HTTPS availability affects website’s Google ranking

Google has been pushing for wider HTTPS adoption for a while now – converting its own services, working on the SPDY/HTTP 2.0 protocols, etc.  Now, it seems, they want other people to start adopting HTTPS too.  And what’s better way than add it as a signal to Google Search rankings?

[…] over the past few months we’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now it’s only a very lightweight signal—affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content—while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.

Nice!  Especially for those selling SSL certificates…

Tox – secure instant messaging, video conferencing, and more.

tox

With the rise of government monitoring programs, Tox provides an easy to use application that allows you to connect with friends and family without anyone else listening in. While other big-name services require you to pay for features, Tox is totally free, and comes without advertising.

Data loss prevention software

Data loss prevention software – theory. Symantec DLP – implementation.

Data loss/leak prevention solution is a system that is designed to detect potential data breach / data ex-filtration transmissions and prevent them by monitoring, detecting and blocking sensitive data while in-use (endpoint actions), in-motion (network traffic), and at-rest (data storage). In data leakage incidents, sensitive data is disclosed to unauthorized personnel either by malicious intent or inadvertent mistake. Such sensitive data can come in the form of private or company information, intellectual property (IP), financial or patient information, credit-card data, and other information depending on the business and the industry.

Safe display of external images in Gmail

Official Gmail Blog lets us know that the latest update to Gmail now safely shows external images.  Most other email programs and services disable image show by default, because these can either contain all kinds of malware, or they can be used for tracking.  Gmail solves it now by downloading those images and serving them to users from its own servers.

But thanks to new improvements in how Gmail handles images, you’ll soon see all images displayed in your messages automatically across desktop, iOS and Android. Instead of serving images directly from their original external host servers, Gmail will now serve all images through Google’s own secure proxy servers.

So what does this mean for you? Simple: your messages are more safe and secure, your images are checked for known viruses or malware, and you’ll never have to press that pesky “display images below” link again. With this new change, your email will now be safer, faster and more beautiful than ever.

I’m not the biggest fan of HTML emails, but since I have not much choice in this area, I’d rather receive emails with images – at least I won’t be trying to make sense of empty layouts with no text anymore.

Facebook Android app update is insane …

… even for me.  I’ve been saying for a while that the privacy is pretty much dead, but this new update of Facebook Android app is asking for way too may permissions even for my taste.  Some of the things that it “needs” now are: access to make phone calls without user intervention, accessing information about other running applications, and drawing over other applications’ screens, so you won’t even know anymore who is responsible for what you are seeing.

When I got an update notification, I thought, at first, that that was a mistake of some sort or a really late and lame April 1st joke.  Albeit it’s not.  Even Slashdot runs the story.

For now, I’ll hold the old version.  Maybe Facebook will rectify this new change.  If not, then I’ll get rid of it and go back to Twitter and, possibly, Google+.

Police can film people without consent under certain circumstances

POLICE may film or take photographs or people without consent under conditions to be specified by the attorney-general, justice minister Loucas Louca said yesterday.

“Following a meeting with the commissioner for the protection of personal data, the attorney-general, the police chief and I, it was decided that the police may video-record people under certain circumstances,” Louca said.