant to deliver the next update codenamed ’21H1′ to more users.

In addition to the forced reboot bug, Microsoft has also started rolling out a fix for an issue that deletes your passwords. When this happens, Windows will automatically delete your login sessions in apps and websites after rebooting your computer.

Anyone suffering from authentication and browser cookies problem will be hoping that the resolution comes soon. However, Microsoft has clarified that it’s still testing the fix with Windows Insiders and the patch... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 137 Views

Amazon Pantry Shuts Down

Jan 08, 2021 - 12:06 PM - by Reverend
Amazon has officially shut down its single large box service known as Pantry (also referred to as Prime Pantry) and shifted all the household goods it offered on to the main Amazon website instead.

Pantry launched back in 2014 and offered consumers a way to stock up on bulky, non-perishable household items including food, snacks, and cleaning products. There were some rules, though. A Pantry order had to fit within a single large box, with every item added to the order taking up a percentage of the space and then a set delivery fee of $5.99 paid. It therefore made sense to fill the box as best you could to offset the delivery cost. In 2018, a $5 subscription option was added for non-Prime members.

As to why Amazon decided to shut down the service, a spokeswoman explained in an email to Bloomberg that, "As part of our commitment to delivering the best possible customer experience, we have decided to transfer Amazon Pantry selection to the main Amazon.com store so customers can get everyday household products faster, without an extra subscription or purchase requirement."

A lot has happened since Pantry launched nearly seven years ago, which accounts for why Amazon questioned the continuing value of the service. We now have Amazon Fresh for grocery deliveries and Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market, which offers many of the same goods. Regular Pantry users can still buy all the same products direct from Amazon, but without the limit of a single box and many will now be saving $5 a month on the subscription they were paying to use it.

PC... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 274 Views

Microsoft is building a new Outlook app for Windows and Mac powered by the web

Jan 07, 2021 - 11:04 AM - by Reverend
Microsoft is building a universal Outlook client for Windows and Mac that will also replace the default Mail & Calendar apps on Windows 10 when ready. This new client is codenamed Monarch and is based on the already available Outlook Web app available in a browser today.

Project Monarch is the end-goal for Microsoft's "One Outlook" vision, which aims to build a single Outlook client that works across PC, Mac, and the Web. Right now, Microsoft has a number of different Outlook clients for desktop, including Outlook Web, Outlook (Win32) for Windows, Outlook for Mac, and Mail & Calendar on Windows 10.

Microsoft wants to replace the existing desktop clients with one app built with web technologies. The project will deliver Outlook as a single product, with the same user experience and codebase whether that be on Windows or Mac. It'll also have a much smaller footprint and be accessible to all users whether they're free Outlook consumers or commercial business customers.

Windows Central
  0 Replies | 233 Views

Windows 10’s taskbar is getting a big update with new weather and news widget

Jan 07, 2021 - 11:00 AM - by Reverend
Microsoft is making a big change to its Windows 10 taskbar soon, with the addition of a news and weather widget. The new feature is available to testers today, and it will allow Windows 10 users to access a feed of news, stocks, and weather information straight from the taskbar. You’ll be able to quickly glance at the weather without having to open the Start menu, install a third-party app, or check online.

The taskbar feature will pop out into a mini feed of content that can be personalized with the latest sports news, headlines, and weather information. Microsoft is using its Microsoft News network to surface news and content from more than 4,500 sources. The company has been curating this through artificial intelligence in recent months, and this particular feature will also learn what news is relevant to you when you dismiss or like stories in the feed.

Microsoft is starting to test this new feature with its Windows Insiders on the dev channel of Windows 10, and it will likely be available to all users later this year. It will only be initially available to testers in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and India.

This new taskbar feature will also require Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge to be installed on a PC. That means any link you click within the feature will force you into Edge to read it, and Microsoft is presenting content in the reading view by default.

You can of course disable this new taskbar feature, and Microsoft says it will be an ad-free experience. It does appear to be more useful than the People Bar that Microsoft built into Windows 10 a few years ago. The People Bar acts as a quick way to access contacts, but it only supports apps like Mail and Skype and not big third-party messaging services.

... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 178 Views

WhatsApp to Require Users to Share Data With Facebook Via New Privacy Policy

Jan 07, 2021 - 10:55 AM - by Reverend
You’ll soon have no choice but to let WhatsApp share your data with company parent Facebook if you’d like to keep using the service.

The messaging app has published a new privacy policy, which takes effect on Feb. 8. “After this date, you’ll need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp,” the service has been telling users via an in-app alert that asks them to agree to the policy.

If you don't agree, the same alert subtly suggests you delete your account.

The upcoming change will disappoint WhatsApp users who’d like to minimize the data collection from Facebook, a company that’s faced repeated privacy controversies. WhatsApp’s previous privacy policy allowed you to opt out of sharing the data when it came to powering ad targeting and “product experiences” for Facebook.

However, the opt-out came with a condition: you had to activate it within the first 30 days of signing up with the service. (Even if you did, WhatsApp could still share your account data with Facebook for the purposes of “operating and providing” the messaging service.)

The new privacy policy for WhatsApp offers no such opt-out. It goes on to specify what kind of information it can collect and also share with Facebook and its subsidiary companies. The data includes the phone number for your WhatsApp account, profile name and photo, who you’ve been communicating with, and the financial transactions you’ve made over the app.

“We share your information to help us operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our services,” WhatsApp adds in the privacy policy. The will include sending you friend recommendations, personalizing content, and showing relevant ad offers across Facebook's various products.

Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on why it nixed the opt out. But the company has been working to integrate WhatsApp with the rest of the... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 216 Views

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