Author - Corina Dobre

Ghostie’s Weekly Digest: major change in Whatsapp’s ToS, Facebook’s app for teens goes full-on public and more

Summer is coming to an end, but privacy issues continue to be sizzling in the heat of new apps emerging, terms of service changing the rules of the game or Big Brother-like investigations taking place. Here is, in short, what online privacy news caught our attention this week:



WhatsApp changes terms of service, shares users’ phone numbers with Facebook

Acquired by Facebook two years ago for the staggering amount of $19 billion, WhatsApp has just changed its terms of service.

According to the new user agreement, WhatsApp will give the phone numbers of people using the service to Facebook. Furthermore, WhatsApp will also reveal other analytics such as what devices and operating systems are being used.

Before, the two did not share any information, since WhatsApp used to promote itself as a “privacy oasis”.

Read more here.

Tip: apparently there’s a way to opt out of the new terms.  When the pop-up emerges, don’t click “agree” –but navigate to the smaller “read more” option and untick the box that says “Share my WhatsApp account information with Facebook”.


Facebook’s video selfie app for teen can be seen by everyone

Facebook hits the news yet again with the release of Lifestage, a new app aimed at teenagers. Dedicated only to those aged 21 or under, it’s designed to make it “easy and fun to share a visual profile of who you are with in your school network”.

However, the app currently has no tools for controlling who sees the content posted. So, basically, anyone has access to the young users’ videos.

Find out more at this link.

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The sensitive privacy issues of health and fitness apps

Health and fitness apps or wearables are more and more common these days. Everyone seems to be sharing on social media their biking mileage, their running route or the number of steps they took in a day.

Besides the more social aspect of these apps, they also turn out to greatly improve people’s lives, since they help them keep track of their physical and physiological data and motivate others be more active as well. Which is why they can be very useful.

However, many of these apps present important privacy dangers and if you are not careful, your data could end up in the wrong hands! Insurance brokers, for instance, could pay valuable sums to gain access to this precious information.


The numerous security risks and the need for best practices

According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto, there are several security and privacy risks associated with wearable fitness trackers.

Do you use health or fitness apps? Learn about the #privacy risks. Click to Tweet

For this study, the researchers studied eight wrist-worn trackers, and their related apps, among which: Apple Watch, Basis Peak, Fitbit Charge HR, Garmin Vivosmart, Jawbone UP2, Withings Pulse O2, Xiaomi Mi Band and Mio Fuse.

Worryingly, the research concluded that “the fitness data generated by several wearable devices can be falsified by motivated parties, calling into question the degree to which this data should be relied upon for insurance or legal purposes. This confirms (…) that people could fraudulently input device data.”

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Top 3 social media hacks of 2016 and what we can learn from them

So far, 2016 has been quite a prolific year in what concerns successful social media hacks. Even major names at the helm of some of the biggest online companies out there have had their accounts broken into this year.

Such famous examples are Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey or Sundar Pichai. Of course, they are a few of the thousands of hacking cases occurring on a daily basis. Read all about these famous mishaps in the following lines and find out how you can protect yourself against such unfortunate occurrences.


Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook cofounder and CEO famously had his Twitter and Pinterest accounts hacked in June. The group responsible for this was OurMine Team, who claimed they were able to do it thanks to the LinkedIn password leak from 2012, which only came to the surface this year.

Amusingly enough, even though most experts advise people never to use the same password throughout various social media accounts, this is exactly what the Facebook CEO did. His password was famously “dadada”, a reference to the first words uttered by his child.

Jack Dorsey

OurMine had a busy year this 2016 (and continues to). The Twitter CEO had his account briefly broken into by the hacking group at the start of July.

What did OurMine post on his behalf? A link to their site and the “testing your security” message together with a Vine clip. Apparently, the attack was possible through the Vine entertainment network. Dorsey may have had his account connected to another compromised service or used a shared password.

Unlike Zuckerberg, Dorsey’s account was broken into on the social media account that he is responsible of, which is probably worse than in Zuckerberg’s case (his Facebook account was left intact).

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Ride the wave of the free web with CyberGhost Premium Plus – now 50% off

Online protection does not have to come at great cost. That is why the Surf Anonymously profile is free at CyberGhost, allowing you to to browse the web without being tracked online.

However, there is more to our VPN than just that. Our Premium and Premium Plus subscriptions safeguard your online protection and security through a multitude of means, which you can now unlock at half price, thanks to our Web Surfer’s Delight campaign, this summer’s source of VPN coupons.


Get the truly complete #VPN solution with a 50% discount. #CyberGhost Premium costs 50% less. Limited offer.… Click to Tweet

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CyberGhost app temporarily removed from Google Play Store, due to ad blocking features

UPDATE: We are happy to announce that CyberGhost is back in the Play Store. Share with your friends so they can stay safe and private on their Android devices.

On August 9th, we received a notification from Google that our app was temporarily removed from the Play Store.

In order to have the CyberGhost app for Android up and running in the Play Store, we will have to make sure it “doesn’t interfere with another app, service or product in an unauthorized manner, such as blocking or interfering with another app displaying ads.”


We are currently working on getting our app back there faster than you can say “online privacy”. Meanwhile, you if you have friends seeking to download our Android app, please tell them that they can still do so by accessing this link, which will direct them to the manual download of the APK (Android Application Package) file.

If you already have the CyberGhost app installed on your Android device, you will not be affected in any way by the removal from Google’s Play Store. All our app’s features, ad blocker included, are still there to offer you the best online protection!

Due to our #AdBlocking feature, #CyberGhost is temporarily unavailable in #Google #PlayStore. Download it directly! Click to Tweet

Ghostie’s Weekly Digest: Your battery is spying on you, iOS 10 to have stronger ad tracking control and other privacy news

The first week of August saw some interesting developments in the field of online privacy. Stay informed about this hot topic with CyberGhost, your online security expert, always here to safeguard your web surfing experience.


No longer just a supposition: our phone’s battery is used to track us online

What was first an assumption has turned into a fact. According to researchers from the Princeton University, there’s a little-known web standard that lets site owners know how much battery a mobile device has left.

This was apparently intended to allow site owners to run low-power versions of the sites, as their device was running out of power, but now gives access to very sensitive personal information.

Get the full story here.


The release of iOS 10 comes with extra perks concerning ad tracking

iOS fans from all over the world are all looking forward for the newest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, anticipated to arrive in September.

This release comes with some good news for privacy aficionados, as well. The “Limit Ad Tracking” option in the iPhone’s Privacy Settings will be more effective, making sure that users are no longer targeted or tracked by many ad networks across sites.

Read more here.

Our battery is spying on us & iOS 10 to limit ad tracking better. Get all the #CyberGhost #PrivacyUpdates! Click to Tweet

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Journalists, take up the torch of digital freedom in Rio! Get your free CyberGhost online protection

At CyberGhost, we believe in the innate right to exercise our freedom of speech and we aim to give every digital citizen a voice.

That is why our already acknowledged Digital Freedom program is going one step further, straight to Rio, the 2016 sports capital of the world. If you are a journalist or NGO representative reporting from the sports competitions taking place in Brazil, then join the CyberGhost Journalist Online Protection Program, RIO edition.


We will award you with a free Premium CyberGhost subscription, so that when you are posting online, getting in touch with people on social media or WhatsApp, you can do so without worrying about cyberattacks or online mass surveillance.

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