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Security

1Password gets its own ‘hide my email’ feature

1Password is launching a new feature to let users create unique email aliases for logins, much like Apple’s iCloud Plus Hide My Email function. 1Password is partnering with Fastmail to bring its masked email feature to the password manager, giving all users the option of hiding their email addresses from apps and services.

“Your email address is your online identity,” explains Bron Gondwana, CEO of Fastmail. “If your credentials are compromised in a data breach, having a randomly generated email address adds a second line of defense because it can’t be associated with your primary email address, and therefore, your identity.”

1Password will let you sign up to services with a unique email and password.
Image: 1Password

This new masked email feature will be ideal for registering accounts for temporary purposes, like a free Wi-Fi network. But they can also be used to hide your personal email address from any app or service as the aliases don’t expire unless a 1Password user manually deletes them.

Email aliases already exist in Gmail, Outlook, and other email services. If your regular email address is hello@gmail.com, you can simply use hello+secrethere@gmail.com and emails will appear in your hello@gmail.com inbox. Aliases are a good way to cut down on spam, but the 1Password Fastmail integration takes it a step further by making it impossible for scammers to figure out your actual email address.

Masked emails will never expire in 1Password.
Image: 1Password

Attackers often use leaked databases of reused passwords and email addresses to phish people, but they need both your email address and password to access a service. Victims of a leaked data breach are at less risk if both their password and email address are unique.

Services like Have I Been Pwned have been tracking data breaches for years, and affected email addresses often appear in more than just one breach. “My service is now tracking 5 billion email addresses with each one appearing in an average of 2 data breaches,” says Troy Hunt, the founder of Have I Been Pwned and strategic advisor at 1Password. “It’s more important than ever that we protect our privacy; and protecting the primary key to our digital lives – our email address – will have a really positive impact.”

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Categories
Tech News

Chrome will no longer try to hide the full address of websites

As the maker of the world’s most-used web browser, Google has both a moral and maybe even legal obligation to protect the privacy and security of its users. Not all of its efforts have been welcomed without scrutiny, however, as shown by the Privacy Sandbox and FLoC, short for Federated Learning of Cohorts. Even before that, however, Google has been trying to fight off phishing scams by modifying what uses see on Chrome’s address bar. It turns out that strategy wasn’t as effective as it presumed and Google is now backtracking on the position it defended strongly last year.

Many phishing scams rely on people’s tendency not to double-check things, be it numbers that are calling them or the address that websites have. The latter can be even trickier when some phishing sites try to use URLs or addresses that look or sound so close to the original, use extra-long strings of text to deter inspection, or use other tricks to hide their true source. Google’s prosed solution was to hide those URLs altogether and only show the real domain name of the web page.

Last year, Google started an experiment where it would hide all but the domain name of a site in the hopes that it would help users more easily distinguish “google.com” from “gooogle.com”. It is a far tamer option compared to an even older proposal where Chrome would not even show URLs but only search terms. That, of course, presumed everyone uses address bars for directly searching on Google or other web engines.

Now Google is apparently now ending this “simplified domain experiment”, which means it will no longer land on end-users’ Chrome browsers. It simply said that the strategy didn’t move relevant security metrics, which is probably another way of saying it wasn’t actually effective in combating spoofing sites. There is probably an even bigger risk that people won’t give the simplified URL a second look because it actually looked more legit by looking simpler.

Beyond doubts about the effectiveness of the solution, however, Google also got criticized for favoring its own apps and services with this strategy. In particular, it would have hidden Google’s AMP pages from plain sight, driving more traffic to Google’s servers rather than the actual source of those sites.

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Categories
Game

New Among Us Hide & Seek mode, Visor Cosmetics, Achievements

The developers that make Among Us revealed today that they’re bringing a new game mode to the title. This new mode will be called Hide & Seek. For a game as simple as Among Us, a whole new “mode” of gameplay can mean everything. In this case, it could make or break the future of the viral hit. There are also a bunch of new roles coming to the game – and new colors and skins, too!

Below you’ll see the official Summer Game Fest 2021 Among Us Roadmap Trailer. In this very brief trailer, you’ll catch a peek at the new Hide & Seek mode, new roles, new skins, and new colors. Of course you won’t find anything TOO amazing right out in the open – they wouldn’t want to spill all the beans at once!

In the trailer you see above, you’ll find a brand new Sheriff. You’ll see a Scientist – complete with face mask. You’ll see the recently revealed “Tan”, Coral, Maroon, and Banana! That’s a sort of light yellow – and you can wear a banana on your head while you’re banana color too! Also there’s a new Gray!

Visor Cosmetics will appear in the near future, too. A pair of goggles, aviator glasses, gas mask, a sticky note that says “DUM”. There’ll be a face mask (as shown with the scientists above), hockey mask (like Jason V.), moustache, stitched scar, name tag that says GUD, and a plague mask!

The game will soon see achievements aplenty, including items as simple as “Get 5 total kills” and… probably some more complicated achievements too. And there’ll be a new Map 5, and the game is going to continue to be refined and perfected in a whole bunch of different ways – we shall see!

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Tech News

How to hide like counts on Instagram — for your own posts and others

Instagram and Facebook have been testing hiding like counts for years now, but the social networks are finally ready to bring the feature to everyone. The company today announced that every Instagram and Facebook user will be able to hide their like counts from the public. The feature is rolling out to Instagram first, with similar functionality launching in Facebook in the coming weeks.

On Instagram, you can opt to either hide likes for your individual posts or for all posts — both yours and those of the people you follow.

To hide likes on an individual post, you can simply tap on the three-dot menu button next to an image and select the new ‘hide like count’ option from the menu. Easy peasy.

If you want to pre-emptively hide likes before a specific post, you can find the option under the ‘advanced settings’ button that shows up on the final page before you share a post.

Lastly, if you want to avoid seeing likes on any posts on your feed, you can find the option by going to the new ‘Posts’ section of settings. You might also see a prompt when you open up Instagram soon, should you want to activate the feature right away.

Instagram says that during its testing period it found that hiding likes “was beneficial for some and annoying to others, particularly because people use like counts to get a sense of what’s trending or popular.” Now you have the option to go either, so you can live your own truth.

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and you can subscribe to it right here.

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Tech News

You can hide “Likes” on Instagram and Facebook now: Here’s how

Instagram and Facebook users will now be able to hide their public like counts, an unexpectedly flexible result to the experiment the social networks have been running into how visible popularity impacts usage. The new settings include not only the ability to remove like counts on your own posts, but prevent them from showing up in your timeline generally, too.

“We tested hiding like counts to see if it might depressurize people’s experience on Instagram,” the company explained today. “What we heard from people and experts was that not seeing like counts was beneficial for some, and annoying to others, particularly because people use like counts to get a sense for what’s trending or popular, so we’re giving you the choice.”

The experiment began some time ago, though got off to a rocky start. In 2019, Instagram first began hiding like counts for some users, with the test subsequently broadening. A wider-than-intended deployment earlier this year was subsequently rolled back, after Instagram inadvertently added the feature to a far larger number of users’ accounts than it had meant to. Later, it said it planned an official rollout.

With that general deployment happening now, it’s straightforward to use. For new posts, you can choose “Hide Like and Video Counts on This Post” from the advanced settings, after you’ve selected and edited your photo or video. That way, when it goes live it will never show public metrics for that media.

For existing photos and videos you’ve already shared, meanwhile, you can retroactively hide their performance. Hitting the “…” button brings up a new “Hide Like Count” option there.

To hide like counts in the timeline generally, you can head into the Settings. Going to Privacy > Posts shows a new setting, “Hide Like and View Counts”; hitting the toggle control next to that will turn off visibility for all users you follow in your timeline. Of course, other people may still select to see those counts.

It’s worth noting that the changes don’t impact Reels and other areas of Instagram and Facebook. They’ll still have like counts and view counts.

“What one person wants from their Instagram experience is different from the next, and people’s needs are changing,” Instagram said today. “We’ve been working closely with third-party experts to better understand how to empower people, build self-awareness and shape a more positive experience on Instagram.”

Meanwhile, other recent rumors have indicated that Instagram may finally be about to allow posting from the web. That would potentially enable people to share to the social network outside of the app, including from the desktop browser, a long-requested feature.

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Categories
Computing

How to Hide the Taskbar in Windows

Just because the Windows taskbar features a ton of handy info, doesn’t mean you want to see it all the time. If you’d like to learn how to hide the taskbar in Windows — at least when you’re doing things other than gaming — you’ve come to the right place.

Depending on which version of Windows you’re currently running, the process might be slightly different. Either way, it’s still relatively simple. The opposite is easy, too, so if you find yourself needing the taskbar in the future, bringing it back is just as straightforward. Here’s how.

Further reading

Auto-hide the Windows taskbar

There are some exciting things ahead for Windows 10, but currently, the process for hiding your toolbar is quite simple and you can do it at any time. Just follow these quick steps!

Step 1: Right-click on the taskbar (it has to be on the taskbar itself, not anywhere on the screen) and select Taskbar settings from the resulting menu.

Step 2: On the Settings page that appears, look for the options that say Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode and Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode (if applicable). Make sure they are both turned On. Triggering them on and off will give you a preview of what it’s like with the taskbar hidden — it should slide out of sight at the bottom of the screen.

Step 3: When happy with the results, simply close the Settings window. The taskbar is now hidden!

If you find yourself needing the taskbar in the future, simply move your mouse to the bottom of the screen and the taskbar will magically reappear. When you’re done, move your mouse away and the taskbar will once again slide out of view.

If eventually, you find yourself missing your old pal taskbar though, bringing it back to the base of your screen all the time is just as easy as auto-hiding it in the first place. Just repeat the steps outlined above, and deactivate the settings button instead of activating it.

Windows 7 or older

Older versions of Windows don’t have the same options as the updated operating systems, so first you really need to upgrade now. After you complete that process, you’ll find that your updated platform is much more user-friendly. But the process for hiding the taskbar is much the same; the menus just aren’t as pretty.

Step 1: Right-click on the taskbar and click Properties.

Step 2: On the taskbar menu window that appears, tick the box that reads Auto-hide the taskbar.

The taskbar will now be hidden by default, but you can bring it into view by navigating your mouse to where it’s hidden. If you want to reactivate the taskbar, simply repeat the steps above and untick the respective box.

Now that you have your taskbar where you want it, here are some other tips on how to make the most of it. Whether you just upgraded your system with the previous tips or not, there are some options to speed up your Windows experience?

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Tech News

Tax day 2021 change could hide a big state headache

The Internal Revenue Service and US Treasury Department announced a change to this year’s tax filing due date. Here in 2021, the tax filing due date (for the 2020 tax season) was extended from its previous date (April 15, 2021) to May 17, 2021. This does not necessarily affect the due date for taxes in your state. Each individual state still has their own due date for State Taxes, regardless of how the IRS changes their Federal Tax Due Date.

Federal and State date

When US taxpayers file taxes for the year, they generally do so for both Federal and State taxes all in one go. With this extension for Federal Tax Returns, the filing due date may not be affected for State Tax Returns. You may still need to file taxes for your STATE by April 15, even if your FEDERAL taxes aren’t due until May 17.

The Federation of Tax Administrators webpage has a list of webpages for State Tax Agencies. In this list you can click your state’s agency and find their latest ruling on the due date for state tax filing. It’s entirely possible that your state will also extend their due date to May 17 – but this move is not guaranteed.

If you’ve already filed taxes for the 2020 season here in 2021, you have nothing to worry about. If you were planning on filing taxes before April 15 anyway, no worries! If you were counting on filing all taxes after April 15, you SHOULD make sure your state’s due date isn’t still April 15.

Refund date

It would appear that this extension will not affect the time it takes for refunds to be sent. It is expected that if you’ve already filed your taxes and are owed a refund, you’ll still get said refund in the amount of time it would have taken had this extension not been granted. The extension is only in place to allow individual taxpayers an additional several weeks to get their affairs in order to file taxes for the 2020 tax season.

Take a peek at the timeline below for more updates in the last week on taxes, refunds, and stimulus checks. It’s been an interesting journey, navigating taxes and government money during this pandemic – and it’s not over yet!

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Categories
Security

How to Hide Photos on Your Android Phone or Tablet

You wouldn’t freely share your home address or phone number with just anyone, and the same instinct for privacy should extend to your photos. Most people have a few photos they’re willing to share with others, while the rest are destined to remain in a private collection to shield the privacy of you and your family. Every so often, you may hand over your phone so your boss, co-worker, or best friend can see your cat doing something cute — but in that moment, there’s no guarantee your viewer will stop there.

It’s up to you to protect the privacy of your photos at all times and make sure random folks can’t continue to swipe and check out the rest of your photos. Because the temptation may be overwhelming, you can hide photos on your Android device — either in the device settings or using a third-party app. We show you how it’s done.

Hide photos on your Android phone

While there’s no built-in secure way to hide photos on an Android phone or tablet, many Android device manufacturers offer native privacy features that help you to easily shield photos and other files from prying eyes. The archive function in Google Photos can also come in handy for this purpose. The example shown below is with the latest version of Google Photos using Android 10 on an LG V40 ThinQ.

Archive photos in Google Photos

If you use Google Photos on your Android phone, then you can employ the archive function to hide any photos you’d rather people didn’t accidentally stumble onto from the main feed. Don’t worry about losing your precious pictures — these photos will still be accessible via the Archive, in albums, and via search.

  • Find the photos you want to archive and hover over either the date (to choose all) or over the first image (to select non-consecutive images) and then tap the circle at the upper left of each thumbnail of the photos you want to hide. Each hidden photo will have a checkmark.
  • Tap the three vertical dots at the top right of the screen and choose Move to Archive from the drop-down menu.
  • You will get a notification that your selected photos have been archived. You can Undo this action immediately if you change your mind.

You can still access these photos by tapping the Library icon at the bottom right of the screen and then tapping on the Archive button. To put them back into the main photo feed, tap and hold to select, then tap the three vertical dots at the top right and tap Unarchive.

Hide photos on a Samsung phone

If you have a Samsung phone, like the Galaxy S20, there’s a robust, secure mode to keep your private photos and videos private.

  • Open the Settings and tap on Biometrics and security then find the Secure Folder option and tap on it.
  • It may prompt you to sign in to your account and agree to the terms.
  • Now you can configure your Secure Folder and decide whether it should appear in the app drawer, how to access it, whether it should lock automatically when the screen turns off, and various other options.
  • We recommend locking it with your fingerprint and setting it to lock automatically when the screen turns off.
  • Open the Gallery app and find a photo you want to hide.
  • Tap and hold to select it and tap the three vertical dots at the top right.
  • Choose Move to Secure Folder from the drop-down list.

If you ever want to unhide photos, simply find them in the Gallery app in the Secure Folder, tap and hold to select, then tap the three vertical dots at the top right and choose.

Best Android apps for hiding photos

If your phone or tablet doesn’t have a built-in security option for hiding photos, then your best bet is to download and install one of the best photo hiding apps. There are a few that we recommend.

LockMyPix

LockMyPix protects your personal photos with a private, encrypted, and secure photo and video vault. Complete with military-grade AES encryption, this app provides complete control over who has access to viewing your media. You have many different login options for your vault. Some of these options include a PIN, face recognition, fingerprint, password, or pattern. These options all ensure a steady, intense watch over anyone who tries to access your vault. Users can even use the Fake Vault option to create a decoy vault for even higher security. This second vault offers a separate PIN and unlimited storage.

Google Play

Vaulty

Vaulty is a highly recommended and free Android app that hides your photos and offers a few extra services available as in-app purchases. The app allows you to secure photos and videos in a vault that is only accessible using a PIN or password. It comes with a backup feature that automatically encrypts and saves your photos to the cloud. To up your security, you even have the option to create several different vaults for your pictures and videos, each with its own unique password. Vaulty even includes a mugshot feature that will snap a photo of intruders who try to break into your vault.

Play Store

Gallery Vault

Gallery Vault is another simple and highly used Android photo-hiding app, that is comparable to a secure locker. It lets you choose the photos and videos you want to protect and guards them with a PIN, fingerprint, or passcode. It also encrypts your photos. The one downside with this app is there’s no online backup. Your files will stay on the device. Gallery Vault offers Micro SD card support and a fake passcode option that leads to a decoy vault. The app also offers a hidden icon that disguises the app itself. You can even set up notifications to receive and trespassing.

Play Store

Editors’ Choice




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