Tag Archive | "Accounts"

Google Plus Announces It Will Shutdown After Reportedly Compromising 500,000 User Accounts

Google recently announced that it is shutting down Google+, with the service expected to cease operating by Nov. 2019. The announcement came on the heels of a report that an API bug exposed the profile data of 500,000 Google users using 438 different apps. However, Google claims the issue had been resolved back in March.

The decision to phase out Google+ came after Google launched a review of third-party developer access at the start of the year. The review apparently proved what the company had already known—that consumers and developers are not that interested in the platform. The service reportedly has “low usage and engagement,” with the majority of user sessions lasting less than five seconds.

What Happens to Google+ Now?

Google+ users will have ample time to transition. The phase-out is expected to be completed by August 2019 and the company will be releasing additional information in the next few months on how to migrate data.

However, Google intends to keep Google+ open for enterprise customers. But it will be rolling out new features to keep its enterprise version more secure and effective.

Aside from announcing its phase-out of Google+, the company also said its other services will be receiving privacy adjustments. Some of these adjustments include changes to API that will curtail developers’ access to user data on Gmail and Android. The changes will also ensure that developers won’t be receiving call logs and SMS permissions. Contact and basic interaction data from the Android Contacts API will also be blocked.

Keeping Things Quiet

While the security vulnerability occurred several months ago, it was only revealed recently in a Wall Street Journal report which said the breach exposed information like name, age, gender, occupation, and email address of users who listed their profile as private.

In a blog post, Google explained its decision not to reveal the issue to users.

According to Ben Smith, Google’s Vice President of Engineering, the company did not find any evidence of anyone accessing the profile data. There was also no evidence that the API was abused or that any developer was aware of the bug. Google’s “Privacy & Data Protection Office” also evaluated the issue and decided that none of the “thresholds” they were looking for were met.

Experts say that there’s no legal requirement that obliges Google to reveal the security vulnerability. However, Google’s decision to keep things quiet and a memo shared to the Journal warning senior executives against disclosing the existence of the bug will undoubtedly raise privacy and security questions again.

[Feature image via Google]

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Dropbox is Now Offering 1TB of Free Cloud Storage for Some Accounts

It’s a good time to be a Dropbox user. The company recently revealed that it will be giving certain accounts an additional 1TB of storage for free. The move will bump up storage space for Professional account holders from 1TB to 2TB, while Business Standard clients will have 3TB up from 2TB.

Current Dropbox subscribers will receive the free extra storage in the upcoming weeks while new subscribers to Business Standard and Professional accounts will be able to enjoy the larger storage space immediately.

Dropbox explained that they put great stock in providing their customers with a seamless experience, therefore they have to be extra careful in migrating current accounts. This is to ensure that the transitions to the new 2TB and 3TB plans will go smoothly.

New Dropbox Professional subscribers will only need to pay $ 16.58 a month for 2TB of storage while Dropbox Plus will cost users $ 8.25 monthly. Meanwhile, company teams will have more room to maneuver with the Dropbox Business Standard. Even though storage space will jump from 2TB to 3TB, clients will still only pay $ 12.50 per user/month with a required minimum of three team members. Dropbox is also offering unlimited storage with its Business Advance plan for only $ 20 per user/month. 

With the extra storage, subscribers will have an easier time sharing CADs or huge video files with their customers. This will allow subscribers to mark previews using any browser without requiring users to download third-party software.

As it stands, Dropbox is offering the most free storage of and file-sharing service, but you only get to take advantage of it if you’re a paid subscriber. Customers who use the service for free will remain limited to the 2GB Basic plan. That allowance is a far cry from the 15GB offered on Google Drive and the 5GB that comes with Microsoft OneDrive accounts.

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Twitter Gets Rid of 70 Million Fake Accounts in May and June, Cracks Down on Trolls

Twitter has been aggressively suspending false accounts in a bid to curtail the spread of fake news. The company’s massive crackdown on trolls and bots have resulted in one million dubious accounts being deleted or suspended per day.

According to the Washington Post, Twitter has been coming down hard on fake accounts, trolls, and bots since late last year. The purge of these accounts was reportedly brought about when testimonies from Google and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter revealed that millions more Americans were exposed to fake news than previously estimated.

Fake Accounts But Real Damage

Fake accounts with links to Russia are said to have tweeted false information in an attempt to affect the 2016 US presidential elections. This disinformation campaign involved a troll factory based in St. Petersberg that used state-of-the-art technology to fool voters and exacerbate the tension in the already worsening political and social environment.

Data compiled by the Post revealed that Twitter got rid of more than a million accounts per day in the past several months. The company reportedly suspended 70 million or more accounts in May and June. The purge apparently continued until July.

Twitter’s aggressive steps to shut down these malicious accounts could lead to a major backlash against the company as it could result in a decline in monthly users. But the company appears unfazed as it continues its campaign against the bots and trolls responsible for the propagation of false news.

Taking a Stand Against Fakes

Twitter has repeatedly garnered criticism for failing to control the spread of bots and trolls that were created with the sole purpose of spreading disinformation. But the social media platform’s new and harsher stand against fraudulent accounts shows a clear shift in the company’s ideology. Twitter had previously refrained from checking possible abuses with regards to tweets due to free speech.

The company’s Vice President for Trust and Safety, Del Harvey, revealed to the Washington Post that they are changing their stand on “balancing free expression versus the potential for free expression to chill someone else’s speech. Free expression doesn’t mean much if people don’t feel safe,” Harvey explained.

While a lot of Twitter users applaud the company’s move to delete fake accounts, President Donald Trump has taken to the platform to tweet about getting rid of the accounts of news organizations like the New York Times and the Washington Post.

While the two companies’ accounts are legitimate, Trump has been blaming them for the spread of fake news or at least news that paints him in a negative light.

[Featured image via Pixabay]

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Microsoft to Ban Language It Finds Offensive on Private Accounts

Microsoft users might want to take a closer look at the company’s update to its service agreement. Set to take effect this May, privacy experts are alarmed about the changes seem to suggest that Microsoft will now have the right to review user content even without prior consent.

The questionable changes were first reported on by Jonathan Corbett at the Professional Troublemaker site. Microsoft warned against the use of offensive language as well as the sharing of inappropriate content. The company stated that violating the modified rules could result in the closure of a user’s Microsoft account.

“In the Code of Conduct section, we’ve clarified that use of offensive language and fraudulent activity is prohibited. We’ve also clarified that violation of the Code of Conduct through Xbox Services may result in suspensions or bans from participation in Xbox Services, including forfeiture of content licenses, Xbox Gold Membership time, and Microsoft account balances associated with the account.”

But what worried privacy experts, even more, is that aside from banning users from the company’s services, using offensive language can even be used by Microsoft as grounds to conduct an investigation and go through the user’s private data. As pointed out by Corbett, the term “offensive language” is a bit too ambiguous and its definition can vary greatly between different people.

“Enforcement. If you violate these Terms, we may stop providing Services to you or we may close your Microsoft account. We may also block delivery of a communication (like email, file sharing or instant message) to or from the Services in an effort to enforce these Terms or we may remove or refuse to publish Your Content for any reason. When investigating alleged violations of these Terms, Microsoft reserves the right to review Your Content in order to resolve the issue. However, we cannot monitor the entire Services and make no attempt to do so.”

The updated rules could be particularly problematic for users of Microsoft’s gaming service Xbox Live. This is because, within gaming circles, trash-talking is normal among players.

This was pointed out by Corbett who couldn’t help but ask, “If I call someone a mean name in Xbox Live, not only will they cancel my account, but also confiscate any funds I’ve deposited in my account?”

Aside from Xbox Live, the updated agreement will also cover users of other Microsoft services such as Skype and Office. Given the scope, Corbett fears that the amended terms would allow any Microsoft staff to pry open anyone’s private data such as Skype call recordings as long as they are “investigating” something.

At the moment, Microsoft declined to comment on the issues raised related to the amended agreement.

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Whatsapp Now Offers Verified Business Accounts

WhatsApp is fine-tuning its chat services to make it more attractive for businesses. The company has started a new pilot program for verified business accounts, which seems to hint that it may be targeting the customer support segment of its business users with a new app that is reported to be still under development.

In a recent post, WhatsApp announced that is starting to verify the contact numbers of some business accounts. Users will know if a business’ contact number has already been verified by way of a green badge that appears next to the contact name.

In addition, users will also know if they are communicating with a verified WhatsApp business account. The messages from a verified business will appear yellow inside a chat. It was likewise announced that these messages cannot be deleted although the company did not explain the reason for this feature yet.

Industry watchers say that WhatsApp’s verification is the first step of a new strategy to make money by luring businesses into using the platform to communicate with their customers. According to Daily Mail, the green badges and the yellow colored text bubble from verified business accounts, are ways to make these businesses appear more trustworthy to their customers. It will also encourage businesses to use the app for its communications especially in customer support.

The latest move by the Facebook-owned company seems to agree with recent reports speculating that WhatsApp app  could be developing a standalone app specifically designed for businesses. In a Business Insider report, the company is said to be developing a separate app for use in customer support.

A code analysis by WABetaInfo, a site that has reliably predicted WhatsApps features in the past, the new app works on Android phones and may be used by companies to send automated customer support messages like FB’s Messenger. Moreover, WhatsApp  just posted a job opening for a technical position on what it refers to as “WhatsApp Business app for Android.”

[Featured image via Pixabay]

The post Whatsapp Now Offers Verified Business Accounts appeared first on WebProNews.


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Whatsapp Now Offers Verified Business Accounts

WhatsApp is fine-tuning its chat services to make it more attractive for businesses. The company has started a new pilot program for verified business accounts, which seems to hint that it may be targeting the customer support segment of its business users with a new app that is reported to be still under development.

In a recent post, WhatsApp announced that is starting to verify the contact numbers of some business accounts. Users will know if a business’ contact number has already been verified by way of a green badge that appears next to the contact name.

In addition, users will also know if they are communicating with a verified WhatsApp business account. The messages from a verified business will appear yellow inside a chat. It was likewise announced that these messages cannot be deleted although the company did not explain the reason for this feature yet.

Industry watchers say that WhatsApp’s verification is the first step of a new strategy to make money by luring businesses into using the platform to communicate with their customers. According to Daily Mail, the green badges and the yellow colored text bubble from verified business accounts, are ways to make these businesses appear more trustworthy to their customers. It will also encourage businesses to use the app for its communications especially in customer support.

The latest move by the Facebook-owned company seems to agree with recent reports speculating that WhatsApp app  could be developing a standalone app specifically designed for businesses. In a Business Insider report, the company is said to be developing a separate app for use in customer support.

A code analysis by WABetaInfo, a site that has reliably predicted WhatsApps features in the past, the new app works on Android phones and may be used by companies to send automated customer support messages like FB’s Messenger. Moreover, WhatsApp  just posted a job opening for a technical position on what it refers to as “WhatsApp Business app for Android.”

[Featured image via Pixabay]

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SearchCap: Bing Ads Editor updates, local ranking & SEM accounts

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Bing Ads Editor updates, local ranking & SEM accounts appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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SearchCap: SEM accounts, pictures & more SEO

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: SEM accounts, pictures & more SEO appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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Google officially throttling Keyword Planner data for low spending AdWords accounts

Not a big AdWords spender? You may notice a lack of data in your Keyword Planner account.

The post Google officially throttling Keyword Planner data for low spending AdWords accounts appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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Machine learning for large-scale SEM accounts

Can machine learning be applied to your PPC accounts to make them more efficient? Columnist David Fothergill describes how he utilized machine learning to find new keywords for his campaigns.

The post Machine learning for large-scale SEM accounts appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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