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Internet Privacy Issues: Tracking, Hacking, & Trading

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For most of us, using the Internet is an inescapable part of our daily lives. We work online, shop online, connect with friends and family, check our bank statement, find out who won the game last night all online…and the list goes on and on. But for all the convenience and positive effects, the Internet has had on our lives, it has also eroded our privacy and opened us up to security risks. Every time we visit a website or open an application, our data is being collected, stored, and analyzed, often in an insecure way.

While there are myriad issues with the pervasive way our data is collected, we will look at 3 of the major issues within the realm of internet privacy: the tracking of individuals, the regularly occurring hacks and data breaches, and the trading of our data between companies and organizations. We will also look at just a few simple ways you can better protect your internet privacy starting today.

Tracking

Different trackers allow companies to collect and store data about you. When you visit a website, this can look like an agreement to allow cookies. When you download an application on your phone, this is your agreement to allow the app to access your photos, contacts, and the like. While this is ostensibly for advertising purposes, so companies can better individually market products or services to you the consumer, personal data can also be used for more nefarious purposes.

No company is immune to attack or breach, which means that the personal data they gather about you is constantly at risk. Because companies can gather a full profile of each consumer, companies often know a lot of personal details, from where you live to where you work.

Hacking 

As we touched on in the last section, the ubiquity of consumer tracking and the ways data is stored opens up companies and organizations, as well as us as individuals, up to potential hacking. According to a 2017 survey, 73% of U.S. adults are concerned with online hackers gaining access to their personal banking information. Data breaches are becoming all the more common, affecting companies large and small. These hacks can expose the personal data of millions of individuals. While it’s impossible to prevent a hack, there are steps you as an individual can take to keep your personal data more secure.

Trading 

When companies gather your personal information from the internet, they aren’t just using it for their own personal benefit. Data brokers, or online data aggregators, are companies that gather and store your personal data and also sell it to other companies and organizations. Because many of these organizations remain shrouded in secrecy, it’s incredibly difficult to know which organizations have your data and how much they know about you. However, it is safe to say that if you’re using the internet, your data has been exposed to these types of companies.

Protecting Your Internet Privacy

internet privacy
Image Source: pixabay.com

Every second we’re online, our personal information is exposed and collected and our personal privacy is at risk. For most of us, swearing off the internet completely and retreating into anonymity is not an option. While it’s impossible to completely mitigate the risks of data collection, there are some easy ways to protect your online privacy.

1- Audit your online presence. Using a website like Nuwber, monitor what personal information is available about you online. You may be surprised at how many personal details can be collected through social media sites and other online profiles you have.

2- Adjust your privacy settings on your social media profiles. Using social media means you are voluntarily giving out your personal information to the world. You can, however, limit who sees it. Take advantage of advanced privacy settings, like setting your profile to “private” or making your personal information available only to friends.

3- Stop using public WiFi. Using public networks might seem convenient, but opens you up to major privacy risks as anyone on the network can see what you’re doing on the internet while you’re using it. Avoid it altogether if you can. If you can’t, invest in a virtual private network (VPN) so you can use public networks undetected.

4- Turn off location tracking. Many applications, and even search engines, use location tracking when it’s not really necessary. We also often voluntarily post our location on social media. Turn off these services or use only when necessary to avoid creating an extremely accurate picture of your movements and whereabouts.

5- Keep your main email address and phone number private. A lot of personal information can be gleaned from just your phone number and email. Create a burner email address for online shopping and miscellaneous website sign-ups and consider getting a second SIM card for online shopping.

internet privacy
Image Source: pixabay.com

When it comes to internet privacy, you are the first and best line of defense when it comes to protecting your personal information. While certain countries and states are moving to enhance online privacy protections, don’t hold your breath. New regulations will take time to implement, and there will always be the risk of data breach or hacking. Actively protecting yourself and your personal information is the best way to ensure internet privacy on a personal level.

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5 Best React JS UI Frameworks for Swift Prototyping

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Rowan Bunning, the Australian pioneer of Scrum has said, “…the agile movement is part of a larger movement towards more humane and dynamic workplaces in the 21st century.” Every person who knows Agile well will agree that Agile turns the focus on the people from the processes and systems. Somehow, this has proved to work as far as increasing efficiency is concerned.

Those who do not know much about Scrum may wonder why the discussion about Agile, so let us have a tiny discussion on that. Originating somewhere around the ’70s with an emphasis on evolutionary project management and adaptive software development, Agile became truly popular in the 21st century. So did Scrum, with people in businesses starting to talk about it, and even about the CSM and CSPO course that proved as an entry in the world of Scrum.

Scrum, the main topic of our discussion, is a framework based on the agile approach. It follows the agile principles of being adaptive throughout the development process by having self-organizing teams that set and attain smaller goals.

Before speaking about the market demand for Scrum and Scrum professionals, it is interesting to have a look at how Scrum is implemented. Have a look at the image below

Essential Features of Scrum that Make It a Success

The traditional methods of product development had goals that were far set and rigid. Whenever obvious problems such as changes in requirements by customers came, the whole goal had to be rearranged from the beginning, making it difficult to adjust. Additionally, having specific team members working on specific tasks meant slow down or roadblocks in the absence of a particular member.

Scrum overcomes the above problems to an almost complete extent by having teams where members can undertake multiple tasks, and are not weighed down by long term single large goals. The focus is to deliver a valuable product in increments with short term goals. This brings flexibility and adaptability to changes.

One of the important principles of Scrum is delivering high-quality software/products. It is also mentioned in the Scrum Manifesto that working software/product is the primary measure of success. Interestingly, having self-organizing teams makes the team more accountable for its performance, as it is no more tied in conventional processes and systems.

This accountability acts as a factor in the improvement in product quality.

  • Iterative and incremental

As mentioned in point 1, having a single large goal is dependent on may internal as well as external factors and has a high chance of failure in achieving in terms of time or quality. Scrum operates in time-boxed iterations called Sprints, as seen in the image above.

Sprints are when smaller goals are set, always less than one month, usually of a week or two, and the focus is on achieving that goal. This ensures higher flexibility and clarity. If there are flaws in the approach towards a product’s development, they are surfaced in these sprints and accordingly, actions can be taken immediately. This makes the whole process less vulnerable to failure. Hence it is rightly said that Scrum is not a problem-solving framework, but a problem surfacing framework.

Scrum Master and Product Owner are in charge of communicating everything within and outside of the team. A core value of Scrum is transparency, wherein product owners are required to communicate the true progress of the project with all the stakeholders.

This builds trust and makes the process more effective.

The Market and Scrum

Take a look at the pie chart below.

Agile has become a widely used approach in many industries, especially those that deal with software development. Among the usage of Agile frameworks, it can be seen from the above image that Scrum is the undoubted leader with way over half the organizations using pure Scrum. Add the hybrid Scrum frameworks and the number goes even higher.

Numbers speak better than words, and we cannot doubt the growing demand of Scrum, and hence the professionals in Scrum. Scrum professionals are certified product development professionals where the certification comes from a global Scrum authority such as the Scrum Alliance.

To make a career in Scrum, one can choose to become a Scrum developer, which is a basic part of the team, or a Scrum Master, who operates as the servant-leader to the Scrum team, clearing obstacles and maintaining clarity, or a Scrum Product Owner, who creates and communicates a vision of what is to be done and also acts as a communicator to all stakeholders.

In any case, a certification is a must and a training course, for e.g., a Certified Scrum Product Owner Certification  is highly recommended.

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The Indisputable Worth of Scrum and Scrum Professionals

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Rowan Bunning, the Australian pioneer of Scrum has said, “…the agile movement is part of a larger movement towards more humane and dynamic workplaces in the 21st century.” Every person who knows Agile well will agree that Agile turns the focus on the people from the processes and systems. Somehow, this has proved to work as far as increasing efficiency is concerned.

Those who do not know much about Scrum may wonder why the discussion about Agile, so let us have a tiny discussion on that. Originating somewhere around the ’70s with an emphasis on evolutionary project management and adaptive software development, Agile became truly popular in the 21st century. So did Scrum, with people in businesses starting to talk about it, and even about the CSM and CSPO course that proved as an entry in the world of Scrum.

Scrum, the main topic of our discussion, is a framework based on the agile approach. It follows the agile principles of being adaptive throughout the development process by having self-organizing teams that set and attain smaller goals.

Before speaking about the market demand for Scrum and Scrum professionals, it is interesting to have a look at how Scrum is implemented. Have a look at the image below

Essential Features of Scrum that Make It a Success

The traditional methods of product development had goals that were far set and rigid. Whenever obvious problems such as changes in requirements by customers came, the whole goal had to be rearranged from the beginning, making it difficult to adjust. Additionally, having specific team members working on specific tasks meant slow down or roadblocks in the absence of a particular member.

Scrum overcomes the above problems to an almost complete extent by having teams where members can undertake multiple tasks, and are not weighed down by long term single large goals. The focus is to deliver a valuable product in increments with short term goals. This brings flexibility and adaptability to changes.

One of the important principles of Scrum is delivering high-quality software/products. It is also mentioned in the Scrum Manifesto that working software/product is the primary measure of success. Interestingly, having self-organizing teams makes the team more accountable for its performance, as it is no more tied in conventional processes and systems.

This accountability acts as a factor in the improvement in product quality.

  • Iterative and incremental

As mentioned in point 1, having a single large goal is dependent on may internal as well as external factors and has a high chance of failure in achieving in terms of time or quality. Scrum operates in time-boxed iterations called Sprints, as seen in the image above.

Sprints are when smaller goals are set, always less than one month, usually of a week or two, and the focus is on achieving that goal. This ensures higher flexibility and clarity. If there are flaws in the approach towards a product’s development, they are surfaced in these sprints and accordingly, actions can be taken immediately. This makes the whole process less vulnerable to failure. Hence it is rightly said that Scrum is not a problem-solving framework, but a problem surfacing framework.

Scrum Master and Product Owner are in charge of communicating everything within and outside of the team. A core value of Scrum is transparency, wherein product owners are required to communicate the true progress of the project with all the stakeholders.

This builds trust and makes the process more effective.

The Market and Scrum

Take a look at the pie chart below.

Agile has become a widely used approach in many industries, especially those that deal with software development. Among the usage of Agile frameworks, it can be seen from the above image that Scrum is the undoubted leader with way over half the organizations using pure Scrum. Add the hybrid Scrum frameworks and the number goes even higher.

Numbers speak better than words, and we cannot doubt the growing demand of Scrum, and hence the professionals in Scrum. Scrum professionals are certified product development professionals where the certification comes from a global Scrum authority such as the Scrum Alliance.

To make a career in Scrum, one can choose to become a Scrum developer, which is a basic part of the team, or a Scrum Master, who operates as the servant-leader to the Scrum team, clearing obstacles and maintaining clarity, or a Scrum Product Owner, who creates and communicates a vision of what is to be done and also acts as a communicator to all stakeholders.

In any case, a certification is a must and a training course, for e.g., a Certified Scrum Product Owner Certification  is highly recommended.

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Technology

The New Version of Adobe Reader – Best PDF Software for Windows 10

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Adobe Reader has been one of the most popular and recommended tools in the last two decades when it comes to viewing PDFs, simply because it worked well and was easy and quick to install.

In the last few years, a new PDF tool has been released by Adobe in order to keep their services adapted to the constantly evolving necessities of their users. Because of this, they have created Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, which is a completely improved and full of features on paid versions newer Adobe Reader. This software comes with many upgraded options, but at the same, it’s completely free to download and use to fit the most common PDF tasks without paying a dime. So if you are looking for adobe reader for windows 10 you could install the standard Adobe Reader or the greatly improved Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. This last one takes a bit more of storage space we must say.

We can find many new features on the new Adobe Reader DC, however, we are required to buy some of the upgraded versions and pay for it monthly so unlock all of these features that we can find them on the section “Tools” on the top of our Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.

  • Adding comments to an existing PDF
  • Edit the PDF.
  • Export the PDF to other formats such as Microsoft Word or Excel.
  • Create a new PDF from a different format.
  • Share files for giving others the possibility of viewing or reviewing them and track their responses.
  • Add stamps to a PDF file such as “approved” or “draft.”
  • Take measures such as the distance, the area or the perimeter of objects in the PDF.
  • Sign and certify documents digitally to validate their authenticity
  • Organize pages using the insert, rotate or extract tools.
  • Delete specific data or hidden text as well as graphics.
  • Protect to prevent other people from copying and editing the information in your PDFs.
  • Prepare Form allows us to convert formats such as scanned forms to PDF format
  • Optimization of a PDF file, allowing us to reduce the size of the file using compression techniques, enable the fast web view and quickly modify the font options as well as control images
  • Enhance Scans, to turn scans or photos into PDFs with selectable text.
  • Print Production: Preview and prepare PDF files for high-end production.
  • PDF Standards: allowing us to make of our PDF file a file complying with the ISO standards
  • Create a custom tool, to modify and create our new collection of tools so we can use them for ourselves or share them with other people.
  • Compare files, to quickly find and clearly see the differences between two different PDF files.
  • Action wizard, for helping us automatize some of our daily PDF-related tasks
  • Accessibility: To make our PDFs to they meet the necessities of people with disabilities
  • Rich Media: Easily insert audio, video and interactive elements in our PDFs
  • Index: To help, keep our PDF files organized using different categories to store them.
  • Send for review: Send a petition to people to check and give you a response about your PDF file.
  • JavaScript: To extend the functionality of our PDF as well as connect to JavaScript databases

As we can see, the number of improvements of the new Adobe Reader DC is certainly amazing compared to his older version. Specially the fact that we can use so many features makes it specially worth it if you are using it for professional purposes, it makes it easily the best PDF software available at the moment, and probably for many years to come.

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is the adobe reader for windows 10 you are looking for, once you try it you won’t want to switch back to any other similar software. There are a few other similar options available but most of these options don’t give us access to half of the features that Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is giving us with the paid versions.

We highly recommend using Adobe Acrobat Reader DC for all your PDF-related tasks!

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